Holy Rule for May 7
Prayers,. please, for the spiritual and bodily health of the following:
Joe, under a lot of stress and for his wife, Jeanmarie.
Joe, a new dad who cannot find work, and for his wife and daughter, Elise and Laura.
Bishop Gordon, recovering from pericarditis
Benek - prayers needed for a new job after being laid off.
Glenna, in her late 70s, who fell and faces surgery on two fractures on her hip Tuesday. (She had just returned to her home after a long spell in rehab.) And for her three sons trying to deal with their mother's failing health.
the Eleazar Fernandez family, general well-being.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Michael, for whom we prayed, who died of cancer, and for all his 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 6, May 7, September 6
So we have asked the Lord
who is to dwell in His tent,
and we have heard His commands
to anyone who would dwell there;
it remains for us to fulfill those duties.
Therefore we must prepare our hearts and our bodies
to do battle under the holy obedience of His commands;
and let us ask God
that He be pleased to give us the help of His grace
for anything which our nature finds hardly possible.
And if we want to escape the pains of hell
and attain life everlasting,
then, while there is still time,
while we are still in the body
and are able to fulfill all these things
by the light of this life,
we must hasten to do now
what will profit us for eternity.
The first section of the Prologue asked us to seek God's blessing
before doing any work. Today we are asked to prepare our hearts and
bodies for the struggles ahead and ask God for His help. Both of
these precepts are quite nicely filled by making the Morning
Offering. Now I know that is a Roman Catholic prayer, and I also know
we have (thanks be to God!) many Oblates of other faiths among us.
Bear with me, please. I think this has applications for everyone.
The morning offering is considered rather passe in some Roman
Catholic circles. One actually wonders why, in an age that loves
computers with tons of memory, hard drives that do all the work for
us, even more work than our own minds could dream of doing.The morning offering,
makes computer ability look like shooting fish in a barrel.
The morning offering is the perfect capstone, cornerstone and
beginning for a great life of intercessory prayer. It unites the
poverty of our own lives, prayers, works, joys and sufferings with
those of Christ, with those of His Mystical Body. It plunges the
finite smallness of our own actions into sea after sea of infinite
grace and perfection and, wrapped in that awesome completeness,
offers them to the Father in the perhaps most perfect personal gift
we could ever hope for that day, short of martyrdom itself.
Ever forget to pray during the day? The morning offering makes our
very heartbeats and breathing prayers, means of grace for ourselves
and for all. We have offered ALL our works, even the unconscious ones
of our bodies to God, and we have offered them in union with the most
perfect sacrifice of Jesus. With a gift tag like that, the Father is
quite likely to be pleased, indeed. Each time we blink, or eat,
suffer or rejoice, we link that to Christ on His Cross. None of us
have enough bytes of memory to really do that (I have forgotten about
it at least three times while writing this sentence!) The morning
offering is our "hard drive" it is the program that saves to disk and
Our baptism into the Mystical Body gives us the right to plug into
that infinite worth. It would be a shame if we missed the
opportunity. Let me tell you, with complete sincerity, that all the
works of my entire life couldn't save a flea from drowning in a
raindrop. No way. Buried within the depths of Christ, however, their
value becomes literally infinite.
Ever feel bad that you forgot to pray for some one who asked, or only
whispered a quick: "Lord, help her."? The morning offering makes our
life and our prayer an infinite pie, one which can never be sliced
too thin. Counting huge groups and individuals, I pray every single
day for literally billions of people and not one of them is short-
changed at all. That's the marvel of uniting our lives and heart
daily to Christ. Every slice of the pie gets served on the plate of
His infinity, every single one. Cloaked in the perfect mercy and
offering of Jesus, every single act, even the keys I just struck and
the mouse I just moved are wonderful prayers for all, for everyone
throughout time. That's not shabby, folks!
Ever wish that your heart prone to largesse had all the money in the
world? How generous you would be! But, with the morning offering, you
have daily more than that. Claim your infinite share and spread it
around! Name people and groups, sure, but know that God has a memory
that never quits. You can say: for all people in all time" and it
WILL count! Heavens, I pray for all Oblates (among lots of other
groups every day. Not only could I not name them, I don't even know
them, nor is it possible for ANYONE to know them all throughout time.
But God does, and it counts!) There is no one reading this for whom I
have not prayed every single day.
God is my hard drive! The morning offering is a very neat method!
Look, folks, it's a Roman Catholic prayer. I'll give you a version of
it at the end of this post, but there are many others. I KNOW that
some of our Oblates who are not Catholic may have to amend it a bit
and that's OK, go for what God and your heart allows. I think,
however, that all Christians could agree on at least these
essentials. (Someone please correct me here, if I am wrong.) Offer
all your prayers, works, joys and sufferings in union with those of
Christ, for the intentions of Christ, for all the Church and its
leaders, for all people throughout time. Say it any way your heart
allows, but do at least this much and congratulations: you have just
thrust your own prayers and works and joys and sufferings into the
very heart of the Cosmos, into the whole of history itself. You now
stand beside Christ in HIS perfect work in every age. WOOOOF!
And, if today is your first morning offering, or your first in some
time, make it a habit to pray for all Benedictines each day!
Love and prayers,
O my Jesus, I offer You this day my prayers, works, joys and
suffering, for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart and Divine
Mercy, in union with every sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world
and with all the prayers, works, joys and sufferings of Your Mystical
Body throughout time, in reparation for our sins and in thanksgiving
for all Your benefits. I offer them for the Pope's intentions and all Church
leaders, for the unity of all Christians.
(Now you can add your own intentions- don't be stingy here, you have
infinity! I always end my own list with: for everyone and everything
throughout time, created by Your hands, I offer You my life for these and for Your will for them.)
End with: Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto
Yours. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You.
[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,