Holy Rule for Feb. 21
Prayers, please, for the eternal rest of Kathy, and for her sister, Sr. Pat H., and all heir family and all who mourn her.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Bonnie's father, and for Bonnie and all his family and all who mourn him.
Prayers for T. and his wife, working through some challenging issues and trying to keep God as their focus.
Prayers for Alli, 11 days old and Olivia, 15 months old, both with RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus) that causes infections of the lungs and respiratory tract. One is in an oxygen tent. Very serious for both.
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 21, June 22, October 22
Chapter 18: In What Order the Psalms Are to Be Said
Let this verse be said: "Incline unto my aid, O God; O Lord, make
haste to help me,"
and the "Glory be to the Father" then the hymn proper to each Hour.
Then at Prime on Sunday four sections of Psalm 118 are to be said;
and at each of the remaining Hours, that is Terce, Sext and None,
three sections of the same Psalm 118.
At Prime on Monday let three Psalms be said, namely Psalms 1, 2 and
6. And so each day at Prime until Sunday let three Psalms be said
in numerical order, to Psalm 19,
but with Psalms 9 and 17 each divided into two parts. Thus it comes
about that the Night Office on Sunday always begins with Psalm 20.
I was glad to hear from some who especially loved the prayers of
Prime. So do I! Here, however, is yet another offering from the
Office of Prime: its hymn. Being metrical, it is easily memorized.
A nurse friend of mine told me years ago she used to sing this hymn
every morning at an Episcopal summer camp for kids. Not a bad idea
at all! Enjoy!
Love and prayers,
Petersham, MA 01366
Now that the daylight fills the sky
We lift our hearts to God on high,
That He, in all we do or say,
Would keep us free from harm today:
Would guard our hearts and tongues from strife;
From anger's din would hide our life;
From evil sights would turn our eyes;
Would close our ears to vanities.
So we, when this new day is gone
and night in turn is drawing on,
With conscience by the world unstained
Shall praise His name for vict'ry gained.
To God the Father and the Son
And Holy Spirit, three in one,
Be endless glory as before
The world began, so evermore. Amen.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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).
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
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,