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Holy Rule for Oct. 21

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Continued prayers for Srs. Charlotte and Connie Ruth, OSB. Both are progressing very well. It is amazing what the power of prayer can do. Continued
    Message 1 of 57 , Oct 20, 2010
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      Continued prayers for Srs. Charlotte and Connie Ruth, OSB. Both are progressing very well. It is amazing what the power of prayer can do.

      Continued prayers for Ben, special intention.

      Prayers for Katy and Robert, both dealing with pain and possible pain killer abuse.

      Deo gratias for all prayers answered in the past.

      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 20, June 21, October 21

      Chapter 17: How Many Psalms Are to Be Said at These Hours
      We have already arranged the order of the psalmody for the Night
      and Morning Offices;
      let us now provide for the remaining Hours.

      At Prime let three Psalms be said, separately and not under
      one "Glory be to the Father."
      The hymn of that Hour is to follow the verse "Incline unto my aid,
      O God," before the Psalms begin. Upon completion of the three
      Psalms let one lesson be recited,
      then a verse, the "Lord, have mercy on us" and the concluding

      The Offices of Terce, Sext and None are to be celebrated in the
      same order, that is:
      the "Incline unto my aid, O God," the hymn proper to each Hour,
      three Psalms, lesson and verse, "Lord, have mercy on us" and
      concluding prayers.

      If the community is a large one, let the Psalms be sung with
      antiphons; but if small,
      let them be sung straight through.

      Let the Psalms of the Vesper Office be limited to four, with
      antiphons. After these Psalms the lesson is to be recited, then the
      responsory, the Ambrosian hymn, the verse, the canticle from the
      Gospel book, the litany, the Lord's Prayer and the concluding

      Let Compline be limited to the saying of three Psalms, which are to
      be said straight through without antiphon, and after them the
      hymn of that Hour, one lesson, a verse, the "Lord, have mercy on
      us," the blessing and the concluding prayers.


      A real short one here. People often ask me about the Benedictine
      Office and want to include it in their prayer lives. This chapter
      offers a great solution: the Benedictine Psalms of Compline.

      They are the same ones every day. You can use them with whatever
      format you have for Compline. Many houses, even today, still use
      the Psalms mentioned here, and all of them did for most of our
      history. The Psalms are 4, When I call...,90(91) He who dwells in
      the shelter of the Most High..., and 133(134) O come, bless the
      Lord..., the first number being the Septuagint numbering usually
      found in older Catholic Bibles and the parenthetical numbering the
      Hebrew one found in Protestant Bibles.

      Used daily, these Psalms sink quickly into memory. Pretty soon
      you'll be able to say Compline with no book. Now that is a great
      joy! No books needed. Warm and familiar. Enjoy!!

      For any who would like a copy of the 1963 Monastic Diurnal, which
      has all the day hours, but not Matins, it has been republished by
      Farnborough Abbey, in Latin and English, side by side columns. More
      info at:


      or contact: Brother Bernard 1.505.388.9279 -- Our Lady of Guadalupe
      Monastery, New Mexico, USA

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      Petersham, MA

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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX ******Somehow I skipped Nov. 28 and ran the 30th yesterday, so here s the reading for the 28th to catch up. March 29, July 29, November 28 Chapter 48: On
      Message 57 of 57 , Nov 28, 2010
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        ******Somehow I skipped Nov. 28 and ran the 30th yesterday, so here's the
        reading for the 28th to catch up.

        March 29, July 29, November 28
        Chapter 48: On the Daily Manual Labor

        From the Calends of October until the beginning of Lent,
        let them apply themselves to reading
        up to the end of the second hour.

        At the second hour let Terce be said,
        and then let all labor at the work assigned them until None.
        At the first signal for the Hour of None
        let everyone break off from her work,
        and hold herself ready for the sounding of the second signal.
        After the meal
        let them apply themselves to their reading or to the Psalms.

        On the days of Lent,
        from morning until the end of the third hour
        let them apply themselves to their reading,
        and from then until the end of the tenth hour
        let them do the work assigned them.
        And in these days of Lent
        they shall each receive a book from the library,
        which they shall read straight through from the beginning.
        These books are to be given out at the beginning of Lent.

        But certainly one or two of the seniors should be deputed
        to go about the monastery
        at the hours when the sisters are occupied in reading
        and see that there be no lazy sister
        who spends her time in idleness or gossip
        and does not apply herself to the reading,
        so that she is not only unprofitable to herself
        but also distracts others.
        If such a one be found (which God forbid),
        let her be corrected once and a second time;
        if she does not amend,
        let her undergo the punishment of the Rule
        in such a way that the rest may take warning.

        Moreover, one sister shall not associate with another
        at inappropriate times.


        Lectio divina, sacred reading, is the Benedictine form of
        contemplation, more ancient than many later forms, both Carmelite and
        Athonite. Being so ancient, it comes with very few directions. Much
        of its "method" has been developed and handed down by monastics over
        the centuries since St. Benedict.

        Even in that embellished form, it remains a very, very simple and
        efficient means to contemplative prayer. One simply reads Scripture
        or the Fathers (or Mothers!) slowly, reflectively, ruminating (like a
        cow chewing its cud!) on each word and verse. As St. Romuald later
        observed, one waits like a chick for whatever its mother gives it.

        One does not read to get through the book. One reads to see if and
        when the Holy Spirit calls us to higher prayer with a word or phrase
        that strikes the heart. At that point, one should follow one's heart
        and not worry about finishing the page! Cleared for takeoff!

        It is interesting that St. Benedict weaves all these schedules of
        contemplative reading and prayer together with his manual labor
        concerns, without any ado. There's another example of the dignity and
        holiness of work in a Benedictine theology. Our work, too, is prayer.
        It must be.

        We must, somehow, learn to be all prayer. That same
        ruminative mindfulness that colors our lectio must color our labor as
        well. It is a different form of attention, a different form of
        prayer, but it is prayer nonetheless! Just ask any gardener or cook
        with a mystical heart or, for that matter, any toilet cleaner or
        diaper changer of the same ilk!

        The Carmelites prescribe mental prayer, which should, with
        recollection, spread throughout one's day. The hesychasts of Mount
        Athos, Romania and Russia stress the Jesus Prayer, said vocally until
        it becomes automatic in the heart at all times. Both of these are
        more explicit methodologies, but the Benedictine aim is the same:
        prayer without ceasing, prayer in choir and garden and cell, prayer
        at reading and prayer at work. Mindfulness of God at all times is the
        contemplative goal of all these systems.

        This is just my own opinion, but I am inclined to think that the
        Dominican concept of contemplation comes closest to our own, largely
        because of their love of study. Study, for the Dominican, is often
        very similar to lectio in the Benedictine scheme of things. Why?
        Because the Dominican seeks Truth, and Jesus said: "I am the Truth."
        A Dominican could be reading virtually anything and still know that
        every bit
        of real, objective truth garnered from that reading would be yet
        another shard, no matter how small, in the infinite mosaic of the
        face of Christ. That is a mosaic none of us shall ever complete in
        this life, but oh, how much more familiar He shall seem to us when we
        meet Him because of it!

        Maybe I'm just prejudiced, but I think that a Dominican education,
        such as I had, is a wonderful preparation for Benedictine life.

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        Petersham, MA

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