Holy Rule for July 8
Prayers for Mary Ellen and her staff, that the diocese retain the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, and that all their jobs be secure.
Prayers please for Cindy and Bob and their family who had to put their beloved dog Macee to sleep this past weekend.
Deo gratias! Natasha and her daughter, Samantha, 4, have been found. The Dad has been taken into custody.
Tim, for whom we prayed, is still very critical, but opened his eyes yesterday and seems a bit better for the first time in a week. Deo gratias. Continued prayers, please.
Prayers for Bob, diabetes and other problems.
P. brain surgery on Thursday for a tumor removal.
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
March 8, July 8, November 7
Chapter 31: What Kind of Man the Cellarer of the Monastery Should Be
As cellarer of the monastery let there be chosen from the community one
who is wise, of mature character, sober, not a great eater, not haughty,
not excitable, not offensive, not slow, not wasteful, but a God-fearing
man who may be like a father to the whole community.
Let him have charge of everything. He shall do nothing without the
Abbot's orders, but keep to his instructions. Let him not vex the
brethren. If any brother happens to make some unreasonable demand of
him, instead of vexing the brother with a contemptuous refusal he should
humbly give the reason for denying the improper request.
Let him keep guard over his own soul, mindful always of the Apostle's
saying that "he who has ministered well will acquire for himself a good
standing" (1 Tim. 3:13).
Let him take the greatest care of the sick, of children, of guests and
of the poor, knowing without doubt that he will have to render an
account for all these on the Day of Judgment.
Let him regard all the utensils of the monastery and its whole property
as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar. Let him not think that
he may neglect anything. He should be neither a miser nor a prodigal and
squanderer of the monastery's substance, but should do all things with
measure and in accordance with the Abbot's instructions.
The Abbot is father to the family, in all respects. Some of those,
however, are delegated to others, so that no one, not even the Abbot,
may be overburdened. In one sense, the Abbot may be said to be the
father in things spiritual and the cellarer in things material. It is
interesting that St. Benedict requires very similar qualities in both.
What lies beneath that requirement is the Benedictine view of property,
of goods, of the earth itself. We scorn excess, in either direction, but
we do not scorn the material world, we reverence it as if it were one of
the vessels of the altar! This is very different from a Buddhist view, where
all creation might be looked upon as "maya," illusion.We see creation
for what it truly is: a stupendous and free gift of God to all.
While we always place people before things, we demand that both people
and things be the objects of downright exquisite care. We love both
because they are God's gifts, because they are both the means of
sustaining our lives for God's ends. As such, the Holy Rule's view does
not permit that things be loved in and of themselves, for themselves
alone. That's an attachment we have to be careful to avoid. That false
love, however, can lead to all kinds of erroneous ideas about the good
we administer: stinginess, hoarding, acquisitiveness.
All of these traits translate very easily into the family sphere.
Parents need to achieve a sane balance in regards to material things.
They need not to be career-driven workaholics, but they must also avoid
being poor providers through lack of concern. The key to the middle way
is love, as usual. Love the family members more than anything worldly
and the rest falls more or less into place. If children know that they
come before things, they have learned a lesson that they will pass on
for the rest of their lives.
Face it, many a rich, spoiled child, immersed in privilege, feels
unloved. Things are never an adequate substitute for our hearts, which
are what God, St. Benedict and the Holy Rule ask us to give without
reserve. It is the love, the genuine love, that a child (or anyone else,
for that matter!) will remember. All the rest is dust and ashes.
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.