Holy Rule for Apr. 14
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Dora, for her husband, Bob, all her loved ones and all who mourn her.
Prayers for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Jual and her family. Pray for strength and continued faith.
Ray, that St Benedict guides his doctors' success in discovering the scope and cure for his colon cancer that was discovered during a routine Colonoscopy.
Elaine, that she not be affected by impending job cuts.
Mynor, hospitalized, and for his wife, Claudia.
Kelley, pregnant with her second child. Her ultrasound yesterday revealed that the baby's bladder is "pronounced". If it can be rectified on it's own, that is a good thing. If not, it is very bad. She will find out in two weeks when she has a follow up ultra sound. Prayuers for her and the baby and all their family.
Lorene's husband, worried about outsourcing which could leave him without a job. Prayers that he is able to get another position within the company (at or about the same pay/grade) and that he is able to receive his retention bonus. May he be employed for as many years as he wants to be and find a position that makes him happy again.
Ginny, who is undergoing major surgery on Friday, April 13.
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 14, August 14, December 14
Chapter 60: On Priests Who May Wish to Live in the Monastery
If any ordained priest
should ask to be received into the monastery,
permission shall not be granted too readily.
But if he is quite persistent in his request,
let him know
that he will have to observe the whole discipline of the Rule
and that nothing will be relaxed in his favor,
that it may be as it is written:
"Friend, for what have you come (Matt. 26:50)?"
It shall be granted him, however, to stand next after the Abbot
and to give blessings and to celebrate Mass,
but only by order of the Abbot.
Without such order let him not make any exceptions for himself,
knowing that he is subject to the discipline of the Rule;
but rather let him give an example of humility to all.
If there happens to be question of an appointment
or of some business in the monastery,
let him expect the rank due him
according to the date of his entrance into the monastery,
and not the place granted him
out of reverence for the priesthood.
If any clerics, moved by the same desire,
should wish to join the monastery,
let them be placed in a middle rank.
But they too are to be admitted only if they promise
observance of the Rule and stability.
One of the quintessential questions of the Holy Rule is that of
Jesus: "Friend, for what have you come?" This question is not just
for priests, but for each of us, for all Christians and all monastics.
The only acceptable answer to the question is: "To seek
God." That might be rephrased in any of a number of ways, but that's
the main event, the only game in town, the end all and be all of
Benedictine monastic life.
It is very necessary, in stating that we seek God, to admit that we
haven't altogether found Him yet, nor will we ever do so before
death. Even in the beatific vision of heaven itself, we creatures
will never, ever get to the root of our Creator, to the "ground zero"
of God. Ain't gonna happen. We will just keep going deeper and
loving more for eternity. The more we know, the more we will love,
but we shall never know all!
Another way of saying this is that we need to come to the Holy Rule
and to the Gospel and to Christ admitting how frighteningly little we
DO know. If we think an MDiv or an MD or a BS have
corrected that problem, even slightly, well, maybe
that degree is just about all we've gotten from the experience.
Truly, with Socrates, we ought to know enough to know that we
know nothing! Realizing that the very best of us has nothing but the
barest tip of the iceberg is a great and tender mercy, indeed!
I heartily recommend it. It is the only position from
which one may learn anything at all. Get too smart (or think you
have!) and you will never listen, failing yet another Benedictine
hallmark. You won't learn because all your energy will go into
composing your rejoinder or response. Such people do not learn. They
merely joust. Life is more than that, much more. Tons more.
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]