Holy Rule for Sept. 9
Prayers, please, for Alan, delicate back surgery this week, and for Donna, Louis, Tom, Viriginia and Barbara, and other members of their family with orthopedic problems and pain.
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
January 9, May 10, September 9
Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be
An Abbess who is worthy to be over a monastery
should always remember what she is called,
and live up to the name of Superior.
For she is believed to hold the place of Christ in the monastery,
being called by a name of His,
which is taken from the words of the Apostle:
"You have received a Spirit of adoption ...,
by virtue of which we cry, 'Abba -- Father'" (Rom. 8:15)!
Therefore the Abbess ought not to teach or ordain or command
anything which is against the Lord's precepts;
on the contrary,
her commands and her teaching
should be a leaven of divine justice
kneaded into the minds of her disciples.
This surely applies to all parents! Substitute "parent" for "abbess"
and "home " for "monastery" and you have the ideal picture of a
Christian head of household. Of course, in another sense this applies
to ANY Oblate living in the world as the head of their own, albeit
perhaps single, household! Many of us, in monastery and out, are
parents to nothing other than some beloved pets, but surely we must
treat them with love as the Holy Rule requires, too!
It's a safe bet that any truly wise person would not think themselves
worthy to be abbot, and perhaps equally unworthy (or at least
unprepared!) to be a parent. In fact, conviction of one's UNworthiness
may be one of the best qualities. There's obviously some kind of
humility going on there! God blinds us to many of our good qualities,
to keep us from becoming proud.
There's an old saying that holds that the community gets the Abbot it
deserves (and the vocations it deserves, too!) Sometimes this may not
hold literally true, but I do feel that we often get the Abbot (or
parent,) that we most need. That doesn't mean that we will always be
thrilled with the election or with our family tree. It doesn't mean
that everything is perfect at all times from OUR point of view. Often
this need goes unseen until years and wisdom get to work on the 20/20
It means that God has given us great treasure in anything so
important as His choice of an Abbot or a parent, no matter how hard
that may sometimes be to fathom. Happy the day when one can look back
and say: "Abbot X is exactly the man I needed at 18!" or "Without the
parents I had, I would never be who I am today. Thank God it was not
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying everything has to
be rosy as a TV sit-com in the 1950's. It doesn't. It works anyhow,
because of the miracle of God's love and infinite mercy! The miracle
here is precisely THAT the imperfect (which includes all of us!) works,
that all is made well by God's love and mercy and grace, if we but
allow Him to do that for us.
All of us do not live under the same roof with an abbot or abbess,
but all of us, even the abbatial ones, have had parents. Some of us
ARE parents. Tough role, as any abbot could tell you! Take heart! God
will use you both to His ends in ways that neither of you may ever
God will use the positive and the negative, if only we let
Him. Parent and child inextricably build, change and shape each other.
We often hear of grown children's baggage from their youth, but stop
and think: there are also many parents who were changed irrevocably,
for good or ill, by their children.
I needed exactly the parents I got to be who
I am. We all do. It just takes time to see God's hand in that. He
does love us, you know.
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.