Friday, June 15, 2007

15/06/07 Friday 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 69:1-23(24-30)31-38; PM Psalm 73
Ecclus. 45:6-16; 2 Cor. 12:11-21; Luke 19:41-48

From Forward Day by Day:

Psalm 73. But it is good for me to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge.

Television viewers have watched the rich and the famous in a voyeur's look at how the other half lives. In biblical times, as now, it is true that some have always had it easier than others, that they have not been stricken as others. Their wealth seems to grow even when they delve into places of evil. It upsets us to think of this oft-recurring theme where inequities seem to be rewarded.

How can God permit this? C.S. Lewis suggests that God made each soul unique, that he made varieties of individuals because he loved each of us differently. God, he says, never strived for sameness. Lewis says that a place in heaven will seem to be made for you and for you alone.

Jesus calls us to give so that the poor and hungry will be fed. We know that we are called to do this and that the reward for being on the outside looking in may not be evident in this world. The psalmist here accepts his lot. By accepting it he falls into a state of peace. This itself is a comfort: But it is good for me to be near God... And so it is good for all of us.

Today we remember:

Evelyn Underhill
Psalm 96:7-13 or 37:3-6,32-33
Wisdom 7:24--8:1; John 4:19-24

Sr. Gloriamarie notes: wrote my Master's thesis on this woman's work. She is one of the most important influences on my life.

O God, Origin, Sustainer, and End of all your creatures: Grant that your Church, taught by your servant Evelyn Underhill, guarded evermore by your power, and guided by your Spirit into the light of truth, may continually offer to you all glory and thanksgiving, and attain with your saints to the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have promised us by our Savior Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever.


Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Oregon

Speaking to the Soul:

Daily Reading for June 15 • Evelyn Underhill, 1941

God gives Himself mainly along two channels: through the soul’s daily life and circumstances and through its prayer. In both that soul must always be ready for Him; wide open to receive Him, and willing to accept and absorb without fastidiousness that which is given, however distasteful and unsuitable it may seem. For the Food of Eternal Life is mostly plain bread; and though it has indeed all sweetness and all savour for those who accept it with meekness and love, there is nothing in it to attract a more fanciful religious taste. All life’s vicissitudes, each grief, trial or sacrifice, each painful step in self-knowledge, every opportunity of love or renunciation and every humiliating fall, have their place here. All give, in their various ways and disguises, the heavenly Food. A sturdy realism is the mark of this divine self-imparting, and the enabling grace of those who receive.

From Abba by Evelyn Underhill (Morehouse-Barlow, 1981).
++++++++++ Reflections

Your heart is made to love Jesus, to love Him passionately.
St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Reading from the Desert Christians

While abba Macarius was praying in his cave in the desert, a hyena suddenly appeared and began to lick his feet and taking him gently by the hem of his tunic, she drew him towards her own cave. He followed her, saying, "I wonder what this animal wants me to do?" When she had led him to her cave, she went in and brought her cubs which had been born blind. He prayed over them and returned them to the hyena with their sight healed. She in turn, by wayn of thankoffering, brought the man the huge skin of a ram and laid it at his feet. He smiled at her as if at a kind person and taking the skin spread it under him.
Index [10] Hospitality [12] Joy

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Small Steps of Love

How can we choose love when we have experienced so little of it? We choose love by taking small steps of love every time there is an opportunity. A smile, a handshake, a word of encouragement, a phone call, a card, an embrace, a kind greeting, a gesture of support, a moment of attention, a helping hand, a present, a financial contribution, a visit ... all these are little steps toward love.

Each step is like a candle burning in the night. It does not take the darkness away, but it guides us through the darkness. When we look back after many small steps of love, we will discover that we have made a long and beautiful journey.

