Holy Rule for June 30
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Korth, a seminary candidate who died in a drowning accident.
Prayers of thanks and Deo gratias for Vince, his primary gout symptoms have abated, but he still has lower extremities swelling and problems with medications, so continued prayers.
Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and for all who take care of them:
Fr. Paul's Dad, diagnosed with multiple myeloma, and for Fr. Paul and all the family.
Tim, still very ill.
Prayers for Gary, discerning a vocation, for God's will.
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 29, June 30, October 30
Chapter 23: On Excommunication for Faults
If a brother is found to be obstinate,
or disobedient, or proud, or murmuring,
or habitually transgressing the Holy Rule in any point
and contemptuous of the orders of his seniors,
the latter shall admonish him secretly a first and a second time,
as Our Lord commands (Matt. 18:15).
If he fails to amend,
let him be given a public rebuke in front of the whole community.
But if even then he does not reform,
let him be placed under excommunication,
provided that he understands the seriousness of that penalty;
if he is perverse, however,
let him undergo corporal punishment.
While some today may chafe at these chapters, known as the penal code
of the Holy Rule, believe me, the modern problem is NOT that they are
too stringently enforced. Quite the opposite. The Benedictine
atmosphere of gentle moderation can cloak and empower a lot of
timidity and cowardice, too. Neither are very loving, they're just
useful means of avoidance.
Not all love is tough love, but all love IS tough. When a parent or
boss or superior chooses their own comfort by avoiding confrontation
with a problem member, everyone suffers. Those in authority are
called to love, and love leaves no stone unturned, not even those
that are horribly difficult to lift.
The message here for all of us is "Look at your own choir stall",
which is a Benedictine way of saying "Mind your own business and
examine your conscience." If you are in authority, or get there
someday, don't be a flop or an unloving wimp. If you are not in
charge, don't make yourself one of the problems. It is terribly hard
for rank and file to ignore what seemingly ought not to be ignored, but
sometimes we simply have to do so or leave. That is one of the VERY
great ascetic disciplines of common life. Believe me, fasting pales
to nothing beside this one. I'd rather fast any day!
I have known monastics (and employees and managers and parents!) who
forced more than one person out by their unchecked behavior, something a
good superior could have fixed or at least mitigated. It is even more tragic
when the one in charge is taking the easy way out by non-intervention.
God's will has to work around and in spite of human frailty, but
human frailty can and does often put huge obstacles in the way.
Meanness and abusiveness can destroy others' vocations as well as
one's own. So can cowardice and inactivity in the name of false
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Prayers, please, for a woman who is trying to get established with a doctor;each one she has called either is not taking new patients or does not accept her insurance. Several are retiring or leaving their practice.