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Holy Rule for Oct. 12

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX 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
    Message 1 of 236 , Oct 11, 2012
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      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,
      the verse
      and the petition of the litany, that is "Lord, have mercy on us."
      And so let the Night Office come to an end.

      REFLECTION

      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
      them.

      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
      entire picture.

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      St. Mary's Monastery
      Petersham, MA






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    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX 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
      Message 236 of 236 , Nov 21, 2012
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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
        assassination.

        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 --
        anyone who
        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.

        REFLECTION

        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
        nothing flat.

        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
        annoyed!

        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
        until heaven.

        Love and prayers,

        Jerome, OSB
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA




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