Holy Rule for Apr. 28
Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Annie, undergoing exorcism for possession, and for the Priest who is exorcising her. Ardent prayers for both, this is a difficult case.
Isaac M. who is in ICU,struggling to breath and periodic declining stats after undergoing stem cell transplant. This is one of his toughest battles and really needs all of the prayers you can offer!
Denise L. who will be having surgery tomorrow to remove a cancerous mass from her kidney.
Betty H. who is very ill and undergoing diagnostic testing.
Gail's father, who is undergoing testing to determine if he has a blood disease due to the fact that he has had to have 11 units of blood since December."
Sandra, for financial needs to be met. Having problems with her vehicle, and a lot of other things hitting her. Ask God to deliver her from financial attack and for deliverance from insufficiency.
Fr. Ed Silvia from EWTN, who just suffered a heart attack.
Dennis, for whom we have prayed, stage 4 cancer and given the chance to extend his life 6 months or so by chemo and radiation.
Sister Joan, in her 90's and in hospice after decades of service to God by serving other people and for all those who care for her and who will grieve her passing - especially Nga.
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 28, August 28, December 28
Chapter 70: That No One Venture to Punish at Random
Every occasion of presumption
shall be avoided in the monastery,
and we decree that no one be allowed
to excommunicate or to strike any of her sisters
unless the Abbess has given her the authority.
Those who offend in this matter
shall be rebuked in the presence of all,
that the rest may have fear.
But children up to 15 years of age
shall be carefully controlled and watched by all,
yet this too with all moderation and discretion.
All, therefore, who presume
without the Abbess' instructions
to punish those above that age
or who lose their temper with them,
shall undergo the discipline of the Rule;
for it is written,
"Do not to another what you would not want done to yourself" (Tobias
Ever work in a place where there was such chaos that you always had
to be protecting yourself from just about everybody, where you never
knew from which quarter doom might swoop down without warning. Trust
me, it ain't much fun. Been there, done that! St. Benedict wisely saw
that healthy people cannot live that way- it makes them sick- and
sick people cannot either, it makes them sicker in a big hurry!
Our communities, our families, and our own behavior at work or school
should never buy into such lunacy. One advantage of a central
authority is that it takes the heat, or ought to take it! To leave
those we have under our care at the mercy of each other, be they
siblings or monastics or employees, is a terrible abdication of
The other telling thing here is the proscription against losing one's
temper. Hey, I know it happens, and I often even know how. It surely
has happened to me, alas. But our communities are to be founded on peace.
When disagreement comes or wrong is done, our first resort must
NEVER be the overkill of the heaviest possible artillery. Much less than
that is effective in most cases and giving more than is necessary just
destroys our inner peace. That, my friends, is something we should
never allow things around us to destroy.
Two other important things are to be borne in mind. The other person may
honestly have no clue that they have offended or done anything wrong. It
may be in our own wrong-headed perceptions. Also, the silent treatment or
the cold shoulder freeze out are demeaning and not terribly mature ways to
deal with conflict, especially if the person receiving such nonsense is
expected to either know or guess what she has done wrong. Such petulant
behaviors are beneath humanity itself, much less Christianity and terribly
beneath monastic life.
Far from the "mutually assured destruction" tactic of the nuclear days,
we should always and everywhere espouse gentleness and polite restraint.
Our disagreements and corrections should be marked with mercy, even to
those who fail mercy themselves. (There is no shortage of such people and
no need to duplicate services there!) So much of charity is genuine
courtesy and respect, qualities which are sadly easy to fail. We must be mindful,
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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