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

Day Fifteen - The First Way of Service, cont'd

The heart of our prayer is the Eucharist, in which we share with other Christians the renewal of our union with our Lord and Savior in his sacrifice, remembering his death and receiving his spiritual food.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

FAITHFULNESS is consecration in overalls. It is the steady acceptance and performance of the common duty and immediate task without any reference to personal preferences — because it is there to be done and so is a manifestation of the Will of God. …

Faithfulness means continuing quietly with the job we have been given, in the situation where we have been placed; not yielding to the restless desire for change. It means tending the lamp quietly for God without wondering how much longer it has got to go on. Steady, unsensational driving, taking good care of the car. A lot of the road to heaven has to be taken at thirty miles per hour.

- Evelyn Underhill
The Soul’s Delight

From pages 36-37 of The Soul’s Delight: Selected Writings of Evelyn Underhill edited by Keith Beasley-Topliffe.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

"Graces of the Flesh"

We are only now daring to believe, after two thousand years of revelation of the mystery of Christ, what Satan discovered at the crucifixion. The Evil One knows that the place to attack us is in the area where we are most subject to shame, where we are most weak and truly “out of character”: our bodiliness. Satan knows that is the last place where we will expect or look for God. And God knows that only forgiven sinners and spiritual searchers will find God there. So evil has found the breach in the wall and attacked each one of us there with “a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Unfortunately, it worked! Much of Christian tradition had been negatively and uselessly trapped in guilt and preoccupation with the body, while the great issues of justice, gospel and grace have gone unheeded. The result has been rigidity and repression-much of it called “holiness.” This response has been Evil’s greatest triumph over gospel freedom. It has horribly entrapped the positive power of human affection. Christ will have his harvest, though. It will be through weak flesh, that least-suspected place, that health and growth will be revealed.

From Sojourners, Pure Passion

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

We must love the Creator

The Spirit of truth shuns those whose love does not reach beyond themselves. His will is that he, and he alone, should be loved for his own sake. Not only does he desire to be the sole object of our love, but our love for him must be total. He will have no rival in love, any more than he can be rivaled in the generosity with which he rewards those who love him.

Yet God desires to be loved by us in such a way that we love everything else together with him, and love nothing apart from him. As their Creator he is the source of all created things, and every created thing is good simply because he made it. In loving created things, therefore, we should love their Creator. We must not love them for their own sake, but for the sake of him who gave them existence. Anyone who sets his heart on gold or silver, material goods, or possessions of whatever kind for their own sake is a stranger to the Father's love. It is the Creator we must love in all created things, and all created things in him. By loving him in this way we love everything else too, yet God is really and truly the sole object of our love.

Ogerius of Locedio, (1205 - 1264), a disciple of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, was abbot of Locedio in Piedmont. He left his sermons to his monastic community.

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


"And beside this . . . add . ." 2 Peter 1:5

You have inherited the Divine nature, says Peter (v.4), now screw your attention down and form habits, give diligence, concentrate. "Add" means all that character means. No man is born either naturally or supernaturally with character, he has to make character. Nor are we born with habits; we have to form habits on the basis of the new life God has put into us. We are not meant to be illuminated versions, but the common stuff of ordinary life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God. Drudgery is the touchstone of character. The great hindrance in spiritual life is that we will look for big things to do. "Jesus took a towel . . . and began to wash the disciples' feet."

There are times when there is no illumination and no thrill, but just the daily round, the common task. Routine is God's way of saving us between our times of inspiration. Do not expect God always to give you His thrilling minutes, but learn to live in the domain of drudgery by the power of God.

It is the "adding" that is difficult. We say we do not expect God to carry us to heaven on flowery beds of ease, and yet we act as if we did! The tiniest detail in which I obey has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it. If I do my duty, not for duty's sake, but because I believe God is engineering my circumstances, then at the very point of my obedience the whole superb grace of God is mine through the Atonement.

G. K. Chesterton Day by Day

'CERTAINLY, it is untrue that three is no company. Three is splendid company. Three is the ideal number for pure comradeship as in the 'Three Musketeers.' But if you reject the proverb altogether; if you say that two and three are the same sort of company; if you cannot see that there is a wider abyss between two and three than between three and three million -- then I regret to inform you that you shall have no company either of two or three, but shall be alone in a howling desert till you die.'

