Friday, October 19, 2007

19/10/07 Fri after 20ith week after Pentecost,Henry Martyn


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 of the nations, you gave your faithful servant Henry Martyn a brilliant mind, a loving heart, and a gift for languages, that he might translate the Scriptures and other holy writings for the peoples of India and Persia: Inspire in us a love like his, eager to commit both life and talents to you who gave them; 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 16, 17; PM Psalm 22
Jer. 38:14-28; 1 Cor. 15:1-11; Matt. 11:1-6

From Forward Day by Day:

Matthew 11:1-6. Are you the one who is to come?

John the Baptist had a particular idea about how the work of God would unfold. He was, like many of us, a little bit right and a lot wrong. John recognized that Jesus was the Messiah, but not that he would be the kind of Messiah he turned out to be. John was angry at people on God's behalf. In God's name he threatened dire consequences and he expected God's Messiah to carry them out. But Jesus came healing instead of hating, teaching instead of thrashing, loving instead of leveling. John was confused. How could God miss a path that was so obvious?

Haven't we all wondered the same things? How could God fail to let this lovely person live longer, fail to punish this evil, fail to reward this goodness? When it seems so clear to us, why does God not do it? The answer, of course, is in Isaiah: " 'Your ways are not my ways,' says the Lord." But it is hard to accept. Let us remember what John did when God failed to take the path that seemed so obvious to John. John did not stop believing, vent his disappointment, or find a more agreeable church. He asked what he, John, had missed. May we remember that humility when God fails to do what seems obvious to us.

Today we remember:

Henry Martyn:
Psalm 98:1-4 or 96:1-7
Isaiah 49:1-6; John 4:22-26

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of The Arctic (Rupert's Land, Canada)

Speaking to the Soul:

Already in heaven

Daily Reading for October 19 • Henry Martyn, Priest, and Missionary to India and Persia, 1812

O send thy light and thy truth, that we may live always near to thee, our God. Let us feel thy love, that we may be as it were already in heaven, that we may do all our work as the angels do theirs. Let us be ready for every work, be ready to go out or come in, to stay or to depart, just as thou shalt appoint. Lord, let us have no will of our own, or consider our true happiness as depending in the slightest degree on anything that can befall us outwardly, but as consisting altogether in conformity to thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A prayer of Henry Martyn (1781-1812), quoted in 2000 Years of Prayer, compiled by Michael Counsell. Copyright © 1999. Used by permission of Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Spiritual Practice of the Day

Keep close to Nature's heart . . . and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
— John Muir quoted in Leather Tramp Journal by Richard Broderick

To Practice This Thought: Spend some quality time outdoors.
++++++++++ Reflections

Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine are the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God Himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me.
St John of the Cross

Reading from the Desert Christians


In the matter of piety, poverty serves us better than wealth, and
work better than idleness, especially since wealth becomes an
obstacle even for those who do not devote themselves to it. Yet,
when we must put aside our wrath, quench our envy, soften our
anger, offer our prayers, and show a disposition which is
reasonable, mild, kindly, and loving, how could poverty stand in
our way? For we accomplish these things not by spending money but
by making the correct choice. Almsgiving above all else requires
money, but even this shines with a brighter luster when the alms
are given from our poverty. The widow who paid in the two mites
was poorer than any human, but she outdid them all.

St. John Chrysostom

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

The Two Sides of One Faith

Our faith in God who sent his Son to become God-with-us and who, with his Son, sent his Spirit to become God-within-us cannot be real without our faith in the Church. The Church is that unlikely body of people through whom God chooses to reveal God's love for us. Just as it seems unlikely to us that God chose to become human in a young girl living in a small, not very respected town in the Middle East nearly two thousand years ago, it seems unlikely that God chose to continue his work of salvation in a community of people constantly torn apart by arguments, prejudices, authority conflicts, and power games.

Still, believing in Jesus and believing in the Church are two sides of one faith. It is unlikely but divine!

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

Day Nineteen - The Third Way of Service - Work

Jesus took on himself the form of a servant. He came not to be served, but to serve. He went about doing good: healing the sick, preaching good news to the poor, and binding up the broken hearted.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

Live Magnificently
October 19th, 2007
Friday’s Reflection

GOD WANTS US to live magnificently. “Offering the obstacles” of our nature for transformation helps us become more freely cooperative with God’s purposes for the world. We are created to be the mediators of God’s own justice, love, wisdom, and creativity in all our relationships: to self, to others, and to the world.

