Holy Rule for July 2
Please pray for relief for the over 3 million victims without power from Indiana to New Jersey as a result of the terrrible wind storms.
Please continue to pray for victims of the relentless fires in Colorado.
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Don, for Cay, his wife, in assisted living with dementia, and for Sal and Laurie and all his family, and for all who mourn him.
Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Dave and Marian, going through some difficult times.
Fr. Joe, extended treatment for health issues.
John, who is going into the hospital July 12 for heart surgery to replace a faulty valve that he has had since childhood. He is very apprehensive about this.
Elaine, who will start chemotherapy on July 6 for Stage 3 bladder cancer. After an intensive regimen of chemo, she will be scheduled for extensive surgery to remove much more than just the bladder. Also pray for her family, which includes many more medical problems.
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 2, July 2, November 1
Chapter 25: On Weightier Faults
Let the brother who is guilty of a weightier fault
be excluded both from the table and from the oratory.
Let none of the brethren join him
either for company or for conversation.
Let him be alone at the work assigned him,
abiding in penitential sorrow
and pondering that terrible sentence of the Apostle
where he says that a man of that kind is handed over
for the destruction of the flesh,
that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord (1 Cor. 5:5).
Let him take his meals alone
in the measure and at the hour
which the Abbot shall consider suitable for him.
He shall not be blessed by those who pass by,
nor shall the food that is given him be blessed.
The world's concept of punishment is alien to Benedictine values. The
world often sees punishment as nothing other than retribution. Few
today would think of prisons (at least in my country,) as places of
reform or moral rehabilitation. Quite the reverse!
We want offenders to pay and we want them removed from our view
and out of harm's way. We often even want them dead, but we do not much
care whether or not they reform. In fact, we have little faith that they will
and even less hope of that given the prisons in which we have warehoused them.
The world wants problems removed, not solved, not converted.
With St. Benedict, there is no reason for punishment other than
hope of reform and hope of conversion. Only when the hope of those are
gone does he demand expulsion. The familial nature of Benedictine
life means that we have to hold on as long as a possibility of cure
seems to exist. Like any family, we are committed to one another
through a lot of thick or thin and there is no shortage of either!!
However, and some families sadly know this, too, sometimes that hope
is dashed by the offender, the only one who has ultimate power in
this process. Once a monastic is corrected or punished, the real
outcome lies pretty much in the monastic's control. One can profit
from the correction and grow, or one can stubbornly rebel and wither.
Sometimes punishment may seem mean, but, believe me, it is really the
most necessary form of love at times. Charity could not leave such
wounds undressed. If it did, one would have a lot to answer for to
God one day. Real love does not ignore, real love does not take the
easiest route. Real love is often forced, even bravely willing, to name the
horse on the dining room table that other diners ignore.This is as
true of families and workplaces as it is of monasteries. There is a lot of
wisdom here for all!
And above all, mercy, always mercy. Trust in the Dvine Mercy of God, it is
His greatest attribute.
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]