Prayers for the will of God in the US elections.
Prayers, please, for Rollin, 66, who suddenly died in his first year of retirement, for his wife, Penny, and all their family. Prayers for Kelly, 15, melanoma, prognosis as yet uncertain after surgery. Mary P., for whom we prayed, had a benign breast mass. Deo gratias. Matt, 80, for whom we also prayed turned out to have spreading lung cancer, affecting his heart. Therapy is discussed, but prognosis is usually bad in metastatic lung cancer. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent. ALLELUIA!Thanks so much! JL
February 18, June 19, October 19
Chapter 15: At What Times "Alleluia" Is to Be Said
From holy Easter until Pentecost without interruption
let "Alleluia" be said
both in the Psalms and in the responsories.
From Pentecost to the beginning of Lent
let it be said every night
with the last six Psalms of the Night Office only.
On every Sunday, however, outside of Lent,
the canticles, the Morning Office, Prime, Terce, Sext and None
shall be said with "Alleluia,"
but Vespers with antiphons.
The responsories are never to be said with "Alleluia"
except from Easter to Pentecost.
It is not uncommon for me to get posts asking how on earth I can
say "God's will is best." after recounting some litany of horrible things
which have befallen people in need of our prayers. Well, now I up
the ante a bit and add "Alleluia!" to each post. (Unless my 55 year old
brain forgets by tomorrow!)
In every instance, even when it is all we can do to choke it out,
gritting our teeth, we must always say Alleluia. God must always be
praised, always, even when we cannot see goodness anywhere else
at all, it *IS* in Him and must be acknowledged. I fully expect that,
before long, new subscribers who have not seen this post will begin
to write and ask me how and who I can say Alleluia after metastatic
cancer and the like. Guess I'll have to save an answer in my file!
We can see here that, in the West, already by St. Benedict's
time, "Alleluia" became a happy word of celebration, the use of which
was proscribed in somber times like Lent. That didn't happen in the
East. They go merrily along with Alleluia, even in the depths of
Lent. There might be a lot more sense to that, actually.
"Alleluia" means "Praise the Lord!" I know we have taken it to mean
something a lot more like "Whoopee!", but it doesn't. I bow to St.
Benedict and Western tradition in the liturgical use. In our hearts,
however, there should be an "Alleluia/praise the Lord" at all times
and seasons. "Praise the Lord anyhow!" the charismatics used to say
when something dreadful or unlovely happened to one. How true, how
I say this, not as complaint, but simply as information. My own life,
by and large, has not been a happy one. I have not had the crosses
of many, but I have had heavy, tailor-made ones of my own. Getting
HIV two years before I became a monk comes to mind, as does
living with it for nearly 15 years. So does depression, which just about
equals it, and I was depressed LONG before I had HIV.
I was not always very graceful about that, nor about many a heartbreak, but
I do know and I can honestly say that God's will HAS been best, always
best. My 20/20 hindsight must, though grudgingly at times, fully own
that Alleluia was appropriate at every point, in every instance.
Saying that does not mean that I can no longer be terrified at this or
that prospect. I can. We all can. Jesus was in Gethsemane. It is very
human, and God finds our humanity, in which He sees His Son, very
fetching. So don't freak out if you still get scared, it is part and parcel of
our human condition. But even then, we must train ourselves to praise!
In every heartbreak, in every despair, in every grief we must
ardently cling to our faith that God is merciful and good. We must
see that when we feel unable to see it. We must, by faith and sheer
will, affirm that the Lord must be praised at all times. He is not
mean. Whatever is bleak shall never, ever lack His tender, caressing
hand behind it, no matter how unseen to us. It is there. He is there.
Always! Praise the Lord! ALLELUIA!
Love and prayers,
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