Saturday, August 18, 2007

18/08/07 Saturday in the week of the 11th Sunday after Pentecost


If you would like these meditations to come directly to your in box, please click here:

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.


Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Almighty God, who gave to your servant William Porcher DuBose special gifts of grace to understand the Scriptures and to teach the truth as it is in Christ Jesus: Grant that by this teaching we may know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Today's Scripture

AM Psalm 107:33-43, 108:1-6(7-13); PM Psalm 33
2 Samuel 16:1-23; Acts 22:17-29; Mark 11:1-11

From Forward Day by Day:

Psalm 108. Grant us your help against the enemy, for vain is the help of man!

The grim headlines for today's lessons might reads "King Cursed While Fleeing," "Absalom Occupies Jerusalem," "Mob Violence at Temple, One Arrest," "Sect Leader Given Warm Welcome for Passover."

Those who cursed David desired to reestablish Saul's kingdom through Absalom, David's estranged son. Having curried the favor and support of this group, Absalom intended to kill his father and assume the throne. David is unsure of God's will and favor as well as the loyalty of those whom he has governed.

Paul, falsely accused by foreign Jews and the target of a death plot, has been taken into Roman custody. While the last headline seems benign, it is the signal
to the religious elite that Jesus must be eliminated. Soon "Hosannas" will be replaced by "Crucify him!"

This is high drama, life and death, each man in a struggle with spiritual and political powers that will impact many lives. Where is God in these circumstances, and what does he require of his chosen?

We know the endings of each of these men whose lives are opened to us in the scriptures. In our own times of uncertainty and questioning we can take heart and model our responses after theirs. Read on!

Today we remember:

William Porcher DuBose:
Psalm 19:7-11(12-14) or 37:3-6,32-33
2 Timothy 1:11-14; Luke 24:25-32

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of San Joaquin (United States)

Speaking to the Soul:

William Porcher DuBose

Daily Reading for August 18 • William Porcher DuBose, 1918

We have our religion through the medium of languages that have been long dead, and that present tendencies in education threaten to render more and more dead to us. Along with the languages, there is a growing disposition to relegate the ideas, the entire symbolic expression and form, of Christianity to the past. The modern world calls for modern modes of thought and modern forms of speech. We have to meet that demand and be able to answer and satisfy whatever of reason or truth there is in it.

There are two tasks before us as students and teachers of Christianity. The first is to know and understand our sources. To begin with, we must know our Old Testament as we have never known it before, if we are to take part in the new interpretation of our New Testament that the times demand. For each time must have its own living interpretation, since the interpretation cannot but be, in half measure at least, relative to the time. If the divine part in it is fixed, the human is progressive and changing just in so far as it is living.

We must cease to treat the phraseology, the forms, definitions, and dogmas of Christianity as sacred relics, too sacred to be handled. We must take them out of their napkins, strip them of their cerements, and turn them into current coin. We must let them do business in the life that is living now, and take part in the thought and feeling and activity of the men of the world of today.

From High Priesthood and Sacrifice by William Porcher DuBose, quoted 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

Scattering a thousand graces, he passed through these groves in haste, and looking on them as he went, with his glance alone, he clothed them in beauty.
St John of the Cross
Spiritual Canticle, 5.

Reading from the Desert Christians

Abba Poemen said of Abba John the Dwarf that he had prayed God to take his passions away from him so that he might become free from care. He went and told an old man this; 'I find myself in peace, without an enemy,' he said. The old man said to him, 'Go beseech God to stir up warfare so that you may regain the affliction and humility that you used to have, for it is by warefare that the soul makes progress.' So he besought God and when warfare came, he no longer prayed that it might be taken away, but said, 'Lord, give me strength for the fight.'

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Our Poverty, God's Dwelling Place

How can we embrace poverty as a way to God when everyone around us wants to become rich? Poverty has many forms. We have to ask ourselves: "What is my poverty?" Is it lack of money, lack of emotional stability, lack of a loving partner, lack of security, lack of safety, lack of self-confidence? Each human being has a place of poverty. That's the place where God wants to dwell! "How blessed are the poor," Jesus says (Matthew 5:3). This means that our blessing is hidden in our poverty.

We are so inclined to cover up our poverty and ignore it that we often miss the opportunity to discover God, who dwells in it. Let's dare to see our poverty as the land where our treasure is hidden.

