Holy Rule for Oct. 20
Deo gratias, LG's surgery went well, continued prayers for good pathology reports.
Prayers for E., special intentions.
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 19, June 20, October 20
Chapter 16: How the Work of God Is to Be Performed During the Day
"Seven times in the day," says the Prophet, "I have rendered praise
to You" (Ps. 118:164).
Now that sacred number of seven will be fulfilled by us if we
perform the Offices of our service at the time of the Morning
Office, of Prime, of Terce, of Sext, of None, of Vespers and of
Compline, since it was of these day Hours that he said, "Seven
times in the day I have rendered praise to You." For as to the
Night Office the same Prophet says, "In the middle of the night I
arose to glorify You" (Ps. 118:62).
Let us therefore bring our tribute of praise to our Creator "for
the judgments of His justice" (Ps. 118:164) at these times: the
Morning Office, Prime, Terce, Sext, None,
Vespers and Compline; and in the night let us arise to glorify Him.
Tucked neatly into all this business of naming and counting the
Hours of the Divine Office comes the actual reason we go to choir
or say the Office alone. It is "our tribute of praise to our
Creator 'for the judgments of His justice' "
OK, tribute, praise, glorify, all those things are familiar enough
to us, but the zinger here is "for the judgments of His justice."
Whoops! A lot fall out on that one! Whether we realize it or not,
the reason we praise God as Benedictines is to thank Him for ALL
His decisions in regard to us. That isn't easy, but it is terribly
valid and terribly necessary.
We thank God- admittedly sometimes with gritted teeth- for all the
things that did and DIDN'T work out the way we wanted them, for
every acceptance and every rejection that brought us to be as we
find ourselves today, in His arms, even when we cannot feel His
arms. The jobs we didn't get, the great loves which were not
reciprocal, the course we flunked, the kids that went wrong, the
illness that dogs us, the spouse we should never have gone out with
twice, the unwanted pregnancy, the miscarriage, EVERYTHING that has
shaped our lives and persons is something we thank God for in the
I mention only the difficult things, because anybody can be
thankful that the apparently great stuff worked out. Nor am I
saying all the bad stuff is God's fault, or that it's our own
fault, but ALL of it is turned to good by God, and that is worth
singing about! All of
it! If we look back honestly, we can see the hand of His goodness
in the darkest times, we can see it in NOT having our way, we can
see it in everything.
Since the way God turns all to good is a mystery we shall never
know fully in this life, we cannot adequately say much of anything
but thanks and praise, the stammered joy of someone who has
received a really great gift and is astounded at such generosity.
Thanks, God. And hey, You really DID know what You were doing all
along, didn't You?
Own it, beloveds, God's will truly IS best. All is really mercy and
grace! All! And, uh, oh yeah- Alleluia!!!!!!!!!
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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