Sunday, October 14, 2007

14/10/07 20ith 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.


Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; 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 146, 147; PM Psalm 111, 112, 113
Jer. 36:1-10; Acts 14:8-18; Luke 7:36-50

From Forward Day by Day:

Luke 17:11-19. But the other nine, where are they?

One of the most important lessons I learned in school was the difference between reasons and excuses. We were allowed to give reasons for not doing well, but we were not allowed to equate them with excuses. Excuses implied that we were not responsible for outcomes, but if we had accepted responsibility there was no way to change that. It was and remains a hard lesson.

There may have been good reasons why the nine healed lepers did not return to give thanks. Too busy telling friends and family the good news, too many tasks put on hold since the illness, or maybe coming back to Jesus after going to the priest was out of their way. All reasons, but no excuses.

We who receive are responsible for expressing thanks, not because God needs a pat on the back but because we need to acknowledge our dependence on God and our interdependence with others. Those who do not take time or trouble to express thanks to God and our fellow humans run the risk of delusions of self--sufficiency. Consider for a moment all of the people we rely on for food, clothing, and shelter to say nothing of love and friendship. Add life itself
and grace, forgiveness and a capacity for joy--and you see why we must be thankful to be whole.

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Tanga (Tanzania)

Speaking to the Soul:

Love what is true

Daily Reading for October 14 • The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

The soul that truly loves God loves all good, seeks all good, protects all good, praises all good, joins itself to good people, helps and defends them, and embraces all the virtues: it only loves what is true and worth loving.

Do you think it possible that one who truly loves God cares, or can care, for vanities, or riches, or worldly things, or pleasures or honours? Neither can such a soul quarrel or feel envy, for it aims at nothing save pleasing the Beloved. It dies with longing for his love and gives its life in striving how to please him better.

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

"Tell us, Lover! Do you possess riches?"
"Yes," he replied, "I have love."
"Do you possess poverty?"
"Yes," he replied, "because my love is not as great as it should be."
— Ramon Lull quoted in God Hunger by John Kirvan

To Practice This Thought: Increase your love by expressing your affection for someone or something or somewhere new.
++++++++++ Reflections

It is very important for us to realise that God does not lead us all by the same road…
St Teresa of Jesus
Way, 17.2

Reading from the Desert Christians


The roof of any house stands upon the foundations and the rest of
the structure. The foundations themselves are laid in order to
carry the roof. This is both useful and necessary, for the roof
cannot stand without the foundations and the foundations are
absolutely useless without the roof - no help to any living
creature. In the same way the grace of God is preserved by the
practice of the commandments, and the observance of these
commandments is laid down like foundations through the gift of
God. The grace of the Spirit cannot remain with us without the
practice of the commandments, but the practice of the commandments
is of no help or advantage to us without the grace of God.

St. Symeon the New Theologian

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Really Present

Where is Jesus today? Jesus is where those who believe in him and express that belief in baptism and the Eucharist become one body. As long as we think about the body of believers as a group of people who share a common faith in Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus remains an inspirational historical figure. But when we realise that the body Jesus fashions in the Eucharist is his body, we can start to see what real presence is. Jesus, who is present in the gifts of his Body and Blood, becomes present in the body of believers that is formed by these gifts. We who receive the Body of Christ become the living Christ.

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

Day Fourteen - The First Way of Service -


Tertiaries seek to live in an atmosphere of praise and prayer. We aim to be constantly aware of God's presence, so that we may indeed pray without ceasing. Our ever deepening devotion to the indwelling Christ is a source of strength and joy. It is Christ's love that inspires us to service, and strengthens us for sacrifice.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

Set Our Hearts
October 14th, 2007
Sunday’s Reflection

WHEN WE SET OUR HEARTS on being faithful to the “one thing” for which God has gifted and called us, the clutter that can sometimes block our view disappears. We can see which tasks and involvements are consistent with our primary gifts and values and which ones need to fall away in order to free time and energy for what matters most: doing God’s will.

- Mary Lou Redding
The Power of a Focused Heart: 8 Life Lessons from the Beatitudes

From page 83 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

A Transitional Generation

We are in a transitional time, a hopeful bridge-building generation. Maybe every age is. Most little people born onto this planet have known that they are first the children of their parents and the parents of their children. We always stand in-between. We hold hands tightly and gratefully, and know that we must finally let go. That is the fate of all humans. It is humble, partial, a mere link in a universal chain of being. For most folks it has been enough, and it is amazing that we baby boomers ever thought it would be different for us.

