Holy Rule for Oct. 28
Prayers for the safety of all in the path of monster storm Hurricane Sandy, threatening the NE United States.
Prayers, please, for Br. Simon of Pluscarden, on his feastday, blessings and
graces galore and many more, ad multos annos! Prayers, too, for the eternal rest
of Fr. Jude of St. Leo, on his feastday. And for all our Simons and Judes,
prayers and blessings and happy feastday!!
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of the following, for all their loved ones and all who mourn them:
Mark, 28th anniversary of his death on Monday. He would have been 50 this year.
Toddy, who has died, and for her husband Norm, who has been her caregiver for many years.
Tom, who has died, and for his son Tom Jr, and their family.
Prayers for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Matthew, a young boy with some emotional difficulties, who is having trouble in school, and for his Mom, Lisa.
Nicolessa, diabetes and on dialysis, too.
Joe, had a stroke, also dementia.
Gracie, diabetes and cancer.
Louise, surgery for a spot on her lung.
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 27, June 28, October 28
Chapter 21: On the Deans of the Monastery
If the community is a large one, let there be chosen out of it
brethren of good repute and holy life, and let them be appointed
deans. These shall take charge of their deaneries in all things,
observing the commandments of God and the instructions of their
Let men of such character be chosen deans that the Abbot may with
share his burdens among them. Let them be chosen not by rank but
according to their worthiness of life and the wisdom of their
If any of these deans should become inflated with pride and found
deserving of censure,
let him be corrected once, and again, and a third time. If he will
not amend, then let him be deposed and another be put in his place
who is worthy of it.
And we order the same to be done in the case of the Prior.
St. Benedict reverences seniority- a traditional monastic value- in
many places, but he also moderates that tradition, keeping it from
turning into ageism. When considering the appointment of these
deans, their worthy lives and teachings are the criteria, not their
age. Unspoken here, but nevertheless evident, is the demand that seniors
obey such young officials.
There is no room for griping about young "whipper-snappers" here!
Obedience is not about the age or wisdom or human perfection of the
superior. It is about faith that God leads us through such flawed
human beings of every sort. When "X" crosses you or breaks your
heart or stokes your anger, it is imperative to recall that this
often has precious little to do with "X" and his or her
personality. It's is God's gift to your self-study. He wants you to
learn something about yourself and tests you. "X" might not even be
faintly aware of being used as an instrument of His will!
A further check here is given by the insistence on personal
holiness. What if all our offices, in monastery AND Church went to really
holy people? The first objection (usually put forward by the
ambitious who would be overlooked under this system!) is that they
would be TERRIBLE administrators. So? The point there was what?
Next time you want a fun day-dream, try to picture a Church and
Order run entirely by the holy and wise. Wow! Now usually, day-
dreaming is an utter waste of time, but this one is not. After you
have spent some time envisioning all those things, go out and BE
what you dreamed. Truly live as if the dream had come to pass.
Be prepared to be a little lonely: none of us are likely soon to see a Church
run entirely by saints. But we can all make that dream one person
closer to coming true, by changing ourselves, by incarnating that
ideal as best we can. The only ones we can surely change are
Of course, there will be loud complaints about saints in charge,
too. For one thing, as Dorothy Day observed, saints can be terribly
hard to live with. For another, the problem is our lack of faith,
a problem even good governance will not remove. Only with the
help of God's grace, we can remove that problem. It starts with us
asking Him for that grace!
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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