Saturday, October 06, 2007

06/10/07 Sat, 18th week 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 God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Almighty God, you planted in the heart of your servant William Tyndale a consuming passion to bring the Scriptures to people in their native tongue, and endowed him with the gift of powerful and graceful expression and with strength to persevere against all obstacles: Reveal to us your saving Word, as we read and study the Scriptures, and hear them calling us to repentance and life; 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 107:33-43, 108:1-6(7-13); PM Psalm 33
2 Kings 19:21-36; 1 Cor. 10:1-13; Matt:8:18-27

Today we remember:

William Tyndale:
Psalm 1 or 15
James 1:21-25; John 12:44-50

From Forward Day by Day:

Matthew 8:18-27. The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.

The kingdom of God is spoken of by Jesus on many occasions. It is not a place so much as state of mind. Its borders extend to this life as well as the next. The kingdom of God is wherever and whenever God is honored as King. It is when God rules our hearts and minds. One can be in the kingdom at the beginning of a sentence and out of it by the end. It is that simple and that subtle, which is what makes it so easy and difficult to enter and remain.

Many of Jesus' teachings are about life in that kingdom, and today's reading is one of them. What I hear him saying is that every point in a spiritual
journey is a good place to be, but there are no stopping places in the kingdom of God. Where you are right now in your relationship with God is a good place because it is the point, indeed the only point, at which you and God can connect. Whether it is a place of joy or pain, God wants you to take the next step deeper into the kingdom, more firmly in God's embrace. Faithful people must keep growing. There were no stopping places for Jesus, and there are none for us either.

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon (Wales)

Speaking to the Soul:

Daily Reading for October 6 • William Tyndale, 1536

Prayer is a mourning, a longing, and a desire of the spirit to God-ward, for that which she lacketh; as a sick man mourneth and sorroweth in his heart, longing for health. Faith ever prayeth. For after that by faith we are reconciled to God, and have received mercy and forgiveness of God, the spirit longeth and thirsteth for strength to do the will of God, and that God may be honoured, his name hallowed, and his pleasure and will fulfilled. The spirit waiteth and watcheth on the will of God, and ever hath her own fragility and weakness before her eyes; and when she seeth temptation and peril draw nigh, she turneth to God, and to the testament that God hath made to all that believe and trust in Christ’s blood; and desireth God for his mercy and truth, and for the love he hath to Christ, that he will fulfil his promise, and that he will succour, and help, and give us strength, and that he will sanctify his name in us, and fulfil his godly will in us, and that he will not look on our sin and iniquity, but on his mercy, on his truth, and on the love that he oweth to his Son Christ; and for his sake to keep us from temptation, that we be not overcome; and that he deliver us from evil, and whatsoever moveth us contrary to his godly will.

Moreover, of his own experience he feeleth other men’s need, and no less commendeth to God the infirmities of other than his own, knowing that there is no strength, no help, no succour, but of God only. And as merciful as he feeleth God in his heart to himself-ward, so merciful is he to other; and as greatly as he feeleth his own misery, so great compassion hath he on other. His neighbour is no less care to him than himself: he feeleth his neighbour’s grief no less than his own.

From “The Parable of the Wicked Mammon” by William Tyndale, quoted in Love’s Redeeming Work: The Anglican Quest for Holiness, compiled by Geoffrey Rowell, Kenneth Stevenson, and Rowan Williams (Oxford, 2001).


Spiritual Practice of the Day

On Toscanini's eightieth birthday, someone asked his son, Walter, what his father considered his most important achievement. The reply was, "For him there can be no such thing. Whatever he happens to be doing at the moment is the biggest thing in his life — whether it is conducting a symphony or peeling an orange."
— Dale Turner in Different Seasons

To Practice This Thought: Stop whatever you are doing and remember that it is the biggest thing in your life. Then return to it.
++++++++++ 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


O strange and inconceivable thing! We did not really die, we were
not really buried, we were not really crucified and raised again,
but our imitation was but a figure, while our salvation is in
reality. Christ was actually crucified, and actually buried, and
truly rose again; and all these things have been vouchsafed to us,
that we, by imitation communicating in His sufferings, might gain
salvation in reality. O surpassing loving-kindness! Christ
received the nails in His undefiled hands and feet, and endured
anguish; while to me without suffering or toil, by the fellowship
of His pain He vouchsafed salvation.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, On the Christian Sacraments.

