Holy Rule for July 3
Prayers for the eternal rest of Sister Theresa OSB who passed away today and for her family, friends and the community at Bristow, Va.
Prayers for the eternal rest of the 19 firefighters killed fighting wildfires in Arizona, and for al their families and all who mourn therm. Prayers foe the safety of all those fighting wildfires
Prayers for the following, please:
Theophilus, for a spiritual breakthrough in his life and for God to send a sponsor for his academic pursuits.
Sara, going through a relationship break-up and feeling lonely while working at a summer job in another state.
Ann Marie, cancer in her right kidney.
Kenneth, having lower hernia and belly button hernia surgery on July 8, for speedy recovery.
Kathy who fell and broke 2 bones in her wrist and may have torn her rotary cuff - MRI will be needed but needs doctor OK as she has a metal rod in her back.
Ben who lost his job and now seeking work.
For the success of a upcoming retreat sponsored by the Paulist Priests at their retreat house in New York.
Br. Thomas of Pluscarden, Fr. Thomas and all our Thomases on their
feastday. Ad multos annos, many years and many graces!
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
March 3, July 3, November 2
Chapter 26: On Those Who Without an Order Associate with the
If any sister presumes
without an order from the Abbess
to associate in any way with an excommunicated sister,
or to speak with her,
or to send her a message,
let her incur a similar punishment of excommunication.
When punishment is necessary, the community should support it, at
least passively. This united front should be far different from the
human tendency we often see to abandon those in trouble. Quite the
reverse, like everything in the Holy Rule, this must be fueled by the
concern born of great love.
Common life can often leave one with some relationships which
are polite and civil, even cordial, but frankly not much deeper than a lot
of people at work have with each other. That's sad, but it does
happen. Times of crisis like this should awaken us to the necessary
depth of love for all.
Hard though it may sometimes be, we may not rejoice at the downfall
of another. We must participate in common punishments because they
are for the good of all, but also because they are primarily for the
good of the offender, whom we must love. Admittedly, sometimes the
only way one can express that concern is prayer, but we must pray!
Some find the Rule harsh in this respect, but there is a great love
and mercy here. The Holy Rule forbids what most people in groups will
do: passive aggression. We cannot just wordlessly force the person
out without a clue as to why. Punishment must be named and specific,
the offender must know and those around her must care. It may in fact
force a monk out, but he will know why when he leaves. This is vastly
different from the ordinary human means of exclusion and expulsion.
It includes grace. It includes love. And mercy, always mercy.
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,