Sunday, March 11, 2007

11/03/07 3rd Sunday in Lent

[Please remember this is a sort of "menu" from which to select. No one has to pray it all]

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Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Today's Scripture

Psalm 103 or 103:1-11;
Exodus 3:1-15; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Luke 13:1-9

From Forward Day by Day:

Exodus 3:1-15. Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I tell them?"

By the time Moses asks for the Holy One's name, God has already explained the history and connection they share, so Moses already knows who speaks to him from the burning bush. Moses' question is really "What is your nature? What kind of God are you?" God's response--YHWH--"I am who I am"--indicates that God is the source and ground of all being.

Generations later, Jesus provided his own "I am" statements to help explain what it meant to be the Son of this Source: "I am the door, the true vine, the good shepherd, the bread of life, the light of the world..."

And God asks each of us to name who we are, too, to say "I am" with the same clarity and certitude as Christ. Made in Christ's image, are you someone's door, someone's light, someone's bread, or like Peter are you a solid, sturdy rock? Perhaps you serve as a bridge, or a map--or a whole global positioning system. Spend time today contemplating what it means to be who and what you are, in the eyes of our loving God.

Today we remember:

The Resurrection of our Lord

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Moray, Ross & Caithness (Scotland)

40 Ideas for Lent: A Lenten calendar

Sundays are in Lent but not of Lent.

A Celtic lenten Calendar

++++++++++ Reflections

I understood that love comprised all vocations, that love was everything, that it embraced all times and places, in a word, that it was eternal! ... O Jesus, my Love ... my vocation, at last I have found it, my vocation is love! the heart of the Church, my Mother, I shall be Love.
St Therese of the Child Jesus

Reading from the Desert Christians

Abba Elias, the minister, said, 'What can sin do where there is penitence? And of what use is love where there is pride

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Listening as Spiritual Hospitality

To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.

Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.

From the Principles of the Third Society of St. Francis:

Day Eleven - The Third Aim (Cont)

Although we possess property and earn money to support ourselves and our
families, we show ourselves true followers of Christ and of Saint Francis by
our readiness to live simply and to share with others. We recognize that
some of our members may be called to a literal following of Saint Francis in
a life of extreme simplicity. All of us, however, accept that we avoid
luxury and waste, and regard our possessions as being held in trust for God.

God, your love led Francis and Clare to establish our three Orders: draw us
into your love that we may grow in love towards all with whom we have to do,
for the sake of your son, Jesus Christ, who gives himself in love to all.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

WE LIVE IN A WORLD of both great beauty and great sorrow. We stumble along burdened by our personal limitations — our brokenness, our narrow perspectives, our fears and addictions, hatreds and suspicions. We stumble along together in a magnificent universe blighted by war, hunger, oppression, and injustice. For all our good intent and efforts, the stark reality of it is that we are not enough. And the human spirit cries out, as does the anguished voice of creation itself, Have Mercy! …

Mercy, almost maternal in its tenderness, reaches out to embrace us as promise and as hope. I hear this divine answer not so much as a royal pardon for the undeserving [but] as a mother’s empathic and sheltering response to the pain her children bear. Return. Turn. Let go of the old ways that lead to such pain. Start over. Fast. Empty yourselves to be filled with something new.

- Wendy M. Wright
The Rising

From page 22 of The Rising: Living the Mysteries of Lent, Easter, and Pentecost by Wendy M. Wright. Copyright © 1994 by Wendy M. Wright

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

"Jesus' Commandment Is, Love"

We must learn to move beyond ourselves, to say no to instant gratification, to set limits on our own needs and somehow to meet somebody else's needs. That's why Jesus commanded us to love. He didn't suggest it. He didn't say when you get healed, love; when you grow up, love; when you get it together and have dealt with all your mother/father/husband/children wounds, then start loving. No, the commandment for all of us is, Love. Until we love, we really do not even know who we are. In fact, we can buy into all the self-discovery the world has to offer and still not know ourselves. That's countercultural. We are supposed to keep telling people they're good and beautiful; they're great and fantastic, Jesus loves them - and eventually they'll believe it. But I haven't seen that work. I think we know the love of God is within us when we ourselves can "do love" much more than when people tell us we are lovable. We can always disbelieve the second, but the first is an unexplainable power.

from Letting Go: A Spirituality of Subtraction

From John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., Tradition Day by Day: Readings from Church Writers. Augustinian Press. Villanova, PA, 1994.

Christ teaches us

By his great human compassion and by appearing among us in the form of a servant, Christ, who is both God and man, meant to teach us what we should spurn in this life and what we should hope for in the next. It was accordingly at the very height of his passion, when his enemies thought they had won such a mighty victory, that he gave voice to our human weakness which was being crucified together with our former selves to set our sinful bodies free; and his cry was My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

In taking up this expression of our frailty our Head is praying the psalm: My God, my God, look upon me: why have you forsaken me? Here the suppliant feels abandoned; his prayer seems to be of no avail. Jesus made these words his own; they are the words of his Body, that is, of the Church which must endure the travail of conversion from unregenerate human nature into the new creation. His is the voice of our human weakness, which has to be weaned from the good things of the Old Testament and taught to long after and hope for those of the New.

