Friday, March 28, 2008

Daily Meditation 03/28/08


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.


Almighty Father, who gave your only Son to die for our sins and to rise for our justification: Give us grace so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Today's Scripture

AM Psalm 136; PM Psalm 118
Exod. 13:1-2,11-16; 1 Cor. 15:51-58; Luke 24:1-12

From Forward Day by Day:

John 21:1-14. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach.

This seems the most mysterious of the resurrection appearances.

There is the odd fact that Peter and the others decided to go back to fishing-had they despaired already of their mission? They had worked all night and caught nothing, but at a word from Jesus they cast the net on the other side of the boat and caught so many fish it was a wonder the net did not break.

Personalities come through clearly: perceptive John, the first to recognize Jesus; impetuous Peter, flinging himself into the sea, the first to meet Jesus on the beach. There was the surprising invitation to an outdoor breakfast of bread and fish. A lot going on.

For me, the most enduring image in this crowded scene is Jesus, standing alone on the shore as day is breaking, waiting for his own.

For centuries, Christians have pictured heaven on the far side of the Jordan River, eternal life as dawning beyond the night of our death. Jesus stood on the shore in the first light of day and invited his disciples to join him.

So he awaits us all, on the far side of whatever separates us from him now.

Other reflection's on the day's Scripture:

Today we remember:

March 28 , Friday in Easter Week:

Psalm 116:1-8 or 118:19-24;
Acts 4:1-12; John 21:1-14

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Bungoma (Kenya)

Prayers for Easter Season:

Prayer to the Resurrected Christ who Saves Us

O Jesus, King,
receive my supplication,
and consider my supplication,
as a pledge to You.
For you, O living King,
have gone forth and gone up,
out of Hell,
as Conqueror.

Woe to those who have rejected you;
For, to evil spirits and demons,
You are sorrow,
to Satan and to Death,
You are pain,
To Sin and Hell,
You are mourning.

Yet, joy has come today,
for those who are born anew.
On this great day therefore,
We give great glory to You,
who died and is now alive,
that to all you may give
life and resurrection!
Adapted by David Bennett from Nisibene Hymn 36:17,18, by St. Ephrem the Syrian

Praying for those attending General Convention, 2009:

Speaking to the Soul:

Two springs

Daily Reading for March 28 • Friday in Easter Week

Holy Week is the world’s sacred Winter;
The earth is a widow, the skies are sere,
There’s a sound of scourging and nailing in the vinegary wind;
And the darkness chokes the Son of Man.

But spring, two springs, are coming to the world
From the depths on the third morning:
The lily, the primrose and the daffodil
Will follow the Saviour from the Egypt of soil.

The rejoicing is green and white, the praise is yellow
Because the new Adam has risen alive from the grave;
And the ivy, tying itself round the tree like the old serpent,
Is for us eternal life with God.

Gwenallt, Gwreiddiau, 1959 translated by Patrick Thomas, quoted in A Celtic Primer: The Complete Celtic Worship Resource and Collection, edited and compiled by Brendan O’Malley. Copyright © 2002. Used by permission of Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Spiritual Practice of the Day

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. When people really listen to each other in a quiet, fascinated attention, the creative fountain inside each of us begins to spring and cast up new thoughts and unexpected wisdom.
— Brenda Ueland quoted in Finding What You Didn't Lose by John Fox

To Practice This Thought: Find a creative way — writing, painting, singing — to express something you have heard.
++++++++++ Reflections

In giving us His Son, His only Word (for He possesses no other), God spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word - and He has no more to say ... because what He spoke before to the prophets in parts, He has now spoken all at once by giving us the All who is His Son.
St John of the Cross

Reading from the Desert Christians


Prove your love and zeal for wisdom in actual deeds.

St. Callistus Xanthopoulos

Daily Meditation from

Readings for Day 28

March 28

Psalm 145:1–3 I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. 2 Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

2 Samuel 6:5,14–15 David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals. 14 David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, 15 while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

Luke 18:1–8 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, `Grant me justice against my adversary.' 4 "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, `Even though I don't fear God or care about men, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' " 6 And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Where Mourning and Dancing Touch Each Other

"[There is] a time for mourning, a time for dancing" (Ecclesiastes 3:4). But mourning and dancing are never fully separated. Their "times" do not necessarily follow each other. In fact, their "times" may become one "time." Mourning may turn into dancing and dancing into mourning without showing a clear point where one ends and the other starts.

Often our grief allows us to choreograph our dance while our dance creates the space for our grief. We lose a beloved friend, and in the midst of our tears we discover an unknown joy. We celebrate a success, and in the midst of the party we feel deep sadness. Mourning and dancing, grief and laughter, sadness and gladness - they belong together as the sad-faced clown and the happy-faced clown, who make us both cry and laugh. Let's trust that the beauty of our lives becomes visible where mourning and dancing touch each other.

