Holy Rule for Dec. 13
Tristan, the baby with croup, is home from the hospital and doing well. Continued prayers for his recovery.
Sean's Dad completed his radiation for melanoma and docs consider it a success, though too early to be sure yet. Continued prayers that he recovers.
Owen's interview went well, he should hear something in a week or so.
Please pray for healing for Darren (early 40's) who recently lost his father, which sudden event has put him back into a very bad downward spiral of depression. Darren was hospitalized with depression following service in the Gulf with the British Army and has never fully got over whatever it was that happened there. Prayers for his wife and family, too.
Prayers for Dave and Marian on their 31st wedding anniversary.
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
April 13, August 13, December 13
Chapter 59: On the Sons of Nobles and of the Poor Who Are Offered
If anyone of the nobility offers his son to God in the monastery
and the boy is very young, let his parents draw up the document which
we mentioned above; and at the oblation let them wrap the document
itself and the boy's hand in the altar cloth. That is how they offer
As regards their property, they shall promise in the same petition
under oath that they will never of themselves, or through an
intermediary, or in any way whatever, give him anything or provide
him with the opportunity of owning anything. Or else, if they are
unwilling to do this,
and if they want to offer something as an alms to the monastery for
their advantage, let them make a donation of the property they wish
to give to the monastery, reserving the income to themselves if they
And in this way let everything be barred, so that the boy may have no
expectations whereby (which God forbid) he might be deceived and
ruined, as we have learned by experience.
Let those who are less well-to-do make a similar offering. But those
who have nothing at all shall simply draw up the document and offer
their son before witnesses at the oblation.
This is the chapter that allows us to have (and be!) Oblates. How
different would all of our lives be if this chapter had never been
written! While I dwell on the Order as a whole in this reflection,
how drastically different and how impoverished my life would be
without Oblates. How very deeply my life is shaped by so many of you
and how very grateful for that I am!
Reflect a moment on how rich your life WOULDN'T be if you had no
Benedictine family, if the Order had never even been founded. Think
about brothers, sisters and friends whom you would not know, about
what you would have missed. For starters, many of us would not be
members on at least a couple of the forums this appears on- they
wouldn't exist! Our wonderful fraternity in cyberspace would have
never happened at all.
In my own life there would have been no St. Leo, no Brother Patrick,
no Petersham or Pluscarden. My college degree would never have
happened and my dear friend, Jean Ronan, would never have even met
me, let alone taught me theology.
Every single thing I ever received from the Benedictine Order, all the
example, all the awe and joy, and yes, even all the pain that formed
me, would never have existed, nor would I have had any role in the
lives of my Benedictine family of brothers and sisters. Nada. Zilch.
Europe would look a lot different, probably worse, and the Book of
Common Prayer would be devoid of all those wonderful OSB elements
like Morning Prayer and Evensong. Even the architecture of Anglican
Churches would differ: the monastic choir-in-sanctuary style would
probably be unknown.
Often the best way to access a treasure is to imagine its loss. We
can take for granted things which are of inestimable value. Make
today's chapter an opportunity for such an assessment. Carry it even
further, to some other dear and wonderful things in your life. What
if there were no Church? What if you had no family ? (I know, I
know... sometimes that sounds tempting! But even in dysfunctional
families, you would NEVER be exactly who you are without them.) Often
the best appreciation of how things are can be had by such
We all owe a great, great deal to St. Benedict and to his sons and
daughters. Let us pray for our Benedictine family and give thanks,
deep thanks for the gift we have all received!
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day to all in the US who are celebrating today. God be thanked for His many blessings to us all. Prayers for all and especially for the safety of those travelling.
Prayers for Cas, who has gastrointestinal cancer. Prayers, too, for Bev, his wife, and Gabrielle, their daughter. Bev is a classmate of mine from Tampa Catholic High.
Prayers for Fr. Benedict Nivakoff, OSB, newly appointed Prior of the Benedictine community at Norcia, Italy, and continued prayers for them as they recover from the catastrophic damage the earthquake did to their monastery and basilica.
Prayers for Christopher, 13, in hospice care at home with brain cancer and thought to be very close to death. Prayers for his family, too, and for all who will mourn him.
Prayers for Daniel, had an injection for knee pain, knee reduced to bone on bone and will eventually need a replacement.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Greg, and for all his family and all who mourn him.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Stella, 92, a Benedictine Oblate, and prayers for her family and all who mourn her.
Prayers for B., for her return to the Faith.
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 25, July 25, November 24
Chapter 45: On Those Who Make Mistakes in the Oratory
When anyone has made a mistake
while reciting a Psalm, a responsory,
an antiphon or a lesson,
if he does not humble himself there before all
by making a satisfaction,
let him undergo a greater punishment
because he would not correct by humility
what he did wrong through carelessness.
But boys for such faults shall be whipped.
Calm down, we don't whip anybody anymore. It has too often been my
experience that such lines push all the buttons of some readers these
days and blind them to the rest of the good stuff there. We don't
whip now, they did 1,500 years ago, everyone else did, too. Let's not
get so mired in the sensitivities of our own time that we forget how
terribly recent some of them are.
As I have mentioned before, in our house we do kneel in the center
when late for choir, then bow to the superior and go to our
place. We also kneel when we make audible mistakes in Church. And
yes, those things, as I pointed out, can be very useful.
But most Oblates do not have a choir to kneel in, so
what's here for the majority of us? There is the grace of humility,
without which communal life on any level, in monastery, workplace, market or
home would be unlivable.
Every single human community or whatever sort is going to have its
share of kinks, strays and crosses. Every one without fail
will mirror in some sense the fallen brokenness of humanity. The
gamut of human flaws exists in microcosm, in at least some mitigated form,
in every human group.
Even more annoyingly, most, if not all, pieces of our OWN broken
humanity will be modeled, much to our distaste, by others around us. It is,
alas, our own sins and faults in others that tend to annoy us most. Never
forget to check for that. He or she may REALLY tick you off because
of the great similarities between you!
Our job is to see to it that we are part of the solution, not part
of the problem. When, through whatever means, we become part of the problem,
we must own up to it at once and smooth it over as best and as
quickly as we can.
If you can't say "I'm sorry," for heaven's sake- quite literally- start
practicing alone in front of a mirror until the words can somehow
tumble out in public. Until they can, try some useful (though not
perfect,) substitutes, like "Excuse me," or "It was my fault." Work
on words of forgiveness, too, like: "It doesn't matter," or "Oh,
Strive to make light of things. There will never be any
shortage whatever of people who will explode and magnify things out
of all rational proportion, so don't duplicate services! Join the
minority and try to prevent hurricanes in teacups, rather than
Most outrage, most lack of apology, most tempests in teacups stem
from a distorted an unhealthy view of the self. Humility corrects
that imbalance. While you're in front of the mirror practicing
apology, why not try a bit of self-interview?
WHY do these things or persons upset you so? What do you have in
common with those who annoy you most? Most important, just who the
heck ARE you that your perceived slights are such a big deal? Try
reminding yourself that He is God and you are not. Honest reflection on these
points may be a big and promising start.
Love and prayers,