Augustine of Hippo,(354 - 430), bishop of Hippo, became the most influential person of the Western Church and left many writings to posterity.

Daily Readings From "My Utmost for His Highest", Oswald Chambers


"I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision." Acts 26:19

If we lose the vision, we alone are responsible, and the way we lose the vision is by spiritual leakage. If we do not run our belief about God into practical issues, it is all up with the vision God has given. The only way to be obedient to the heavenly vision is to give our utmost for God's highest, and this can only be done by continually and resolutely recalling the vision. The test is the sixty seconds of every minute, and the sixty minutes of every hour, not our times of prayer and devotional meetings.

"Though it tarry, wait for it." We cannot attain to a vision, we must live in the inspiration of it until it accomplishes itself. We get so practical that we forget the vision. At the beginning we saw it but did not wait for it; we rushed off into practical work, and when the vision was fulfilled, we did not see it. Waiting for the vision that tarries is the test of our loyalty to God. It is at the peril of our soul's welfare that we get caught up in practical work and miss the fulfilment of the vision.

Watch God's cyclones. The only way God sows His saints is by His whirlwind. Are you going to prove an empty pod? It will depend on whether or not you are actually living in the light of what you have seen. Let God fling you out, and do not go until He does. If you select your own spot, you will prove an empty pod. If God sows you, you will bring forth fruit.

It is essential to practise the walk of the feet in the light of the vision.

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

Chapter 33: Whether Monks Ought to Have Anything of Their Own

This vice especially
is to be cut out of the monastery by the roots.
Let no one presume to give or receive anything
without the Abbot's leave,
or to have anything as his own --
anything whatever,
whether book or tablets or pen or whatever it may be --
since they are not permitted to have even their bodies or wills
at their own disposal;
but for all their necessities
let them look to the Father of the monastery.
And let it be unlawful to have anything
which the Abbot has not given or allowed.
Let all things be common to all,
as it is written (Acts 4:32),
and let no one say or assume that anything is his own.

But if anyone is caught indulging in this most wicked vice,
let him be admonished once and a second time.
If he fails to amend,
let him undergo punishment.


website needs to be updated.

Commentary by Gloriamarie; At first glance, this doesn't seem to apply to us. After all, we are not in monasteries, we don't have Abbots. So what in the world is there for us to take from this passage for ourselves today? Here in this world where we live and move and have our being?

For me, the crux of the matter is the little phrase in the middle of the reading " for all their necessities". As Christians, perhaps we can consider it this way; what do we need by way of food, shelter and clothing? What do we need to equip us for our vocations? What do our families need to equip them for theirs? What do we ned to assist us to achieve the Benedictine balance of prayer and work, study and recreation? More than these things, I think Benedict is saying, we do not need. And any resources we have beyond these basics, we ought to give to the poor.

So when we buy a TV, do we really need a wall sized one? How many changes of clothes do we need to be neat and presentable in between laundry days? How many pairs of shoes do we need? Do you know that in parts of the world, 4 people could live on what the average American spends on a cup of designer coffee in the morning? Why not invest in a thermos or drink the coffee at home and donate the amount that you would have spent to your church?

These are some of the thoughts that occur to me as I read today's selection from the Rule of St. Benedict.

Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan
Read Excerpts from the Church Fathers during Lent

Next Sunday is known variously throughout the world wide Anglican Communion as Mothering, Refreshment or Rose Sunday. The idea is that we need a bit of a break on the 4th Sunday of Lent from the rigors of Lent. Sundays in Lent are always feast days, as they are every week of the year but Anglicans have used this Sunday to celebrate motherhood, rest and wear rose colored vestments. Here in the USA we have downplayed these old traditions which is too bad, because that means we don't get to eat Simnel Cake next Sunday.


(I wish I could give credit for the origin of this recipe. All I remember is that it came from an email list for Anglicans world-wide.)

1 1/2 c. raisins
2 tbsp. Brandy
1 c. shortening
2 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 c. flour
2 tsp. Baking soda
2 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground Cloves
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
2 c. hot applesauce

Soak raisins in brandy overnight.

Mix together in a large bowl - shortening, sugar and eggs. Into that sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Add chopped walnuts and raisins with the brandy. Add 2 cups of applesauce while it is VERY HOT. Blend thoroughly. Pour batter into 8 « x 12" pan (greased and floured.) Bake at 350ø For about 30 minutes (or untildone).

When done, cool cake in pan 5 minutes - then remove to finish cooling on a cake rack. Frost generously with Butter or Lemon frosting.

Butter Frosting
1/4 lb. Butter
1 lb Confectioners Sugar (10-X)
about 3 tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Blend together the butter and sugar. Layer in the cream and vanilla until smooth. Makes enough frosting for the cake above.

Orange or Lemon Frosting

Make butter icing about, except omit vanilla, and in place of the cream, use orange or lemon juice. Blend in 1 1/2 tsp. grated orange or lemon rind for extra flavor.

There are those who have been known to add brandy to either frosting -- it is especially good in the Butter frosting.


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