Holy Rule for June 13
A joyous Feast of St. Anthony to all his friends out there and prayers for all our Anthonys on their feastday. Graces and blessings galore and many more. Ad multos annos!
Prayers, please, for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the following, for all their familes and all who take care of them:
Rog, 64, atrial fibrillation, facing a lot of tests. He lives alone and this will be hard for him.
Ali, who is trying to help care for Rog, despite multiple fractures in her hand and bruised ribs from an accident, and for her husband and Dad, that they will be able to do without her as she helps Rog.
Mike, substance abuse and attempted suicide, an Army Ranger back from Afghanistan, his marriage failed and he is in dire straits, badly needs prayers.
Kevin, awaiting liver surgery, genetic liver condition, in substance abuse shelter, also an ArmyRanger vet.
Sue and her son, Josh. He has serious drug problems and at present she doesn't even know where he is.
Bishop Ambrose, OSB, moved into Hospice. For his happy death and for all who will mourn him.
"Darkhorse" 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and their families. They are fighting it out in Afghanistan & they have lost 12 marines in 4 days. I have seen this before, so checked on Snopes and it is true. Actually, they have lost at least 23 since Oct. 2010. Prayers for the eternal rest of those lostvand for their families and their surviving comrades.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Carlina, 23, drug overdose, and for her parents and 8 siblings and all who mourn her,
Prayers for Mr. K and Mrs, M, both hospitalized., and for their children and families. Mr. K has a very bad cardiac condition.
Prayers of thanksgiving and Deo gratias for 2 persons for who we've been praying: Kadin, the 13 year old who was hit by a car, comotose and no brain activity, has awakened. Diana, who suffered a stroke while jogging, will recover. She is one of only 3% who survive this kind of situation. God is good!
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
Chapter 10: How the Night Office Is to Be Said in Summer Time
From Easter until the Calends of November
let the same number of Psalms be kept as prescribed above;
but no lessons are to be read from the book,
on account of the shortness of the nights.
Instead of those three lessons
let one lesson from the Old Testament be said by heart
and followed by a short responsory.
But all the rest should be done as has been said;
that is to say that never fewer than twelve Psalms
should be said at the Night Office,
not counting Psalm 3 and Psalm 94.
The gentleness of St. Benedict, his considerate thoughtfulness is
again apparent here. Another principle comes to mind, as well. The
Office is important, but it revolves WITH us to a certain extent. It
is the axis our day turns on, but that axis may be shortened by the
season. There are circumstances under which even the Work of God
itself changes for us. Was humanity made for the Sabbath, or the
Sabbath for humanity?
Put another spin on this and you will find, especially if you are an
Oblate, that St. Benedict intends at least some aspects of his
monastic program to adapt themselves to the environment in which the
monastic lives. Do not wear yourself out trying to make the very
square peg of a relentless monastic life fit into the intractably
round hole of a life in the world.
Don't try to make your kids (or spouse!) understand that you are
going to be monastic, no matter whether they are or aren't. For one
thing, if you in any way diminish your primary vocation, like
marriage or parenthood, you are not going to be monastic at all!
For another thing, such tactics might drive them even farther from
the faith you hope to share and instill in them.
The key to our struggle is obedience and humility, not control of others.
Our oblation must be done in addition to our sacramental and primary
vocations, never instead of them.
Love and prayers,
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A blessed Easter to all! Christ is risen, truly He is risen!!
Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temproal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Luke, house sale - his house has been on the market for over a year and he really needs to sell it and downsize after the end of a long-term relationship.
Deo Gratias, V. has been offered and very limited place next year on the post-graduate course of his dreams...now he needs the money to pay for it.
Funding for D. to further his studies, or inspiration for something even better.
Continued prayers for baby Grace and her family. She is stable but still on oxygen in the house 24/7, and is waiting to see a specialist.
Jual, young mother of three battling breast cancer. Nodules found in her lung. Having surgery Sunday.
Prayers for safe journey, and back, for an extended family going on a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land for almost 2 weeks, and prayers for a wonderful time.
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
April 8, August 8, December 8
Chapter 55: On the Clothes and Shoes of the Brethren
For bedding let this suffice:
a mattress, a blanket, a coverlet and a pillow.
The beds, moreover, are to be examined frequently by the Abbot,
to see if any private property be found in them.
If anyone should be found to have something
that he did not receive from the Abbot,
let him undergo the most severe discipline.
And in order that this vice of private ownership
may be cut out by the roots,
the Abbot should provide all the necessary articles:
cowl, tunic, stockings, shoes, belt,
knife, stylus, needle, handkerchief, writing tablets;
that all pretext of need may be taken away.
Yet the Abbot should always keep in mind
the sentence from the Acts of the Apostles
that "distribution was made to each according as anyone had need"
In this manner, therefore,
let the Abbot consider weaknesses of the needy
and not the ill-will of the envious.
But in all his decisions
let him think about the retribution of God.
There is a tendency, both within the cloister and without, to hunt
for dramatic ascetic practices, while ignoring the truly more
difficult matters that lack the fanfare. Lights! Camera! Action! We
must always be wary of the Nora Desmonds of our hearts, who are
always willing to say, a la Sunset Boulevard: "I'm ready for my close-
up now, Mr. DeMille." How we do love to star, even at self-
Well, there's two bad pieces of new for Ms. Desmond et al. First the
penances we choose are usually not the most effective ones. The
best ones are imposed by God or our situation of daily duty and they
become tremendous means of grace when we patiently embrace them.
Second, the ones we do choose can be terrible risks for pride, which
undoes our efforts so insidiously.
What on earth does this have to do with the current chapter? Easy-
and very, very hard, too! The great ascesis here is to aim at
limiting ourselves to "all the necessary articles." There is a
challenge here for everyone from Abbot Primate to newest Oblate
novice. It is a challenge we shall likely never meet fully in life,
so it is something we can always be profitably picking at!
Do you know anyone at all, in any vocation, who has absolutely
nothing beyond what they need? I have known a few; alas I cannot
say it of myself. I think this is an area where we can all look at a challenging
grace-filled ascetic struggle that is placed on us by the Holy Rule.
Down-sizing actually feels great, once one gets over the consumerist
terror of doing so! One will quickly find that, in this area, less
really *IS* more, (unlike poetry and art, architecture and liturgy,
alas...! Minimalism there gets old fast...) We become freer when we
let go of things which hold us more than we realize.
We can get buried in things we are saving to complete unfinalized
plans that will never come to fruition, and while we save them, we
are disheartened by our own failure to use them. Jettison, m'dears,
jettison. As the one Desert Father used to say to the brethren,"Flee,
brothers, flee!" so do I say: "Jettison!"
This has the further charm of fitting well into a depressive's sofa
paralysis, too. Recall how I told you about that resolution to make
three things, no matter how tiny, better each day? Works here, too!
And you will often find to your delight that the trip to dumpster or thrift
shop donation includes 7, 8, or more things!
Keep chipping away and the mountain of our false hearts' desires,
beloveds. And one day may all those chips be ground to sand and may
we stand together on level, smooth quartz
sand, confronted by nothing but the dazzling ocean of God's
unfathomable mercy and love!
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]