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Jesus Living Within Us

When we gather around the Eucharistic table and eat from the same bread and drink from the same cup, saying, "This is the Body and Blood of Christ," we become the living Christ, here and now.

Our faith in Jesus is not our belief that Jesus, the Son of God, lived long ago, performed great miracles, presented wise teachings, died for us on the cross, and rose from the grave. It first of all means that we fully accept the truth that Jesus lives within us and fulfills his divine ministry in and through us. This spiritual knowledge of the Christ living in us is what allows us to affirm fully the mystery of the incarnation, death, and resurrection as historic events. It is the Christ in us who reveals to us the Christ in history.

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

Day Six - The First Aim, cont'd

The primary aim for us as tertiaries is therefore to make Christ known. This shapes our lives and attitudes to reflect the obedience of those whom our Lord chose to be with him and sent out as his witnesses. Like them, by word and example, we bear witness to Christ in our own immediate environment and pray and work for the fulfillment of his command to make disciples of all nations.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

A Willing Servant
October 6th, 2007
Saturday’s Reflection

I AM YOUR willing servant, O God. Equip me with your Spirit and lead me into the service you would have me perform as one of the generations of the faithful. Amen.

- Janet S. Helme
The Upper Room Disciplines 2007

From page 292 of The Upper Room Disciplines 2007. Copyright © 2006 and published by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

The Harder Way

We’re not freed from our humanity; we're freed in our humanity. We’re not freed from the flesh, which is what so many of us want; we’re freed in the flesh. It’s a matter of integration, of synthesis. That’s how grace works: in the flesh, in our humanity. Don’t try to climb over it; don’t try to deny it and tunnel underneath it; don’t try to run around it. Go through it. True, it’s the harder way. Both/and is for some reason much more demanding than either/or. It is an easy litmus test to distinguish the beginners from the more mature Christians.

from The Price of Peoplehood

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

No anxiety concerning self

Examine yourself to see whether worldly cares may still have a hold on you; whether you are very preoccupied with feeding and clothing your body, and with your other pursuits and your recreation, as though your own power kept you alive, and you were obliged to make provision for yourself, when you have been commanded to have no anxiety whatever concerning yourself. If you believe that you will receive everlasting, eternal, abiding, and bounteous blessings, how much more should you not believe that God will provide you with these transitory, earthly benefits, which he has given even to impious people and to beasts and birds?

You who have become a stranger to the world ought to possess a faith, an outlook, and a manner of life which has about it something unusual, something different from that of all worldly people. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Macarius of Egypt

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


"When it pleased God . . to reveal His Son in me." Galatians 1:15, 16

If Jesus Christ is to regenerate me, what is the problem He is up against? I have a heredity I had no say in; I am not holy, nor likely to be; and if all Jesus Christ can do is to tell me I must be holy, His teaching plants despair. But if Jesus Christ is a Regenerator, One Who can put into me His own heredity of holiness, then I begin to see what He is driving at when He says that I have to be holy. Redemption means that Jesus Christ can put into any man the hereditary disposition that was in Himself, and all the standards He gives are based on that disposition: His teaching is for the life He puts in. The moral transaction on my part is agreement with God's verdict on sin in the Cross of Jesus Christ.

The New Testament teaching about regeneration is that when a man is struck by a sense of need, God will put the Holy Spirit into his spirit, and his personal spirit will be energized by the Spirit of the Son of God, "until Christ be formed in you." The moral miracle of Redemption is that God can put into me a new disposition whereby I can live a totally new life. When I reach the frontier of need and know my limitations, Jesus says - "Blessed are you." But I have to get there. God cannot put into me, a responsible moral being, the disposition that was in Jesus Christ unless I am conscious I need it.

Just as the disposition of sin entered into the human race by one man, so the Holy Spirit entered the human race by another Man; and Redemption means that I can be delivered from the heredity of sin and through Jesus Christ can receive an unsullied heredity, viz., the Holy Spirit.

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

February 5, June 6, October 6
Chapter 7: On Humility

The eighth degree of humility
is that a monk do nothing except what is commended
by the common Rule of the monastery
and the example of the elders.

Insight for the Ages: A Commentary by Sr Joan Chittister

"It is better to ask the way ten times than to take the wrong road once," a Jewish proverb reads. The eighth degree of humility tells us to stay in the stream of life, to learn from what has been learned before us, to value the truths taught by others, to seek out wisdom and enshrine it in our hearts. The eighth degree of humility tells us to attach ourselves to teachers so that we do not make the mistake of becoming our own blind guides.