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

Day Twenty Eight - The Third Note -


Tertiaries, rejoicing in the Lord always, show in our lives the grace and beauty of divine joy. We remember that they follow the Son of Man, who came eating and drinking, who loved the birds and the flowers, who blessed little children, who was a friend of tax collectors and sinners, and who sat at the tables of both the rich and the poor. We delight in fun and laughter, rejoicing in God's world, its beauty and its living creatures, calling nothing common or unclean. We mix freely with all people, ready to bind up the broken-hearted and to bring joy into the lives of others. We carry within them an inner peace and happiness which others may perceive, even if they do not know its source.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

God Works
March 28th, 2008
Friday’s Reflection

GOD CREATES “wide places,” which is to say, God’s grace works for our benefit, guiding, protecting, and instructing us. God gives us grace in our homes. God provides us places — both in childhood and adulthood — that are happy, safe, and peaceful. God reveals God’s self in the splendor of nature, in the carefree locations of childhood. God touches our lives in difficult places, one time converting us, another time saving us from trouble, another time giving us peace and strength. God gives us places of Christian fellowship that help us grow in grace. God helps us when, on occasion, that fellowship breaks down. Places illustrate ways that God both deals with us and helps us; places are both parable and memory.

- Paul E. Stroble
You Gave Me a Wide Place: Holy Places in Our Lives

From pp. 137-138 of You Gave Me a Wide Place by Paul E. Stroble. Copyright © 2006 by the author. Published by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection


Question of the day:
Has the Resurrection taught us to forgive ourselves?

Lamb of God,
we ask that we might be defense-free people,
that we might be able to live a truly disarmed life,
that we might be able to be
secure enough in your love, Jesus,
to be insecure in this world,
to let go, Lord.

Take us close to you today and teach us the truth.
Accept our flaw, Lord, that we cannot accept.
Heal our wound. Forgive that fatal flaw,
Lord, that we cannot forgive.

Help us to forgive ourselves.
None of us has become
who we thought we wanted to be.

Our judgment is not greater than yours.
Free us to forgive what you so readily forgive.
What you have let go of, help us not to hold on to.


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.

Impress your death on my heart

Iwill not pardon the sin in you, I will punish it severely, but I myself will suffer the penalty for you. I will not forgive your debt at no cost, but I myself shall pay it for you. The Lord will repay me, that he might oblige me more. Surely it is a greater mercy of God, a greater clemency of God, a greater generosity of God to pay the price, rather to give himself as the price, than it is to remit the debt. Surely you could have done otherwise, Lord, but you paid the cost that you might commend your love to me in your death for me, that all my heart and my soul might be moved by you, that amazed, trembling, and fainting, I might consider how you died on my behalf.

O love! O charity! O goodness! O kindness of my God! Oh how much you love me, my love, how much you love me! Impress your death on my heart, for this is the heat lifting my soul to you; this is the fountain of water rising up and lifting my soul to eternal life. Your other works, Lord, move me to love you, but your passion leads me to ecstasy, it seizes me and inflames me above myself, so that I am completely dissolved in your love. And you have loved me in such a way that when I will have given all of myself to you, I will have given nothing, because you have given me your full self, my entire God.

Thomas of Villanova, O.S.A.

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


"Let us go into Judea. His disciples say unto Him . . . Goest Thou thither again?" John 11:7-8

I may not understand what Jesus Christ says, but it is dangerous to say that therefore He was mistaken in what He said. It is never right to think that my obedience to a word of God will bring dishonour to Jesus. The only thing that will bring dishonour is not obeying Him. To put my view of His honour in place of what He is plainly impelling me to do is never right, although it may arise from a real desire to prevent Him being put to open shame. I know when the proposition comes from God because of its quiet persistence: When I have to weigh the pros and cons, and doubt and debate come in, I am bringing in an element that is not of God, and I come to the conclusion that the suggestion was not a right one. Many of us are loyal to our notions of Jesus Christ, but how many of us are loyal to Him? Loyalty to Jesus means I have to step out where I do not see anything (cf. Matt. 14:29); loyalty to my notions means that I clear the ground first by my intelligence. Faith is not intelligent understanding, faith is deliberate commitment to a Person where I see no way.

Are you debating whether to take a step in faith in Jesus or to wait until you can see how to do the thing yourself? Obey Him with glad reckless joy. When He says something and you begin to debate, it is because you have a conception of His honour which is not His honour. Are you loyal to Jesus or loyal to your notion of Him? Are you loyal to what He says, or are you trying to compromise with conceptions which never came from Him? "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it."

