Holy Rule for July 12
Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Julie, 30's, mother of a 2 year old, having her adrenal glands removed to help with her cancer.
a priest whose faculties to celebrate the Sacraments have been removed by his bishop. He is suffering badly.
Sr. Jackie Walsh, a sister of Mercy who was killed by a hit and run driver. She was on retreat at the sisters' retreat house and went out for a walk. The sisters in her community are devastated. The police found the car and have a description of the driver. Please pray for the repose of her soul and for the man who hit her and for all who mourn her.
Greg, 60 on the 12th. He lives alone and his family are many miles away (some in a different country) so he is unlikely to see anyone. Please pray that he has a lovely birthday, a wonderful year, and that his 60s turn out to be a great decade for him!
R, ongoing serious health problems, and a legal situation. She is guilty of the sin of omission (unintentional) but the law is not overly concerned with intentions! Please pray for her health, and for her finding a happy solution to her legal situation.
Since St. Benedict's solemnity falls in July, why not make the rest of July a
month of prayers for all Benedictines. We could all use the prayers and we will be
praying for each other, too.
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 12, July 12, November 11
Chapter 34: Whether All Should Receive in Equal Measure What Is
Let us follow the Scripture,
"Distribution was made to each
according as anyone had need" (Acts 4:35).
By this we do not mean that there should be respecting of persons
(which God forbid),
but consideration for infirmities.
She who needs less should thank God and not be discontented;
but she who needs more
should be humbled by the thought of her infirmity
rather than feeling important
on account of the kindness shown her.
Thus all the members will be at peace.
Above all, let not the evil of murmuring appear
for any reason whatsoever
in the least word or sign.
If anyone is caught at it,
let her be placed under very severe discipline.
One reason murmuring is so strongly proscribed here is that its
origin in this case is likely to be from jealousy. Jealousy is a
terrible thing in any human being, but even more treacherous when the
people involved have to live and work together in community. Jealousy
is a sure sign that one has not arrived. Perfect monastics simply
don't care about such stuff! (If they did at all, it would only be to
rejoice for the other!)
Yet many of us- myself roundly included- can still find jealousy
rearing its ugly head from time to time. It is part of our fallen
human nature, it is also part of us that has not grown up yet: an
inner child that is still screaming "Mom ALWAYS liked you best!"
Sigh... Jealousy cannot live without ignorance or falsehood, so
reality checks may be helpful, shaking ourselves awake to what is
true and real, reminding ourselves what we do NOT know and cannot
know about another's situation compared to our own.
Did we but know the gift of God! Ah, but we most surely do NOT know
it! If we did, we should be far, far more grateful for the different
ways He deals with people. We should be relieved that we have not the
gifts of others, since we have not their peculiar circumstances or
vocations or personalities to deal with those gifts. We should also
be able to more clearly see how richly- and utterly appropriately- we
ourselves have been blessed. God is no wretched giver, and we are ALL
swathed in His unfathomable mercy.
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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