26/06/07 Tuesday in the week of the 4th Sunday after Pentecost
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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 Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your lovingkindness; 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 http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/
AM Psalm 97, 99, ; PM Psalm 94, 
1 Samuel 6:1-16; Acts 5:27-42; Luke 21:37-22:13
From Forward Day by Day: http://www.forwardmovement.org/todaysreading.cfm
Luke 21:37-22:13. So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
Peter and John did the cooking. Jesus sent these two to cook, then had all the apostles around him at the table to celebrate the feast. Little did the two cooks know that it would be the most famous meal ever eaten. Later Jesus would say, "I am among you as one who serves." Peter and John had been selected because he honored them, not because he thought they should bear the drudgery of the chore.
This event reminds me of time spent on the altar guild when I would prepare the communion meal in total anonymity. There is something holy in such a preparation which comes without thanks. I can understand the consternation of a French visitor who would not eat "on the fly." A meal to him was a real communion, never a burger wolfed down in a car.
The Last Supper was treasured by Jesus. The choice of Peter and John to do the laborious cooking was treasured as well. When we prepare the meal behind the scenes with no thanks, then we share with them in this time of holiness.
[Sr. Gloriamarie just has to interject... Peter and John made the arrangements certainly, but I have found the Leonardo version of who was present at it hard to beleive. I much prefer this and considering how important were women and children to Jesus, that the following is the more faithful representation: http://www.iol.ie/~duacon/lastsup.jpg )
Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Paraguay (South America)
Speaking to the Soul: http://www.episcopalcafe.com/
Daily Reading for June 26
Solitude is one of the defining features of the wilderness. When one is alone with God two distinct opportunities emerge. In the first place, one can be more attentive to the work of the Holy Spirit inside when freed a while from competing, outside concerns. Oftentimes, God chooses to be subtle, and his subtle activity can go unnoticed if one’s world is full of jabbering televisions or idle chatter. In solitude one comes to know God as an engaging, and often witty, companion on the day’s journey rather than as an occasionally-glimpsed, stern presence. In this way, solitude often has a unique sweetness and beauty.
As one passes through the wilderness on the way back to God, one discovers a new depth and efficaciousness at prayer. Previously one might have thought that prayer consisted in saying things to God and that it trafficked only in words and mental images. In the desert the words and images fall away, and one is left with a simple awareness of God’s presence. The subtle presence of God is as palpable as that of a friend or lover, and yet one does not see God. Rather, it is as though for a moment in the corner of one’s eye one glimpses God passing. One feels caught up in God’s presence and transformed by it.
From From Image to Likeness: The Christian Journey into God by William A. Simpson (Continuum, 1997).
Carmelite.com: Reflections http://www.carmelite.com/spirituality/reflection.php
All things praise You, Lord of all the World!
St Teresa of Jesus
Reading from the Desert Christians http://www.cin.org/dsrtftin.html
Abba Antony said, "I no longer fear God, I love him; for love casts out fear."
Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen) http://www.henrinouwen.org/home/free_eletters/
A Courageous Life
"Have courage," we often say to one another. Courage is a spiritual virtue. The word courage comes from the Latin word cor, which means "heart. A courageous act is an act coming from the heart. A courageous word is a word arising from the heart. The heart, however, is not just the place where our emotions are located. The heart is the centre of our being, the centre of all thoughts, feelings, passions, and decisions.
When the flesh - the lived human experience - becomes word, community can develop. When we say, "Let me tell you what we saw. Come and listen to what we did. Sit down and let me explain to you what happened to us. Wait until you hear whom we met," we call people together and make our lives into lives for others. The word brings us together and calls us into community. When the flesh becomes word, our bodies become part of a body of people.
From the Principles of the Third Society of St. Francis:
Day Twenty Six - The Second Note, cont'd
Therefore, we seek to love all those to whom we are bound by ties of family or friendship. Our love for them increases as their love for Christ grows deeper. We have a special love and affection for members of the Third Order, praying for each other individually and seeking to grow in that love. We are on our guard against anything which might injure this love, and we seek reconciliation with those from whom we are estranged. We seek the same love for those with whom we have little natural affinity, for this kind of love is not a welling up of emotion, but is a bond founded in our common union with Christ.
