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]
- +PAXPrayers for Dot, 86, COPD, on her birthday.Continued prayers for Beckham, surgery to remove bladder blockage was successful, kidney damage remains to be determined.Deo gratias, Bone scan for DJ shows cancer is contained in the prostate and he will have surgery Sept 30. Of your kindness please continue to pray that surgery will eradicate all the cancer.God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. Thanks so much! JL
January 7, May 8, September 7
And so we are going to establish
a school for the service of the Lord.
In founding it we hope to introduce nothing harsh or burdensome.
But if a certain strictness results from the dictates of equity
for the amendment of vices or the preservation of charity,
do not be at once dismayed and fly from the way of salvation,
whose entrance cannot but be narrow (Matt. 7:14).
For as we advance in the religious life and in faith,
our hearts expand
and we run the way of God's commandments
with unspeakable sweetness of love (Ps. 118:32).
Thus, never departing from His school,
but persevering in the monastery according to His teaching
we may by patience share in the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 4:13)
and deserve to have a share also in His kingdom.
"Our hearts expand..." they truly do. Mine has already been
wonderfully stretched and pulled and enlarged beyond my wildest
dreams, often with me kicking and screaming every inch of the way. I
have no doubt that it will grow bigger still, capable of holding
more, but I know I could not stand that now, it would be too much.
God works slowly, according to our individual needs. Better than
anyone, He knows that doing it all at once would reduce us to
The biggest factor that I can see in God's work of heart renovation
for me has been intercessory prayer. When you renovate a building,
you have to tear down some walls, a dusty, ugly, painful mess. Ah,
but the light and air and space that one finds in those new areas
where walls had stood! In praying for God's people, I learned to love
them, more prayer equaled more love and so it spiraled upward and
The rain for my roots was that work in progress, the expansion of my
heart. It's not the same as other loves I have known and in no way as
graphic or immediate or intimate, but oh, it is deep. I am sure it is
not incompatible with married love, but God seemed to want it so for
me. True to form, I argued with Him for years about that and still do
When a novice in my twenties, I used to look at two real saints of
St. Leo Abbey, Brothers David Gormican and Raphael Daly, both now
gone to God. I am not even sure I thought it had become easier for
them at the end of their lives, I thought, with the mindlessness so
easy for me then, that they were just so old they didn't care
My dear friend Ann Chatlos was a FABULOUS cook and she had been at it
for years. One day I went to see her and we sat talking in her
kitchen, she was fiddling around, nothing special. Frankly, I didn't
even notice any activity that would have produced a meal. She finally
turned around and said to me: "Stay for dinner." I asked when it
would be ready and she said, "Now." I was floored. While we spoke, a
pie, chicken and roast potatoes and something else I forget had been
going on. A full meal with nothing out of cans and a homemade
dessert, yet it appeared that she had just been chatting.
That's the nonchalance of Brother David and Brother Raphael. It
wasn't that they didn't care, it was that things of sanctity had
become so much second nature to them that many of those around them
never noticed that dinner was ready. May that nonchalance of sanctity
come to us all, and may Brothers David and Raphael and Ann, now also
with God, pray us there.
Love and prayers,