Holy Rule for Sept. 2
Please keep the 30 or so New York Oblates of St Meinrad Archabbey who are making their annual retreat in Mariandale Retreat House. The chapter has been in existence for 70+ years.
Prayers, please, for P., terrible marriage problems and his devotional life has been severely impacted.
Deo gratias, Seamus is thriving in his new school and a wonderful change in him is evident, contiued prayers for him and his parents, Tim and Lorraine.
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
January 2, May 3, September 2
Let us arise, then, at last,
for the Scripture stirs us up, saying,
"Now is the hour for us to rise from sleep" (Rom. 18:11).
Let us open our eyes to the deifying light,
let us hear with attentive ears
the warning which the divine voice cries daily to us,
"Today if you hear His voice,
harden not your hearts" (Ps. 94:8).
"Whoever has ears to hear,
hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Matt. 11-15; Apoc. 2:7).
And what does He say?
"Come, My children, listen to Me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord" (Ps. 33:12).
"Run while you have the light of life,
lest the darkness of death overtake you" (John 12:35).
St. Benedict, just by virtue of the period in which he lived, would
have been rather more attuned to the Eastern Church Fathers than
many in the West are today. Not for nothing does he also recommend
St. Basil's Rule to his monastics! Given all this, the
phrase "deifying light", which probably strikes most Westerners as
just a lovely bit of poetry, would ring altogether different bells
in Eastern minds, and may well have rung those bells in the mind of
St. Benedict himself.
Deification, the process of humanity becoming more God-like, is a
central theme of Eastern Christian spirituality, a favorite theme of the
Fathers and a big central issue in Eastern monasticism. The whole
idea of the Incarnation is viewed as God becoming Man so that man
could be deified. (Don't take that term "deified" literally. The
idea was that people became God-like, participated in His wondrous
Being, not that they literally became gods!)
But there was a profound awareness of grace allowing us to share
in God's life and to become ever more
like Him, of being ever more intimately united with the Triune
Life. Put another way, the East would say that we were created in
the image and likeness of God, but we have lost the likeness.
Deification, monastic struggle, the spiritual life, all of these
strive to regain that likeness.
We so often speak of balance, but what does that balance entail?
It is this very deification, it is the closest attempt we can make to restore
the rightness of Eden. It is our halt and lame effort to become what
God intended us to be, as closely as we can in a fallen world.
So, as we continue our loving Father's pep talk at the beginning of
his Holy Rule, let us resolve to never again let that
phrase "deifying light" slip past our eyes as just another literary
device. No way! Deification and Light are what we are all about.
Shine on, dear brothers and sisters, shine on!
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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