Holy Rule for June 21
Prayers, please, for the repose of the soul of Elijah, 2, drowned in a pool, and for his grieving parents and grandparents.
Prayers for the eternal rest of Leo, for his widow, Juanita, and his brother, George.
Prayers for the spiritual and bodily health of the following, for all their loved ones and all who take care of them:
Lisa and her son, Andrew, he has fallen away from the Faith.
Fr. Ralph, for complete healing from lung cancer.
Linda, who was talking to a co-worker when the co-worker killed herself, for the eternal rest of the co-worker and for all her family and the other co-workers.
people suffering from cancer.
Healing for Ann Marie
Anne, she is having kidney/liver problems and may require a transplant. Her belly keeps filling with liquid and needing to be drained. Her daughter, Kathy is fighting cancer and just had surgery the other day. Prayers for full recovery for them both.
Mario - at risk for being laid off from his job, prayers that he keeps his job and is spared any layoffs from the company. He is a great man and works hard and fears losing it.
Phil, diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and for his wife, Joan.
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!
February 20, June 21, October 21
Chapter 17: How Many Psalms Are to Be Said at These Hours
We have already arranged the order of the psalmody
for the Night and Morning Offices;
let us now provide for the remaining Hours.
At Prime let three Psalms be said,
separately and not under one "Glory be to the Father."
The hymn of that Hour
is to follow the verse "Incline unto my aid, O God,"
before the Psalms begin.
Upon completion of the three Psalms
let one lesson be recited,
then a verse,
the "Lord, have mercy on us" and the concluding prayers.
The Offices of Terce, Sext and None
are to be celebrated in the same order,
the "Incline unto my aid, O God," the hymn proper to each Hour,
three Psalms, lesson and verse,
"Lord, have mercy on us" and concluding prayers.
If the community is a large one,
let the Psalms be sung with antiphons;
but if small,
let them be sung straight through.
Let the Psalms of the Vesper Office be limited to four,
After these Psalms the lesson is to be recited,
then the responsory, the hymn, the verse,
the canticle from the Gospel book,
the litany, the Lord's Prayer and the concluding prayers.
Let Compline be limited to the saying of three Psalms,
which are to be said straight through without antiphon,
and after them the hymn of that Hour,
one lesson, a verse, the "Lord, have mercy on us,"
the blessing and the concluding prayers.
Just as Lauds and Vespers are fraternal twins, at dawn and sunset, so
are Prime and Compline, before work and before bed. Both are somewhat
different from the other minor hours, but, like Lauds and Vespers,
they share a similarity and complementarity of sorts. Prime was
suppressed in the Roman rite, but not in the monastic usage. Still,
in the reshuffling of things, Prime got lost in many, if not most
houses. I was delighted to find it still in use at one UK house.
It's too bad many places lost Prime. Just as Compline features many
things that prepare one for sleep or for the death it prefigures, always a
possibility, so Prime prepares one for the day at hand, for its work
and for life. The traditional time given for the celebration of Prime
was "before work."
Some older Oblate manuals used to offer the full text of Prime for
every day, with the other hour being the changeless Compline. That
made a great deal of sense. Many Oblates who could only dream
spending morning hours before work or school celebrating Matins and
Lauds could easily fit Prime into their schedule and its whole
liturgical slant was to prepare them for and bless their work day
Prime got merged with a lot of stuff that
ordinarily happened in the Chapter room daily: reading the Rule and
assigning work. Hence, some of its additions may not have been of the
purest type, but let us face facts, we are an age that rarely insists on
purism, and chiefly only when it agrees with agendas we already are
bent on anyway.
Since these are easily added to any scheme of morning prayer you
might be using,let me give you the two prayers offered at the end of
Prime. Either or both are a great way to begin the day and quickly
memorized. Just remember, as you say them, to join your heart to the
thousands and thousands of monastics who said them every day before
you. They are a very neat connection to our past and to the saints of
our Order who have gone before us.
"Lord God Almighty, You have brought us to the beginning of this day.
Preserve us now by Your power so that in this day we may not fall
into any sin; rather, that all our words, thoughts and acts may be
always directed to doing Your justice. We ask this through
Christ our Lord. Amen."