Upper Room Daily Reflection http://www.upperroom.org/reflections/
WHEN GOD’S PROVIDENCE is hardest to see, faith comes to the forefront — faith that keeps integrity to the dreams God entrusts to us; faith that determines to enact those dreams; faith that understands, by hope in God’s providence, its dreams will not be lost in slavery or prison or perish with bullets or crosses. For faith trusts that dreams, even when given up for dead, will rise.
- John Indermark
Genesis of Grace
From page 107 of Genesis of Grace by John Indermark. Copyright © 1997 by John Indermark. Published by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission. http://www.upperroom.org/bookstore/. Learn more about or purchase this book.
Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection
"Five Great Gifts: Prophethood"
The prophet is the one who speaks with an immediacy, an authority, an insight that is often seen as foresight into the plan of God. The prophet speaks with a special kind of non-institutional authority and tends to be in healthy tension with the apostle. If the apostle is in any sense an institutionalist, the prophet is the iconoclast. In the whole biblical tradition we always see that healthy tension between the priests and the prophets. It is the necessary and ultimately creative tension between David and Nathan (Samuel 12:7) and between Peter and Paul (Galatians 2:11). It is essential, yet most rare, that priests and prophets honor and remain in dialogue with one another’s gifts. They need one another, today perhaps more than ever. The prophet could be compared to the court jester who keeps the king honest and on course. The prophet is the passion, the justice, the truth-speaker of God, especially to all forms of institutional idolatry. They are set up for conflict and rejection (see Matthew 23:34ff.).
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.
Life to me means Christ
In all our actions and thoughts let us be intent more on the love of God than on knowledge and disputation. For love delights the soul and calms the conscience, drawing it away from the enjoyment of lesser delights and from the pursuit of our own glory. Learning without love does not lead to everlasting salvation but puffs up and ends in the most wretched ruin. Let our soul be courageous, then, in undertaking hard tasks for God; let it have the wisdom to savor heavenly things, not earthly; let it long to be enlightened by eternal wisdom and inflamed by that sweet fire that stirs us to love and desire the Creator alone and enables us to spurn all that is transitory. So far as transitory things are concerned, let us take comfort only in the fact that they do not last. In this present age we have no permanent resting place, but are ever seeking one that is to come not made by human hands, and we cry out: Life to me means Christ, and death I regard as a gain.
Richard Rolle, (1300 - 1349) was a hermit and a mystic in England who left us the fruits of his contemplation in writing.
Daily Readings From "My Utmost for His Highest", Oswald Chambers
"We . . . beseech you that ye receive not the grace of God in vain." 2 Corinthians 6:1
The grace you had yesterday will not do for to-day. Grace is the overflowing favour of God; you can always reckon it is there to draw upon. "In much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses" - that is where the test for patience comes. Are you failing the grace of God there? Are you saying - Oh, well, I won't count this time? It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you; it is taking the grace of God now. We make prayer the preparation for work, it is never that in the Bible. Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God. Don't say - I will endure this until I can get away and pray. Pray now; draw on the grace of God in the moment of need. Prayer is the most practical thing, it is not the reflex action of devotion. Prayer is the last thing in which we learn to draw on God's grace.
"In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours" - in all these things manifest a drawing upon the grace of God that will make you a marvel to yourself and to others. Draw now, not presently. The one word in the spiritual vocabulary is Now. Let circumstances bring you where they will, keep drawing on the grace of God in every conceivable condition you may be in. One of the greatest proofs that you are drawing on the grace of God is that you can be humiliated without manifesting the slightest trace of anything but His grace.
"Having nothing . . ." Never reserve anything. Pour out the best you have, and always be poor. Never be diplomatic and careful about the treasure God gives. This is poverty triumphant.
G. K. Chesterton Day by Day
IF the old priests forced a statement on mankind, at least they previously took some trouble to make it lucid. It has been left for the modern mobs of Anglicans and Nonconformists to persecute for a doctrine without even stating it.
Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict http://www.osb.org/rb/
Chapter 19: On the Manner of Saying the Divine Office
We believe that the divine presence is everywhere
and that "the eyes of the Lord
are looking on the good and the evil in every place" (Prov. 15:3).
