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]
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,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]