Holy Rule for Oct. 4
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of the following, for all their families and all who mourn them:
Mother Placid, OSB, of Regina Laudis Abbey, Bethelhem, Connecticut
Beatrice, who died unexpectedly, mother of Prior Aelred.
Cassie, who took her own life suddenly and tragically.
Prayers for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the followng, for all their loved ones and all who take carte of them:
Kim, very depressed with life, may God guide and protect her.
A five year old girl apparently abducted in Wales, last seen getting into a stranger's car, and for her parenst and all who are searching for her.
Brie, on her birthday, many more!
Diana, who got fired, she has an interview for a new job.
Deo gratias, we prayed for Fr. Bob, 85, expected to die when the respirator was removed, her did not, and is now going to rehab. Prayers that he is able to return home after rehab.
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
February 3, June 4, October 4
Chapter 7: On Humility
The sixth degree of humility
is that a monk be content
with the poorest and worst of everything,
and that in every occupation assigned him
he consider himself a bad and worthless workman,
saying with the Prophet,
"I am brought to nothing and I am without understanding;
I have become as a beast of burden before You,
and I am always with You" (Ps:22-23).
OK, first warning. Some people who truly do have low self-esteem have
to be very, very careful to remember that humility is truth, that ANY false
and distorted self-image spells trouble. Increasing closeness to God, Who
is Truth, must bring us to increasing truthfulness about ourselves. That can
mean adjustments up OR down in our attitude.
While it may be true that some people have self-esteems
which are far too low, I think that many people, from my generation onward,
have "worked through all that" with more than enough success. Relax,
I think that often we have compensated for any imbalance and then some! With
ears attuned to such 21st century self-affirmation, it is hard for us to hear
lines like "worthless workman", "brought to nothing" and "a beast of
burden before You."
Understandably, we may listen through our filtered ears and wonder
how on earth the Psalmist could say such things. Mechanisms to
explain them away and denial defenses spring right up: " Must have
been his primitive society, must have been some neurotic notion of
religion in those days! Boy, that David REALLY needed to work on his
self-image, so sad in a King, too!"
I don't think any of those things are true in more than the most
minimal sense, if that. David COULD say those things with honesty,
because he was saintly.Let me hasten to console all concerned with
that news that he was also very human. Face it, he had a lusty eye
for Uriah's wife and conveniently arranged Uriah's death in battle
to "legitimate" things. Nathan the prophet confronted David with the facts
and the child born of his dalliance with Bathsheba died. Hardly the type
of thing one would read about St. Therese, the Little Flower!
Because this terribly human David, in a sense, had "seen"
God, at least with the eyes of his soul, he could easily make
truthful remarks like these about himself! Once we see even a bit of
God, scales begin to fall from our eyes and we can easily see how the Prophet
could say such things: they are true!
I sure know I am nothing, nothing at ALL without
God. If I have done a good job here and there, make no mistake
that I can tell you from an inside perspective that successes were
just that: here and there. Not one of them would (or could!) have ever
happened without God's grace. Nada. Zilch! The total workman profile
has a LOT of gaps and stuff undone, deliberately and otherwise. The merit
review will probably NOT recommend a raise at this time!
We need the truth of humility because we take ourselves- and the
falsehoods about ourselves for good or ill- far, far too seriously. Yes, we
sometimes need to know we really did "OK", but we also need to often
remind ourselves that we are not so hot as we thought!
"Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your Name give the glory!" Yet another of
David's pithy assessments of self-worth. We are, of ourselves, less than carbon.
It is only because of Christ that we carbon kids can truly become the "immortal
diamond" of which Hopkins wrote!
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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