Holy Rule for Oct. 19
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of the following, for all their loved ones and all who mourn them:
Diana, a benefactor of her church who died Saturday.
Dom Dunstan Watkins, OSB, 92, of Ealing Abbey, and for all his Community, too.
Prayers for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Genny that Echo tests to determine the progression of a leaking heart valve shows no change.
A woman who is suffering mentally from memories of bad things that happened to her years ago. She can't seem to stop thinking about them and keeps mulling them over and over in her mind and keeping the pain alive. She can't seem to let go of the pain and is being tormented by the memories. She needs professional help but is in denial about it.
Bro. Ambrose, who has a serious infection and may not have long to live.
Deo gratias and prayers of thanks, that the Oratory of St. Philip Neri with open a Church near Manchester in England, after many prayers for that.
Lisa, having a mass biopsied.
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 muh. JL
February 18, June 19, October 19
Chapter 15: At What Times "Alleluia" Is to Be Said
From holy Easter until Pentecost without interruption
let "Alleluia" be said both in the Psalms and in the responsories.
From Pentecost to the beginning of Lent let it be said every night
with the last six Psalms of the Night Office only. On every Sunday,
however, outside of Lent, the canticles, the Morning Office, Prime,
Terce, Sext and None shall be said with "Alleluia," but Vespers
The responsories are never to be said with "Alleluia" except from
Easter to Pentecost.
It is not uncommon for me to get posts asking how on earth I can
say "God's will is best." after recounting some litany of horrible
things which have befallen people in need of our prayers. Well, now
I up the ante a bit and add the equivalent of "Alleluia!" , "praise
Him!" to each post.
In every instance, even when it is all we can do to choke it out,
gritting our teeth, we must always say Alleluia. God must always be
praised, always, even when we cannot see goodness anywhere else at
all, it *IS* in Him and must be acknowledged. I fully expect
that, before long, new subscribers who have not seen this post will
begin to write and ask me how and who I can say Alleluia after
metastatic cancer and the like. Guess I'll have to save an answer in
We can see here that, in the West, already by St. Benedict's
time, "Alleluia" became a happy word of celebration, the use of
which was proscribed in somber times like Lent. That didn't happen
in the East. They go merrily along with Alleluia, even in the
depths of Lent. There might be a lot more sense to that, actually.
"Alleluia" means "Praise the Lord!" I know we have taken it to mean
something a lot more like "Whoopee!", but it doesn't. I bow to St.
Benedict and Western tradition in the liturgical use. In our
hearts, however, there should be an "Alleluia/praise the Lord" at
all times and seasons. "Praise the Lord anyhow!" the charismatics used to say
when something dreadful or unlovely happened to one. How true, how
I have not had the
crosses of many, but I have had heavy, tailor-made ones of my own.
Getting diagnosed HIV+ two years before I became a monk comes to mind, as does
living with it for over 20 years. So does depression, which just
about equals it, and I was depressed LONG before I had HIV.
I was not always very graceful about that, nor about many a
heartbreak, but I do know and I can honestly say that God's will HAS
been best, always best. My 20/20 hindsight must, though grudgingly
at times, fully own that Alleluia was appropriate at every point,
in every instance.
Saying that does not mean that I can no longer be terrified at this
or that prospect. I can. We all can. Jesus was in Gethsemane. It is
a very human fear, and God finds our humanity, in which He sees His
Son, very fetching. So don't freak out if you still get scared, it
is part and parcel of our human condition. But even then, we must train
ourselves to praise!
In every heartbreak, in every despair, in every grief we must
ardently cling to our faith that God is merciful and good. We must
see that when we feel unable to see it. We must, by faith and sheer
will, affirm that the Lord must be praised at all times. He is not
mean. Whatever is bleak shall never, ever lack His tender,
caressing hand behind it, no matter how unseen to us. It is there.
He is there. Always! Praise the Lord! ALLELUIA!
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]