Holy Rule for June 22
Prayers please for a young girl who just graduated college and was crossing the street and fell victim to a hit and run. She has massive head trauma and bleeding in the brain. Doctors say they have not seen a case so severe. Prayers also for her family and repentance for the driver, who is still not found.
Prayers for Mario and Lorene and family. Mario just found out that his job is being outsourced in a very aggressive timeline, and he has no idea if the company will move him somewhere else in the company when it is over. He's been with them for over twenty years, and he is very upset about all of this.
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.
February 21, June 22, October 22
Chapter 18: In What Order the Psalms Are to Be Said
Let this verse be said:
"Incline unto my aid, O God;
O Lord, make haste to help me,"
and the "Glory be to the Father"
then the hymn proper to each Hour.
Then at Prime on Sunday
four sections of Psalm 118 are to be said;
and at each of the remaining Hours,
that is Terce, Sext and None,
three sections of the same Psalm 118.
At Prime on Monday let three Psalms be said,
namely Psalms 1, 2 and 6.
And so each day at Prime until Sunday
let three Psalms be said in numerical order, to Psalm 19,
but with Psalms 9 and 17 each divided into two parts.
Thus it comes about that the Night Office on Sunday
always begins with Psalm 20.
Since Prime was to be said before work, its Psalms could vary. The
Tuesday through Saturday repetition of the same 9 Psalms for minor
hours excludes Prime, which was probably said in Church or Chapter
room, or partially in both. Since Prime was celebrated where books
were available, it could use different Psalms every day and did.
There was no need for the memorization which would allow farmer monks
to celebrate None in the midst of a hayfield.
I was glad to hear from some who especially loved the prayers of
Prime. So do I! Here, however, is yet another offering from the
Office of Prime: its hymn. Being metrical, it is easily memorized. A
nurse friend of mine told me years ago she used to sing this hymn
every morning at an Episcopalian summer camp for kids. Not a bad idea at
Love and prayers,
Petersham, MA 01366
Now that the daylight fills the sky
We lift our hearts to God on high,
That He, in all we do or say,
Would keep us free from harm today:
Would guard our hearts and tongues from strife;
From anger's din would hide our life;
From evil sights would turn our eyes;
Would close our ears to vanities.
So we, when this new day is gone
and night in turn is drawing on,
With conscience by the world unstained
Shall praise His name for vict'ry gained.
To God the Father and the Son
And Holy Spirit, three in one,
Be endless glory as before
The world began, so evermore. Amen.
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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,
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