But we should believe this especially without any doubt
when we are assisting at the Work of God.
To that end let us be mindful always of the Prophet's words,
"Serve the Lord in fear" (Ps. 2:11)
and again "Sing praises wisely" (Ps. 46:8)
and "In the sight of the Angels I will sing praise to You" (Ps. 137:1).
Let us therefore consider how we ought to conduct ourselves
in sight of the Godhead and of His Angels,
and let us take part in the psalmody in such a way
that our mind may be in harmony with our voice.
Dynamis is a daily Bible meditation based upon the lectionary of the Holy Orthodox Church.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007 Apostles
Fast David of Thessalonika
Kellia: Job 3:1-20 Epistle: Romans 14:9-18
Gospel: St. Matthew 12:14-16, 22-30
Anguish: Job 3:1-10, 13-20 LXX, especially vs. 1: "After this Job opened
his mouth, and cursed his day, saying, 'Let the day perish in which I
was born, and the night in which they said, Behold a manchild!'" Always
read during Great and Holy Week, the first two chapters of the Book of
Job explore the character of the Prophet. Repeatedly he is called
"righteous, and godly, abstaining from everything evil" (Job 1:1). Now,
in opening the third chapter, at a cursory reading, one confronts the
startling words quoted above. Knowing what has befallen Job, we hear
the anguished cries of his soul as appearing appropriate for a Prophet;
yet what he says seems totally out of character for one who "did not sin
at all with lips before God" (Job 2:10). The question is, how can he
curse his day of birth, his God-given life? The question is put well by
St. John Chrysostom: "What, then does this signify: 'saying let the day
perish in which I was born'?"
Among the Holy Fathers, one finds two answers to the question. St. John
exhibits one of them: "It is also in his grief that Job spoke. Do you
not see, beloved, that those who are injured pour out great cries? Do
you blame them? Not at all; but we pardon them." The other is taken
from St. Hesychios of Jerusalem: "'Let the day perish in which I was
born'...not the day on which he was made, but that on which he was
born....For God formed me (Gen.2:7) for the good, but Eve, who
transgressed, has delivered me into trouble (Gen.3:16)."
What these two Fathers share is the Biblical assumption of the fallen
state of mankind, Job included. Hence, St. John exclaims on behalf of
the grievously tormented, including Job: "...if they had not expressed
themselves in this way, it would seem as if they do not participate in
human nature." In these words, one hears the voice of the Apostle:
"...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom.3:23).
It is the Holy Spirit Who reveals to us Job as a partaker of the fallen
world, corrupted like ourselves with our common ailment. But note what
captures St. Hesychios' imagination is the disclosure of the Prophet as
a true holy man, one swift to "trample underfoot the appetites of the
passions and occupy [himself] fully with [the] soul." What God made is
good, but within it is "an evil world...we have made for
ourselves...which Job excoriated in his time, as he was godly and true
and abstaining from evil." Job is correct: "let that day and night be
cursed" (Job 3:6).
For St. Hesychios, the Prophet is speaking of the sad state of mankind's
affairs - the world of our making - even as Job speaks of "day and
night" and prays, "let not the Lord regard it from above, neither let
light come upon it" (vs. 4). Should the Lord God regard this day "from
above" (vs. 4), His righteousness by itself would bring "the destruction
of men." The night Job spoke of as darkness is "our enemy and Christ
is Light. Let us receive Him and not grope in the night.
When Job pleads, "let it not come into the days of the year" (vs. 6), he
is referring to "the evangelical time, during which the preaching of
salvation is accomplished," so that "the day of transgression should not
be counted among the benefits given to us by the Savior....let the curse
not spoil, even in part, the blessings which the Savior has vouchsafed
us." Rather, let every anguish we experience "be the cause of [our]
conveyance into the world [the Kingdom] which has been prepared for
[us]" (Mt. 25:34).
How then to answer Job's question: "...why is light given to those who
are in bitterness, and life to the souls which are in griefs?" (Job
3:20). St. Hesychios answers: "to receive the image of God is
happiness, but to linger in this impure life...is not desirable to the
Grant me reverence, estrangement from evil, and perfect discipline, who
am now drowned in the passions of the flesh, estranged from Thee, O
Jesus, Savior of our souls.