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Holy Rule for June 23

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  • Br. Jerome Leo
    +PAX 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
    Message 1 of 104 , Jun 22, 2013
      +PAX

      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.

      REFLECTION

      Running psalmody, that is, reciting the Psalms in numerical order, no
      matter what came next, was a very common ancient monastic practice.
      Since one of the principles behind the Psalter was to "get it all in"
      in the space of a week, that running psalmody was a natural
      consequence. St. Benedict obviously had some of that on his mind: he
      goes from detailed directions about the spacing of the longest Psalm,
      118, right into assigning the next 9 to the minor hours which are
      repeated throughout the week from Tuesday to Saturday.

      As a result, one could safely say that there is nothing specific to
      the time of day as such about these Psalms, but that it not entirely
      correct. These nine Psalms from 119-127 are gradual Psalms,
      pilgrimage songs. They were sung by the Jews as they were going up to
      Jerusalem. They are filled with the tension of anticipation and
      possession of God's Temple and His blessings, they are songs
      of "already" and "not yet".

      The gradual Psalms are short, compact units, easily memorized. Since
      memory is one thing the Holy Rule no doubt was providing for- these
      Offices could, if necessary, be said on the spot, in the fields- it is
      likely that this group were quite deliberately chosen. No one in
      their right mind would suggest some of the longer Psalms from Matins
      for easy memorization!!

      Regardless of what St. Benedict may or may not have had in mind, the
      Holy Spirit can use all of us, even St. Benedict, in ways we do not
      realize. Read through these Psalms and picture yourself saying them
      in a distant field, with the Abbey in view, but far away. Get the
      idea? The pilgrim songs that speak of already AND not yet were the
      perfect thing for monastics to say in such circumstances. Jerusalem,
      the House of God, was both a distant view and a complete possession,
      since ALL of the monastery is the House of God.

      It is easy, terribly easy, to forget that we live "in the House of
      God." We do, all monastics do, Oblates do, everyone does. It IS God's
      world. Being reminded of this by those Psalms of journeying is a
      great idea. Our feet really are "standing within your gates, O
      Jerusalem!" We look from afar and see that Jerusalem is a city
      compact, a unity of peace and order.


      Love and prayers,
      Jerome, OSB
      http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
      Petersham, MA




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Br. Jerome Leo
      +PAX Prayers for the two young men with us this weekend at St. Mary s Monastery for a Monastic Experience Weekend, may God speak to their hearts and may we all
      Message 104 of 104 , Jun 2

        +PAX

         

        Prayers for the two young men with us this weekend at St. Mary’s Monastery for a Monastic Experience Weekend, may God speak to their hearts and may we all do His will.

         

        Prayers for the eternal rest of Amaro, 64, and for all his family and all who mourn him. Prayers, too, for the eternal rest of Tania, his sister, who predeceased him.

         

        Prayers for Fr. Karola Meissner,OSB, of Poland, who turned 90 last month. Graces galore and many more, ad multos annos!

         

        Prayers for Erica, having surgery, and for her family.

         

        Prayers for D., that she returns to the Sacraments.

         

        Prayers for Nathaniel and his wife and for all the children they teach in their parish’s religious education program.

         

        Prayers for me, on my birthday. Thanks in advance to all!

         

        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)
        and again,
        "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).

        REFLECTION

        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
        summer's heat."

        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
        falsehood:

        "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.
        31:10-11)

        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,
        Jerome, OSB
        http://www.stmarysmonastery.org
        Petersham, MA

         

         

         

         

         

         

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