Holy Rule for Aug. 19
Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Alissa, ran away from rehab, but has been found, her sitauation is still very serious.
A single Mom and her three children and two nieces, who face family and economic issues.
Nicki, kidney removed for 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 19, August 19, December 19
Chapter 63: On the Order of the Community
The juniors, therefore, should honor their seniors, and the seniors
love their juniors.
In the very manner of address, let no one call another by the mere
name; but let the seniors call their juniors Brothers, and the
juniors call their seniors Fathers, by which is conveyed the
reverence due to a father. But the Abbot, since he is believed to
shall be called Lord and Abbot, not for any pretensions of his own
but out of honor and love for Christ. Let the Abbot himself reflect
on this, and show himself worthy of such an honor.
And wherever the brethren meet one another the junior shall ask the
senior for his blessing.
When a senior passes by, a junior shall rise and give him a place to
sit, nor shall the junior presume to sit with him unless his senior
bid him, that it may be as was written, "In honor anticipating one
Boys, both small and adolescent, shall keep strictly to their rank
in oratory and at table.
But outside of that, wherever they may be, let them be under
supervision and discipline,
until they come to the age of discretion.
Relationships between seniors and juniors are a two-way street. The
behavior of one feeds (or stokes the fires!) of the other. Hey, this
is true of all relationships, in every area of life. Want to be
loved? Give respect. Want to be respected? Give love. It may not
work in every instance, but it must be the first means we try and
the only means we never abandon totally.
Though the Holy Rule clearly exempts (in this passage,) the Abbess,
because she represents Christ, the express command that the Abbess
remember why she is treated as Christ is underscored. The Rule is
the Rule and monastics are human. The treatment we give to others tends to
reflect back upon as from a mirror, often with very good reason!
That mirror image can be the key to a LOT of our pain and discomfort
with others. It is not at all uncommon to see people mimic perfectly
the behaviors they complain about most bitterly in others. How many
times do we see one who almost exactly replicates the parent or
sibling at whose hands they have most suffered? And usually all
unawares! If one said to such an individual: "You are being JUST
like so-and-so!" the response would probably be
angry and not slight.
We must all be very, very, very mindful and vigilant that the
behaviors we are hurt by or angered by or loathe do NOT show up in
our own tool kits. If they do, there is a double result. Not only do
we fail morally at charity, but we isolate ourselves socially from
the very people who might be able to help us. It becomes a vicious
circle, creating the loneliness we complain of and fear.
When your buttons are pushed and you are very annoyed, examine the
behavior that set you off VERY, very carefully. Many times it is our
own faults in others that most offend us! This is easily seen in
those around us reacting to what they themselves loathe (and image!)
but it is much harder to see in ourselves. Don't give up this effort
and self-inventory! It is an important part of the monastic struggle.
Try with all your might never, ever to pass pain on. It is very hard
at times, but all of us know the unlovely examples of the many who
are all too determined, even unwittingly, to make sure that their pain gets
spread around. There is no shortage of such nonsense in the world.
Don't duplicate services!
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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