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,
[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,