It is so simple to become a law unto ourselves. The problem with it is that it leaves us little chance to be carried by others. It takes a great deal of time to learn all the secrets of life by ourselves. It makes it impossible for us to come to know what our own lights have no power to signal. It leaves us dumb, undeveloped and awash in a naked arrogance that blocks our minds, cripples our souls and makes us unfit for the relationships that should enrich us beyond our merit and despite our limitations.

Our living communities have a great deal to teach us. All we need is respect for experience and the comforting kind of faith that it takes to do what we cannot now see to be valuable, but presume to be holy because we see the holiness that it has produced in those who have gone before us in the family and the church.

Saturday, October 6, 2007 Innocent, Metropolitan of Moscow &
Apostle to America
Kellia: Jeremiah 40:1-13 Epistle: 1 Corinthians
15:58-16:3 Gospel: St. Luke 5:27-32

Disaster and Promise: Jeremiah 40:1-13 LXX, especially vs. 12: "Thus
saith the Lord of hosts; There shall yet be in this place that is desert
for want of man and beast, in all the cities thereof, resting-places for
shepherds causing their flocks to lie down." The Prophet Jeremiah paid
dearly for his faithfulness to the word of the Lord. His own people
branded him as a false prophet (Jer. 35:1-4), a deserter (Jer.
44:11-15), and a seditious threat to the nation (Jer. 18:18); but
Jeremiah persisted in preaching repentance and a change of national
policy. He was arrested, beaten, imprisoned, thrown deep into a muddy
cistern to die; but, obedient to God, he still warned five successive
kings, the priests, the prophets, and the people to surrender in the
days of the final siege of Jerusalem. Then, as the country and the city
were decimated and its people starving and mourning the death of so many
of their defenders on the walls, Jeremiah delivered a word of future
healing, peace, and security. His own people must have thought he was a
mad man!

In these verses, God offers His People a safety net against utter
despair. When every earthly thing is stripped away, observe how the
word of the Lord speaks to a total disaster, offering "the promise of
good things to come." Consider: who and what is not in God's hand?
Notice what the Lord says, "I will declare to thee great and mighty
things" (Jer. 40:3). He is speaking to you and to me. Using seven
elements of a painful disaster, God provides seven clear promises. They
are worthy, so read them carefully, for His mercy endureth forever.

1) In the siege of Jerusalem, houses of the city, even "the houses of
the king of Judah" were "pulled down for mounds and fortifications" (vs.
4). Still, God says He will bring "healing and cure" (vs. 6). Whatever
your disaster, the same promise is yours if you will receive it.

2) As the Chaldean onslaught pressed hard against the walls of
Jerusalem, battle and death reigned over the city. Peace and security
were faint memories. Doom was evident, but the Lord gave Jeremiah a
word of hope: "I will heal her, and make both peace and security" (vs.
6). The only true peace and security are found in God, not in weapon
systems or any force of arms.

3) What was evident to all was the coming captivity, deportation of
survivors to Babylon, and the end of their nation. Things and people
leave us. Death bears everything away. Beloved, God has entered death
and trampled it down. This hope is for you: "I will turn the captivity
of Judah, and the captivity of Israel" (vs. 7). In Christ, you have the
promise of Life, not death.

4) Jeremiah everywhere and at all times opposed iniquity, sin, and
revolt against God (vs. 8). What is amazing in this present prophesy
from God is the Lord's promise that "I will cleanse them from all their
iniquities, whereby they have sinned against Me" (vs. 8). Your burden
of sin and mine can be healed and forgiven. Turn to the true God Who
truly heals!

5) Try telling someone stripped of all the good things of this life and
desolate over the loss of a friend, a loved one, home, health, or
employment that in Christ there is joy, praise, peace and glory (vs. 9),
and they are apt to think you are mad. That's the truth Jeremiah spoke.

6) Even before the capture of Jerusalem, the other cities, villages, and
farms were depopulated; herds, vineyards, and crops were taken. The
prospect for the capital city was grim. But God speaks of "gladness, and
the voice of joy, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the
bride, the voice of men saying, Give thanks to the Lord Almighty" (vs. 11).

7) The captivity of the land hovered over the remaining people. But God
promised abundance, "resting-places for shepherds causing their flocks
to lie down" (vs. 12).

Save all Thy People from death, O wise Lord. Deliver me from
encompassing dangers, and grant that I may travel through this life
without offense; and then give me Eternal life.

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