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Holy Rule for Feb. 13

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for the happy death of the following, for all their loved ones and all who will mourn them: Sr. Germaine, OSB, dying of cancer. Carole,
    Message 1 of 149 , Feb 12, 2010
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      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for the happy death of the following, for all their loved ones and all who will mourn them:

      Sr. Germaine, OSB, dying of cancer.

      Carole, dying of ovarian cancer.

      Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:

      Brian, ear problems.

      Doris, recurring ulcer.

      Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will
      is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so
      much. JL


      February 13, June 14, October 14
      Chapter 11: How the Night Office Is to Be Said on Sundays


      On Sunday
      the hour of rising for the Night Office should be earlier.
      In that Office let the measure already prescribed be kept,
      namely the singing of six Psalms and a verse.
      Then let all be seated on the benches in their proper order
      while the lessons and their responsories are read from the book,
      as we said above.
      These shall be four in number,
      with the chanter saying the "Glory be to the Father"
      in the fourth responsory only,
      and all rising reverently as soon as he begins it.


      After these lessons
      let six more Psalms with antiphons follow in order, as before,
      and a verse;
      and then let four more lessons be read with their responsories
      in the same way as the former.


      After these let there be three canticles
      from the book of the Prophets,
      as the Abbot shall appoint,
      and let these canticles be chanted with "Alleluia."
      Then when the verse has been said
      and the Abbot has given the blessing,
      let four more lessons be read,
      from the New Testament,
      in the manner prescribed above.


      After the fourth responsory
      let the Abbot begin the hymn "We praise You, O God."
      When this is finished
      the Abbot shall read the lesson from the book of the Gospels,
      while all stand in reverence and awe.
      At the end let all answer "Amen,"
      and let the Abbot proceed at once
      to the hymn "To You be praise."
      After the blessing has been given,
      let them begin the Morning Office.


      This order for the Night Office on Sunday
      shall be observed the year around,
      both summer and winter;
      unless it should happen (which God forbid)
      that the brethren be late in rising,
      in which case the lessons or the responsories
      will have to be shortened somewhat.
      Let every precaution be taken, however,
      against such an occurrence;
      but if it does happen,
      then the one through whose neglect it has come about
      should make due satisfaction to God in the oratory.

      REFLECTION

      Making the comparatively safe assumption that the majority of those
      reading this will not be spending the wee hours of Sunday celebrating
      three nocturns instead of two, what do we glean from this? Well, for
      starters, let's note that St. Benedict goes out of his way to make
      Sunday special year-round, even when he would at other times shorten
      the Office. Making Sunday special, by the way, was not some novel
      idea of his own: it's a commandment of God, one we often forget these
      days.

      Sunday is not just a day off. Sunday is not observed by just cramming
      Church in somehow and the rest of the day no different. The Roman
      Catholic practice of Saturday Vigil Masses can really throw a wrench
      into this: do it late Saturday afternoon and "get it out of the way."
      Whoops! In spite of the theological and liturgical justifications of
      a Vigil Mass, that's what it often boils down to in people's minds:
      less than an hour, done late the day before, and you're done! Not!!!

      If Sunday affords no extra time at all to you for rest, for prayer,
      for lectio, please change something. I know one family who can't make
      it to Mass on Sunday because of sports schedules for several kids in
      different games. What will those kids grow up thinking of as
      Sabbath? A rushed 45 minute Mass Saturday evening, if that? How many
      observant Jews does one find in that dilemma? None. They know what
      comes first.

      No one took the Sabbath away from Christians: we surrendered it
      ourselves! It is, by the way, still there waiting, just as God is, for us
      to take back. Fully within our power to do so. All we have to do
      is change ourselves. That can be hard at first, but the rewards are
      immense.

      Many of us can clearly recall when no stores were open
      on Sunday, save a few of the gas stations and an emergency
      pharmacy. I wonder how our willingness to make Sunday just another
      shopping day contributed to the change we see today?