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

Day Eighteen - The Second Way of Service, cont'd

As well as the devotional study of Scripture, we all recognize our Christian responsibility to pursue other branches of study, both sacred and secular. In particular, some of us accept the duty of contributing, through research and writing, to a better understanding of the church's mission in the world: the application of Christian principles to the use and distribution of wealth; questions concerning justice and peace; and of all other questions concerning the life of faith.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

Created to Love
August 18th, 2007
Saturday’s Reflection

GOD CREATED US for a purpose more astonishing and sublime than we can imagine. Every great Christian theologian and saint has borne witness to this high purpose. The human being is created in the divine image and likeness in order to have continual and intimate communion with the One who made us. We are created to love and be loved by God, born to serve and be served by Christ, destined to enjoy the vitality of the Holy Spirit and in turn receive God’s delight in us forever! Such is God’s good pleasure and our highest bliss.

- Marjorie J. Thompson
The Way of Forgiveness

From page 243 of The Way of Forgiveness, Participant’s Book by Marjorie J. Thompson. Copyright © 2002 by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

"A Week of Prayers: Jesus Is Our Love"

God of life, bless our days. Keep us alive and in love. Keep us listening. Keep us growing, Mother-God. Keep drawing us closer to you. Help our words, Father-God, not get in the way of your Spirit. Help the words we use not become too many or too confusing. Our faith, Holy One, is in you and not in any words or in any teaching. We just want these words to open us up to you and to your Spirit among us.

Help us not to be afraid of Jesus, the companion you have given us for our journey toward you. As St. Bernard prayed, Jesus, you are honey in our mouth. You are music in our ear. You are a leap of joy in our heart.

from from The Price of Peoplehood and Days of Renewal

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

Our will wants God

Our lover is eternity, and has made us for himself alone, has restored us by his blessed passion, and keeps us in his blessed love. And all because he is goodness. Our lover desires indeed that our soul should cleave to him with all its might, and ever hold on to his goodness. Beyond our power to imagine does this most please God, and speed the soul on its course.

The love of God Most High for our soul is so wonderful that it surpasses all knowledge. No created being can know the greatness, the sweetness, the tenderness of the love that our Maker has for us. By his grace and help therefore let us in spirit stand and gaze, eternally marveling at the supreme, surpassing, single-minded, incalculable love that God, who is goodness, has for us. Then we can ask reverently of our lover whatever we will. For by nature our will wants God, and the good will of God wants us. We shall never cease wanting and longing until we possess him in fullness and joy. Then we shall have no further wants. Meanwhile his will is that we go on knowing and loving until we are perfected in heaven.

Julian of Norwich

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


"And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich." Luke 18:23

The rich young ruler went away expressionless with sorrow; he had not a word to say. He had no doubt as to what Jesus said, no debate as to what it meant, and it produced in him a sorrow that had not any words. Have you ever been there? Has God's word come to you about something you are very rich in - temperament, personal affinity, relationships of heart and mind? Then you have often been expressionless with sorrow. The Lord will not go after you, He will not plead, but every time He meets you on that point He will simply repeat - If you mean what you say, those are the conditions.

"Sell all that thou hast," undress yourself morally before God of everything that might be a possession until you are a mere conscious human being, and then give God that. That is where the battle is fought - in the domain of the will before God. Are you more devoted to your idea of what Jesus wants than to Himself? If so, you are likely to hear one of His hard sayings that will produce sorrow in you. What Jesus says is hard, it is only easy when it is heard by those who have His disposition. Beware of allowing anything to soften a hard word of Jesus Christ's.

I can be so rich in poverty, so rich in the consciousness that I am nobody, that I shall never be a disciple of Jesus; and I can be so rich in the consciousness that I am somebody that I shall never be a disciple. Am I willing to be destitute of the sense that I am destitute? This is where discouragement comes in. Discouragement is disenchanted self-love, and self-love may be love of my devotion to Jesus.

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

Chapter 63: On the Order of the Community

Let all keep their places in the monastery
established by the time of their entrance,
the merit of their lives and the decision of the Abbot.
Yet the Abbot must not disturb the flock committed to him,
nor by an arbitrary use of his power ordain anything unjustly;
but let him always think
of the account he will have to render to God
for all his decisions and his deeds.

