Holy Rule for Oct. 12
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Helen, and for all her family and all who mourn her.
Prayers for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Suzanne, 14, lots of self-harming, has attempted suicide.
B., needs to find a place to stay badly.
L., back on one of the chemo drugs as of yesterday. Please pray that her body can take it as her platelet count is dangerously high at this time. She also has anemia, which explains the days when she is just too tired to do much. She has Gilbert's syndrome and is in a lot of pain.
Trey, had a car accident. His back is broken and his prognosis for survival at this time is not good.
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 11, June 12, October 12
Chapter 9: How Many Psalms Are to Be Said at the Night Office
In winter time as defined above,
there is first this verse to be said three times:
"O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall declare Your praise."
To it is added Psalm 3 and the "Glory be to the Father,"
and after that Psalm 94 to be chanted with an antiphon
or even chanted simply.
Let the Ambrosian hymn follow next,
and then six Psalms with antiphons.
When these are finished and the verse said,
let the Abbot give a blessing;
then, all being seated on the benches,
let three lessons be read from the book on the lectern
by the brethren in their turns,
and after each lesson let a responsory be chanted.
Two of the responsories are to be said
without a "Glory be to the Father"
but after the third lesson
let the chanter say the "Glory be to the Father,"
and as soon as he begins it let all rise from their seats
out of honor and reverence to the Holy Trinity.
The books to be read at the Night Office
shall be those of divine authorship,
of both the Old and the New Testament,
and also the explanations of them which have been made
by well known and orthodox Catholic Fathers.
After these three lessons with their responsories
let the remaining six Psalms follow,
to be chanted with "Alleluia."
After these shall follow the lesson from the Apostle,
to be recited by heart,
and the petition of the litany, that is "Lord, have mercy on us."
And so let the Night Office come to an end.
There is an unfortunate and perennial heresy among would-be
liturgists, even some Benedictines, which holds that if it's long,
its good. Not so, and quite evidently not so to St. Benedict, either.
The order he prescribes for Vigils is almost exactly half the length
of the Roman cathedral Office of his time.
St. Benedict was very serious about monasticism, but he also wanted
to shorten the Office, which was obviously of central importance to
him. Why? I think he aimed, once again, at balance, at moderation and
at gentleness. His monastics were farmers, not wealthy cathedral
prelates with servants and benefices. They would have dropped rather
quickly from fatigue had he imposed the Roman Office of the time on
There is a great message of moderation here for Oblates. St. Benedict
knew that ALL of one's work and life is prayer.
Figuratively speaking, if your life and primary vocation has left you
with cows to milk, for heavens sake (literally!) go milk 'em!
Our Office, for every monastic, from Abbot Primate down to newest
Oblate novice, must be a harmonious part of our life. We are not
called to the excesses of Cluny, whose monks were in choir most of
the time, adding ever more and more gee-gaws and trinkets to the
Office. If one's children or spouse or work calls one to do less,
answer that call.
If illness or disability limit what you can do, do what you can and bless God
for what you cannot! He knows what He is about. The Fathers taught that
illness or other physical challenges, even just aging, took the place
of stringent penances performed by the healthy and well. Whatever the
limits imposed by bodily problems, they themselves became penance
and asceticism for the monastic.
In long dealings with Oblates I have frequently heard this issue
raised: saying the whole Office. That is fine, and some lives,
notably single ones, might make it possible. Other lives, lives
founded on sacraments like marriage, might well not. Trying to amend
one's primary, sacramental vocation to be a monastic in the world
misses the point. That primary vocation is part and parcel of HOW one
becomes a monastic in the world. Tamper with it and you mess up the
Love and prayers,
St. Mary's Monastery
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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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