Holy Rule for Sept. 30
Little Lillie-May, 11 months, has passed into the arms of God, duly baptized, and heaven has a new saint. Prayers for her parents and all who mourn her, and prayers to Lillie-May, that she may remeember us who prayed for her and her family before the throne of God.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Pastor Woody, and for his son, Don, and all who mourn him.
Prayers for the temporal and spiritual welfare of the following, for all theri loved ones and all who take care of them:
TR, recent auto accident, trouble recovefing emotionally, and for Shelia, his Mom, who is trying to help.
J.S. for healing. Lord, please give wisdom to the doctors.
Maximilian Alexander, 12, on his birthday.
Madeleine, twentieth birthday and prayers of grace and peace to be with her now and always.
Judith, Deo gratias for prayers answered in a way compatible with the saying, God writes straight with crooked lines. It is all in God's hands but He has taken a circuitous path and prayers for improved health and employment for two of her family members..
Prayers, please, for my late Dad and grandfather, and yeah, even for me, on our
feastday of St. Jerome, and prayers for all our Jeromes. Special prayers for two
Oblate Jeromes who took the name for me, much to my joy and delight.
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 30, May 31, September 30
Chapter 7: On Humility
The second degree of humility
is that a person love not his own will
nor take pleasure in satisfying his desires,
but model his actions on the saying of the Lord,
"I have come not to do My own will,
but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).
It is written also,
"Self-will has its punishment,
but constraint wins a crown."
OK, who doesn't love their own will, or take pleasure in satisfying
their desires? Who doesn't love their individuality or some of the
dearest things they own and treasure? For a healthy person, all of
these are very normal loves. For some of us, one or another of these
loves is very much part of our vocation, for example, in marriage
one's sexuality is the very means of self-gift. The key is to keep
them ordinate, in line and yes, balanced!
The real meaning here is found in the statement that Christ
came not to do His own will, but the will of His Father. His will is one with
He also has a human nature that prayed in Gethsemane to be spared , if possible,
from that Divine will, but, in
Jesus, the human nature is perfectly obedient to the will of His Father, so He
can never sin.
Alas, in us, that human will often DOES win: why else would we be
struggling along the monastic way all our lives? Unlike Jesus, we are
not sinless, we are able to sin and often do so all too gladly! We
must daily- even from minute to minute- turn from the bad in our own
wills. It is an ongoing fight, but that is what conversatio morum
means, "conversion of manner of life"! As Benedictines we will-
indeed, must- always be straining against the negative goad, always
be seeking the place of greater light and good.
The will of God is frequently very hard to see. For some of us, at
some times, it is all but impossible to see, but we must pray for the grace to
There will always be times when we must trundle along blindly, without our
reassure us. That is why trust is such an integral part of our
monastic struggle. At those times, the only way haltingly forward is
to embrace the blinding darkness before us and firmly, trustingly
clutch the hand of Christ. Even in the darkness, we must say: "Jesus,
I trust in You!"
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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