Holy Rule for July 28
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Jose, a police officer killed by a dump truck while on construction detail, and for all his family 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:
A., university appeal pending, could lose his studies. Needs badly to accept the will of God in whatever comes.
Deo gratias, Lola does not have an esophageal tumor, continued prayers as her problem needs further work up.
J, 36. minor nervous breakdown and some self-harming, that he open up fully to those treating him.
Brenda, a single mom, battling cancer, very sick, also in financial distress and prayers for her children, two teenagers still at home. Her tests have been clear until Monday and they found another lump. She has to wait until next Wednesday for more tests then wait for those results. Prayers for a miracle and that she doesn't have cancer. Prayers also for her friend Andrea who is so worried about her.
Julie, who will have chemo placed in her liver next wekk.
Arline Patricia, on her birthday, may God bless her abundantly.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, new Archbishop of San Francisco, for all his ministry.
Ken, new ministry as director of religious ed for his parish, for God's graces on all he does.
Fr. Ralph on his journey this coming week; traveling grace and protection from demonic attacks during the week and a safe return home to family and church community.
Special intentions for Ben and Beverly.
J.S., a very tough academic project coming up; prayers, please, for its successful completion.
Deo gratias for past prayers answered.
Callum, 4, still no movement of fludis from his pneumonia, and for his parents, Kate and Aiidan and brother, Fergus
Brian, bleeding complications at operative site.
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 28, July 28, November 27
Chapter 48: On the Daily Manual Labor
Idleness is the enemy of the soul.
Therefore the sisters should be occupied
at certain times in manual labor,
and again at fixed hours in sacred reading.
To that end
we think that the times for each may be prescribed as follows.
From Easter until the Calends of October,
when they come out from Prime in the morning
let them labor at whatever is necessary
until about the fourth hour,
and from the fourth hour until about the sixth
let them apply themselves to reading.
After the sixth hour,
having left the table,
let them rest on their beds in perfect silence;
or if anyone may perhaps want to read,
let her read to herself
in such a way as not to disturb anyone else.
Let None be said rather early,
at the middle of the eighth hour,
and let them again do what work has to be done until Vespers.
And if the circumstances of the place or their poverty
should require that they themselves
do the work of gathering the harvest,
let them not be discontented;
for then are they truly monastics
when they live by the labor of their hands,
as did our Fathers and the Apostles.
Let all things be done with moderation, however,
for the sake of the faint-hearted.
I offer this as further proof of St. Benedict's tenderness and
gentleness: take a nap. OK, say the siesta is Italian and cultural.
Fine, but there were plenty of cultural elements he didn't let
through the monastery gate. It was a LOT hotter in Egypt and one
doesn't hear the Fathers telling people to lie down and rest, much
less saying that those who cannot sleep dare not wake those who can
with their noisiness! This is a gentle Father we have!
Surely moderation is one of the key elements woven throughout the
Holy Rule, but isn't it at least worthy of note that it is stressed
here, in the chapter on work? St. Benedict may not have had all the
handy psychobabble terms that we use today to name things, but he had
a piercingly clear perception of human nature.
He knew that some people were workaholics and that their contemplative
focus would be shattered by that. He knew some people were obsessive
about trivia that didn't matter. He knew that some people would be abused by their own
kindness and inability to say "No," politely, by their doubt that
anything is ever enough. All these things can harm, not only prayer, but
even our primary vocations themselves, marriage, parenthood, family or
So, he counters all that by saying: "Take a nap!" Hey, what a great
reality check! Wake up, y'all, the world has an axis already and
there is no need for you to duplicate services: it ain't spinning around
you or your hyper-efforts! Take a nap! God will manage fine without
you for an hour or so!
St. Benedict certainly knows that many things are important, even
essential and he is not at all shy about pointing them out. In the midst
of all that, he says: "Take a nap!" If you can't nap, he doesn't even say
"pray," he tells the insomniac to read quietly and not to wake the nappers!!
Look, we are known for our motto of pray and work, ora et labora. One
might well assume that if you couldn't be working, you ought to at
least be praying. Not so. Take a nap. Balance it out. Try pulling
your arm out of a bucket of water and see what happens. Water closes
right in, no problem. Much depends on us, but usually much less than
we are prone to pridefully think! Take a nap!
Our world around us will gladly and readily tell us that we are worth
nothing other than our productivity, our work, our profitability. St.
Benedict wants to be sure that when we come to his monastery, we see
those distorted values of human dignity for the falsehoods they
really are. He wants us to work, yes, but to see work in the deep
humility of truth. A consumerist society has taught us the exact
opposite of that and we all need to patiently spend lots of time
peeling those scales from our eyes with the help of God and St.
Take a nap!
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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