Holy Rule for Feb. 22
Prayers,please for the eternal rest of Fr. Evarist Mushi, murdered in Zanzibar, and for his family and all who mourn him and for his attackers and their conversion.
Prayers for the spiritual and physical welfare of the folowing, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Clinton, 83, facing major surgery and for his wife, facing decisions about his care.
Angela, terminal cancer in lungs and brain, for her happy death and for her husband, Ray.
Update: Both Alli and Olivia who suffered from RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) are now home in continued recovery. Continued prayers.Thanks given for our prayers.
Kristen, recovering from knee surgery and will be undergoing physical theory for the next few weeks.
Kathy, back surgery, has appointments for a Radiation Consultation on February 19th (was not good) and Hematology Malignancy on March 1. Doctors are doing tests to determine if she needs just radiation or combo of radiation and chemo.
Sheldon, an elderly gentleman has emphysema and his lungs are shutting down.
Micky, an elderly gentleman ,cancer has returned and he will likely go home to be with his Lord and Savior soon.
Cindy asks prayers for her mother who is dying.
For 6 year old Harlie, who has Astrocytoma, a type of brain tumor. First surgery over a year ago got only 20% and it is now growing again. chemotherapy again in an effort to stop it from growing until she can seek other treatments. The most viable option is to attempt specialized Proton Radiation Therapy which is very expensive, parents not sure how much insurance will pay.
For all those being affected by the current round of storms.
For all the Cardinals who will take part in the upcoming Conclave and for Pope Benedict XVI as he prepares to step down.
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 22, June 23, October 23
Chapter 18: In What Order the Psalms Are to Be Said
At Terce, Sext and None on Monday
let the nine remaining sections of Psalm 118 be said,
three at each of these Hours.
Psalm 118 having been completed, therefore,
on two days, Sunday and Monday,
let the nine Psalms from Psalm 119 to Psalm 127
be said at Terce, Sext and None,
three at each Hour,
beginning with Tuesday.
And let these same Psalms be repeated every day until Sunday
at the same Hours,
while the arrangement of hymns, lessons and verses
is kept the same on all days;
and thus Prime on Sunday will always begin with Psalm 118.
It is easy to think that St. Benedict included all this repetition- 6
days worth!- in the Psalms of the minor hours for its own sake, but
that is not necessarily so. Remember that, in St. Benedict's time,
the distinction of lay brothers or sisters, who did not say the full
Office in choir, did not yet exist: everyone said the full Office,
even while away or working at a distance. I am not sure that was
the case often, but it could have been at times, like harvest time.
That provides a very likely possibility for the 6 days- all of them
working days- of repetition. Try saying the same 9 short Psalms 6 days a
week for a while and watch how fast they slip into memory. Monks
could pray the minor hours in the fields or on the road to market
with farm goods, anywhere.
That might not be a bad idea for rushed Oblates today. What if one
chose just one of these short minor hours with Gradual Psalms and
memorized it, maybe Sext for the lunch hour, or None for the drive
home, even Terce for the ride to work? I often say parts of the
Office I have memorized on public transport or while driving: no
book, no fuss, no worry.
It is a great freedom to require nothing but one's memory and heart
to say part of the Office. Not only that, but moments of solitude for prayer
often surprise us during the day, come when and where we least expect
them. Memorized prayers let us always be ready for them.
The Psalms were dear to the early monastics because they were seen as
a compendium of Scripture. In other words, all the basic elements of
Scripture were to be found in them, including representatives of the
most common literary forms: history, poetry, prophecy and
wisdom/proverbs. No wonder they memorized the entire Psalter, but
how that feat boggles our minds today.
Love and prayers,
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Prayers, please, for the following, and for all their families and all who take care of them:
Barbara, dementia worsening, major meltdown on Friday, and for her husband, Jim.
a member of Jane's family newly diagnosed with cancer.
Al. His vision is critical to his work. He had cataract surgery and now the lens that was implanted will have to be removed Monday and replaced with a new one. Doc says there is a high risk of a detached retina. Please pray that God will guide the surgeon's hands and for complete healing.
Denise, that she get her marriage blessed and return to the Sacraments.
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 1, June 2, October 2
Chapter 7: On Humility
The fourth degree of humility
is that he hold fast to patience with a silent mind
when in this obedience he meets with difficulties
and even any kind of injustice,
enduring all without growing weary or running away.
For the Scripture says,
"The one who perseveres to the end,
is the one who shall be saved" (Matt. 10:22);
"Let your heart take courage, and wait for the Lord" (Ps. 26:14)!
