Holy Rule for Nov. 2
On this Feast of All Souls, prayers for all the faithful departed, that they may speed to heaven! Special prayers for those we have prayed for who have died and those who have died in the past year. Prayers for them all, and may they remember us when they are in heaven!
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Brian, for whom we prayed, he has died of his motorcycle injuries, and for all his family and and all who mourn him.
Prayers for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Katie, her car was totalled and she is in a neckbrace and a lot of pain, also for her mother, who is telling her to go against doctor's orders.
Brian, in a great deal of pain after surgery, for a speedy recovery and relief from his pain.
Alan, who just found out he has cancer and it is does not look good. He is currently in the hospital. Please pray that if it is God's will that Alan is healed. Prayers for Alan's family and all friends who are affected by this devastating news.
Belated birthday prayers for our Sr. Mary Herbert, on her 96th birthday.
Cathy, Lee and Ray, mental illness.
Continued prayers for Greg, multiple myeloma.
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 3, July 3, November 2
Chapter 26: On Those Who Without an Order Associate with the
If any sister presumes without an order from the Abbess to
associate in any way with an excommunicated sister, or to speak
with her,or to send her a message, let her incur a similar
punishment of excommunication.
This chapter was written for those who had already gone through all
the earlier stages. They wound up in the ultimate form of monastic
exclusion. At that point, one must leave the monastic and Abbot to
themselves and pray. We are not called to play good cop/bad cop any
We must stand back in prayerful silence. God gave the monastic and
the superior and the Abbey to each other. It is folly of the
richest sort to assume He didn't know what He was doing. God also
gave the parent and child, boss and employee, and the spouses to
Remember, at some point one must do nothing but pray.
There are plenty of ways to be genuinely helpful before that point
is reached and one ought to do so. I surely tried to love my
students who broke my heart with their pain, but at some point I
God gave X this parent and God is not mean. Cannot be. Will never
be. I had to trust Him at that extreme and pray for the best, which
is all God works for anyway. And God works MUCH more efficiently
than I do.
Our railing at the seeming harshness of this chapter can cover
another very important fact. Sometimes WE are the seemingly
malevolent torturers and we don't even see that. Rare is the person
who can truly judge themselves with the standards they
apply to others! Even worse, it often happens that we are BOTH the
torturer and the innocent victim, doing it most hatefully within
our hearts, where none but God can enter.
Our own flawed and fallen hearts trash our own pathetic souls,
beating them up with all kinds of useless recrimination and self-
loathings. Whoops! Not what we would have first noticed, is it? Yet
we sometimes lock the doors of that torture chamber with the key
that locks out even God: free will. We and we alone can thwart God
in our own regard. Scary power, isn't it?
Check out the times we have "excommunicated" ourselves, check out
the times we have foolishly placed ourselves beyond any help from
anyone. The injustice there is much harder for us to see, but it is
terribly real. Whenever we do that, we affirm the terrible heresy
that we know better than God, that His omniscience stops at the
door to our inner
I love Gerard Manley Hopkins; he is my all-time favorite poet. I
think he and I had more than a thing or two in common, not least of
which were the tendencies to depression and beating oneself up with
extreme efficiency. Here's something he wrote that sings to my
heart, and I hope to yours as well.
"My own heart let me more have pity on; let
Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
Charitable; not live this tormented mind
With this tormented mind tormenting yet."
Pray for the awful excommunications that you CANNOT help and look
ever so carefully for those you and you alone can relieve, those of
your own soul and heart! God alone can bring good from evil, any
evil. Ask Him, let Him. He will never fail.
A final word on this day when many of us are thinking on Purgatory.
This is my own opinion, not official teaching, but I don't think it
contradicts the teaching in any way. Try to think of Purgatory as, along with
its other purposes, also being our chance to forgive ourselves. Surely the
mercy and love of God are so infinite that many of us may have a
hard time accepting them at first, a hard time forgiving OURSELVES
for being so dumb. Purgatory might very well serve that purpose,
while purifying us, too! We cannot, after all, be perfectly happy in Heaven
are perfectly comfortable there. For that comfort, self-forgiveness
is very necessary!
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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