Therefore in that order which he has established
or which they already had,
let the brethren approach to receive the kiss of peace and Communion,
intone the Psalms and stand in choir.
And in no place whatever should age decide the order
or be prejudicial to it;
for Samuel and Daniel as mere boys judged priests.

Except for those already mentioned, therefore,
whom the Abbot has promoted by a special decision
or demoted for definite reasons,
all the rest shall take their order
according to the time of their entrance.
Thus, for example,
he who came to the monastery at the second hour of the day,
whatever be his age or his dignity,
must know that he is junior
to one who came at the first hour of the day.
Boys, however, are to be kept under discipline
in all matters and by everyone.



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

Saturday, August 18, 2007 The Repose of
John, Abbot of Rila in Bulgaria
Kellia: Ruth 3:1-8 Epistle: 1 Corinthians
1:26-29 Gospel: St. Matthew 20:29-34

A Family Saga ~ Submission: Ruth 3:1-18 LXX, especially vs. 5: "And
Ruth said to her, All that thou shalt say, I will do." In the present
passage, let us recognize a type of the Mystery by which each Christian
is united to Christ: before a Catechumen is exorcised, he is presented
to the Priest by his sponsor, indicating a manifest desire to "flee unto
[God's] Holy Name, and...take refuge under the shelter of [His] wings."
On the Lord's behalf, "the Priest who breathes thrice in the face of the
Catechumen, at the same time making the sign of the Cross thrice upon
his brow and breast, and says, "In the Name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." Then, the Priest lays his hand upon
the candidate's head, acknowledging that he is worthy to be united to
the flock of God's inheritance, bow down also before Him, and submit to
Him as "King and God." Thus all submit to Christ as Bridegroom, opening
the path to "the Bridal chamber."

While Ruth labored as a beggar in the fields of Boaz, she learned the
stature and character of this "near kinsman" (vs. 12), that he was kind
and of great mercy, that he was an honorable man, and that she had found
favor in his sight. Much in the same manner, a Christian inquirer finds
the same to be true of Christ our God - and much, much more. This
discovery prepares one to submit to the prompting of the Holy Spirit Who
directs all the Faithful to Christ (Jn. 15:26), Who, "with His winnowing His hand...will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and
gather His wheat into the barn..." (Mt. 3:17).

In this type, Ruth is instructed by the grace of the Holy Spirit through
Naomi, her mother-in-law. Naomi tells her how she might be espoused to
the godly Boaz: "My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it
may be well with thee?" (Ru. 3:1) St. Augustine notes a like step for
approaching the Church to be joined to the Faithful: "Thou hast made us
for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in

The Moabite woman "came secretly, and lifted up the covering of his
feet" (Ru. 3:7). She modestly placed herself in submission to him,
expressing her readiness to be united to him as his bride and wife.
Each of the Lord's own likewise places himself beneath Christ's feet.
Note: God the Father has seated Christ at His right hand, as He declared
through the Prophet, "till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool" (Mt.
22:44). As Ruth sealed her decision to be no longer a Moabite apart
from God's People, but to prostrate herself at the feet of a son of
Israel, so each Catechumen "renounces Satan" and places himself under
Christ, bowing down before Him.

Notice that when Boaz beheld Ruth's presence at Midnight and identified
who she was, she freely admitted her purpose and begged him to "spread
therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid, for thou art a near relation"
(Ru. 3:9). Her words to him said in effect, As nearest of kin, you are
in the position to marry me, the childless widow of a kinsman who
perished in Moab. As we have already noted, in the Baptismal Mystery,
the Church declares to Christ, through His Priest, that the candidate
"hath been found worthy to take refuge under the shelter of [His]
wings," and become a true member of the Jerusalem that is above (Mt.

In the fashion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the elder Boaz spoke kindly to
Ruth, blessing her and calling her "daughter" (Ru. 3:10), as the Lord
speaks kindly to the souls of all who seek Him. Further, the man
promised the possibility of marriage, but declared that he must fulfill
the Law completely and determine whether a nearer kinsman would not
exercise his right (vs. 13). Likewise, the Lord came "under the law, to
redeem them that were under the law" (Gal. 4:4,5).

I behold Thy bridal chamber, richly adorned, O my Savior; but I have no
wedding garment to worthily enter. Make radiant the garment of my soul
and save me.



Post a Comment

<< Home