Thursday, June 14, 2007

14/06/07 Thurs in the week of the 2nd Sunday in Pentecost


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Blessed are those for whom Easter is...
not a hunt, but a find;
not a greeting, but a proclamation;
not outward fashions, but inward grace;
not a day, but an eternity.


O God, from whom all good proceeds: Grant that by your inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by your merciful guiding may do them; 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

AM Psalm [70], 71; PM Psalm 74
Ecclus. 44:19-45:5; 2 Cor. 12:1-10; Luke 19:28-40

From Forward Day by Day:

2 Corinthians 12:1-10. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ.

I have grown so deaf I cannot speak on the telephone or hear it ring. Without hearing aids I would dwell in absolute silence. I thank God for them because they remind me it is a world of sound, despite the fact a symphony orchestra in full swing is only cacophony to my ears. I have had to make a lot of adjustments.

But the time of crisis is past. Friends and children speak slowly and loudly, and my husband is available to translate. Like Paul, I have prayed for my physical disability and have received the same answer: when I am weak, then I am strong. If God is with me, I can wander around the house in pure silence, knowing, as Paul knew, that God's protection is enough.

Jesus healed the blind and the deaf, the lepers and the lame. One had to be whole before his message could penetrate. I understand the meaning of that message as I plant flowers, pick beans, and hug children. The county put up a Deaf Child Area sign, but I know my deafness is a kind of gift, not a handicap. This means that I too am whole, so that I can understand what Jesus teaches.

Today we remember:

Basil the Great:
Psalm 139:1-9 or 34:1-8
1 Corinthians 2:6-13; Luke 10:21-24
Almighty God, who has revealed to your Church your eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons: Give us grace that, like your bishop Basil of Caesarea, we may continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; who live and reign for ever and ever.

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Ontario (Ontario, Canada)

Speaking to the Soul:

Daily Reading for June 14 • Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea, 379

A perfect illustration of Basil’s methodology is the analogy he draws between the life cycle of the caterpillar-butterfly and Paul’s teaching on the resurrection body. For most Greeks, the idea of a resurrected body made little sense philosophically, religiously, or physically. How, many wondered, could a body that had decayed be raised from the dead? How could this type of change actually take place? The mechanics of resurrection seemed an impossibility. Basil responded by encouraging his listeners to observe more closely the many creatures, such as the caterpillar, who demonstrate this kind of metamorphosis in their life cycle. The lesser surely can illustrate the greater.

From Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers by Christopher A. Hall (InterVarsity Press, 1998).+++++++++++ Reflections

Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.
St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Reading from the Desert Christians

We came near to a tree, led by our kindly host, and there we stumbled upon a lion. At the sight of him my guide and I quaked, but the saintly old man went unfaltering on and we followed him. The wild beast - you would say it was at the command of God - modestly withdrew a little way and sat down, while the old man plucked the fruit from the lower branches. He held out his hand, full of dates; and up the creature ran and took them as frankly as any tame animal about the house; and when it had finished eating, it went away. We stood watching and trembling; reflecting as well we might what valour of faith was in him and what poverty of spirit in us.

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Choosing Love

How can someone ever trust in the existence of an unconditional divine love when most, if not all, of what he or she has experienced is the opposite of love - fear, hatred, violence, and abuse?

They are not condemned to be victims! There remains within them, hidden as it may seem, the possibility to choose love. Many people who have suffered the most horrendous rejections and been subject to the most cruel torture are able to choose love. By choosing love they become witnesses not only to enormous human resiliency but also to the divine love that transcends all human loves. Those who choose, even on a small scale, to love in the midst of hatred and fear are the people who offer true hope to our world.

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

Day Fourteen - The First Way of Service -


Tertiaries seek to live in an atmosphere of praise and prayer. We aim to be constantly aware of God's presence, so that we may indeed pray without ceasing. Our ever deepening devotion to the indwelling Christ is a source of strength and joy. It is Christ's love that inspires us to service, and strengthens us for sacrifice.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

THERE ARE FEW who will believe in and accept the forgiveness of God so completely as to let God bury their sins in God’s forgiving mercy; or who, having once accepted that forgiveness, will leave their sin with God forever. They are always reopening the vault where they have deposited their sin, and are forever asking to have it back in order to fondle it; reconstruct, query, or worry over it; wear it inwardly. Thus their sin ties them to the past and finally dooms their lives in both the present and the future. … Forgiveness … can only be received by those who will accept its conditions.

