Holy Rule for Aug. 28
Prayers for the eternal rest of the following, for all theri families and all who mourn them:
William and his wife, Cleta, both 53, killed in a motorcycle accident while on a charity run.
Vittoria, anointed and her family with her at the end. Special prayers for her son, Lino.
Prayers for Judy, that her surgery on 8/28 goes well and healing and recovery go smoothly; and for the family and friends around her, that they may have peace and rest as well.
Jerry suffers from Ulcerative Colitis. Please pray for Jerry, his wife Marie and their family as they deal with this debilitating illness, pray for healing and comfort of all.
Pray for the pilgrimage of Kathy, Laura, Mary Ann and others as they will spend time September 13-15 in Montreal visiting Notre Dame du Cap de Madelaine and L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal. Keep them safe in their journey and pray for spiritual enrichment of 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
April 28, August 28, December 28
Chapter 70: That No One Venture to Punish at Random
Every occasion of presumption shall be avoided in the monastery,
and we decree that no one be allowed to excommunicate or to strike
any of her sisters unless the Abbess has given her the authority.
Those who offend in this matter shall be rebuked in the presence of
all, that the rest may have fear.
But children up to 15 years of age shall be carefully controlled
and watched by all, yet this too with all moderation and
discretion. All, therefore, who presume without the Abbess'
instructions to punish those above that age or who lose their
temper with them, shall undergo the discipline of the Rule; for it
is written, "Do not to another what you would not want done to
yourself" (Tobias 4:16).
"Every occasion of presumption shall be avoided in the monastery."
This is about a lot more than saying who can punish whom. This is
pointing out that, whenever there are more than one to be
considered, absolute freedom cannot exist. This is about central
but it is also about the total way one conducts oneself in a home
or workplace or planet that others share.
Ever think about your first home away from your parents house? It
was probably different in a lot of ways, especially if you lived
there alone. Heady freedom that! I recall my own first place very
well and fondly. However, I can assure you, I could not have lived
as I did there had I been in a family, with younger siblings at
home. (OK, it was 1969, so go figure...) Even alone, however, I was
not free to play my stereo at undue volumes at 3 AM. We live on a
common planet, at some point ALL of our lives touch others. When
they do, control
of some sort is necessary if people are to live in peace.
There is a great and treacherous myth of individualism among
Americans and, to a lesser extent, I think, among all Western
European cultures. Consumerism and secularism at levels which are
dangerously opposed to religion promote this fallacy at every turn.
The lie is sold that one can be happy, even happiest, without
Christ, without religion. Even Christians subconsciously buy into
more of this nonsense than they often realize. This baggage sneaks
up on us in very subtle ways. We must be equally mindful and
to perceive it!
Non-western cultures often have a much more highly developed sense
of sharing and commonality. The stresses of profit and production
are incongruous to many a more pristine culture. The self is less
exalted than the common good and the common good
seems to be more readily available to all. Face it, when the Amazon
hunters come home, the elderly eat as well as anyone else.
Schweitzer pointed out that Europeans found the Africans lazy,
because they would not work to a point of exhaustion without need.
They worked all right, but when the work was done, they quit. They
had a casual and natural attitude to work, proper to their own
economic system, that drove the Europeans nuts, because the latter
had more of a 40-hours-a-week-and-then-you-rest notion. Both
Schweitzer and I tend to side with the natives on this one!
That myth of total freedom, of self-sufficiency being able to buy
one the right to any activity is totally wrong. Even at 20, in my
richly bohemian digs that I called "Shackri-la", I was not totally
free. I didn't know it back then, but I wasn't. I had no right to
waste water or leave lights on all night or drive drunk. My fantasy
might have been chronologically appropriate as Haight-Ashbury in
San Francisco, but hey, even there, even then, people were not free
in any absolute sense. None of us are.
Every presumed domain of our control which exists on a planet
shared by billions is just that: presumption, of which "every
occasion shall be avoided." No one of us is an island. Our complete
interdependence is not only objective fact, it is our only hope.
You might never have read this chapter as an ad for ecological
consciousness, but look at the first line again. We are ALWAYS in
this with others and that always means responsibilities to "...not
do to another what one would not have done to oneself."
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,