Holy Rule for Apr. 24
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Emily, 37, who died suddenly from a blood clot, and for all her family 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:
Denise, gall bladder surgery and many other problems, including marital.
Jean, battling throat cancer which has not be responding well to treatment, surgery may be necessary.
Matthew, who is in hospital afyer suffering severe weight loss and respiratory problems. He is also HIV positive. Please pray that he makes a good recovery and that he responds well to treatment and that he also looks after himself in a better way than he has done recently.
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 24, August 24, December 24
Chapter 66: On the Porter of the Monastery
At the gate of the monastery
let there be placed a wise old woman,
who knows how to receive and to give a message,
and whose maturity will prevent her from straying about.
This porter should have a room near the gate,
so that those who come may always find someone at hand
to attend to their business.
And as soon as anyone knocks or a poor person hails her,
let her answer "Thanks be to God" or "A blessing!"
Then let her attend to them promptly,
with all the meekness inspired by the fear of God
and with the warmth of charity.
Should the porter need help,
let her have one of the younger sisters.
If it can be done,
the monastery should be so established
that all the necessary things,
such as water, mill, garden and various workshops,
may be within the enclosure,
so that there is no necessity
for the sisters to go about outside of it,
since that is not at all profitable for their souls.
We desire that this Rule be read often in the community,
so that none of the sisters may excuse herself
on the ground of ignorance.
When a phone or doorbell rings, whether in a great Benedictine abbey
or an urban Benedictine apartment, we have the opportunity to
practice the hospitable grace that the Holy Rule requires of all.
Dorothy Day's friend and mentor, Father Hugo, used to say that we
love God as much as the one we love the least.
That would readily translate for me. I LOVE to see certain guests arrive,
look forward to it as soon as I hear they are coming. Those are not the
receptions on which I should judge my hospitality. The tough-to-love
The point here is that we ARE Benedictines, whether our answering
style of door or phone makes that evident or not. I might not like to think
so, but the anonymity of just saying "Hello," on the phone, without my
name or title does not entitle me to be harsh or gruff or rude. All of us are
bound by something Benedictine within us to be kind and gracious to all
who call or visit.
Someone who calls a monastery for the first time can be driven
away or attracted by the way they are dealt with on the phone.
A vocation could driven away by a smartingly cold response. To
risk alienating someone because of our own moods might mean that we
cheat someone out of a spiritual respite they sorely need.
People who just called us out of nowhere in the
last 12 years have become real members of our family, greatly
beneficial to themselves and to us. Anyone of those first experiences
could have been irreparably soured by a cranky phone manner. Look at
what all of us would have lost had that happened.
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Matt and Bettie are celebrating 22 years of marriage, not 201 as they awful typo reads. I thought it was 21 years, but Matt kindly corrected my mistake.