Holy Rule for July 15
Prayers for the eternal rest of Rev. David, for all his family and parishoners and all who mourn him.
Prayers for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Deo Gratias! Tanner for whom we have prayed, was scheduled to be Baptized at 2pm yesterday. Continued prayers for his recovery.
Craig and his wife traveling to Saskatoon on Monday where he is being tested for a genetic condition called haemochromatosis, an inherited blood disorder that causes the body to retain excessive amounts of iron, which can lead to serious health consequences, most notably cirrhosis of the liver. Prayers also for their daughter that she will not be genetically disposed to the illness.
From Lorene: Deo gratias. I wanted to thank everyone who prayed for my husband Mario. I had asked for prayers for him to receive a new position in his current company - ability to receive his bonus and not to be laid off. All of it came true! It is a miracle that I will never forget. The power of prayer is more powerful than anxiety, worry or fear. I will turn to prayer always - especially for thanking the good Lord for his blessings. Wanted to share this so that everyone knows that God IS listening and He IS there for you.
Deo gratias, John, for whom we prayed, came through his cardiac valve surgery fine, continued prayers for his recovery..
Emilia, for a safe and holy trip to Ireland.
Lucille, having a CT scan Monday to determine cause of a blockage in her liver. Has a history of malignant melanoma, and she is very nervous about it.
Elaine, undergoing chemotherapy for bladder cancer. She has lost a great amount of weight, and is having trouble gaining any of it back. She has many other health problems, as well as serious health problems in her son.
Jay, hospitalized with a leg infection, following sun poisoning, and due to fly to the UK for his mother-in-law's memorial service this coming week. Healing and if possible safe travel.
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 15, July 15, November 14
Chapter 36: On the Sick
Before all things and above all things,
care must be taken of the sick,
so that they will be served as if they were Christ in person;
for He Himself said, "I was sick, and you visited Me" (Matt 25:36),
and, "What you did for one of these least ones, you did for Me"
But let the sick on their part consider
that they are being served for the honor of God,
and let them not annoy their sisters who are serving them
by their unnecessary demands.
Yet they should be patiently borne with,
because from such as these is gained a more abundant reward.
Therefore the Abbess shall take the greatest care
that they suffer no neglect.
For these sick let there be assigned a special room
and an attendant who is God-fearing, diligent and solicitous.
Let the use of baths be afforded the sick
as often as may be expedient;
but to the healthy, and especially to the young,
let them be granted more rarely.
let the use of meat be granted to the sick who are very weak,
for the restoration of their strength;
but when they are convalescent,
let all abstain from meat as usual.
The Abbess shall take the greatest care
that the sick be not neglected by the cellarers or the attendants;
for she also is responsible for what is done wrongly by her disciples.
"Before all things and above all things..." is a very strong
statement. If St. Benedict meant that, and we must assume he did,
monasteries and families should not only make sure that the sick are
full and equal members, but even that they have priority. The sick
bear a responsibility in this: they are not to "vex" those caring for
them, but even if they fail in that, they must be borne with
Let's face it, at a certain point, the sick are definitely "out of
the loop" in human society. This is even more true of the long-term,
chronically ill. This is, of course, very typical primate behavior-
for a nomadic troop of baboons, it would be fine. Christianity and
Benedictinism, however call us to rise far above such limitations of
natural response. We are called to be more than natural. We are bound
to strive for the SUPERnatural.
Even in monasteries, especially large ones, the sick can be shelved
and forgotten by some members. Rest assured that, unless wheeled to
church or refectory, the sick are quite likely to never lay eyes on
certain members. In this aspect, the monastics mirror a similar flaw
in the secular world and in many families: out of sight, out of mind.
The concerns of one's active daily life can lead to a certain
selfishness, and the Holy Rule is trying to prevent this. We must be
different from the world, different from that nomadic troop of
primates. We must be more. Both Gospel and Rule, baptism and monastic
commitment demand that.
Oblates in the world, there is a rich field of endeavor here and you
will hardly have to get in line to enter it. Nursing homes freak you
out? There are adult day care programs that might be easier for you.
I used to do four Communion services a week in such places when I was
in Boston, and, had I been able, they would have gladly let me do
more. When I left to come here, every single one of
those services dropped to once a month or less. There is work for you
to do if you want to get yourself commissioned as a Eucharistic
minister and go for it. These were people that not only the world,
but even the Church had largely forgotten. The chance to do anything
for them enriched my life immeasurably.
Does even day care get to you? Then turn to the families of the
chronically ill. To a large extent, they often share the isolation of
the patient in a very real and very unfair way. Find some ways to not
forget them, to give them a breath of normalcy and relief and you
will find their lives, the patient's life and your own changing for
the better. Everyone can do something, and there is plenty to do!
Ask most people what the hallmark of the Benedictine Order is and
they will likely respond with either liturgy or hospitality. Our Holy
Rule's prescription that all guests be received as Christ is
justifiably famous, as is our concern for the liturgy. However,
another hallmark less attended to is this chapter's insistence that
we receive and serve Christ in the sick, too. Would that we deserved
to have people choosing between THREE hallmarks for their answer-
care of the sick, liturgy and hospitality!
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.