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

March 28, July 28, November 27
Chapter 48: On the Daily Manual Labor

Idleness is the enemy of the soul.
Therefore the sisters should be occupied
at certain times in manual labor,
and again at fixed hours in sacred reading.
To that end
we think that the times for each may be prescribed as follows.

From Easter until the Calends of October,
when they come out from Prime in the morning
let them labor at whatever is necessary
until about the fourth hour,
and from the fourth hour until about the sixth
let them apply themselves to reading.
After the sixth hour,
having left the table,
let them rest on their beds in perfect silence;
or if anyone may perhaps want to read,
let her read to herself
in such a way as not to disturb anyone else.
Let None be said rather early,
at the middle of the eighth hour,
and let them again do what work has to be done until Vespers.

And if the circumstances of the place or their poverty
should require that they themselves
do the work of gathering the harvest,
let them not be discontented;
for then are they truly monastics
when they live by the labor of their hands,
as did our Fathers and the Apostles.
Let all things be done with moderation, however,
for the sake of the faint-hearted.


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

Genesis 8:4-22 (3/28) 1st Reading at Vespers, Friday of the
3rd Week of the Great Fast

The Flood And Baptism V ~ Entering the New Life: Genesis 8:4-22,
especially vs. 22: "All the days of the earth, seed and harvest, cold
and heat, summer and spring, shall not cease by day or night." Those
who emerge from the waters of the Baptismal Mystery, like those who came
out of the ark after the Great Flood of waters, enter upon a new life, a
life sheltered under God's promises. Feet and hooves, claws and wings
emerged to a cleansed earth assured that life would "not cease by day or
night." Similarly, God promises those who come up from the waters of
Baptism "through the washing of regeneration,"1 a life illumined by the
Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).

How do we realize and obtain the blessings of this reborn life? The
experience of the righteous Noah provides the example: with the eye of a
servant, he watched to discern God's will. He waited upon God's
direction to come out of the ark. When he emerged, his first action was
to worship. Similarly the new life in Christ is lived by watching,
waiting, and worshiping.

As the last of the furious rains ended and the ark rested upon the
mountains of Ararat, Noah watched that he might continue to move in the
will of God. He observed the order of things and their natural
interaction that he might see God's hand at work. He opened a window in
the ark to the new life beyond and observed. Just as then, the way we
watch makes a difference.

St. Nikiphoros the Hesychast tells of St. Antony seated at prayer on a
desert mountain. Suddenly and urgently, St. Antony sent two monks with
water "along the road leading to Egypt," to find two men there, one who
had died and another about to die because of thirst. When St.
Nikiphoros was asked why St. Antony did not dispatch relief sooner, he
answered that the decision about death rested with God, not Antony.
That the miracle happened was because the Saint "kept his heart
watchful, and so the Lord showed him what was happening a long way off."2

Great shifts and changes happen around us continually in all aspects of
life: physical, social, and spiritual. Most of these, being beyond our
control, begin and end with God. The first work of a servant of Christ
for realizing the fullness of regeneration is to "look unto the hands of
[our] master[s]" (Ps. 122:2), to discern what God is doing, how He is
calling us to act. Such watchfulness must be continuous; otherwise, the
heart may be wounded and our birth into the new life in Christ will be
disrupted, injured, and possibly still-born.

As Noah watched, he tested the conditions. He sent out a raven and then
a dove. Each of these brought him signs that "the water had ceased from
off the earth" (Gen. 8:8). Still Noah waited (vss. 10,12), and as he
waited, in the words of the Baptismal Liturgy, God "didst send unto them
that were in the ark of Noah [His] dove, bearing in its beak a twig of
olive, the token of reconciliation and of salvation from the flood, the
foreshadowing of the mystery of grace."3

Observe: Noah waited for God, and only when the Lord spoke did the
Patriarch leave the ark. The combination of waiting, watching, and
testing is essential to discern God's will fully, for the enemy
constantly sows both good and evil thoughts to distract us from God's
highest and best. Let us wait for God, for He alone leads us in truth
and teaches us (Ps. 24:5).

And when God directed Noah to leave the ark, the first thing the
Patriarch did was to make a "holocaust offering" to the Lord, a
sacrifice in which the entire animal was consumed by fire, to signify
the total surrender of self to God. Regeneration in Christ requires
total worship and full surrender of the self. The heart must say:
"Thine own of Thine own we offer unto Thee, on behalf of all and for
all,"4 by which we give self totally to the will of God in all our ways.

We have put Thee on, O Christ our God. Teach us to watch and wait for
Thee alone, O merciful One, that we may be victors even unto the end,
through Thy crown incorruptible.


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