Monday, October 15, 2007

15/10/07 Mon after 20ith Sunday after Pentecost, Feast of St Theresa of Avila


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.

O God, by your Holy Spirit you moved Teresa of Avila to manifest to your Church the way of perfection: Grant us, we pray, to be nourished by her excellent teaching, and enkindle within us a keen and unquenchable longing for true holiness; through Jesus Christ, the joy of loving hearts, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Today's Scripture

AM Psalm 1, 2, 3; PM Psalm 4, 7
Jer. 36:11-26; 1 Cor. 13:(1-3)4-13; Matt. 10:5-15

From Forward Day by Day:

AM Psalm 1, 2, 3; PM Psalm 4, 7
Jer. 36:11-26; 1 Cor. 13:(1-3)4-13; Matt. 10:5-15

Today we remember:

AM Psalm 1, 2, 3; PM Psalm 4, 7
Jer. 36:11-26; 1 Cor. 13:(1-3)4-13; Matt. 10:5-15

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Church in Tasmania (Extra-Provincial to Australia)

Speaking to the Soul:

Teresa of Avila

Daily Reading for October 15 • Teresa of Avila

Teresa of Avila taught us to pay attention to the potential of our humanity and to the process of growing into the fulfillment of our baptismal promises. Openness to God’s spirit at work in our lives can lead to the transformation of our desires. Eventually, our desires become less and less fragmented and we desire more and more what God desires. Assuming that God desires the well-being of humanity, a person transformed by him then lives in a way that furthers the actualization of that desire of God. Our desires become consonant with God’s. Yet this intensification of personal encounters with God is not a matter of smooth, always ascending biographies. On the contrary, breaks, leaps, bounds, detours, and crises necessarily form a part of this concept of growth and are often the needed impetus toward the next step in the maturation process. “In spiritual growth nothing can be forced. Periods of growth occur, as well as creative incubation periods—containing regressive arrests and progressive spurts of growth.”

The guide on this way of growth, as in all concepts of Christian spirituality, is God, or rather the Holy Spirit. Thus spiritual growth can be more precisely characterized as growth guided by God’s good Spirit. It is growth toward freedom and maturity, particularly freedom from various kinds of dependency and slavery. And it is growth that is progressive, a process beginning with the purgative way, continuing with the illuminative way, leading towards the fulfillment in the unitive way. It is like a science of psychological health. Holiness is true wholeness of the human incarnate spirit.

From “Freedom to Souls: Spiritual Accompaniment According to the Carmelite Tradition” by Michael Plattig, O. Carm., in Tending the Holy: Spiritual Direction Across Traditions, edited by Norvene Vest. Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Spiritual Practice of the Day

There's a whole world of memories out there waiting to be made. Live well, my friend. Stay well. Remember well.
— Macrina Wiederkehr in Gold in Your Memories

To Practice This Thought: Make some new memories today.
++++++++++ Reflections

It used to help me to look at a field, or water, or flowers. These reminded me of the Creator … they awakened me, helped me to recollect myself and thus served as a book.
St Teresa of Jesus
Life, 9.5

Reading from the Desert Christians


I shall speak first about control of the stomach, the opposite to
gluttony, and about how to fast and what and how much to eat. I
shall say nothing on my own account, but only what I have received
from the Holy Fathers. They have not given us only a single rule
for fasting or a single standard and measure for eating, because
not everyone has the same strength; age, illness or delicacy of
body create differences. But they have given us all a single goal:
to avoid over-eating and the filling of our bellies... A clear
rule for self-control handed down by the Fathers is this: stop
eating while still hungry and do not continue until you are

St. John Cassian


Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

The Pillars of the Church

The two main sacraments, baptism and the Eucharist, are the spiritual pillars of the Church. They are not simply instruments by which the Church exercises its ministry. They are not just means by which we become and remain members of the Church but belong to the essence of the Church. Without these sacraments there is no Church. The Church is the body of Christ fashioned by baptism and the Eucharist. When people are baptised in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and when they gather around the table of Christ and receive his Body and Blood, they become the people of God, called the Church.

The Merton Reflection for the Week of October 15, 2007

My own peculiar task in my Church and in my world has been that of the solitary explorer who, instead of jumping on all the latest bandwagons at once, is bound to search the existential depths of faith in its silence, its ambiguities, and in those certainties which lie deeper than the bottom of anxiety. In these depths there are no easy answers, no pat solutions to anything. It is a kind of submarine life in which faith sometimes mysteriously takes on the aspect of doubt when, in fact, one has to doubt and reject conventional and superstitious surrogates that have taken the place of faith. On this level, the division between Believer and Unbeliever ceases to be so crystal clear. It is not that some are all right and others are all wrong: all are bound to seek in honest perplexity. Everybody is an Unbeliever more or less! Only when this fact is fully experienced, accepted and lived with, does one become fit to hear the simple message of the Gospel-or any other religious teaching.
 The religious problem of the twentieth century is not understandable if we regard it only as a problem of Unbelievers and of atheists. It is also and perhaps chiefly a problem of Believers. The faith that has grown cold is not only the faith that the Unbeliever has lost but the faith that the Believer has kept. This faith has too often become rigid, or complex, sentimental, foolish, or impertinent. It has lost itself in imaginings and unrealities, dispersed itself in pontifical and organization routines, or evaporated in activism and loose talk.

