Holy Rule for Aug. 14
Prayers, please, for the spiiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Ben, Megan and Ben (yes, another Ben), going off to college. Prayers for protection for them and their faith
Ronald, 86, in very bad condition, open heart surgery needed and pending this week if his condition improves enough.
Joe, a heart transplant patient, who has developed yet another in a series of setbacks... and for his loving wife, Carney.
Tania, diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
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 14, August 14, December 14
Chapter 60: On Priests Who May Wish to Live in the Monastery
If any ordained priest should ask to be received into the monastery,
permission shall not be granted too readily. But if he is quite
persistent in his request, let him know that he will have to observe
the whole discipline of the Rule and that nothing will be relaxed in
that it may be as it is written: "Friend, for what have you come
It shall be granted him, however, to stand next after the Abbot and
to give blessings and to celebrate Mass, but only by order of the
Abbot. Without such order let him not make any exceptions for
himself, knowing that he is subject to the discipline of the Rule;
but rather let him give an example of humility to all.
If there happens to be question of an appointment or of some
business in the monastery,
let him expect the rank due him according to the date of his
entrance into the monastery,
and not the place granted him out of reverence for the priesthood.
If any clerics, moved by the same desire, should wish to join the
monastery, let them be placed in a middle rank. But they too are to
be admitted only if they promise observance of the Rule and
The quintessential question of the Holy Rule is that of
Jesus: "Friend, for what have you come?" This question is not just
for priests, but for each of us, for all Christians and all
monastics. The only acceptable answer to the question is: "To seek
God." That might be rephrased in any of a number of ways, but that's
the main event, the only game in town, the end all and be all of
Benedictine monastic life.
It is very necessary, in stating that we seek God, to admit that we
haven't altogether found Him yet, nor will we ever do so before
death. Even in the beatific vision of heaven itself, we creatures
will never, ever get to the root of our Creator, to the "ground
zero" of God. Ain't gonna happen. In heraven we shall move ever
deeper and deeper into Him, for all eternity, a journey that will never end.
Another way of saying this is that we need to come to the Holy Rule
and to the Gospel and to Christ admitting how frighteningly little
we DO know. For heaven's sake, after spending so many years of my life trying to
become clever, or thinking I was, what a tremendous relief it is to
be dumb: pluperfectly, fallibly, humanly, screamingly, shriekingly
DUMB! Boy, I love it! Ignorance truly *IS* bliss, just like they told
ya! Truly, we ought to know enough to know that we
know nothing! Realizing that the very best of us has nothing but the
barest tip of the iceberg is a great and tender mercy, indeed!
In one sense, I heartily recommend it. It is the only position from
which one may learn anything at all. Get too smart (or think you
have!) and you will never listen, failing yet another Benedictine
hallmark. You won't learn because all your energy will go into
composing your rejoinder or response. Such people do not learn. They
merely joust. Life is more than that, much more. Tons more.
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.