Saturday, July 21, 2007

21/07/07 Saturday in the week of 7th Sunday after Pentecost


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 Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Today's Scripture

AM Psalm 30, 32; PM Psalm 42, 43
1 Samuel 22:1-23; Acts 13:26-43; Mark 3:19b-35

From Forward Day by Day:

Mark 3:19b-35. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

Abraham Lincoln used these words in 1858 about the United States, divided over slavery. They are as relevant today. We are surrounded by division. The world is divided by religious and ethnic conflict; nations are divided by bickering political parties; churches are divided by social issues; families are divided by bitterness and resentment. We do well to remember division leads to weakness and failure. Where then is there hope in a world of division?

There is hope in this: What unites us is far greater than what divides us. We all love, we all hope, we all hurt. We all dream and struggle. We have all experienced grief and joy.

As family members we are united by love; as a church we are united by faith; as nations we are united by patriotism; as a world we are united by our humanity--a bond that extends beyond race, religion or nationality.

Christians are united by a common set of beliefs far more powerful than the issues that divide us. When tempted to dwell on our differences perhaps we should remember two other ways in which we are all the same. We all sin, and we all seek forgiveness.

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

Speaking to the Soul:

Sojourner Truth

Daily Reading for July 21

Born black and female at the end of the 18th century, Isabella Baumfree had two strikes against her—but only two. To balance the account, she stood six feet tall and had a commanding voice and personality. She used these assets to preach the gospel and for other causes as well. She preached “God’s truth and plan for salvation” in Long Island and Connecticut and arrived in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she met and worked with such abolitionists as William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and Olive Gilbert. Later she went to Washington, met President Lincoln, and spoke before Congress. She spoke about abolition and woman’s suffrage as well as her own experience of slavery. She is best remembered for a speech she gave at a women’s rights conference when she noticed that no one was addressing the rights of black women.

“Dat man ober dar say dat womin needs to be helped over carriages, and lifted ober ditches and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody eber helps me into carriages, or ober muddpuddles, or bigs me any best place. And ain’t I a woman? Look at me. Looka at me arm. I have ploughes and planted and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman.”

From “Sojourner Truth (Isabella Baumfree),” in A Year With American Saints by G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber. Copyright © 2006. Used by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY.
++++++++++ 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 Zeno said, 'If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks.'

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Crossing the Road for One Another

We become neighbours when we are willing to cross the road for one another. There is so much separation and segregation: between black people and white people, between gay people and straight people, between young people and old people, between sick people and healthy people, between prisoners and free people, between Jews and Gentiles, Muslims and Christians, Protestants and Catholics, Greek Catholics and Latin Catholics.

There is a lot of road crossing to do. We are all very busy in our own circles. We have our own people to go to and our own affairs to take care of. But if we could cross the street once in a while and pay attention to what is happening on the other side, we might become neighbours.

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

Day Twenty One - The Three Notes of the Order

Humility, love, and joy are the three notes which mark the lives of Tertiaries. When these characteristics are evident throughout the Order, its work will be fruitful. Without them, all that it attempts will be in vain.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

GOD LONGS FOR WHOLENESS and joy for each of us and for all of creation. When we allow ourselves to be drawn close to God by our own hurts and losses, we will discover the compassion of God’s tender heart. And if we allow ourselves to be shaped by God, we will find our hearts drawn to others who hurt.

- Mary Lou Redding
The Power of a Focused Heart

From page 32 of The Power of a Focused Heart: 8 Life Lessons from the Beatitudes by Mary Lou Redding. Copyright © 2006 by the author. Published by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

"Acting vs. Reacting"

Most people I've known in my lifetime react, they do not act. They spend their whole life reacting to circumstances and always consider themselves the victim of circumstances. Seldom do you see anybody choosing: This is what I want my life to be, and this is the ten-year plan to where the family is going to go.

It was so inspiring to me when some of our young families of the New Jerusalem Community did just that: they decided to hold their level of consumerism in their family at their 1975 salary or whatever it might have been. They decided that was enough to live a comfortable life and any raises that came after that would just be icing. They wouldn't add to their consumption; they would find more ways to be generous and give it away. Now those are people with direction, with purpose, and who are living out of real gospel values, not reacting but acting, choosing, deciding.

from A Man's Approach to God

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

Love follows knowledge of the good

The prophets had a clearer knowledge of God, just as the splendor of sunrise surpasses that of dawn and the first half-light of day. They knew God as the supreme being, eternal, self-subsistent, infinite, the sole origin of all things. Unlike the philosophers, however, they knew him to be the source not only of nature but of grace as well, and the ruler not only of the world but also of the people of God. They knew him as Lord, the most holy, just, good, and great king and judge, of infinite power, wisdom, benevolence, mercy, justice, and love. Yet they had no clear knowledge that God is both one and three, that he is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

It is our privilege that God has revealed to us this divine, incomprehensible, and ineffable mystery, and given us sublime knowledge of himself so that we should love him with the highest, most perfect kind of love. For just as warmth follows the light of the sun, so love follows knowledge of the good. An unknown good cannot possibly be loved, but a known good is loved in proportion to its goodness and our knowledge of it. Now God is infinitely good, he is all goodness, just as the sun is all light and fire is all heat.

