Holy Rule for Jan. 19
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest pf Kristen's grandmother, who has died, and for Kristen and her Mom, Janet, a special intention, and for all the grieving family aall their loved ones.
Prayers for a family with many special intentions.
Prayers for Stuart, on his birthday, graces galore and many more, and for his son, turning 18 on the 25th, that they may reconnect and all will go well and lovingly.
Prayers for Lucille who just found out she has breast cancer. She is waiting to get into surgery, treatments etc. which in Canada can take awhile. Prayers that she gets into all her appointments quickly and they are able to heal her completely. Prayers for her whole family that they can feel God's presence in this whole situation including her daughter Michelle who is getting married February 18th.
Prayers for Bennie, lady who's had lots of health problems, but is now well enough to go home, and faces more challenges ahead.
Prayers for Jack, who longs to be reunited with his son Gabriel whom he has not seen in over ten years.
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 19, May 20, September 19
Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works
Not to give way to anger.
Not to nurse a grudge.
Not to entertain deceit in one's heart.
Not to give a false peace.
Not to forsake charity.
Not to swear, for fear of perjuring oneself.
To utter truth from heart and mouth.
Not to return evil for evil.
To do no wrong to anyone, and to bear patiently wrongs done to
To love one's enemies.
Not to curse those who curse us, but rather to bless them.
To bear persecution for justice' sake.
Not to be proud.
Not addicted to wine.
Not a great eater.
Not a grumbler.
Not a detractor.
To put one's hope in God.
To attribute to God, and not to self, whatever good one sees in
But to recognize always that the evil is one's own doing, and to
impute it to oneself.
A beginning warning as we read these instruments of good works: don't
focus on the few you already can more or less manage! Lots of people
do that, carefully skimming over the ones they can't dream of doing
or fathoming, patting themselves on the back for the stray one here
and there they can. (E.g., "Hey, I don't murder anybody...") None of
us could do any of these things at all without grace and mercy. It is
all God's gift that allows us to do good. The most important
instruments of good works are the ones we HAVEN'T mastered... yet!!
Just a quickie on one of these: "Not to forsake charity." St. Paul
tells us that love never gives up. There is a similarity here to the
vow of conversion of manners: one never gives up striving for
holiness or the vow is broken. So it is with love: if we give up, it
If we deny that a person can ever change, we deny an important truth: all
people can change, even those who annoy or hurt us the most. Insisting that a
person will never be any better is clinging to a falsehood. The person MIGHT
never change, sure, but to insist that we KNOW someone never will improve is a
lie. We know nothing of the sort. Every lie diminishes our sharing in truth.
Since Jesus said He is the Truth, we must grasp and gather every bit of truth
that we can. To cling to a false (and uncharitable,) conviction of a
person's perpetual inability to become better is to work against ourselves. We
should be gathering truth, not lies.
One of the Dominican applications of their motto, "Veritas", Truth,
to spirituality is to justify study by Jesus' statement that He is
the Truth. Hence, every bit and fragment of real truth that
Dominicans gain in their learning is like one more piece of the
puzzle, one more shard of the shattered mirror of human consciousness
that reflects Christ. The more we learn of truth, the more familiar
His face will be to us when we finally see Him.
Jesus said He was the Truth, St. John tells us God is love. The two
are intertwined in the essence of God. They must also be wound
together tightly in our ways of loving, forgiving and knowing each
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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]