To be cleansed and to accept the cleansing, then to move on into the present and the future as a forgiven and restored one, is the gift of the deepest prayer.

- Douglas V. Steere
Dimensions of Prayer

From pages 45-46 of Dimensions of Prayer by Douglas V. Steere. Copyright © 1997 by Dorothy Steere.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

"A Web of Grace"

During my Lenten hermitage at Big Sur, I discovered I had to find once again what it is that supports me. Who is it that names and loves me, and who is this naked man behind all his public words? The Camaldolese monks were kind enough to offer me a hermitage where I could engage in protected solitude and daily mass and lunch with the community if I wished. So I tried to balance my day between Spirit, soul, mind and body. I took two hours hiking in the California mountains and exercised each day, plus a bit of fasting and a vegetarian diet. I must say I felt limber, trim and embodied in a way that might be able to honor Spirit. I tried to do some heavier reading each day to challenge my mind and stretch my perspectives, mainly in the areas of theology, philosophy and history. “Soul” work included the whole area of poetry, symbol, dreams, contemplative sitting and some extensive reading in sacred psychology and mythology. When we live realigned with our bodies and the natural world, when we have time for soul, mind and Spirit, it becomes very hard to believe in a merely random universe. Things are not just planned or accidental any more, but a web of grace seems to unite all things into a symbiosis and synchronicity. It felt like forty-seven days of “coincidences”! It reaffirmed for me my long-standing belief in Providence.

From Radical Grace, The Bliss Ninny

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

The primacy of love

Why are we so little concerned with seeking out opportunities for helping one another, so that we might strengthen one another in those things where we see that it is more necessary and mutually bear the burdens of our brothers and sisters? The apostle exhorts us to do this when he says: Help carry one another's burdens; in that way you will fulfill the law of Christ. And elsewhere he says: Bear with one another lovingly. This is the very law of Christ.

Every kind of life which allows a person to give oneself more sincerely to the love of God, and through it to the love of neighbor — no matter what its dress or customs may be — is thus more pleasing to God. It is for love that we should do or not do everything, change or not change it. Love is the principle through which and the end toward which it is fitting for everything to be directed. There is no fault in anything which is genuinely done for love and in accord with the spirit of love. May this love be granted us by the Lord whom we cannot please without love and without whom we can do nothing, the One who lives and reigns as God for ever.

Isaac of Stella, (1105 - 1178), a Cistercian monk of English origin, was abbot of Stella and promoted monastic life.

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


"Abide in Me." John 15:4

The Spirit of Jesus is put into me by the Atonement, then I have to construct with patience the way of thinking that is exactly in accordance with my Lord. God will not make me think like Jesus, I have to do it myself; I have to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. "Abide in Me" - in intellectual matters, in money matters, in every one of the matters that make human life what it is. It is not a bandbox life.

Am I preventing God from doing things in my circumstances because I say it will hinder my communion with Him? That is an impertinence. It does not matter what my circumstances are, I can be as sure of abiding in Jesus in them as in a prayer meeting. I have not to change and arrange my circumstances myself. With Our Lord the inner abiding was unsullied; He was at home with God wherever His body was placed. He never chose His own circumstances, but was meek towards His Father's dispensations for Him. Think of the amazing leisure of Our Lord's life! We keep God at excitement point, there is none of the serenity of the life hid with Christ in God about us.

Think of the things that take you out of abiding in Christ - Yes, Lord, just a minute, I have got this to do; Yes, I will abide when once this is finished; when this week is over, it will be all right, I will abide then. Get a move on; begin to abide now. In the initial stages it is a continual effort until it becomes so much the law of life that you abide in Him unconsciously. Determine to abide in Jesus wherever you are placed.

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

Chapter 11: How the Night Office Is to Be Said on Sundays

On Sunday
the hour of rising for the Night Office should be earlier.
In that Office let the measure already prescribed be kept,
namely the singing of six Psalms and a verse.
Then let all be seated on the benches in their proper order
while the lessons and their responsories are read from the book,
as we said above.
These shall be four in number,
with the chanter saying the "Glory be to the Father"
in the fourth responsory only,
and all rising reverently as soon as he begins it.

After these lessons
let six more Psalms with antiphons follow in order, as before,
and a verse;
and then let four more lessons be read with their responsories
in the same way as the former.

After these let there be three canticles
from the book of the Prophets,
as the Abbot shall appoint,
and let these canticles be chanted with "Alleluia."
Then when the verse has been said
and the Abbot has given the blessing,
let four more lessons be read,
from the New Testament,
in the manner prescribed above.