And to show how those who are faithful
ought to endure all things, however contrary, for the Lord,
the Scripture says in the person of the suffering,
"For Your sake we are put to death all the day long;
we are considered as sheep marked for slaughter" (Ps. 43:22; Rom.
Then, secure in their hope of a divine recompense,
they go on with joy to declare,
"But in all these trials we conquer,
through Him who has granted us His love" (Rom. 8:37).
Again, in another place the Scripture says,
"You have tested us, O God;
You have tried us a silver is tried, by fire;
You have brought us into a snare;
You have laid afflictions on our back" (Matt. 5:39-41).
And to show that we ought to be under a Superior,
it goes on to say,
"You have set men over our heads" (Ps. 65:12).
Moreover, by their patience
those faithful ones fulfill the Lord's command
in adversities and injuries:
when struck on one cheek, they offer the other;
when deprived of their tunic, they surrender also their cloak;
when forced to go a mile, they go two;
with the Apostle Paul they bear with false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26)
and bless those who curse them (1 Cor. 4:12).
Be careful how you read this fourth step of patience. It is an ideal,
presented in its most flawless form. It is not an unreachable goal, but neither
should we expect significant progress before noon today. It is our call and
our vocation, but it is a lifelong task.
The danger for schleps like me is that this step can give one an image
of a perfect, 1950's TV sitcom Mom: shirt dress, high heels and pearls as
everyday wear, cookies and milk always forthcoming in a kitchen as clean
as a surgical suite and never a hair out of place. Full make-up on rising
and wears hat and matching gloves to shop. PUHLEEEZE! Give me a break.
Real patience in action is not at all like that.
Patience in action is a fierce struggle. Never think that it's easy for
others and therefore something is wrong with you: it isn't easy
for anyone. One of the biggest flaws of the "I'm OK and you are
not..." school of ministry is that it makes people think exactly
this. "It's easy for her and there's something terribly wrong with
me." Neither is true.
The Rule and Scriptures were meant for strugglers. They were written
for real, average people, halt and lame, battle-scarred veterans like
you and me, for people who have weathered life, but barely. Hey,
there may be cookies and milk, but you'll probably have to get the
plate yourself and brush aside a LOT of blood, sweat and tears to
find one. Oh, and please drink the milk fast and take as much as you
can... the fridge broke today.
Patience is surely one of the most important fuels that perseverance
runs on, but don't be surprised if it often is not very high octane!
Neither should it surprise you if your engine is not a slant V-8, but
rather a very cheap lawnmower that has trouble starting. Patience
is ENDURANCE, not ease. It may, after years of struggle, confer a
great peace and serenity, but it rarely, if ever, feels like that in
the middle of things.
Brother Patrick Creamer, OSB, of Saint Leo Abbey in Florida, taught
me patience and perseverance. He was able to do so because he was so
transparent about his own struggles. Many others tried to tell me how
hard it was, but their lack of candor made me dismiss their warnings
as tokenism. It certainly didn't seem to be hard for them. I couldn't
believe them. Patrick, my late and beloved mentor, was so very different.
Patrick entered the monastery in 1954, when he was 40, after a long
career at sea. He missed being at sea so much (and for so long!) that
it magnified many of the every day crosses of monastic life. Abbot
Marion, who loved brothers and had a very tender spot for them, used
to send Patrick to the beach for a weekend occasionally, in years
when that sort of thing didn't often happen. Abbot Marion was wise enough
to know he'd lose Patrick if he didn't get a salt air fix now and then.
Even the beach trips were not enough alone. Patrick told me he was
tempted to leave every single day for ten years. Patrick, when I
lived with him, literally stayed packed with a hidden suitcase for
years and boasted of his ability to be gone in an hour. As a novice,
my heart used to be selfishly in my throat. I wanted him to go, if
that was what he was supposed to do, but I really didn't want to lose
I can also tell you that, during the worst
of those years, Patrick helped scores of folks who came to him, because a
transparently wounded person usually can. I can also tell you that
Brother Patrick finally decided to stay: when he was 83 or so!! What a
witness of hope that was to me, to others struggling like me.
Please, let us all be given patience. But when we get it, however
little at a time, let NONE of us be "perfect" TV Moms. Let us all be Patricks,
let us show others how terribly hard, yet doable it can be.
Patrick held forth from his infirmary room until his death
at two weeks short of 90. A steady stream of visitors never waned.
On the head of his bed and on the shaving mirror over his sink were
two small notes, written in his own inimitable hand: "Lord, let me
come to You." They broke my heart the first time I saw them. I still
didn't want to lose him. But I know how right he was and how richly he
deserves that loving embrace for which he so patiently waited.
Love and prayers,
Jerome LEO, OSB (again and again you'll see why I took the second
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