All philosophy of progress, self-actualization and Yankee-can-do aside, we are overwhelmed by the amount of death and depression in our society. We are obviously mere tracings in a much larger history and a Mystery where only an Eternal God draws the final lines. That's not a copout; it's not denial. It's the most courageous yes a human being can offer. After Gulf wars for oil, catastrophic worldwide poverty and Churches which run from the gospel themselves, it might be the only yes that we can utter—and the only yes that will finally make a difference.

Let's try. It's the only life that we have on this planet. I am content to build bridges which the next generation might possibly walk on. I am happy and even freed to be part of a merely transitional generation.

from Radical Grace, “A Transitional Generation”

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

The power of the cross

Unknown strangers, poorly dressed and without contacts, traveled all over the world proclaiming someone who had been crucified, and offering a life of fasting in place of drunkenness, and irksome self-restraint in place of sensuality. It can hardly have been easy for those addicted to such vices to receive these exhortations to renounce them and live upright lives. And yet whole peoples seized upon this teaching, whole nations embraced it.

What was the treasure the apostles cherished? The power of the cross. He who sent them had given them no gold — that is to be found in the courts of kings. Instead he gave them something kings are incapable of acquiring — he gave mortal men the power to raise the dead and cure the sick. Compare the earth of kings with that of the apostles; notice the difference in the nobility they both possess: the king enjoys great renown; the apostles are humble but, mortal men though they are, they do the works of God by the power of God. They raise the dead, give sight to the blind, make the lame walk, cure lepers, and by these signs banish infidelity and implant faith. Disbelief in the face of these miracles recorded in scripture would be truly astonishing.

Eusebius of Emesa

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


"All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations." Matthew 28:18-20

The basis of missionary appeals is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the heathen. We are apt to look upon Our Lord as One Who assists us in our enterprises for God. Our Lord puts Himself as the absolute sovereign supreme Lord over His disciples. He does not say the heathen will be lost if we do not go; He simply says - "Go ye therefore and teach all nations." Go on the revelation of My sovereignty; teach and preach out of a living experience of Me.

"Then the eleven disciples went . . unto a mountain where Jesus had appointed them." v. 16. If I want to know the universal sovereignty of Christ, I must know Him for myself, and how to get alone with Him; I must take time to worship the Being Whose Name I bear. "Come unto Me" - that is the place to meet Jesus. Are you weary and heavy laden? How many missionaries are! We banish those marvellous words of the universal Sovereign of the world to the threshold of an after-meeting; they are the words of Jesus to His disciples.

"Go ye therefore. . . ." Go simply means live. Acts 1:8 is the description of how to go. Jesus did not say - Go into Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, but, "Ye shall be witnesses unto Me" in all these places. He undertakes to establish the goings.

"If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you. . . " - that is the way to keep going in our personal lives. Where we are placed is a matter of indifference; God engineers the goings.

"None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself . . ." That is how to keep going till we're gone.

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

February 13, June 14, October 14
Chapter 11: How the Night Office Is to Be Said on Sundays

On Sunday
the hour of rising for the Night Office should be earlier.
In that Office let the measure already prescribed be kept,
namely the singing of six Psalms and a verse.
Then let all be seated on the benches in their proper order
while the lessons and their responsories are read from the book,
as we said above.
These shall be four in number,
with the chanter saying the "Glory be to the Father"
in the fourth responsory only,
and all rising reverently as soon as he begins it.

After these lessons
let six more Psalms with antiphons follow in order, as before,
and a verse;
and then let four more lessons be read with their responsories
in the same way as the former.

After these let there be three canticles
from the book of the Prophets,
as the Abbot shall appoint,
and let these canticles be chanted with "Alleluia."
Then when the verse has been said
and the Abbot has given the blessing,
let four more lessons be read,
from the New Testament,
in the manner prescribed above.

After the fourth responsory
let the Abbot begin the hymn "We praise You, O God."
When this is finished
the Abbot shall read the lesson from the book of the Gospels,
while all stand in reverence and awe.
At the end let all answer "Amen,"
and let the Abbot proceed at once
to the hymn "To You be praise."
After the blessing has been given,
let them begin the Morning Office.