Thomas Merton. "Apologies to an Unbeliever" in Faith and Violence. South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968: 213-214.

Thought to Remember:

[A] faith that is afraid of other people is no faith at all. A faith that supports itself by condemning others is itself condemned by the Gospel.

Faith and Violence: 214

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

Day Fifteen - The First Way of Service, cont'd

The heart of our prayer is the Eucharist, in which we share with other Christians the renewal of our union with our Lord and Savior in his sacrifice, remembering his death and receiving his spiritual food.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

Unique Gift to the World
October 15th, 2007
Monday’s Reflection

CREATIVITY USUALLY MEANS the ability to discover or produce something that is new: new solutions to problems, new inventions, new works of art. Yet creativity also can refer to the activity of God’s Spirit within each of us. When you express what is authentic to God’s creative Spirit within you, you bring a unique gift to the world, because no one else can say or do or see the world exactly the way you can.

- Carol Lakey Hess and Marie Hess
Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens

From page 98 of Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens, edited by Dorothy C. Bass and Don C. Richter. Copyright © 2002 by Dorothy C. Bass and Don C. Richter. 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.

Let us always be mindful of Christ's love

If Christ Jesus dwells in a person as his friend and noble leader, that person can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. And I clearly see that if we expect to please him and receive an abundance of his graces, God desires that these graces must come to us from the hands of Christ, through his most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight.

Many, many times I have perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen that we must enter by this gate if we wish his Sovereign Majesty to reveal to us great and hidden mysteries. A person should desire no other path, even if he or she is at the summit of contemplation; on this road one walks safely. All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example.

Teresa of Jesus of Avila

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


"And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2

The key to the missionary message is the propitiation of Christ Jesus. Take any phase of Christ's work - the healing phase, the saving and sanctifying phase; there is nothing limitless about those. "The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world! " - that is limitless. The missionary message is the limitless significance of Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins, and a missionary is one who is soaked in that revelation.

The key to the missionary message is the remissionary aspect of Christ's life, not His kindness and His goodness, and His revealing of the Fatherhood of God; the great limitless significance is that He is the propitiation for our sins. The missionary message is not patriotic, it is irrespective of nations and of individuals, it is for the whole world. When the Holy Ghost comes in He does not consider my predilections, He brings me into union with the Lord Jesus.

A missionary is one who is wedded to the charter of his Lord and Master, he has not to proclaim his own point of view, but to proclaim the Lamb of God. It is easier to belong to a coterie which tells what Jesus Christ has done for me, easier to become a devotee to Divine healing, or to a special type of sanctification, or to the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Paul did not say - "Woe is unto me, if I do not preach what Christ has done for me," but - "Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel." This is the Gospel - "The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!"

G. K. Chesterton:

I AM grown up, and I do not worry myself much about Zola's immorality. The thing I cannot stand is his morality. If ever a man on this earth lived to embody the tremendous text, 'But if the light in your body be darkness, how great is the darkness!' it was certainly he. Great men like Ariosto, Rabelais, and Shakespeare fall in foul places, flounder in violent but venial sin, sprawl for pages, exposing their gigantic weakness, are dirty, are indefensible; and then they struggle up again and can still speak with a convincing kindness and an unbroken honour of the best things in the world: Rabelais, of the instruction of ardent and austere youth; Ariosto, of holy chivalry; Shakespeare, of the splendid stillness of mercy. But in Zola even the ideals are undesirable; Zola's mercy is colder than justice -- nay, Zola's mercy is more bitter in the mouth than injustice. When Zola shows us an ideal training he does not take us, like Rabelais, into the happy fields of humanist learning. He takes us into the schools of inhumanist learning, where there are neither books nor flowers, nor wine nor wisdom, but only deformities in glass bottles, and where the rule is taught from the exceptions. Zola's truth answers the exact description of the skeleton in the cupboard; that is, it is something of which a domestic custom forbids the discovery, but which is quite dead, even when it is discovered.

'All Things Considered.'

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

February 14, June 15, October 15
Chapter 12: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said

The Morning Office on Sunday shall begin with Psalm 66
recited straight through without an antiphon.
After that let Psalm 50 be said with "Alleluia,"
then Psalms 117 and 62,
the Canticle of Blessing (Benedicite) and the Psalms of praise (Ps. 148-150);
then a lesson from the Apocalypse to be recited by heart,
the responsory, the Ambrosian hymn, the verse,
the canticle from the Gospel book,
the litany and so the end.