'Alarms and Discursions.'

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

Chapter 12: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said

The Morning Office on Sunday shall begin with Psalm 66
recited straight through without an antiphon.
After that let Psalm 50 be said with "Alleluia,"
then Psalms 117 and 62,
the Canticle of Blessing (Benedicite) and the Psalms of praise (Ps. 148-150);
then a lesson from the Apocalypse to be recited by heart,
the responsory, the Ambrosian hymn, the verse,
the canticle from the Gospel book,
the litany and so the end.


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

Friday, June 15, 2007 Apostles
Fast Jonah, Metropolitan of Moscow
Kellia: Deuteronomy 25:1-3, 13-16 Epistle: Romans 9:6-19
Gospel: St. Matthew 10:32-36; 11:1

Law and Prayer: Deuteronomy 25:1-3, 13-16 LXX, especially vss. 3, 13:
"Scourge him with forty stripes in number, [but] not...more; for...thy
brother will be disgraced before thee. Thou shalt not have in thy bag
divers weights, a great and a small." These two verses obviously
address two diverse subjects within the Mosaic Law, and, likewise, they
reflect a clear division in the present passage. The first section
(vss. 1-3) limits punishment for one who has done wrong, while verses
13-16 forbid possession of false weights and measures. What is
noteworthy is the unity of the subsections. Both draw legal
requirements from the one, single Divine Law: "Thou shalt not bear false
witness against thy neighbor (Deut. 5:20), and "Thou shalt not steal"
(Deut. 5:19). Both come from the so-called Ten Commandments. Second,
for disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, the two sections address two of
the petitions in the Great Prayer that the Lord taught us - "Forgive us
our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" (Mt. 6:12),
and "lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil" (Mt. 6:13).

The meting out of physical punishment to offenders may be construed to
be acceptable to God, including measured beatings. Observe what Holy
Scripture discloses: God actually may condone the use of corporal
punishment for certain offenses under the law. However, today in this
country the judicial beating of offenders is not practiced, having been
removed by statute and the findings of higher courts. Hence, it is no
longer among penalties available to judges.

On the other hand, in family life, spanking for offenses still is an
available means of correction of children by parents. However, if
parents choose to use this means of punishment they should note that the
Lord's will is to limit corporal punishment so that the offender not "be
disgraced before thee" (Deut. 25:3). The application of specified
numbers of blows and of an upper limitation is set forth to protect
against dehumanizing. To exceed humane limits either in severity of the
stripes or in their number is revealed as offensive to God.

The use of corporal punishment within Christian families traditionally
has been exercised within the context of prayer to God - that He forgive
us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Physical
punishment must never be an outlet for parental passions of anger and
revenge. If physical blows are used to punish, not only should they not
degrade the offender, but they must bring an end to the rupture in
relationship caused by sin or misdeed. Forgiveness and restoration
urgently must follow upon corporal punishment of children.

While reading the second portion of the passage, the reader should note
that Christ does not even mention false weights and measures. He does
speak against the possession of such things. The principle here is that
God opposes our holding onto any thing that can serve as a temptation to
sin against our brother or sister. Since dishonesty is "an abomination
to the Lord thy God" (vs.16), any device or means of deception is
unworthy among God's people.
In this portion of the reading, we are taught to live as we pray,
beseeching God to lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
(or the evil one). As the Lord Himself teaches: "No man can serve two
masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he
will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and
mammon" (Mt. 6:24).

Listen to St. Maximos the Confessor's wisdom: "If we wish to be rescued
from evil and not enter into temptation, we should have faith in God and
forgive...trespasses...In this way...we shall be victors over the law of
sin....We shall trample underfoot the evil serpent...."

O Christ our God, set in motion within us an insatiable desire for
Thyself, that we may fulfill the Father's will, reflecting always
heavenly blessedness in the conduct of our lives.



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