Holy Rule for Apr. 10
Prayers for the eternal rest of the following, for all their loved ones and all who mourn them:
Roannah, 94, and special prayers for her son and daughter-in-law.
William Allen, 31, Dannaer Fields, 49 and 54-year-old Bobby Clark, who were shot and killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Good Friday. Prayers also for those who were shot and injured but are unnamed. Further prayers for the perpetrators that they may seek forgiveness and healing for their actions.
all those killed in the Easter Sunday suicide bombing in Nigeria.
Prayers for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Michael Lo Piccolo, back and neck spasms very painful.
Sr. Lany Jo and the students and parents going with ther on a mission trip and for those they will serve.
Tom, painful divorce.
Deo gratias and thanks to the Blessed Mother, too, for Robert, doing very well.
David, soon to be unemployed, has a very promising interview.
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.
April 10, August 10, December 10
Chapter 57: On the Artisans of the Monastery
If there are artisans in the monastery,
let them practice their crafts with all humility,
provided the Abbot has given permission.
But if any one of them becomes conceited
over his skill in his craft,
because he seems to be conferring a benefit on the monastery,
let him be taken from his craft
and no longer exercise it unless,
after he has humbled himself,
the Abbot again gives him permission.
If any of the work of the craftsmen is to be sold,
those responsible for the sale
must not dare to practice any fraud.
Let them always remember Ananias and Saphira,
who incurred bodily death (Acts 5:1-11),
lest they and all who perpetrate fraud
in monastery affairs
suffer spiritual death.
And in the prices let not the sin of avarice creep in,
but let the goods always be sold a little cheaper
than they can be sold by people in the world,
"that in all things God may be glorified" (1 Peter 4:11).
My favorite quote from G. K. Chesterton is: "The artistic
temperament is a disease which afflicts amateurs." Amen!!!
The true artist is marked by humility, not because of low self-
esteem, but because of a healthy dose of reality, a firm conviction
that one's gift has been given by God and given with an eye to the
service of all. Christian art, in any form, has no meaning at all
outside of the glory of God and the betterment of the community.
For an artisan to become proud about this would be as ludicrous as for a
priest to be proud of his ability to consecrate, or a lay person proud
of their ability to baptize. Sorry, folks! Doesn't come from us.
Comes from God and we have to always remember our own littleness in
receiving such wonders.
A wrong attitude towards one's gift can quickly turn what God
intended to be a boon to the Christian community into a very large
and unmanageable human cross. Unfortunately, this sort of cross is
not rare. Prima donnas of either gender are all too numerous!
Art matters in communities, it must be treasured and held dear, because
it is a gift from a loving God. But art must always and
everywhere matter less than the people performing or enjoying it. The
brothers and sisters come first, and they do so from a theological imperative
of charity, much, much more intense than any human reason concept of art
or canon of aesthetics. Dump on your brother or sister in the name of art and
the result for the one dumping is pathetic, indeed.
Furthermore, in one sense, the artist must matter least of all, must
behind the gift, must not insist on being thrust into a foreground spotlight.
When a person does liturgy correctly, they vanish behind
the veil of vesture and rubric. They become icon bearers and what is seen is no
longer Pat or Jason, but acolyte and priest. It ought to be so with
artists, but it ought to be so with any gift or skill God has
graciously given us. "He must increase, I must decrease..."
As soon as we forget that, our gift becomes a weight dragging us
downwards to potentially ultimate loss, rather than helping us to
ascend the heights. Good superiors can see this and stop it, but not all
superiors have that knack! Let us pray that our gifts will always be focused
by the wise and loving hand of some realist, to whom God has given
the gift of loving truthfulness!
Love and prayers,
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Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for al their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Pat, terminal brain cancer, for her happy death.
Deo gratias, David got his contract, prayers for him in his new job.
Debbie , a mother of two young children, just diagnosed with lymphoma leukemia;
Shannon, that she know God's great love for her and be open to his guidance and will;
for financial stability for two persons who are in debt
Andrew, brain cancer, on his 31st birthday.
Lorene, experiencing pains and illness symptoms and worried about results of what this could be. Please pray that she is fine and no disease/illness. Very frightened.
for those still suffering from Hurricane Sandy. May they come out of this tragedy with optimism and find love, peace, health and happiness again.
Paul C. and his family, for God's will to be done.
Prayers for the eternal rest of John F. Kennedy, on the anniversary of his
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
March 23, July 23, November 22
Chapter 43: On Those Who Come Late to the Work of God or to Table
Anyone who does not come to table before the verse,
so that all together may say the verse and the oration
and all sit down to table at the same time --
through his own carelessness or bad habit
does not come on time
shall be corrected for this up to the second time.
If then he does not amend,
he shall not be allowed to share in the common table,
but shall be separated from the company of all
and made to eat alone,
and his portion of wine shall be taken away from him,
until he has made satisfaction and has amended.
And let him suffer a like penalty who is not present
at the verse said after the meal.
OK, before we all get hopelessly mired in the belief that St.
Benedict is REALLY mired in punctuality issues, let's try a parable
reality check. What if every bus (or train or plane or subway,)
waited for the latecomer to arrive? For starters, the schedule of
everyone sitting helpless on that mode of transportation would be
disrupted. Everyone would be late, every single one. Some would miss
work, others a wedding, others still a connection with friends to
leave on vacation. If all public transport followed such a program,
our whole world would be a chaotic mess of very unhappy campers in
Benedictine communities do things together. Usually, that means that
a late arrival at a meal keeps everyone sitting there when already
finished, waiting for the tardy one to eat. (Occasionally a superior
will intervene and end the meal more or less on time, but often that
is not the case. Everybody waits.) This lengthening of the meal then
throws the whole schedule off. The Office cannot suffer, it's times
are inexorable, so what usually gets clipped is free time, recreation
or work. Rob people of these on a regular basis and they can get very
Lateness which is unavoidable is just that, unavoidable. That's a
time when the meal ought to be prolonged, when the others ought to
witness that we "bear one another's burdens" and so fulfill the law
of Christ. Brother X is my brother. I am responsible for a large chunk
of his communal life. If I say that doesn't matter and stroll into
dinner whenever I feel like it, something is terribly wrong with me.
I need to have my skewed vision and values corrected. That's what
this is all about: loving one another rightly.
Much of the Holy Rule which deals with communal life (and is VERY
easy to apply to family life or workplace,) has to do with what should
really be common courtesy and decency. Granted, sometimes those values get
wrapped in ancient language and gesture, making it less easy to see
how simple and modern they are, but those exhortations to polite,
considerate, gentle living are things anyone can follow in any milieu, to great
benefit! Many of those courtesies are threatened or altogether lacking today.
Helping keep them alive may start a conversion in another we will never know
Love and prayers,
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