Holy Rule for June 29
Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul
A very Roman Catholic reminder here: all who use a religious article blessed by
the Pope or any bishop on the Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul may gain a plenary
indulgence, under the usual conditions of Confession and Communion within 8
days, freedom from attachment to all sin, and with the addition of the Apostles
Creed to the usual prayers for the Pope's intentions.
Prayers, please, for Angelina on her 19th birthday, for graces and blessings and many happy years to come.
Prayers for Dave and his family and their missing cat, Bella. May they all be reunited with Bella safe and sound..
Deo gratias for:
Jimmy, for whom we have been prayed has been discharged and can resume normal activity after a week or so.
Arjahn for whom we prayed; hiss new wife has been granted permission to enter his country and they are now together.
Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Tim, VERY critically ill after a stroke, ardent prayers, please.
Patrick H., who was recently diagnosed with lymphoma, and for Jean, his mother and all the family.
Rose & Dave, going on holiday 29th June until 17th July. They will be on planes and a boat, so prayers for good weather, smoother journeys and contented family relationships.
Sheila, mastectomy and following chemo/radiotherapies. Deo Gratias, her attitude has been excellent, may it remain so. May she return to full health.
Lynne, unfairly dismissed, job tribunal/hearing on Wednesday to see if she can be reinstated. Lynne is bi-polar so this has sent her right down, and there are worries she will be unhappy even if she is allowed to stay, as she feels she can't trust her co-workers now. Prayers that whatever the outcome, she can see God's grace in it and try to find some balance.
Sherry, who lost her father in Oct.; now she just lost her husband a couple of days ago. Her Mom is really having a hard time with this too. Prayers for her husband's eternal rest, too.
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 28, June 29, October 29
Chapter 22: How the Sisters Are to Sleep
Let each one sleep in a separate bed.
Let them receive bedding suitable to their manner of life,
according to the Abbess's directions.
If possible let all sleep in one place;
but if the number does not allow this,
let them take their rest by tens or twenties
with the seniors who have charge of them.
A candle shall be kept burning in the room until morning.
Let them sleep clothed and girded with belts or cords --
but not with their knives at their sides,
lest they cut themselves in their sleep --
and thus be always ready to rise without delay
when the signal is given
and hasten to be before one another at the Work of God,
yet with all gravity and decorum.
The younger shall not have beds next to one another,
but among those of the older ones.
When they rise for the Work of God
let them gently encourage one another,
that the drowsy may have no excuse.
Hastening "yet with all gravity and decorum" has prompted many a
community joke, many a wry comment as one ran most ungracefully,
parts of the habit flapping wildly in the breeze, to whatever the
bell was about to make one late for! St. Benedict far antedates the
Three Stooges, but he still took precautions to ensure that we would
not look EXACTLY like Moe, Larry and Curly when we went to choir or
dinner! Admittedly, some of our human tendency still arises to give a
partial glimpse of that comedic trio, but, as always, the picture is
First off, a practical reason for
the lamp may be found in preventing those whom nature calls from sleep
from tripping all over other beds on their way to answer the call.
Even more importantly, the elderly may have problems during the
night if their health is declining. Hale and hearty (and hopefully easily
awakened!) juniors nearby promise them assistance, if needed. However,
if you want a humorous take on the knives issue, it may have been to
prevent mayhem and murder of snorers, an idea which has occurred
to many light sleepers!
Of course, dormitory sleeping is a thing of the past in our Order
today, but its nice to see that thoughtfulness behind its original
expression in the Holy Rule. There's a bit of the mother in St.
Benedict, going out of his way to mention a small detail like not
sleeping with knives. It is worthy of note, however, that St.
Benedict, as always is MODERATELY maternal, not neurotically so! He
doesn't get all bent out of shape, but he cares greatly and deeply.
One of the most beautiful images in this passage is the exhortation
to "gently encourage one another" at the hour of rising. Remember
that the strictest silence of all prevailed at this time. Now picture
the monastics gently encouraging one another! With no words, there
had to be a lot of touch, a lot of gentle smiles, a lot of warmth and
care expressed NON-verbally.
A very good idea of how loving a monastic is can be had by disturbing
their silence (or sleep, I imagine!!) Is the reaction cross and
withering? Watch out for that one! Is there a smile, even a warm one,
a reaction of sweetness? Well, when silence is over, that is a
monastic to whose words you may want to listen carefully.
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Prayers for George, needs a heart valve replacement, but is too weak for the surgery. Prayers that he can have the surgery or, should God call him now, for his happy death.