Insight for the Ages: A Commentary by Sr Joan Chittister

Every Sunday morning, just as day breaks, Benedict asks us to say five specific psalms: Psalm 67 asks for God's continuing blessings, psalm 51 gives voice to our contrition, psalm 118 recounts God's goodness in times past, psalm 62 pours out a longing for God and psalms 148-150 bring the soul to a burst of praise. The structure itself, in other words, models the disposition of the soul before its God. At the beginning of the week, we ask for the energy of grace to go from this sabbath to the next, we acknowledge the struggles of the week before us and the failings of the week that is past, we remember God's eternal fidelity in good times and bad, we recognize publicly that the great desire of our life is the desire for God, whatever else distracts us on the way, and, finally, we give our lives in thanksgiving to the One Who has brought us this far and who is our final goal and our constant hope.

Sunday Lauds in the monastic liturgy is a soul-splitting commitment to go on. The point is that every life needs points along the way that enable us to rise above the petty daily problems, the overwhelming tragedies of our lives and begin again, whatever our circumstances, full of confidence, not because we know ourselves to be faithful, but because our God is.

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

Monday, October 15,
2007 Hieromartyr
Lucian of Antioch
Kellia: Jeremiah 48:11-49:17 Epistle: Philippians
4:10-23 Gospel: St. Luke 9:18-20

Jeremiah's Later Ministry III ~ Seeking God's Will: Jeremiah 48:11-49:17
LXX, especially vss. 2, 3: "Let now our supplication come before thy
face, and pray thou...and let the Lord thy God declare to us the way
wherein we should walk, and the thing which we should do." After the
fall of Jerusalem, a group of refugees witnessed the murder of Gedaliah,
the new Governor appointed by the Babylonians. A wandering band of
former Jewish soldiers freed them from the murderous Ishmael who planned
to sell them as slaves (vs. 48:11-14). The refugees and the ex-soldiers
thought "to go into Egypt," fearing reprisal by the Chaldeans (vss.

In this chaos and uncertainty (vs. 48:17), the entire group came to
Jeremiah asking the Lord to "declare to us the way wherein we should
walk, and the thing which we should do" (vs. 42:2,3). In uncertainty in
your life, have you sought God's direction for you from His counselors
that He might declare to you the way wherein you should walk, and the
thing which you should do? Perhaps you have been accustomed to seeking
advice from friends, family, colleagues, or other informed advisers; but
here is a case study, both simple and profound, that reveals how to seek
a word from the Lord, discern His will, and take godly direction.

The refugees recognized that a word from the Lord would come in a pure
and clear form only through a proven, godly counselor, appointed by God,
accustomed to prayer, and himself well acquainted with the mind of the
Lord (vss. 49:2,3). Although the Prophet Jeremiah had been present
during all that took place after "he came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, and
dwelt in the midst of his people that was left in the land" (Jer. 47:6),
there is no mention in the text of his presence until this inquiry of
him was made by the fleeing refugees (Jer. 49:2). Obviously, he was
considered as a man appointed by God and well acquainted with the Lord's
heart and voice. It was thus that they sought his prayers.

Note that a word from the Lord received by a Prophet is not the private
property of the man. God gives His word through a Prophet for His
People and for their good. As the life of Jeremiah shows, every word
received was shared with God's People. Therefore, Jeremiah was quick to
say, "I will not hide anything from you" (vs. 49:4).

Also, the people understood that they must obey if they asked for a word
from the Lord, and so they said, "whether it be good, or whether it be
evil, we will hearken to the voice of the Lord our God" (vs. 42:6).
They promised they would not equivocate or disobey. If you seek the
counsel of your Priest or Confessor, you are obliged to do what he shows
you to be God's will.

A word from the Lord does not just happen. Jeremiah agreed to pray, to
set their concern before the Lord, and wait upon Him. So he says, "I
will not hide anything from you" (vs. 49:4).
In His grace, when God gives a word, He discloses His will from among
the alternatives. The Lord does not make us guess. In His word through
Jeremiah (vss. 49:10-16), God set forth the alternatives: to go into
Egypt or remain in the land; and He made clear which was the choice for
life and which was for the sword, famine, and death. Listen carefully
to godly counsel!

Knowing our fears and weaknesses, the Lord also encourages us when He
gives a word. In the refugees' case, He assured them, "I Am with you,
to deliver you, and save you" (vs. 42:11).
Finally, observe that God does not mince words in revealing His will.
As in this case, there are always consequences for disobedience (vs.
49:16). Take care to submit yourself to the Lord, and do not "set your
face" to ignore His word if the course proves difficult.

O Lord Jesus Christ, assist me and direct me to Thy divine wisdom and
power that I may accomplish every task faithfully and diligently
according to Thy will and the glory of Thy Name.

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