- Robert Corin Morris
Wrestling with Grace: A Spirituality for the Rough Edges of Daily Life

From page 177 of Wrestling with Grace: A Spirituality for the Rough Edges of Daily Life by Robert Corin Morris. Copyright © 2003 by the author. Published by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

Outlaws and Outcasts

Why are we afraid of mentally and physically disabled people? What is it that happens in us when we’re in front of the homeless? What is it that happens to us when we’re close to people of another ethnic group who don’t use our language or jargon? What is it that happens to us when we hear of refugees coming into our cities; when we’re in the presence of an addicted person, a homosexual, a prisoner, or any person who’s failed in our social or economic success system? Why is it that we surround ourselves with other white, middle-class American Catholics? Why do all the others threaten us?

The Lord, in his goodness, offers us a blessing. And many are beginning to recognize it. I think the little ones of this world represent what we are most afraid of within ourselves. We need to embrace them even more than they need to be embraced. As Umberto Eco says in The Name of the Rose, “The people of God cannot be changed until the outcasts are restored to its body.”

from Embracing Christ As Francis Did: In the Church of the Poor

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

Abide in Jesus Christ

Like the stones of a temple, cut for a building of God the Father, you have been lifted up to the top by the crane of Jesus Christ, which is the cross, and the rope of the Holy Spirit. For your faith has drawn you up and charity has been the road leading to God. You are all fellow pilgrims, carrying with you God and his temple; you are bearers of Christ and of holy offerings, decked out in the commandments of Jesus Christ.

And so do not cease to pray for all other people, for there is hope of their conversion and of their finding God. Give them the chance to be instructed, at least by the way you behave. When they are angry with you, be meek; answer their words of pride by your humility, their blasphemies by your prayers, their error by your steadfastness in faith, their bullying by your gentleness. Let us not be in a hurry to give them tit for tat, but, by our sweet reasonableness, show that we are their brothers and sisters. Let us rather be eager to imitate the Lord, striving to be the first in bearing wrongs, in suffering loss, in being despised, so that no weed of the evil one may be found among you; but abide in Jesus Christ in perfect purity and temperance of body and soul.

Ignatius of Antioch

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


"My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36

The great enemy to the Lord Jesus Christ in the present day is the conception of practical work that has not come from the New Testament, but from the Systems of the world in which endless energy and activities are insisted upon, but no private life with God. The emphasis is put on the wrong thing. Jesus said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation, for lo the kingdom of God is within you," a hidden, obscure thing. An active Christian worker too often lives in the shop window. It is the innermost of the innermost that reveals the power of the life.

We have to get rid of the plague of the spirit of the religious age in which we live. In Our Lord's life there was none of the press and rush of tremendous activity that we regard so highly, and the disciple is to be as His Master. The central thing about the kingdom of Jesus Christ is a personal relationship to Himself, not public usefulness to men.

It is not its practical activities that are the strength of this Bible Training College, its whole strength lies in the fact that here you are put into soak before God. You have no idea of where God is going to engineer your circumstances, no knowledge of what strain is going to be put on you either at home or abroad, and if you waste your time in over-active energies instead of getting into soak on the great fundamental truths of God's Redemption, you will snap when the strain comes; but if this time of soaking before God is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in God on the unpractical line, you will remain true to Him what ever happens.

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

February 18, June 19, October 19
Chapter 15: At What Times "Alleluia" Is to Be Said

From holy Easter until Pentecost without interruption
let "Alleluia" be said
both in the Psalms and in the responsories.
From Pentecost to the beginning of Lent
let it be said every night
with the last six Psalms of the Night Office only.
On every Sunday, however, outside of Lent,
the canticles, the Morning Office, Prime, Terce, Sext and None
shall be said with "Alleluia,"
but Vespers with antiphons.

The responsories are never to be said with "Alleluia"
except from Easter to Pentecost.

Insight for the Ages: A Commentary by Sr Joan Chittister

The Navahos wrote,"We felt like talking to the ground, we loved it so." Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "The earth laughs in flowers." Benedict of Nursia wrote, say "alleluia" always, no matter the time of day, no matter the season of life.

