Friday, July 27, 2007

27/07/07 Friday in the week of the Eighth Sunday after 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.


Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

O Lord our God, we thank you for instilling in the heart of your servant William Reed Huntington a fervent love for your Church and its mission in the world; and we pray that, with unflagging faith in your promises, we may make known to all peoples your blessed gift of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Today's Scripture

AM Psalm 40, 54; PM Psalm 51
1 Samuel 31:1-13; Acts 15:12-21; Mark 5:21-43

From Forward Day by Day:

Mark 5:21-43. He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha cum," which means, "Little girl, get up!" And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about.

Several years ago, I visited the remote Scottish island of Iona to see the remnants of a Celtic monastery. While standing in front of a 1200-year-old stone cross I heard a commotion outside a medieval chapel nearby. A fellow visitor informed me that a woman had stumbled and fallen, breaking her leg. Within minutes a helicopter landed and the woman was whisked away to a medical center on the mainland.

In Mark we read of Jesus performing miracles. A woman who has been bleeding for twelve years is healed; a little girl named Talitha is raised from the dead. But where are the miracles in the modern world?

I wonder what the people living in the first century would have thought if they had seen a roaring red machine descend from the sky and bear away an injured woman to a place where she would be healed? Surely they would have called this a miracle. Is it possible that, in looking for miracles, we miss the fact that God surrounds us in our daily lives? Maybe the miracles are everywhere.

Today we remember:

William Reed Huntington
Psalm 133 or 145:8-13
Ephesians 4:11-16 or 1:3-10; John 17:20-26

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Remo (Lagos, Nigeria)

Speaking to the Soul:

A more flexible Prayer Book

Daily Reading for July 27 • William Reed Huntington, Priest, 1909

Three years later at the 1880 Convention, the persistent Dr. Huntington tried again. He proposed a joint committee to consider “whether in view of the fact that this Church is soon to enter upon the second century of its organized existence in this country, the changed conditions of national life do not demand certain alterations in the Book of Common Prayer, in the direction of Liturgical enrichment and increased flexibility of use.” A joint committee, consisting of seven bishops, seven presbyters, and seven laymen, was appointed and ordered to report to the Convention of 1883. . . .

The 1892 Convention was businesslike and determined that nothing would be permitted to set aside or delay the completion of Prayer Book revision. The task was completed by noon, October 11, 1892. The Church had a new Book of Common Prayer. It was a very conservative revision of the Book, especially considering the years of discussion and the number of proposed changes. Unquestionably, the primary force behind the movement for revision was Dr. William Reed Huntington. It was his resolution which had set the process in motion back in 1880. He was secretary of the first joint Committee on Revision which served until 1886 and was the recognized floor leader in the debates on the subject in all five Conventions, 1880-1892. Huntington was respected and admired by his colleagues, not only for his ability but also for his affability and kind consideration of everyone. The Churchman of October 22, 1892, spoke of him as a man of “consummate tact . . . so conciliatory that his very opponents cannot help wishing they could agree with him, even when they are compelled to differ.”

From The Prayer Book Through the Ages by William Sydnor. Copyright © 1978. Used by permission of Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

++++++++++ Reflections

In the evening of this life you will be examined in love. Learn then to love as God desires to be loved and abandon your own ways of acting.
St John of the Cross
Sayings of Light and Love, 60.

Reading from the Desert Christians

(Abba Isaiah) also said 'When God wishes to take pity on a soul and it rebels, not bearing anything and doing its own will, he then allows it to suffer that which it does not want, in order that it may seek him again.'

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

A Window on Our Spiritual Lives

Even though our emotional and spiritual lives are distinct, they do influence one another profoundly. Our feelings often give us a window on our spiritual journeys. When we cannot let go of jealousy, we may wonder if we are in touch with the Spirit in us that cries out "Abba." When we feel very peaceful and "centered," we may come to realise that this is a sign of our deep awareness of our belovedness.

Likewise our prayer lives, lived as faithful response to the presence of the Spirit within us, may open a window on our emotions, feelings, and passions and give us some indication of how to put them into the service of our long journey into the heart of God.