      Albert Schweitzer once said that the proof that Christianity had
      failed in Europe was war. I would say that the only proof needed to
      say that our Christian theology of the Sabbath has failed is to take
      a look at what's left of Sunday. And please don't blame the pagans
      for this one: we are at the root of the problem. Most likely at fault
      was our legalistic idea of "youse goes to Church and youse done with it."

      Check out your library or bookstore for some good Jewish
      books on how to keep the Sabbath. You're going
      to have a refreshing surprise. You're going to find deep holiness and
      you're going to find it largely "home-made" by the believers
      themselves, in their own homes. If you whine, as Christians can, how
      tough it is to run uphill against a secular world's Sunday, bear in mind that
      Jews are doing all this themselves on SATURDAY, with absolutely no
      cooperation from government or business or society at all.

      This Sunday observance, by the way, is not imposing monasticism on your
      children: it's making them Christian. Not an optional job!

      Love and prayers,

      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA



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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Don, for whom we prayed, has died without seeing the Priest. Ardent prayers for the repose of his soul and for his brother, Jim, his wife and family and
      Message 149 of 149 , Jun 6, 2010
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        +PAX

        Don, for whom we prayed, has died without seeing the Priest. Ardent prayers for the repose of his soul and for his brother, Jim, his wife and family and all who mourn him.

        Kaitlin, whose test we prayed for has also been able to get out of the bad real estate deal she was enmeshed in. Deo gratias, and thanksgiving prayers!

        Lola, whose back surgery we prayed for, has now developed pain/numbness in her other leg. Unsure of the cause, possibly a bone chip or spur, they are taking her back to surgery this afternoon. Continued prayers, please, and for her brother, Richard and all their family.

        Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and
        grace. God is never absent, praise Him. Thanks so much. JL

        February 6, June 7, October 7
        Chapter 7: On Humility

        The ninth degree of humility
        is that a monk restrain his tongue and keep silence,
        not speaking until he is questioned.
        For the Scripture shows
        that "in much speaking there is no escape from sin" (Prov. 10:19)
        and that "the talkative man is not stable on the earth" (Ps. 139:12).

        REFLECTION

        OK, if you are a parent, you cannot speak to your children only when
        they question you. The therapy bills in later years would be
        astronomical. There are many situations in a Benedictine life lived
        in the world, among non-monastics, where this has to be altered, but
        its kernel of truth must be discovered and maintained.

        WHY do we talk needlessly? Quite often it is nothing more than a
        trick to change the reality around us. We are bored, or we feel we
        are not getting enough attention or we think the mood too heavy, so
        we speak to change whatever annoys us at the moment. I should know.
        I am infamous for creating my own entertainment when things seem
        dull to me. That's not always a great idea...

        Some tough moments, some difficult stuff are meant to be endured.
        They are part of our necessary learning and growth. Ever notice how
        we assess a child's maturity by its ability to be quiet and non-
        fidgety in surroundings (like Church!) that do not spoon feed its
        attention span? Well, the same is true of us at every stage. We do
        ourselves harm if we defuse every single tense moment with a word or
        two. We cheat ourselves.

        All too often we speak only to remind the universe around us, which
        has carelessly forgotten for a second that we are its center, of a
        whole bevy of falsehoods: I am the cutest, smartest, or wittiest, I
        have the solution to all of this. What folly on the part of the
        entire cosmos to forget our importance! Better speak to clear the
        matter up...

        Those who know me are thinking: "HE wrote THIS?!?" Yes, alas, I am
        guilty of all I wrote. Three times a year the Holy Rule reminds me of
        that and each time I am aware that I need to work on it. Thanks be to
        God, the Rule IS read three times a year: usually by the time the
        next reading comes up, my interest has flagged and I have to start
        over. As for the part about the talkative not being "stable on the
        earth," well, there have been times in the last 18 years
        when God had to nail my feet to the floor to keep me faithful and I am
        not dead yet... I have not always been His most willing pupil, but
        oh, is He ever patient! And infinitely merciful!

        But, as one Desert Father said, that's what we do all day in
        monasteries: "We fall down and we get up."

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA



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