Daily Meditation 01/30/08
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.
Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; 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 119:49-72; PM Psalm 49, 
Gen. 16:1-14; Heb. 9:15-28; John 5:19-29
From Forward Day by Day: http://www.forwardmovement.org/todaysreading.cfm
John 5:19-29. The hour is coming.
The ancient world had a different understanding of time. There seems to have been tension about when "the hour was coming." Jesus says there is reason to pay attention and cause for concern, but the hour and time may not be the greatest issue.
"What time is it?" and "How much time do we have?" are the wrong questions. The crucial questions are "How do we use our time?" and "For whom is our time given?" Jesus says this matter is simple yet profound: judgment or resurrection. The teachings of Christ and the church portray "the hour" as a time of hope. The last chapter in the last book of the Bible summarizes these days as "healing among the nations." The final images in the Revelation to John are beautiful, lovely, and life-giving.
Furthermore, biblical Greek has two words for time: chronos and kairos. Chronos is tick, tick, tick. Kairos teaches that we also live in God's right time, blessed with an anointed hour, and walk toward the day of consummation. Kairos is the name of the spiritual encounter in prisons for inmates who are burdened with chronos. Their promise is also ours: believe in the completion of God's purpose and wait for the glory of Christ to come.
Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Argentina (Iglesia Anglicana del cono sur de America)
Speaking to the Soul: http://www.episcopalcafe.com/
Humbly I adore thee
Daily Reading for January 30
Humbly I adore thee, Verity unseen,
Who thy glory hidest ’neath these shadows mean;
Lo, to thee surrendered, my whole heart is bowed,
Tranced as it beholds thee, shrined within the cloud.
Taste, and touch, and vision, to discern thee fail;
Faith, that comes by hearing, pierces through the veil.
I believe whate’er the Son of God hath told;
What the Truth hath spoken, that for truth I hold.
O memorial wondrous of the Lord’s own death;
Living Bread, that givest all thy creatures breath,
Grant my spirit ever by thy life may live,
To my taste thy sweetness never-failing give.
Jesus, whom now veiled, I by faith descry,
What my soul doth thirst for, do not, Lord, deny,
That thy face unveiled, I at last may see,
With the blissful vision blest, my God, of thee.
Thomas Aquinas, c. 1260; hymnal version, 1939. Hymn 204 in The Hymnal 1940 (Church Pension Fund, 1940).
Spiritual Practice of the Day http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/
We must remind ourselves that, though our lives are small and our acts seem insignificant, we are generative elements of this universe, and we create meaning with each act that we perform or fail to perform.
— Kent Nerburn in Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace
To Practice This Thought: Discern the swirls of meaning emanating from one of your recent actions.
Carmelite.com: Reflections http://www.carmelite.com/spirituality/reflection.php
We have now, by God’s help, like good gardeners, to make these plants grow and to water them carefully so that they may produce flowers which shall send forth great fragrance to give refreshment to this Lord of ours.
St Teresa of Jesus
Reading from the Desert Christians http://www.cin.org/dsrtftin.html
While the Bridegroom tarried, they slumbered and slept:
Give ear, ye prudent, to our Lord's parable, for it is all light.
All of them slept, both the foolish and the wise --
Which signifies that the good and the wicked die until the
The same sleep comes upon the ten of them, which is as much as to
That death is the same for all creation without distinction.
One was the sleep of the wise and of the foolish,
For one is death, both of the righteous and of sinners.
The good die, as the wise virgins slept;
And the bad die, as the foolish also slept.
Behold, all creation looketh for the coming of the Bridegroom,
Christ, Who cometh at the end with His angels.
But since He hath tarried, all generations slumber and sleep
With the sleep of death, while looking for when He cometh.
A Homily on the Ten Virgins by Mar Jacob, Bishop of Serugh
Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen) http://www.henrinouwen.org/home/free_eletters/
Joy is what makes life worth living, but for many joy seems hard to find. They complain that their lives are sorrowful and depressing. What then brings the joy we so much desire? Are some people just lucky, while others have run out of luck? Strange as it may sound, we can choose joy. Two people can be part of the same event, but one may choose to live it quite differently than the other. One may choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise. The other may choose despair and be destroyed by it.