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

Day Twenty Seven - The Second Note, cont'd

The Third Order is Christian community whose members, although varied in race, education, and character, are bound into a living whole through the love we share in Christ. This unity of all who believe in him will become, as our Lord intended, a witness to the world of his divine mission. In our relationship with those outside the Order, we show the same Christ-like love, and gladly give of ouselves, remembering that love is measured by sacrifice.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

The Purpose of Praying
July 27th, 2007
Friday’s Reflection

JESUS’ TEACHING SHOWS that the purpose of our praying is not to provide information to God, as though God were not paying attention to our situation. Nor is prayer our way of giving advice so that God might make the world a better place. Prayer’s ultimate purpose is to deepen our intimacy with a God who wants to be in a personal relationship — one that’s akin to the healthiest, most life-giving affection between parents and children.

- Terry A. DeYoung
The Upper Room Disciplines 2007

From page 220 of The Upper Room Disciplines 2007 by Steve Harper. Copyright © 2006 by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

"Father's Day Cards"

When I was giving priest's retreats in Peru, a sister working in the main prison in Lima told me a story I have never forgotten. She said as Mother's Day was approaching, the prisoners kept asking for Mother's Day cards. She brought card after card so they could write to Mama. As Father's Day approached she decided to be better prepared. She brought in an entire case of Father's Day cards, so she could give them to the prisoners when they asked. She told me that case is still sitting in her office because no one asked for a Father's Day card. She couldn't give them away.

My friend looked at me with tears in her eyes because she understood the source of so much suffering. She realized so many of the men were in prison because they had never been told who they were, they had never been believed in by a man. So they moved into a violent and false masculinity, the destructive masculinity that occurs when one's manhood is not affirmed by other men.

I wonder if the jails and prisons of the world would not be much empties if young boys had true mentors, guides and fathers to bless them and initiate them into manhood.

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.

Weakness becomes strength

Idid not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.Those were strong people who taunted Christ's disciples because their master entered the homes of the sick and ate with them. Why, they asked, does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners? O you strong ones who do not need the doctor! Yours is not the strength of health but of madness! God grant that we may never imitate that kind of strength. We should dread the possibility of anyone wanting to imitate it.

The teacher of humility, who shared our weakness and gave us a share in his own divinity, came to earth in order to teach us the way, even to be the Way himself. It was his humility, above all else, that he impressed upon us. He willingly submitted to baptism at the hands of one of his servants, so that we might learn to confess our own sins and to become weak in order to be truly strong, repeating with the apostle: When I am weak, then I am strong.

Augustine of Hippo

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


"If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine . . ." John 7:17

The golden rule for understanding spiritually is not intellect, but obedience. If a man wants scientific knowledge, intellectual curiosity is his guide; but if he wants insight into what Jesus Christ teaches, he can only get it by obedience. If things are dark to me, then I may be sure there is something I will not do. Intellectual darkness comes through ignorance; spiritual darkness comes because of something I do not intend to obey.

No man ever receives a word from God without instantly being put to the test over it. We disobey and then wonder why we don't go on spiritually. 'If when you come to the altar,' said Jesus, 'there you remember your brother hath ought against you . . . don't say another word to Me, but first go and put that thing right.' The teaching of Jesus hits us where we live. We cannot stand as humbugs before Him for one second. He educates us down to the scruple. The Spirit of God unearths the spirit of self-vindication; He makes us sensitive to things we never thought of before.

When Jesus brings a thing home by His word, don't shirk it. If you do, you will become a religious humbug. Watch the things you shrug your shoulders over, and you will know why you do not go on spiritually. First go - at the risk of being thought fanatical you must obey what God tells you.

G. K. Chesterton Day by Day

THE best men of the Revolution were simply common men at their best. This is why our age can never understand Napoleon. Because he was something great and triumphant, we suppose that he must have been something extraordinary, something inhuman. Some say he was the Devil; some say he was the Superman. Was he a very, very bad man? Was he a good man with some greater moral code? We strive in vain to invent the mysteries behind that immortal mask of brass. The modern world with all its subtleness will never guess his strange secret; for his strange secret was that he was very like other people.

'Charles Dickens.'

