Holy Rule for Nov. 4
Prayers, please for all suffering after hurricane Sandy.
Prayers for Eileen, who has been in and out hospital a lot this year 7 times in fact. Was being being treated for major heart blockages but thank God that is not the case but has now a bladder infection plus many other ailments and is very weak. She is 82 has raised 15 children and has been a widow for 42 years. For strength and that if God calls her for a happy death and peaceful end.
Prayers for Sheila and Chip - their young son Joe and a baby girl due the beginning of December. Chip got a very rough diagnosis - cancer in a lot of places in his body - oncology report early next week will determine prognosis - He's very young - 31 - and soon to be the father of two -- so hoping for the best possible outcome - or something better!
Prayers for a young man who has suffered a stroke.
Prayers for Zeph, awaiting a prison sentence, requsted by his aunt. His mother needs prayers to find God.
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
Chapter 28: On Those Who Will Not Amend after Repeated Corrections
If a sister who has been frequently corrected for some fault, and
does not amend, let a harsher correction be applied, that is, let
the punishment of the rod be administered.
But if she still does not reform or perhaps (which God forbid) even
rises up in pride and wants to defend her conduct, then let the
Abbess do what a wise physician would do.
Having used applications, the ointments of exhortation, the
medicines of the Holy Scriptures, finally the cautery of
excommunication and of the strokes of the rod, if she sees that her
efforts are of no avail, let her apply a still greater remedy, her
own prayers and those of all the others, that the Lord, who can do
all things may restore health to the sister who is sick.
But if she is not healed even in this way, then let the Abbess use
the knife of amputation,
according to the Apostle's words, "Expel the evil one from your
midst" (1 Cor. 5:13),
and again, "If the faithless one departs, let her depart" (1 Cor.
7:15) lest one diseased sheep contaminate the whole flock.
The Holy Rule and its author, St. Benedict, are tremendously kind,
insisting that we go all the way we possibly can and even a bit
beyond with the erring. All that love and care and sorely tried
patience is absolutely necessary before this point, "the knife of
amputation," is reached. This, too, is a great and important part
of mercy, though we may not easily see that at first.
There are times when nothing is left but, as AA would put it, to
let that person hit bottom. Even that may or may not work, but we
sometimes have nothing else to apply. To continue forbearance at
such a time is merely to enable, to actually participate in the
person's self-destruction. Al Anon could tell you a lot about the
wisdom of enabling.
This is so hard for us, to finally, seemingly "give up" on someone.
In truth, we never do that. We still pray, we must, but we must
also have the humility to admit that we no longer can be of useful
help, that we are even likely to harm further by enabling. That is
an affront to
our natural pride: we OUGHT to be able to heal ANYTHING, ANYONE...
Sigh... But we aren't. We are also wounded, also imperfect.
St. Benedict is NOT saying to give up on the person- I still pray
for people who left decades ago and probably should have done so. I
have no idea where they are or what they're doing, but I do know
the monastery didn't seem to be the place that was most helpful to
them, nor were they particularly a gift to the community.
What St. Benedict is saying is that we must have the wisdom and
humility to finally stop trying things that don't work, for the
good of all concerned, including ourselves. When this point is
reached, no one can help but God. He can always do so.
Fix what you can, stop making it worse by enabling
and pray for the rest.
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Matt and Bettie are celebrating 22 years of marriage, not 201 as they awful typo reads. I thought it was 21 years, but Matt kindly corrected my mistake.