What makes us human is precisely this freedom of choice.
From the Principles of the Third Society of St. Francis: http://www.tssf.org/textonly/principles.shtml
Day Thirty - The Three Notes
The humility, love and joy which mark the lives of Tertiaries are all God given graces. They can never be obtained by human effort. They are gifts of the Holy Spirit. The purpose of Christ is to work miracles through people who are willing to be emptied of self and to surrender to him. We then become channels of grace through whom his mighty work is done.
Upper Room Daily Reflection http://www.upperroom.org/reflections/
January 30th, 2008
and form me
into a vessel
holding your good news.
- Alive Now
From p. 55 of Alive Now, September/October 2007. Copyright © 2007 by The Upper Room. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission. http://www.upperroom.org/bookstore/.
Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection
Question of the day:
What prevents me from receiving the perfect gaze of God?
To have naked interface with the Ultimate Other is to know one’s self in one’s truest and deepest being. When you allow yourself to be perfectly received, totally gazed upon by the One who knows everything and receives everything, you are indestructible.
If you can learn how to receive the perfect gaze of the Other, to be mirrored by the Other, then the voices of the human crowd, even negative ones, have little power to hurt you. Best of all, as Meister Eckhart has been quoted, “the eyes with which you will look back at God will be the same eyes with which God first looked at you.”
Standing before one, accepting God literally allows you to be composed and gathered into one place. You can be in one place; you can be here, now. You stop always looking over there, for tomorrow’s happiness. Then, and always, “now is the favorable time, today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality
From John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., Tradition Day by Day: Readings from Church Writers. Augustinian Press. Villanova, PA, 1994.
Devotion to prayer
The purpose of prayer is nothing other than to manifest God and self. And this manifestation of God and self leads to a state of perfect and true humility. For this humility is attained when the soul sees God and self. It is in this profound state of humility, and from it, that divine grace deepens and grows in the soul. The more divine grace deepens humility in the soul, the more divine grace can grow in this depth of humility. The more divine grace grows, the deeper the soul is grounded, and the more it is settled in a state of true humility. Through perseverance in true prayer, divine light and grace increase, and these always make the soul grow deep in humility as it reads, as has been said, the life of Jesus Christ, God and man. I cannot conceive anything greater than the manifestation of God and self. But this discovery, that is, this manifestation of God and self, is the lot only of those legitimate sons and daughters of God who have devoted themselves to true prayer.
Angela of Foligno
Daily Readings From "My Utmost for His Highest", Oswald Chambers
THE DILEMMA OF OBEDIENCE
"And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision." 1 Samuel 3:15
God never speaks to us in startling ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand, and we say, "I wonder if that is God's voice?" Isaiah said that the Lord spake to him "with a strong hand," that is, by the pressure of circumstances. Nothing touches our lives but it is God Himself speaking. Do we discern His hand or only mere occurrence?
Get into the habit of saying, "Speak, Lord," and life will become a romance. Every time circumstances press, say, "Speak, Lord"; make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline, it is meant to get me to the place of saying, "Speak, Lord." Recall the time when God did speak to you. Have you forgotten what He said? Was it Luke 11:13, or was it 1 Thess. 5:23? As we listen, our ear gets acute, and, like Jesus, we shall hear God all the time.
Shall I tell my "Eli" what God has shown to me? That is where the dilemma of obedience comes in. We disobey God by becoming amateur providences - I must shield "Eli," the best people we know. God did not tell Samuel to tell Eli; he had to decide that for himself. God's call to you may hurt your "Eli;" but if you try to prevent the suffering in another life, it will prove an obstruction between your soul and God. It is at your own peril that you prevent the cutting off of the right hand or the plucking out of the eye.
Never ask the advice of another about anything God makes you decide before Him. If you ask advice, you will nearly always side with Satan. "Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood."
Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict http://www.osb.org/rb/
Chapter 7: On Humility
The second degree of humility
is that a person love not his own will
nor take pleasure in satisfying his desires,
but model his actions on the saying of the Lord,
"I have come not to do My own will,
but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).
It is written also,
"Self-will has its punishment,
but constraint wins a crown."
Dynamis is a daily Bible meditation based upon the lectionary of the Holy Orthodox Church.
St. Mark 10:11-16 (1/30) For Wed of the 36th Week after
Pentecost (Wed of 31st Week)
Becoming Little Children: St. Mark 10:11-16, especially vs. 15:
"...whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child will
by no means enter it." In this verse, the Lord declares what is
required to have life in Him: if we would have Him take us in His arms,
lay His hands on us, and bless us (vs. 16), we must, before all else,
convert and "become as little children" (Mt. 18:3). In today's Gospel,
the Lord reveals how one may be transformed within to become an
untainted child, handed over to Him and touched by Him (vs. 13). To be
a child again within ourselves, it necessary to strip away all that has
grown up in us to prevent our from coming in innocence to Him (vs. 14).
For what could be of more worth than to receive His blessing and the
laying on of His hands (vs. 16)!
St. John Chrysostom points out that "the soul of a little child is pure
from all the passions." Though we show "him the queen with a diadem, he
prefers her not to his mother clad in rags...and nothing more than
necessary things doth he seek." Furthermore, "The young child is not
grieved at what we are grieved, as at the loss of money and such things
as that, and he doth not rejoice again at what we rejoice, namely, at
these temporal things." The Lord's injunction to become as little
children is given so that we "by choice should practice these things,
which young children have naturally."1 The secret of being little
children lies in recovering our natural, God-given virtues.
Notice that this passage clearly states that children did not come to
the Lord "on their own account." They were "brought to Him" (vs. 13).
To be "brought to Him" one needs "good" parents who can bring us to
Christ. Thus, if we are not borne in the arms of our Mother the Church,
then we shall pursue the virtues of the world - which are not virtues.
Instead, we shall depend on our imperfect, rational minds, and we shall
be led astray. To have good Fathers - which we require - St. Nil Sorsky
declares that the Holy Fathers who followed the Apostles must be the
"main guide for those who wish to be saved and...attain Christian
The Lord sharply corrected His as-yet-unillumined disciples when they
prevented children from coming to Him (vs. 13). Following His example,
let us countermand in ourselves whatever prevents our coming to Him as
innocents (vs. 14). Acquiring pure, simple, natural virtues requires
diligent work directed against all that arises from the sinful self, the
world, and the devils - the attractions that suggest that we should
indulge ourselves. As Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos reminds us: "when
a person struggles to subject his body to his soul and his soul to God,
the virtues of body and soul are produced."3 Let us begin this work, of
restraining and retraining.
Consider: the Lord's desire that "little children" come to Him (vs. 14)
is truly a positive prompting to cultivate those godly virtues that the
Church reveals. Metropolitan Hierotheos provides us with some obvious
starting points: "Self-control and love rid us of impassioned thoughts.
By controlling anger and desire we quickly do away with evil thoughts.
Vigils also contribute a great deal....Let us receive everything with a
good thought. Even if everything is ugly, let us receive it with
equanimity, and then God will right the anomalies of things."4
Every newly awakened Christian who addresses the negative and positive
work spoken of above, discovers the monumental task of coming to Christ
as a little child. Let us not imagine that we can accomplish purity of
life and holiness in our own strength. That fatal delusion will
eventually plunge us into certain despair. Rather, let us be dependent
upon the Church to bring us to Christ, and there learn to receive the
touch of the Lord Jesus' hand, His healing, and His blessing (vs. 16).
The Church gives us birth and helps us put on the new man. St. Gregory
Palamas says, "the deified saints...are engendered by God, God gave them
the power to become children of God."
Burn Thou the thorns of all my transgressions, cleanse my soul, and
hallow my thoughts.5