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

Chapter 47: On Giving the Signal for the Time of the Work of God

The indicating of the hour for the Work of God
by day and by night
shall devolve upon the Abbot
either to give the signal himself
or to assign this duty to such a careful brother
that everything will take place at the proper hours.

Let the Psalms and the antiphons be intoned
by those who are appointed for it,
in their order after the Abbot.
And no one shall presume to sing or read
unless he can fulfill that office
in such a way as to edify the hearers.
Let this function be performed
with humility, gravity and reverence,
and by him whom the Abbot has appointed.


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

Friday, July 27, 2007 The
Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon
Kellia: 1 Kings 17:28-40
Of the Saint ~ Epistle: 2 Timothy
2:1-10 Gospel: St. John 16:17-16:2

David and Goliath III ~ Humble Trust: 1 Kings 17:28-40 LXX, especially
vs. 32: "And David said to Saul, Let not, I pray thee, the heart of my
lord be dejected within him: thy servant will go, and fight with this
Philistine." Contrasts abound in this passage: the soldiers' fear
contrasts with David's bravery. The men in the trenches are preoccupied
with rewards, but David is distressed at the pagan's defiance of God.
Eliab believes his brother has a perverse and presumptuous desire to see
a battle, while David is ready to present himself for combat. Saul
perceives David as incapable of defeating Goliath, yet David believes
his experience as a shepherd will prevail. Saul attempts to equip
David, which, though humorous, contrasts with David's own concept of how
to prepare and fight. Most of all there is the obvious contrast in size
between David and Goliath along with their respective military experience.

Look carefully at the passage. What fuels these contrasts? Why is
it that David stands out from everyone around him? What in him makes
his responses and his attitude so very different from others? The
account provides the obvious answer: David trusted in God truly and
guilelessly; the others did not. His indignation and his meeting with
King Saul reveal an underlying humble trust in God (Kngs. 17:26,36,37).
David's balanced confidence was neither arrogant nor timorous, but a
dependence supported by noble motives, considered reasoning, and proven
skill. David manifests a most wise and humble trust in God.

Observe the motive of a man who genuinely relies upon God. Speaking of
Goliath to King Saul, David reiterates his concern that "this
uncircumcised Philistine...has defied the army of the living God" (vs.
36). He cannot brook defiance of the Lord in Whom he trusts. Reliance
on God is fundamental to David. He does not even reply to Eliab's
accusation of evil motives (vs. 28). Very simply, "he turned from him
toward another, and he spoke after the same manner" (vs. 30). Trust in
God was so natural for David that he moved through the ranks of Israel's
army seeking fellowship with some other soul who also believed that God
helps His beloved. As he himself said later: "The words of the Lord are
tried in the fire; defender is He of all that hope in Him." (Ps. 17:30
LXX). Let us trust in God with our whole life.

Note that David's faith in God was not contrary to his reason or
experience. His open confidence brought him before the king. When King
Saul questioned his ability to fight with the giant Goliath, David made
a reasonable case for his being delivered "out of the hand of this
uncircumcised Philistine" (1 Kngs. 17:37). "Thy servant was tending the
flock for his father; and when a lion came and a she-bear, and took a
sheep out of the flock, then I went forth after him, and smote him, and
drew the spoil out of his mouth: and as he rose up against me, then I
caught hold of his throat, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant
smote both the lion and the bear, and the uncircumcised Philistine shall
be as one of them" (vss. 34,35,36). As children of God, let us use the
reason our Lord has given us when faced with the insolence of those who
oppose God, always assessing our experience and ability as David did in
preparing to fight for the Lord.

Finally, consider how David's reliance on God shaped his methods. The
ludicrous image of a young man
unable to move in the armor of a huge veteran (vss. 38,39) reminds us to
rely on what God has given us in selecting our methods in answer to His
call. Of Saul's armor, he says, "I shall not be able to go with these"
(vs. 39). He chooses instead what God gave him as a shepherd. And
through these the Lord God would give him victory.

O Master establish in us a reasonable and humble faith in Thee;
strengthen us in hope; perfect us in love; make us honorable members of
Thy Christ, Who gave Himself for us.



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