Holy Rule for Oct. 24
Prayers, please, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Amy, that she may find a good job and maintain her health.
Mariarca, 13 , admitted to the hospital with a dangerously high fever, now has kidney failure and is unresponsive to the current antibiotics. Prayers for her comfort and recovery, for her parents strength and comfort and for skill and wisdom for the caregivers so they can find out what is wrong and how to treat it.
Gorden and Kathleen, special intentions.
Jimmy and Al, special intentions for each.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Msgr. John Scully, near his death anniversary.
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 23, June 24, October 24
Chapter 18: In What Order the Psalms Are to Be Said
Vespers are to be sung with four Psalms every day. These shall
begin with Psalm 109 and go on to Psalm 147, omitting those which
are set apart for other Hours; that is to say that
with the exception of Psalms 117 to 127 and Psalms 133 and 142, all
the rest of these are to be said at Vespers. And since there are
three Psalms too few, let the longer ones of the above number be
divided, namely Psalms 138, 143 and 144. But let Psalm 116 because
of its brevity be joined to Psalm 115.
The order of the Vesper Psalms being thus settled, let the rest of
the Hour -- lesson, responsory, hymn, verse and canticle -- be
carried out as we prescribed above.
At Compline the same Psalms are to be repeated every day, namely
Psalms 4, 90 and 133.
Vespers and Compline are very different
and refreshing. They are evening hours, not followed by work,
except for the light clean up after supper, which is not a main
meal here anyway. Vespers makes one think of finally getting home
and shutting the door after a long day and a tough commute. It ends the
workday, leaving the evening for family. Not shabby! A rite of passage from
the job to the home hearth!
A brief glance at the Psalms for Vespers will show that they are
yet another example of consecutive, running psalmody. One right
after another, except for a few which get bumped elsewhere or
thoughtfully divided because of their length. Apparently by
numerical happenstance, Psalm 140 winds us in the Vespers grouping,
and it is most appropriate: "Let my prayer ascend to You like
incense and the lifting up of my hands like an evening sacrifice."
Historically, Psalm 140 has appeared in the Vespers or services of
light (Lucenaria) of many, many rites.
For active monasteries, or for busy Oblates in the world, evening
and early morning are often the only times we get of relative
cloister and focus. The morning hours are largely available to
anyone willing or able to get up while the rest of the world
(including the kids!)
sleeps, the evening hours perhaps less so. Those evenings are
family times par excellence and our first vocations must always be
If, as a working parent or spouse, getting home means just getting
started with dinner, don't despair! There is (or can be, if you
provide for it,) a lot of undistracted solitude in cooking, even if
it is rather harried cooking. If you can GENTLY establish a quiet
space for yourself while cooking, go for it. The solitude of a
kitchen at work feeding loved ones is a rich one, indeed. Be careful
not to make your family crazy, though. That's why I stress GENTLY!
The family comes first!
If you are into CDs, get one of somebody else singing Vespers and
play it. Heaven knows, if you can put up with the kids' music, they
can put up with yours for half an hour a day. Even if you do not
listen to every word, the soothing chant will settle into your bones,
become a backdrop of peace on which you can position the rest of
your evening. Give it a shot for two weeks and I'll bet you find
your evening meals and later times very different, because YOU are
A further plus is that the memory of you listening to Gregorian
chant while cooking, admittedly a rather unusual practice, will
stay in your children's minds long, long after you are gone. Who
knows what a snippet of chant memory might do for a faith life years
after you have died?
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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