Saturday, October 13, 2007

13/10/07 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.


Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Today's Scripture

AM Psalm 137:1-6(7-9), 144; PM Psalm 104
Jer. 35:1-19; 1 Cor. 12:27-13:3; Matt. 9:35-10:4

From Forward Day by Day:

Matthew 9:35--10:4. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.

When we are reminded of these words of Jesus we usually think of ourselves as laborers called to join in some service or ministry. That is undoubtedly the main point. But there are other ways to consider the passage.

Think of yourself as a whole farm. Parts of your life are crops ready to be harvested. Other parts of your life are laborers ready to provide service. The laborer in us has time or abilities that we can place in God's service. We have resources we can share, projects and causes in which we can touch the lives of others. But we also have parts of our lives that need the service of others, crops that need another's hand to harvest them. There are teachers from whom we learn, people of art who inspire us, people of insight who challenge and direct us. There are those we must rely on to forgive us, those who pray for us, those who love and understand us, those who encourage us. Our lives do not unfold to their full purpose without them the same way that a crop does not reach its potential without a harvester.

Today we remember:

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Tamale (West Africa)

Speaking to the Soul:

God hears every whisper

Daily Reading for October 13

You know that God is everywhere, which is a great truth; wherever God dwells there is heaven, and you may feel sure that all which is glorious is near His Majesty.

Remember what St Augustine tells us—I think it comes form his Meditations; how he sought God in many places and at last found the Almighty within himself. Do you consider it of slight importance for a soul given to wandering thoughts to realize this truth and to see that it has no need to go to heaven in order to speak to the eternal Father or to enjoy his company? Nor is it requisite to raise the voice to address him, for he hears every whisper, however low.

Teresa of Avila, quoted in The Joy of the Saints: Spiritual Readings throughout the Year, edited by Robert Llewelyn (Templegate, 1988).


Spiritual Practice of the Day

Think about the recognition that has come your way that you truly deserve. Now let it go. Think about what you have received that you really did not deserve. Now give it back. That's right. Give it back. It really isn't yours anyway.
— Rabbi Terry Bookman in The Busy Soul

To Practice This Thought: Let go of all your ego trappings and undeserved praise.

++++++++++ Reflections

It is God Himself who wishes to be the riches, comfort, and delightful glory of the religious.

St John of the Cross

Reading from the Desert Christians


The wicked one, on the watch, carried me off as booty as I lazily
He led my mind into error; he plundered my spirit and snatched
The wealth of Thy grace, this arch robber.
So raise me up, as I am fallen, and summon me, Saviour,
Thou who dost will that all men be saved.

Kontakia of St. Romanos, A Prayer.

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Becoming the Mystical Body of Christ

As we gather around the Eucharistic table and make the death and resurrection of Jesus our own by sharing in the "bread of life" and the "cup of salvation," we become together the living body of Christ.

The Eucharist is the sacrament by which we become one body. Becoming one body is not becoming a team or a group or even a fellowship. Becoming one body is becoming the body of Christ. It is becoming the living Lord, visibly present in the world. It is - as often has been said - becoming the mystical Body of Christ. But mystical and real are the same in the realm of the Spirit.

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

Day Thirteen - The Three Ways of Service

Tertiaries desire to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, whom we serve in the three ways of Prayer, Study, and Work. In the life of the Order as a whole these three ways must each find full and balanced expression, but it is not to be expected that all members devote themselves equally to each of them. Each individual's service varies according to his/her abilities and circumstances, yet the member's personal rule of life includes each of the three ways.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

Reaching Out to God
October 13th, 2007
Saturday’s Reflection

JUST AS WE ARE ABLE to reach out to God with our hearts and minds …, we are able to reach out to God with and through our bodies. For it is through our bodies that we see and experience beauty, love, joy, and peace. It is through our bodies that we know the ecstasy of the divine fire burning in our hearts as we enter more deeply into prayer. It is through our bodies that we meet the One who came in a body to dwell among us, heal us, and help us to know God.

- Daniel Wolpert
Creating a Life with God

From pages 116-117 of Creating a Life with God by Daniel Wolpert. Copyright © 2003 by the author. Published by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

Longing for Wholeness

In the polarity between man and woman, God is able to speak to us powerfully. We don't know what's going to happen. But it's there, in what is opposite, hidden and scary for us: masculinity for the woman and femininity for the man. Contrary to popular opinion, men and women are not merely longing for warm bodies of the opposite sex; they're longing for wholeness. Faithful friendship and true partnership teach us more than a shallow sexual encounter.

As one minister told me after his many mistakes, "It took me a long time to admit that I can help people a lot more from my chair than by jumping in bed with them."

from The Spiritual Family and the Natural Family


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

Lord, save me

Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you upon the water. When the Lord said Come, Peter climbed out of the boat and began to walk on the water. This is what he could do through the power of the Lord; what by himself? Realizing how violently the wind was blowing, he lost his nerve, and as he began to sink he called out, "Lord, I am drowning, save me." When he counted on the Lord's help it enabled him to walk on the water; when human frailty made him failter he turned once more to the Lord, who immediately stretched out his hand to help him, raised him up as he was sinking, and rebuked him for his lack of faith.

Think, then, of this world as a sea, whipped up to tempestuous heights by violent winds. A person's own private tempest will be his or her unruly desires. If you love God you will have power to walk upon the waters, and all the world's swell and turmoil will remain beneath your feet. But if you love the world it will surely engulf you, for it always devours its lovers, never sustains them. If you feel your foot slipping beneath you, if you become a prey to doubt or realize that you are losing control, if, in a word, you begin to sink, say: Lord, I am drowning, save me! Only he who for your sake died in your fallen nature can save you from the death inherent in that fallen nature.