After the fourth responsory
let the Abbot begin the hymn "We praise You, O God."
When this is finished
the Abbot shall read the lesson from the book of the Gospels,
while all stand in reverence and awe.
At the end let all answer "Amen,"
and let the Abbot proceed at once
to the hymn "To You be praise."
After the blessing has been given,
let them begin the Morning Office.

This order for the Night Office on Sunday
shall be observed the year around,
both summer and winter;
unless it should happen (which God forbid)
that the brethren be late in rising,
in which case the lessons or the responsories
will have to be shortened somewhat.
Let every precaution be taken, however,
against such an occurrence;
but if it does happen,
then the one through whose neglect it has come about
should make due satisfaction to God in the oratory.


Dynamis is a daily Bible meditation based upon the lectionary of the Holy Orthodox Church.

Thursday, June 14, 2007 Apostles
Fast The Holy Prophet Elisha
Kellia: Deuteronomy 24:10-18 Epistle: Romans 8:22-27
Gospel: St. Matthew 10:23-31

Love, Equity, and Justice: Deuteronomy 24:10-18, especially vss. 16 -
17: "Thou shalt not unjustly withhold the wages of the poor and needy of
thy brethren, or of the strangers who are in thy cities. Thou shalt pay
him his wages the same day, the sun shall not go down upon it, because
he is poor and he trusts in it; and he shall cry against thee to the
Lord, and it shall be sin in thee." The Lord expects love, equity, and
justice among all men - clergy and laity, creditors and debtors,
employers and workers, judges and those on death row. A few verses
after this passage, the Lord gives the reason for love and justice: He
redeems all men from slavery - our fathers before us (Deut. 24:20) and
we ourselves through Christ's Passion and Resurrection. God's care,
therefore, is the context for the relations of His People with one another.

The New Testament is replete with this viewpoint. St. Paul reminds the
Faithful who are masters that they should render to their servants "what
is just and fair, knowing that [all of us] have a Master in Heaven"
(Col. 4:1). The unity among the People of God, the Body of Christ, is
organic. The Lord Jesus Himself declares it: "inasmuch as you did it to
one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me" (Mt. 25:40).
Never forget that God cares for "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of
peace" (Eph. 4:3). "Freely you received; freely give" (Mt. 10:8).

In reflecting on God concern for mutual love, equity, and justice, let
us be prompted by Moses' words so that we ask how we ought to act as
members of the Body of Christ toward our pastors, the debtors among us,
the economically disadvantaged, and those under the death penalty. In
this passage, God addresses all four of these issues: respect for the
clergy (Deut 24:10-11), equity between creditors and debtors (vss.
12-15), prompt and fair payment of wages (vss. 16,17) and restraint in
applying the death penalty (vs. 16). Not one of these issues is merely
an historic issue. Yes, Moses' manner of speaking is not framed in the
current idiom of today's society. The outward appearance of things
changes, but not God's word!

Moses begins by recalling his sister Miriam's leprosy (read Num.
12:1-15). It came upon her for speaking against God's anointed. Thus,
Moses reminds God's People - including us - to honor our Pastors and not
fall into Miriam's sin - "to speak against My servant" (Num. 12:8).

In Moses' time, loans were neighborly acts (Deut. 24:12) not the
business of "lending institutions." Today, borrowing is far more
complicated, for the entire economy is based on credit and interest
rates. Still, God's word abides: "When the creditor and debtor meet
together the Lord oversees them both" (Prov. 29:13). God's highest and
best for His People is not to obligate themselves to lenders. While
loans for housing, transportation, or medical care may be needed, credit
card extravagance is not God's way to "the good life." Capricious
spending, mindless debt, like extortion or fraud, are unworthy of us as
Christ's stewards.

The payment of wages in the present economy is modulated by law.
Statutes make holding back a worker's pay a criminal act - much in the
spirit of Moses' words. Conversely, failure to return fair effort for
wages paid is a sin with God. Let all parties, employers and wage
earners, be accountable before God and to one another in love, equity,
and justice.

Legal choice for the death penalty and the means of its administration
are lively issues today. In any case, the point of the Mosaic law, that
"one shall be put to death for his own sin" (Deut. 24:18) must be
honored among us. Those found worthy of death ought to be the proven
perpetrators of the crimes for which they are executed; and may God have
mercy upon us all!

O Lord our God, Who hast given us this good land for our heritage, may
we always prove ourselves constant in doing Thy will and never failing
in love, equity, and justice.



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