This order for the Night Office on Sunday
shall be observed the year around,
both summer and winter;
unless it should happen (which God forbid)
that the brethren be late in rising,
in which case the lessons or the responsories
will have to be shortened somewhat.
Let every precaution be taken, however,
against such an occurrence;
but if it does happen,
then the one through whose neglect it has come about
should make due satisfaction to God in the oratory.

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.

Sunday of the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council Tone
3 October 14, 2007
Kellia: Jeremiah 47:13-48:10 Epistle:
Galatians 1:11-19
Gospel: St. Luke 8:5-15 (see the Index of Readings for the Readings of
the Sunday of the Holy Fathers)

Jeremiah's Later Ministry II ~ Trust and Treachery: Jeremiah 47:13-48:10
LXX, especially vs. 48:1, 2: "Now it came to pass in the seventh month
that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah the son of Elishama of the seed royal,
came, and ten men with him, to Gedaliah to Mizpah: and they ate bread
there together. And Ishmael rose up, and the ten men that were with
him, and smote Gedaliah, whom the king of Babylon had appointed governor
over the land." Ishmael's act was a crime of utter treachery. Well
does Isaiah the Solitary counsel us to guard our conscience: "In the
fear of God let us keep our attention fixed within ourselves, until our
conscience achieves its freedom. Then there will be a union between it
and us, and thereafter it will be our guardian, showing us each thing
that we must uproot. But if we do not obey our conscience, it will
abandon us and we shall fall into the hands of our enemies, who will
never let us go."

Jeremiah contrasts Ishmael, who disdained God and ignored the promptings
of his conscience, with the Governor, Gedaliah, a trustworthy servant of
God who guarded well his conscience, kept faith with his fellow men, and
walked in the fear of God. Be warned to heed your conscience and fear
God. As Abbot Nazarius reminds us, there shall "come a time when we
shall be judged not according to the book of knowledge and
understanding, but according to the book of conscience." Are you ready
to stand before the dread judgment seat of Christ?

The Chaldeans placed great trust in Gedaliah, whom "the king of Babylon
had appointed...governor in the land" and "the leaders of the host that
was in the country, they and their men, committed to him the men and
their wives whom Nebuchadrezzar had not removed to Babylon" (Jer.
47:7). Jeremiah, free to go where he would in the land of Judah, also
chose to live at Mizpah with Gedaliah (Jer. 47:6). "And all the Jews
that were in Moab, and among the children of Ammon, and those that were
in Idumea, and those that were in all the rest of the country, heard
that the king of Babylon had granted a remnant to Judah, and that he had
appointed over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam. And they came to
Gedaliah into the land of Judah...and gathered grapes, and very much
summer fruit, and oil" (Jer. 47:11,12).

People will not place their lives in the hands of just any man. To
receive trust, you must show that you are worthy of trust, a person of
conscience whose word is reliable, and whose moral judgment is balanced
and fair. All the evidence reveals that Gedaliah's conscience led him
to keep the commandments scrupulously. Notice: although he was warned
of Ishmael's plan to murder him, still he would not permit a preemptive
murder to defend himself (Jer. 47:16). Being of a pure heart himself,
he disdained Ishmael's threat of treachery in order to keep the solemn
obligation of hospitality to a visitor. Thus when Ishmael came they
"ate bread there together" (vs. 48:1). St. Maximos the Confessor, in
the spirit of Gedaliah, likewise challenges us to keep "a clear
conscience [that] cannot be charged with the breaking of a commandment."

Ishmael, on the other hand, revealed a complete lack of conscience.
Without compunction he violated the sacred covenant of hospitality,
murdering his host (vs. 48:2). He slew all others present at the same
dinner (vs. 48:3). Feigning grief at the loss of the Temple, he
welcomed seventy pilgrims on behalf of Gedaliah whom he'd murdered (vs.
48:6). Then he kill them (vs. 48:7). Out of greed he allowed ten of
the group to live, to gain their supplies (vs. 48:8). He took captives,
including Jeremiah, apparently to sell them all into slavery (vs.
48:10). When intercepted, he ran from justice (vs. 48:15). God save us
from such death of soul!

O Christ Savior, cleanse us from all wiles and wickedness, deliver us
from the power of the evil one, and lead us into the Kingdom of Thy
love, that we may be co-heirs with the Saints.



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