Prayers, please, for Mary, having difficulties getting disability,
and for Darryl, 35 and diagnosed with leukemia. God's will is best.
Thanks so much! NRN JL
March 23, July 23, November 22
Chapter 43: On Those Who Come Late to the Work of God or to Table
Anyone who does not come to table before the verse,
so that all together may say the verse and the oration
and all sit down to table at the same time --
through his own carelessness or bad habit
does not come on time
shall be corrected for this up to the second time.
If then he does not amend,
he shall not be allowed to share in the common table,
but shall be separated from the company of all
and made to eat alone,
and his portion of wine shall be taken away from him,
until he has made satisfaction and has amended.
And let him suffer a like penalty who is not present
at the verse said after the meal.
It is terribly important for families to eat together. St. Benedict
knew this 1,500 years ago and things have not changed that much in
human nature since his time. The links between members are restored
at a shared meal. Small wonder that Jesus left us a Meal as His
legacy to remember Him by and to unite us all.
I can hear the groans from Oblates in families that schedules
conflict and how can this be possible. I assure you, I do not know,
especially since I don't know all the ins and outs of anyone's
personal situation. I do know, however, that a family meal is so
important that it must be worked into one's life somehow. Once a week
is better than nothing, but even that is far too little. Every day
might be out of the picture, but it ought to be the ideal.
Sometimes we need to get a firm grip on what is most important. That
might mean we have to help our children get real, as well. Being
children, they ought not to be expected to have a tool kit capable of
enabling any and all decisions on their own. I know and love one
family whose soccer and hockey schedules ruin much of the year. I
worry about them, I truly do.
The parents make at least a better than average attempt to go to
Church, but I am in no way certain that survives either sports
season. Hey, I know kids get invested and I know it is hard to say
no, but Sunday? Shot? For most of the year? God can wait, hockey
Not only is a terrible religious message being given here, but
a very false message is given to each of the two athletes as well:
the world revolves around you. Everything stops when you have a game.
Well, not exactly, nor is that the best idea to turn a kid loose on
the world with.
Make no mistake, parents DO form their kids in a religion they care
about. Unfortunately, if that religion is sports (as it often is in
Boston, rabidly, frenetically, alas!) the message comes through loud
and clear. That it continues to be strong in adulthood is evidenced
by some of the absolutely inane and stupid levels of media coverage
of certain sports events and figures in the Boston area. Face it, who
really cares? (Or ought to....)
Even our monks who ARE sports fans shake their heads in wonder at
some of the lunacy. Weeks and weeks of intense coverage on who will,
will not, might or finally did buy the Red Sox. Goodness, (anguished
hand wringing here,)whatEVER shall we do?
The real stupidity behind this is the assumption that some idiot is
going to spend millions and millions of dollars to buy a team and
forcefully drive it unprofitably into the ground. Get a life! People
are dumb, but not that dumb. Is Ted Williams going to get frozen or
cremated? Whatever should we do?
And why, frankly, should we care? What difference would it make?
Making things terribly serious that are not serious at all is not a
sign of balanced health. We'd be wary if anyone got that serious
about a game of Monopoly, but sports are, after all- or should be- a
GAME, not reality.
Reclaiming Sunday is not some hyped up Benedictine idea. It is
Christian. Our faith itself demands that we get rest and some time
together, hopefully for prayer! It would seem that, if one was to be
firm anywhere, on any day of the week, Sunday might be the place to
If the child predictably gripes that everyone else does it, this
would offer a particularly apt time to convey the message that we are
not like everyone else, nor are we supposed to be. That's part of
My Jewish friends grew up with a far better sense of who they were
than many Christian (or post-Christian!) kids get today. And their
Sabbath (O horror!) was SATURDAY. Now that cut into more than a few
things. But there was a great, great lesson available there for those
kids. Pity the ones who missed it.
Love and prayers,