Holy Rule for Aug. 18
Prayers for the eternal rest of Steve and for all his family and all who mourn him and for Nora and Jim who will now be raising his two youngest children.
Prayers for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Michael and Cheryl, safe travels.
Luke ,4, who will have an MRI to learn if he was born with Chiari Syndrome like his sister, Toni-Marie. He has experienced some of the same headaches which Toni used to have.
Ron has been bedridden with his back for the past 4-5 days, they will be scheduling him for a procedure in the near future, to attempt to relieve the pain.
a 20 year old girl who ran away from a rehab and has not been heard from for 12 days. Please pray for her safety and for her family who are very worried abut her.
Wally, who has been hospitalized with stomach and intestinal issues, and doctor's have discovered a mass on his kidney. They will be doing a biopsy on August 23rd.
Cherise, there is a long-standing eating disorder, as well stuggles with alcoholism, including a recent DUI. Prayers for her and her husband as they seek help.
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 18, August 18, December 18
Chapter 63: On the Order of the Community
Let all keep their places in the monastery established by the time
of their entrance, the merit of their lives and the decision of the
Abbot. Yet the Abbot must not disturb the flock committed to him,
nor by an arbitrary use of his power ordain anything unjustly; but
let him always think of the account he will have to render to God
for all his decisions and his deeds.
Therefore in that order which he has established or which they
already had, let the brethren approach to receive the kiss of peace
and Communion, intone the Psalms and stand in choir. And in no place
whatever should age decide the order or be prejudicial to it; for
Samuel and Daniel as mere boys judged priests.
Except for those already mentioned, therefore, whom the Abbot has
promoted by a special decision or demoted for definite reasons, all
the rest shall take their order according to the time of their
entrance. Thus, for example, he who came to the monastery at the
second hour of the day, whatever be his age or his dignity, must
know that he is junior to one who came at the first hour of the day.
Boys, however, are to be kept under discipline in all matters and by
I have known one monk of St. Leo who may perhaps have been delighted
to be the most senior monk by age and entrance, but he is long gone
now. The others I have known, who either held the first place or
hovered near it, could not have cared less, might even chuckle about
it if reminded. I like their way better.
Rank is a handy way to organize people in line, but after that, its
usefulness quickly diminishes. Rank that one desires or seeks can be
downright pernicious and fatal to a monastic life. If you look at
this chapter closely, it is not hard to see that St. Benedict wanted
his monastics to pretty much take their place and forget about it-
going any higher or lower had nothing to do with their own decision
anyhow and they should be at peace.
There's the rub: to be at peace! We need peace, we need inner
serenity. It is no accident that it became our motto, PAX. That
peace of soul is fertile earth in which God tills His bountiful
fields of graces. It is the foundation we need to build houses firm.
That inner peace becomes impossible when our primary focus is a
scramble to the top. Archbishop Sheen called ambition "the
ecclesiastical lust" and he was very right. What obsesses us often
comes to enslave and own us outright, a tragic turn of events. Our
thirst ought to be holiness, not power or position.
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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