Augustine of Hippo

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


"Moses went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens." Exodus 2:11

Moses saw the oppression of his people and felt certain that he was the one to deliver them, and in the righteous indignation of his own spirit he started to right their wrongs. After the first strike for God and for the right, God allowed Moses to be driven into blank discouragement, He sent him into the desert to feed sheep for forty years. At the end of that time, God appeared and told Moses to go and bring forth His people, and Moses said - "Who am I, that I should go?" In the beginning Moses realized that he was the man to deliver the people, but he had to be trained and disciplined by God first. He was right in the individual aspect, but he was not the man for the work until he had learned communion with God.

We may have the vision of God and a very clear understanding of what God wants, and we start to do the thing, then comes something equivalent to the forty years in the wilderness, as if God had ignored the whole thing, and when we are thoroughly discouraged God comes back and revives the call, and we get the quaver in and say - "Oh, who am I?" We have to learn the first great stride of God - "I AM THAT I AM hath sent thee." We have to learn that our individual effort for God is an impertinence; our individuality is to be rendered incandescent by a personal relationship to God (see Matthew 3:17). We fix on the individual aspect of things; we have the vision - "This is what God wants me to do;" but we have not got into God's stride. If you are going through a time of discouragement, there is a big personal enlargement ahead.


Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

February 12, June 13, October 13
Chapter 10: How the Night Office Is to Be Said in Summer Time

From Easter until the Calends of November
let the same number of Psalms be kept as prescribed above;
but no lessons are to be read from the book,
on account of the shortness of the nights.
Instead of those three lessons
let one lesson from the Old Testament be said by heart
and followed by a short responsory.
But all the rest should be done as has been said;
that is to say that never fewer than twelve Psalms
should be said at the Night Office,
not counting Psalm 3 and Psalm 94.

Insight for the Ages: A Commentary by Sr Joan Chittister

site needs to be updated

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

Saturday, October 13, 2007 New Virgin-Martyr Chrissa (Zlata)
of Meglin in Bulgaria
Kellia: Jeremiah 47:1-6 Epistle: 2 Corinthians
1:8-11 Gospel: St. Luke 6:1-10

Jeremiah's Later Ministry ~ God's Providence: Jeremiah 47:1-6 LXX,
especially vss. 2, 4,5: "And the chief captain of the guard took him,
and said to him, Behold, I have loosed thee from the manacles that were
upon thine hands. If it seems good to thee to go with me to Babylon,
then will I set mine eyes upon thee. But if not, depart; return to
Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon
has appointed governor in the land of Judah." St. John Chrysostom
observes that through the horror, slaughter and violence of Jerusalem's
fall, all of which God foretold and allowed, the Lord firmly told
Jeremiah to "be not troubled then, neither despond, looking unto His
unspeakable providence, which one may see most clearly."

Despite the ardent desire of the hostile officials within the
now-defunct government of Judah who would have put Jeremiah to death,
God spared him for continuing ministry. These enemies threw him down
into a cistern as terror stalked the streets prior to the fall of
Jerusalem. Rescued by Ebed-Melech, he survived the invasion of
Jerusalem also, only to be bound "in manacles in the midst of...those
who were carried to Babylon" (vs. 47:1). Still he was "sheltered in the
shelter of [God's] wings" (Ps. 60:4 LXX). In the words of St. Maximos
the Confessor: the Lord cared for him providentially, "showing...that
divine help is stronger than anything else."

Following the breaching of the walls, the command staff of the king of
Babylon set up their headquarters "in the middle gate" to the city (Jer.
46:3 LXX). The Masoretic text adds a description of the chaos in
Jerusalem, the execution of the nation's nobles, the capture of King
Zedekiah, the death of his children, and his blinding (Jer. 39:4-7 MT).
The Lamentations of Jeremiah describe the starvation of the survivors
(Lam. 1:11 LXX), men and women dead in the streets, young and old,
slaughtered without mercy (Lam. 2:21 LXX). The survivors were rounded
up, put in chains, and led north to the town of Ramah (Jer. 40:1 MT).
From there convoys of prisoners, along with King Zedekiah, were marched
over 800 miles into slave settlements in the lower Mesopotamian valley
(today's southern Iraq). Everywhere fires were burning along with
destruction and looting in the city (Lam. 1:13 LXX).

Providentially, in the midst of the chaos, the Prophet of God was taken
from the court of Judah's royal guard along with others, probably
including even his jailers. Their hands were bound with chains and they
were marched off in a small group to the dispatch center at Ramah; but
there, on orders from the highest Babylonian authority, the captain of
the guard released Jeremiah "to whatsoever places it seems good in thine
eyes to go" (Jer. 47:4). No doubt the Prophet's reputation was well
known to Babylonian intelligence, so that God accomplished the release
of His servant through King Nebuchadnezzar's officials.

Divine providence arranged for Jeremiah even to choose exile with
Ezekiel, Daniel, and others of God's Prophets or to pursue a new life
"in the midst of God's people that was left in the land" (vs. 47:6).
Discerning that the Lord was keeping witnesses in the land, he chose to
remain with the poorest, in whom, no doubt, the Babylonians saw no merit
as slaves.

As always, God's heart goes out to His poor and lost People. He
provided them with His Prophet Jeremiah to help them make right choices,
and, in the person of a Babylonian-appointed governor, Gedaliah, a
fellow member of Israel. The man was a gracious leader under whom the
people could recover. Jeremiah chose to follow Gedaliah, since his
father, Ahikam, earlier had saved the Prophet's life (see Jer. 33:24).
May the Lord provide for you in all your necessities!

Almighty God, our Help and Refuge, without Whom I can do nothing,
assist, direct and provide for me that I may live faithfully, according
to Thy will and to the glory of Thy Name.



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