Holy Rule for Aug. 24
Prayers for the happy death of Karen, sent home to die, and for all her family and all who will mourn her, esp. Scott and Mary Ann.
Deo gratias, Elaine got a good report from her CT scan.
Continued prayers for the 4 Belgian nuns with mushroom poisoning, still in the hospital but doing better.
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.
April 24, August 24, December 24
Chapter 66: On the Porters of the Monastery
At the gate of the monastery let there be placed a wise old woman,
who knows how to receive and to give a message, and whose maturity
will prevent her from straying about.
This porter should have a room near the gate, so that those who come
may always find someone at hand to attend to their business. And as
soon as anyone knocks or a poor person hails her, let her
answer "Thanks be to God" or "A blessing!" Then let her attend to
them promptly, with all the meekness inspired by the fear of God and
with the warmth of charity.
Should the porter need help, let her have one of the younger sisters.
If it can be done, the monastery should be so established that all
the necessary things,
such as water, mill, garden and various workshops, may be within the
enclosure, so that there is no necessity for the sisters to go about
outside of it, since that is not at all profitable for their souls.
We desire that this Rule be read often in the community, so that
none of the sisters may excuse herself on the ground of ignorance.
This idea of self-sufficiency, of everything one needs within the
enclosure, is a great boon. Even if you are as haphazard in habits
as I am, try to carve a day or two or three when you DON'T have to
go out for anything once you get home, or a day off when there is no
reason at all to leave your home. If you don't already know it, you
will soon find that these days are treasures. Doesn't matter if the
kids are home and noisy as ever, there is a certain solitude and
security that being self-contained, even for a day, engenders and it
Remember all that talk about stability? Benedictines are, at the
root, homebodies of sorts. We thrive and blossom in the solitude and
security of homes, wherever they may be. That's why these days of
not going out become so precious. They are times of freedom and
for us and that's exactly what monastic struggle is about: offering
us the freedom to grow and bloom!
You cannot gag the kids and tie them up for the day, tempting as
that may sometimes seem! But you can leave the phone unplugged or
the answering machine turned down and the radio or TV off now and
then. One or all three will heighten the sense of secure enclosure
in the warmth of your own space.
After all, the Desert Fathers used to say: "Stay in your cell and
your cell will teach you everything." That won't usually happen at
first, we have to learn to listen to our homes. Once we do, we will
find that they will, indeed, teach us subtly and almost non-stop!
Our various enclosures, even those urban apartments, offer us a
reprieve from the rush and bustle of the world around us and we
gradually learn to love that respite dearly. Please, for your own
sake, for your family's sake, for your spouse's sake, find a way to
spend a day entirely at home. Then, as you grow into it, find ways
to increase the number of those days! I am certain you will want to
By the way, if your home ever gets to teaching you so much that it's
making you crazy, remember that is probably because a nerve has been
touched. It might be wise to check which one! And one more thing:
learn to treasure those whose needs interrupt or trash your day of
cloister. They are gifts, too.
Christ often comes in very distressing disguises. Rejoice! (I know,
I know....) Monastics reveal a LOT about themselves by the way they
handle those who disturb their prayer, silence, or solitude. Much of
it is often not pretty. Don't go there! Kindness, always kindness
and mercy. A smile will draw more people to Christ than a scornful
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
For Demosthenis, hypertension, in ICU, fighting for hiss life.
For the recovery of Alex’s friend, emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially, through the intercession of Our lady of the Rosary.