"Lord God, King of heaven and earth, be pleased this day to direct
and sanctify, to rule and govern our hearts and bodies, our thoughts,
words and deeds according to Your law and in obedience to Your
commandments. Now and forever may we attain salvation and freedom by
Your help, O Savior of the world, Who lives and reigns forever and
Enjoy them and use them!
Love and prayers,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Vern, for whom we have been praying, and for his parishioners at St. Francis in Bechertown, Massachusetts, his family and friends and all who mourn him.
Prayers for the eternal rest of 700 refugees who died in the Mediterranean, on their way to Italy, and for all their families and all who mourn them.
Prayers for Syro-Malabar catholic Bishop Jacob, who is donating one of his kidneys to save the life of a 30 year old Hindu man, Sooraj. Prayers they both have safe and successful surgeries and that Sooraj’s body doesn’t reject the kidney.
Prayers for newly elected Archabbot Kurt Stasiak, OSB, of St. Meinrad Archabbey, and for his Community. May he serve the Lord many years in his new role.
Prayers for toddler Grace, who has Downs Syndrome and must have minor stomach surgery later this month. Her parents worry, since she will have to be under general anesthesia.
Prayers for a young boy fighting for his life, in critical condition after being hit by a semi truck, and for his Mom and brothers and all his family.
Please say a prayer for me, too. It's my birthday.
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 2, June 3, October 3
Chapter 7: On Humility
The fifth degree of humility
is that he hide from his Abbot none of the evil thoughts
that enter his heart
or the sins committed in secret,
but that he humbly confess them.
The Scripture urges us to this when it says,
"Reveal your way to the Lord and hope in Him" (Ps. 36:5)
"Confess to the Lord, for He is good,
for His mercy endures forever" (Ps. 105:1).
And the Prophet likewise says,
"My offense I have made known to You,
and my iniquities I have not covered up.
I said: 'I will declare against myself my iniquities to the Lord;'
and 'You forgave the wickedness of my heart'" (Ps. 31:5).
A caution here: the Holy Rule uses the Septuagint version's numbering
of the Psalms, not the Hebrew. Since most Bibles today use the latter
system, even many Catholic editions, you might find that the Psalm
referred to in this passage, which I strongly recommend you read
through, is 32, not 31.
Psalm 31 (32) is a wonderful exposition of sin and forgiveness. It
begins by recounting the joy of one whose sin has been forgiven, then
proceeds to unfold how concealing sin affects one and confessing sin
heals one. In v. 3-4, immediately prior to the 5th verse which St.
Benedict quotes, we find the following: "I kept it secret and my
frame was wasted. I groaned all the day long for night and day Your
hand was heavy upon me. Indeed, my strength was dried up as by the
Guilty secrets control us, they rob us of our freedom, they destroy
our peace. Long before one's frame is wasted (though that, too will
eventually happen,) one's mind and spirit are trashed, laid low by
the relentless fear of discovery. We shall have a MUCH harder time
spiritually, if we try to keep our guilty secrets totally hidden.
What the guilty one is fleeing is within herself, and
travels right along with her. Ever see a news clip about a fugitive
who successfully hid for decades and then was caught? I wonder what
kind of life they had in the meantime, a life never free, a life that
always had to fear. This is not what Jesus called us to.
One may not belong to a tradition which practices sacramental
confession, but all of us need the abscesses of our secret guilt
lanced and drained somehow. AA, a spiritual program which can fit
itself to any religion or no religion, insists that without confession to at
least one other trustworthy person, our faults are likely to rule us forever.
Don't spill your beans to just anyone, but don't hold them festering
within, either! [A heavy PS, too: if you do belong to a Church that
has sacramental Confession, GO!! Too many put that off at great
risk and harm to themselves.]
What keeps us chained to our dirty secrets is lack of faith, lack of
trust: no one will love me if they know this, not God, not anyone.
Well, the ending verses of Psalm 31(32) deal quite neatly with this
"Many sorrows have the wicked, but those who trust in the Lord,
loving mercy surrounds them. Rejoice, rejoice in the Lord, exult, you
just! O come, ring out your joy, all you upright of heart!" (Ps.
Not only does God forgive, but the guilty one now freed is accounted
as among the just and the upright of heart, without any further ado.
Now THAT is Divine Mercy! No heart is more full of such infinite
mercy than the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Trust Him!
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You. Jesus, meek and
humble of Heart, make our hearts like unto Yours.
Love and prayers,