Holy Rule for July 27
Deo gratias and prayers of thanksgiving: 8 years of sobriety for Tom. Ad multos annos, many more!
Prayers for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Summer Jane, 12 months. She had to have both kidneys removed and one was cancerous. She has had 10 surgeries in her first year of life. Prayers, too, for both her parents and especially her Dad, Dan, who is giving her one of his kidneys. May all go smoothly.
Jane, for whom we prayed is doing a bit better, Deo gratias. Still some pain, numbness and discomfort but progress. She had a second cortisone shot last Thursday. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.
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 27, July 27, November 26
Chapter 47: On Giving the Signal for the Time of the Work of God
The indicating of the hour for the Work of God by day and by night
shall devolve upon the Abbot either to give the signal himself
or to assign this duty to such a careful brother that everything will
take place at the proper hours. Let the Psalms and the antiphons be
intoned by those who are appointed for it, in their order after the
Abbot. And no one shall presume to sing or read unless he can fulfill
that office in such a way as to edify the hearers.
Let this function be performed with humility, gravity and reverence, and
by him whom the Abbot has appointed.
Our families are varied, both in monasteries and in the world. Not
everyone has the gift of song or of reading aloud. Of those who do,
not everyone has the gifts of love and humility and these, too, must
be taken into account. The Solesmes Congregation is the world
authority in Gregorian chant, but even they must live by the Holy
Rule. I love the story of an Abbot of one their abbeys who used to
take the choir master down a peg or two when he thought he was being too
dominant, singing too loud, or too much of a soloist. He would tell the
offender to sing sotto voce for a given amount of time as a reality
check. Now there's a smart Abbot!
In Benedictine families, those who can are forbidden to look down on
those who cannot. We have a place and function for everyone and that
place is firmly guarded by humility and love. We do care that
word and chant be proclaimed edifyingly, even nobly, but the minute we
get sucked into the idiocy of performance the whole thing is flushed.
As so often, the Holy Rule's clear message is: "Get a life! Get real!"
We have vocations, not careers. If any job becomes our life, it is
time to change because, to us, any job is work, nothing more. It may be
prayerful work, but it is just work. In and of itself, it has no more
(or less!) relation to our monastic calling than cleaning
toilets or taking out the garbage. The manner and attitude we give to
any task whatsoever can either advance us on the monastic path,
stymie us, or pull us back. A superior who knows this and assigns
offices accordingly can be a very, very great blessing to all.
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.