Lawrence of Brindisi

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


"Blessed are the poor in spirit." Matthew 5:3

Beware of placing Our Lord as a Teacher first. If Jesus Christ is a Teacher only, then all He can do is to tantalize me by erecting a standard I can not attain. What is the use of presenting me with an ideal I cannot possibly come near? I am happier without knowing it. What is the good of telling me to be what I never can be - to be pure in heart, to do more than my duty, to be perfectly devoted to God? I must know Jesus Christ as Saviour before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of an ideal which leads to despair. But when I am born again of the Spirit of God, I know that Jesus Christ did not come to teach only: He came to make me what He teaches I should be. The Redemption means that Jesus Christ can put into any man the disposition that ruled His own life, and all the standards God gives are based on that disposition.

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount produces despair in the natural man - the very thing Jesus means it to do. As long as we have a self-righteous, conceited notion that we can carry out Our Lord's teaching, God will allow us to go on until we break our ignorance over some obstacle, then we are willing to come to Him as paupers and receive from Him. "Blessed are the paupers in spirit," that is the first principle in the Kingdom of God. The bedrock in Jesus Christ's kingdom is poverty, not possession; not decisions for Jesus Christ, but a sense of absolute futility - I cannot begin to do it. Then Jesus says - Blessed are you. That is the entrance, and it does take us a long while to believe we are poor! The knowledge of our own poverty brings us to the moral frontier where Jesus Christ works.

G. K. Chesterton Day by Day

MANY clever men like you have trusted to civilization. Many clever Babylonians, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilization, what there is particularly immortal about yours ?

'The Napoleon of Notting Hill.'

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

Chapter 42: That No One Speak After Compline

Monastics ought to be zealous for silence at all times,
but especially during the hours of the night.
For every season, therefore,
whether there be fasting or two meals,
let the program be as follows:

If it be a season when there are two meals,
then as soon as they have risen from supper
they shall all sit together,
and one of them shall read the Conferences
or the Lives of the Fathers
or something else that may edify the hearers;
not the Heptateuch or the Books of Kings, however,
because it will not be expedient for weak minds
to hear those parts of Scripture at that hour;
but they shall be read at other times.

If it be a day of fast,
then having allowed a short interval after Vespers
they shall proceed at once to the reading of the Conferences,
as prescribed above;
four or five pages being read, or as much as time permits,
so that during the delay provided by this reading
all may come together,
including those who may have been occupied
in some work assigned them.

When all, therefore, are gathered together,
let them say Compline;
and when they come out from Compline,
no one shall be allowed to say anything from that time on.
And if anyone should be found evading this rule of silence,
let her undergo severe punishment.
An exception shall be made
if the need of speaking to guests should arise
or if the Abbess should give someone an order.
But even this should be done with the utmost gravity
and the most becoming restraint.

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

Saturday, July 21,
2007 The
Martyr Victor of Marseilles
Kellia: Season of Elijah: 3 Kings 18:1-16 LXX
Epistle: Romans
Gospel: St. Matthew 12:30-37

Fear of the Lord: 3 Kings 18:1-16 LXX, especially vss. 3, 4: "Now
Obadiah feared the Lord greatly. And it came to pass when Jezebel smote
the Prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah took a hundred Prophets, and hid
them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water." First,
notice that Obadiah is referred to as "Obadiah the steward" (vs. 3). In
ancient times a steward was a man with responsibility over a house. In
the original Greek, either of two words might be used for a steward,
epitropos - one vested with control, or oikonomos - a manager over a
household . The latter term is used of Obadiah in verse three. In any
household such a position would be significant, but to be the steward of
the royal household represented great trust and substantial power with
respect to the royal goods, activities, and property.

Reasonably, in the midst of a drought, King Ahab proposes to his Steward
that the two of them search out a place where water and grass for the
royal herds might be found (vss. 5,6). Success in the venture would
save a major source of the king's wealth and power. So, he calls his
Steward. Notice the degree of the King's trust in Obadiah, but of
course he does not know that Obadiah, risking the rage of the Queen and
himself (vss. 4,9-10), is hiding a hundred godly men of the Prophets.

So what do we learn knowing that Obadiah "feared the Lord greatly" (vs.
3)? Fear of the Lord becomes important as one encounters the ineffable
God revealed in Scripture. Yet, fear of the Lord, like any fear, covers
the entire spectrum of dread. It ranges from Ahab's murderous hatred
for any one who might honor God, includes polite respect for those who
reverence the Lord, but also may be a fear that will obey God at
whatever cost. Fear of the Lord can embrace a deadly hate for reverence
as well as a profound dread of God. Elijah was quite willing to meet
King Ahab, knowing full well what could be the consequences of doing so
(vs. 15).

Obadiah also knew the depth of the King's hatred for those who might
possibly harbor a fear of the Lord. Notice his report of the King's
efforts to find Elijah (vs. 10). Thus, from the efforts of King Ahab to
find Elijah, there arises in Obadiah a double fear. First, he hesitates
to expose his fear of the Lord before the king who murdered whole
villages of people when he imagined that they might have seen Elijah.
Second, the Steward's genuine fear of the Lord was manifested when he
hastened to meet Elijah, even meeting him alone (vs. 7). The question
now facing Obadiah is how "greatly does he fear the Lord" (vs. 3)? To
what lengths will he go, in the face of likely death, to honor the
great, inward fear of God lodged in his soul?

Of course, he presents a reasonable argument to the great Prophet for
not going to the King himself: "thou ours mere respect or a dread worthy
of being called "great fear of God"?

"Yea, though I walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no
evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they have comforted
me" (Ps. 22:4 LXX).



Post a Comment

<< Home