Holy Rule for Oct. 18
Prayers, please, for E., that no suicidal thoughts return.
Prayers for Craig and Elaine contnued, that they may sell their house and rent a condo.
Prayers for Mario, that his job may be spared in a coming lay off of many.
Deo gratias and continued prayers, Marlon, 12, savaged by a dog attack, may actually keep his leg, but he is still very ill, so continued prayers.
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 17, June 18, October 18
Chapter 14: How the Night Office Is to Be Said on the Feasts of the
On the feasts of Saints and on all festivals let the Office be
performed as we have prescribed for Sundays, except that the
Psalms, the antiphons and the lessons belonging to that particular
day are to be said. Their number, however, shall remain as we have
Every love life needs a bit of variety now and then, even the
monogamous ones, even the celibate ones, and, let us face it, our
prayer is (or ought to be!) a love life. Without marking certain
days as special, our Office would quickly become a bland and tedious
On the other hand, mark too much as special and people soon get
worn out. Variety itself becomes boring and a chore. One would quickly tire
of that and it would destroy the very freshness and unity it was aiming
Having lived in a monastery for part of the 1960's and 70's where
the liturgy became the sad equivalent of a revolving door, changing
often and not often well, I can speak from experience. It became
dreadful to wonder what would happen next. It pulled out the
necessary underpinnings of a certain stability and changelessness
that a Benedictine life of prayer requires.
Ah, but in the quest for simplicity carried to unfortunate
extremes, it did, at times, become UTTERLY changeless. Same old
same old, every single day with nothing different but the prayer at
the end, if that. ("Oh boy, it must be Tuesday again....!") Only one antiphon,
or no antiphon, just psalms and canticles. No music other than the hymn,
same seven each week for each hour, a few good, many bad.... No
Glory be between Psalms, just one at the end. It was dull and gave
even more of an impression of "let's just get this over with" than
the old Office did at its very worst. One often wondered why we
still bothered to go to choir.
A balance between variety and stability is where the virtue truly
lies. I have never heard anyone complain about singing or saying
the same unchanging parts of the Mass every day, because they are
set in the midst of elements that DO change. The same
must be true of the Office to a certain extent. When SO much changes
at feasts that one longs and pines for a weekday with one book and
NOTHING special, that balance has been missed. On the other hand,
the changeless mundane misses the balance as well. One should never
have to come out of a "simple" Office and think quietly: "Wow, that
was dumb...." (But I sometimes have.)
St. Benedict built the necessary change right into his Office for
monasteries. Ignore his bottom line or extend it unduly and you get
into trouble. In this instance, as in so many, he was far wiser
than we are, than people of any age are.
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Matt and Bettie are celebrating 22 years of marriage, not 201 as they awful typo reads. I thought it was 21 years, but Matt kindly corrected my mistake.