The use of the alleluia dates back to the earliest of liturgical formularies, both Jewish and Christian, as an endless, chant of joy. In the Christian community it was an expression of praise and a foretaste of eternal gladness. "We are an Easter people," Augustine wrote, "and Alleluia is our cry."

Benedict of Nursia did not originate the use of the alleluia but one thing he did do was to extend its use to every day of the year except Lent.

The prescription is a telling one. To the Benedictine mind, life in all its long nights and weary days is something to be praised, death is the rivet of joy, there is no end to the positive. Even life in hot fields and drab offices and small houses is somehow one long happy thought when God is its center, and blessings, however rare, however scant, are blessed.

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

Friday, October 19, 2007
John the Wonderworker of Kronstadt
Kellia: Jeremiah 51:24-30 Epistle: Colossians
2:1-7 Gospel: St. Luke 10:1-15

Jeremiah's Later Ministry VII ~ God Warns and Appeals: Jeremiah 51:24-30
LXX, especially vs. 29: "And this shall be a sign to you, that I will
visit you for evil." After this prediction the Lord reveals the
overthrow of Pharaoh Hophra and the invasion of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar
(see vs. 30). These two events occurred between 586 BC and 568 BC.
Hophra was forced to share his throne with one of his officers, Ahmose,
who revolted against him and then reigned jointly with him. Ahmose,
having become the real power of the Egyptian throne, rebelled against
Nebuchadnezzar in 570 BC. As a result, the Babylonians once again
invaded Egypt and then subjugated the country. Then Hophra was
strangled by some of his subjects; thus all portions of the prophecy
were fulfilled. The Lord foretold these events as a sign to those who
persisted in mixing paganism into His worship, and to warn them that
they would "perish by sword and by famine," with the exception of a few
individuals (vs. 27,28).

God is ever willing, amidst all the exigencies of this present life, to
place His word against the proud words of men to see "Whose word shall
stand " (vs. 28). In this passage you have a firm reminder that "the
word of our God abides for ever" (Is. 40:8 LXX), especially in those
epochs when His People have defied Him. Observe that God foretells, in
the prophetic words that follow the opening quote, exactly what would
befall the stubborn rebels who fled to Egypt for safety: they will live
out their lives in Egypt, clinging to pagan errors (Jer. 51:26). They
will experience the very horrors that induced them to flee to Egypt in
the first place (vs. 27). Also, their descendants, a few of whom will
return to Judah, shall know from bitter experience that what God told
them was correct and that they and their fathers erred (vs. 28).

What does God anticipate from His People? "My Name shall no longer be
in the mouth of every Jew to say, The Lord lives, in all the land of
Egypt" (vs. 26). The Lord makes a rather matter of fact statement. If
you are determined to offer incense to the popular goddess, the queens
of the media, then that is what you are going to do rather than to call
on the living Lord God. Jeremiah's is a sad prophecy of a loss of faith
in the Source of truth. The Lord always sees our stubbornness. The
remnant of His People in Egypt were determined to burn incense and pour
out libations. Thus, he says, "Do it! Confirm your vows and perform
your vows!" (vs. 25).

Recall what the refugees feared when they faced the choice of remaining
in their own land or fleeing into Egypt: "the sword, famine and
pestilence" (Jer. 51:17); and recall further that God encouraged them
not to fear these things, but rather to know that "I will grant you
mercy" (Jer. 49:12). But they were a defiant and self-willed people who
knew they were right. Thus, they would fly in the face of the Lord's
prophecy and flee directly into what they feared most. "All the Jews
dwelling in the land of Egypt shall perish by sword and by famine, until
they are utterly consumed" (Jer. 44:27). Their fears were realized - a
sad, but true, fact of history.

The Lord also predicted that they would have survivors, but their
children, having lived for years in great bitterness as refugees, would
know "Whose word" stood the test of time (vs. 28). Beloved of Christ,
do not defy the eternal God. His word shall outlive all the madness in
this world. Do not think that you are smarter than God. He knows all
things from before time and forever. Do not needlessly throw yourself
against the revealed word of God! Do not let your descendants shake
their heads in disbelief at your errors. Our compassionate Lord Jesus
ever ministers to us with an appeal to, "Repent, for the Kingdom of
Heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17).

O Master, preserve pure and unpolluted the garment of incorruption,
wherewith Thou hast endowed us, upholding us inviolate in Thy grace by
the Spirit in Whom Thou hast sealed us



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