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Holy Rule for Feb. 11

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX Prayers, please, for Jayne, who was in a head-on car accident, in ICU in critical but stable condition. Lord, help us all as You know and will. God s will
    Message 1 of 144 , Feb 10, 2013
      +PAX

      Prayers, please, for Jayne, who was in a head-on car accident, in ICU in critical but stable condition.

      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 11, June 12, October 12

      Chapter 9: How Many Psalms Are to Be Said at the Night Office


      In winter time as defined above,
      there is first this verse to be said three times:
      "O Lord, open my lips,
      and my mouth shall declare Your praise."
      To it is added Psalm 3 and the "Glory be to the Father,"
      and after that Psalm 94 to be chanted with an antiphon
      or even chanted simply.
      Let the Ambrosian hymn follow next,
      and then six Psalms with antiphons.
      When these are finished and the verse said,
      let the Abbot give a blessing;
      then, all being seated on the benches,
      let three lessons be read from the book on the lectern
      by the brethren in their turns,
      and after each lesson let a responsory be chanted.
      Two of the responsories are to be said
      without a "Glory be to the Father"
      but after the third lesson
      let the chanter say the "Glory be to the Father,"
      and as soon as he begins it let all rise from their seats
      out of honor and reverence to the Holy Trinity.


      The books to be read at the Night Office
      shall be those of divine authorship,
      of both the Old and the New Testament,
      and also the explanations of them which have been made
      by well known and orthodox Catholic Fathers.


      After these three lessons with their responsories
      let the remaining six Psalms follow,
      to be chanted with "Alleluia."
      After these shall follow the lesson from the Apostle,
      to be recited by heart,
      the verse
      and the petition of the litany, that is "Lord, have mercy on us."
      And so let the Night Office come to an end.


      REFLECTION

      Keeping Vigils is one of the things monastics do and have done from
      time immemorial. Monasteries are structured to make that possible.
      Things that are never easy are at least possible in monasteries
      because everything has been geared toward that end.

      Oblates in the world may sometimes express regret that they cannot
      keep the whole monastic Office, but let me assure you, there are
      Vigils kept by Oblates of which monastics have no clue. Sure, it's
      hard to get up in the dark and say 14 psalms, but monastics need
      never face the harder, lonelier Vigils spent beside a desperately ill
      spouse or child. They need not face the terror of long insomniac
      nights of financial dread and worry, which compounds when one
      realizes that oversleeping might cost one one's job. The vocations in
      which Oblates find themselves often more than compensate for whatever
      asceticism one might find in a cloister!

      But, you see, that is how it ought to be: all the graces we need for
      holiness, for sainthood, are built right into our situations. The
      monk need not long for parenthood, nor the parent for the cloister.
      Each vocation is different and appropriately varied, but every
      vocation carries within it exactly the mercy and the means of grace which
      God knew from all eternity would be most perfect for us.

      We must train ourselves with great care to really will whatever God wills
      for us. This is different from merely passive acceptance. This is actually
      wanting whatever God sends out of deep faith that it is tailored flawlessly
      to our best growth in holiness. The best book ever written on this practice,
      in my opinion, is "Abandonment to Divine Providence", by Father Jean-Pierre
      de Caussade, SJ. I heartily recommend it and it is still in print after
      several centuries, a real classic! Great Lenten reading!

      We have it available in
      our on-line gift shop. Go to St. Marys web site below and click on gift shop.
      You want to get an edition that has the letters of de Caussade, they are the
      best. The only edition we carry has the letters.

      Never, ever think that a night spent sleepless for a sick child
      doesn't count as many, many, MANY Vigils! Benedictines live and
      thrive in all manner of environments today, and some of the best of
      them are not in choir in the wee hours, but that matters absolutely
      not at all!

      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for the at least 37 killed and 15 injured in a plane crash in Kyrgyzstan. For the eternal rest of the dead, the recovery of the wounded and for
      Message 144 of 144 , Jan 16

        +PAX

         

        Prayers for the at least 37 killed and 15 injured in a plane crash in Kyrgyzstan. For the eternal rest of the dead, the recovery of the wounded and for the families of all. Prayers, too, for those who lost homes or property, half of the village was destroyed by the crash.

