Holy Rule for Oct. 25
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Sr. Brigid Keliher, OSB, of Mt. St. Scholastica, Atchison, and for all her family, comunity, and all who mourn her.
Prayers for the spiritual and temporal wellbeing of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Herb, cancer, if the current treatemnst ahven't worked, there is nothing more they can do for him, and for his wife, Pat and all their family.
Cathie, lung cancer spread to lymph nodes, and for her family.
Elizaebth's Mom, having a lung biopsy today for probable breast cancer recurrence or lung cancer. Prayers for safe procedure and strength
for receiving the results on Friday.
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 24, June 25, October 25
Chapter 18: In What Order the Psalms Are to Be Said
The order of psalmody for the day Hours being thus arranged, let
all the remaining Psalms be equally distributed among the seven
Night Offices by dividing the longer Psalms among them and
assigning twelve Psalms to each night.
We strongly recommend, however, that if this distribution of the
Psalms is displeasing to anyone, she should arrange them otherwise,
in whatever way she considers better,
but taking care in any case that the Psalter with its full number
of 150 Psalms be chanted every week and begun again every Sunday at
the Night Office. For those monastics show themselves too lazy in
the service to which they are vowed, who chant less than the
Psalter with the customary canticles in the course of a week,
whereas we read that our holy Fathers strenuously fulfilled that
task in a single day. May we, lukewarm that we are, perform it at
least in a whole week!
I am going to begin this by reprinting two paragraphs of very
important qualifications from the last post on this chapter, in
"I hasten to add a word of caution to Oblates here: the Holy Rule
is referring to choral Office in monasteries. To undertake for
oneself such an Office could well be unwise, and sometimes, even
wrong. The conditions of one's state in life come first. Oblates who
are parents or married have kept Vigils and Nocturns with sick children
or spouses of which professed monastics would never dream. Don't get
hung up on this one. SHARE the Office all you can, but tend first
to the responsibilities of your state in life.
Before I became a monk I used to OCCASIONALLY do all 150 Psalms
alone. There were two things worthy of mention here: I was a single
man with one (very loving!) cat, and I recited them. Even at that,
I can assure you it took up a chunk of time. Hence, Oblates should
take great care that they don't obsess on this notion. Do what you
can and rest assured that your community, and the Order and the
whole praying Church is "making up" whatever you can't offer."
A several years ago, the guesthouse well died (temporarily,
thanks be to God!) We had to gather 10 gallon plastic buckets for
each bathroom, haul them down the hill to the monastery in the
station wagon, fill them and bring them back. What a hassle! We
also had to caution the guests rather indelicately about no
unnecessary flushes. Even more recently, a storm left us without
electricity for several hours. Afraid to open the fridge too much
and with no oven, we ordered pizza in Athol for the guesthouse.
Both of these things were tough, but neither were anything compared
to the amount of labor required to maintain life in the first
centuries of the Order's existence. Neither were there lay
brothers to do all that work in those days, since they were a much
later development. No electricity, no indoor plumbing, no running
water, no phones, no Athol House of Pizza to call and no car to pick
it up in. (OK aqueducts in some places, but you get the picture...)
In the midst of a life that we would find crushingly different, St.
Benedict insisted on the weekly 150. Hmmmm......
We live in a world where countless labor-saving devices and perks
give us far more time than anyone in history has ever had. Are we
always good stewards of that abundance? Heaven knows, I don't want
to give up those modern advantages, look at how hooked on computers
I am. But what do we do with all that time? How much of the time we
save goes to prayer? How much goes to mindless stuff we could well
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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