         

        The Salesians invite all to join them in praying a novena to Mary Immaculate, Help of Christians, for the release of kidnapped Fr. Tom in Yemen. The novena is from January 15-23.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of JP. For whom we prayed, and for all his family, especially his son, and all who mourn him.

         

        Prayers for John, facing two hours of dental implant surgery on Tuesday, may all go well and may he recover quickly.

         

        Prayers for Donna, on her birthday, graces galore and many more, ad multos annos!

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Br. Augustine, 58, of the Maronite monks in Petersham, Holy Trinity Monastery, and for his Community, family and all who mourn him.

         

        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.

        January 17, May 18, September 17
        Chapter 3: On Calling the Brethren for Counsel

        In all things, therefore, let all follow the Rule as guide,
        and let no one be so rash as to deviate from it.
        Let no one in the monastery follow his own heart's fancy;
        and let no one presume to contend with his Abbot
        in an insolent way or even outside of the monastery.
        But if anyone should presume to do so,
        let him undergo the discipline of the Rule.
        At the same time,
        the Abbot himself should do all things in the fear of God
        and in observance of the Rule,
        knowing that beyond a doubt
        he will have to render an account of all his decisions
        to God, the most just Judge.

        But if the business to be done in the interests of the monastery
        be of lesser importance,
        let him take counsel with the seniors only.
        It is written,
        "Do everything with counsel,
        and you will not repent when you have done it" (Eccles. 32:24).

        REFLECTION

        The key here is not to contend insolently; there is no proscription
        against telling the Abbot one feels something is amiss, so long as it
        is done respectfully and humbly. We are Benedictines, not fascists;
        we have a Father, not a Fuhrer.

        Human nature being what it is, people are usually more prone to cite
        the Abbot's responsibility to seek counsel than they are to cite the
        equally important proscription against contending with one's Abbot!
        There's a cure for that and many other ills buried within this
        chapter, a telling phrase whose observance promises peace. That
        little gem urges the monastics not to follow their "own heart's
        fancy."

        Follow that gem and peace abounds! For one thing, whether abbot or
        monastic, parent or child, boss or employee, the focus of the
        relationship ceases to become self. None of us is anywhere near the
        big deal we'd either like to be or think ourselves to be! Much of
        what seems earth-shattering to us is really small stuff, indeed.

        This is so important to monastic struggle because it is so intricately
        interwoven with detachment and holy indifference. We must learn how
        to hold onto our inner peace, how to safeguard it from damage at the
        hands of trivia. An abject TERRIBLE day for us, one when we are so
        hurt or angry that the world seems to have stopped, is just another average
        day for the rest of the community. Until, of course we decide we ARE
        the center of the universe and ruin it for them... Cling to that
        knowledge of trivia and less will suffer!

        At that point of recognizing trivia, truth and therefore, humility
        enter into the equation. We need very good "trivia
        detectors" and their default setting must be aimed at ourselves,
        rarely cast elsewhere except in cases of really great need. We can
        keep those detectors more than amply busy just in our own hearts
        and wills! We need to know deception, falsity, trivia, but it is
        essential to know them first in ourselves.

        If these good tools of detection are aimed only at others, the result
        will be pride and a fall, not humility and truth. Jesus said "I am
        the Truth," and to Him we must prefer nothing. Hence, our first
        desire must always be the truth and the truth is that the earth does
        not revolve around us as an axis!

        Our age, particularly, has embraced the idea of "Follow your bliss!"
        Well, maybe...sometimes.... but maybe not, too. Our "bliss" is no
        guarantee of infallibility. Years ago, and for many years of my life,
        I thought my "bliss" would be very different from where I finally wound up.

        As a handy rule of thumb, I would say that the will of God quite
        often looks nothing like bliss at first. Hence, confusing bliss with
        the divine will can be very risky. The will of God often BECOMES
        bliss when we are in the midst of following it, or in hindsight, but we
        frequently have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into that compliance!

        Love and prayers,
        Jerome, OSB
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA

         

         

         

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