Monday, April 07, 2008

Daily meditation for April 7, 2008


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 God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Holy God, holy and mighty, you call us together into one communion and fellowship: Open our eyes, we pray, as you opened the eyes of your servant Tikhon, that we may see the faithfulness of others as we strive to be steadfast in the faith delivered to us, that the world may see and know you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be glory and praise unto ages of ages. Amen.

Today's Scripture

AM Psalm 25; PM Psalm 9, 15
Exod. 18:13-27; 1 Pet. 5:1-14; Matt. (1:1-17),3:1-6

From Forward Day by Day:

Exodus 18:13-27. You will surely wear yourself out.

Moses' father-in-law Jethro comes to visit in the wilderness, and observes Moses' long days, as he sits as judge and teacher from morning to night, resolving people's disputes, judging their controversies, answering their questions.

The wise old Bedouin chief disapproves of Moses' long-suffering self importance. "This is not good," Jethro tells him firmly. "You will surely wear yourself out. The task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone." Jethro tells Moses to find help among his people, and that God commands him to do so.

Moses' sense of victimized indispensability might sound familiar to workaholic leaders everywhere.

I confess that in my own ecclesiastical life, I have indulged occasionally in a sense of my martyrdom to process. It is tempting to believe that without me, nothing would get done, and that no one else could do what I do for God.

When we catch ourselves doing this, we need to remember Jethro's stern advice, and stop wearing ourselves out. Moses gave heed to Jethro and delegated to other capable people. Jesus himself called twelve disciples and gave them authority.

God commands us to stop thinking we are called-or allowed-to bear our burdens alone.

Other reflection's on the day's Scripture:

Today we remember:

Psalm 72
Jeremiah 31:10-14, 2 Peter 1:3-11; Matthew 5:3-16

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

Prayers for Easter Season:

O God,
whose blessed Son made himself known
to his disciples in the breaking of bread:
Open the eyes of our faith,
that we may behold him in all his redeeming work;
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and for ever. Amen

Praying for those attending General Convention, 2009:

Speaking to the Soul:

Come, receive the light

Daily Reading for April 7 • Tikhon, Patriarch of Russia, Confessor and Ecumenist, 1925

‘Come, receive the light!’

With these words, the entire church, previously waiting in darkness, lights up in splendour. People’s faces shine. It is Easter midnight. The night said to be brighter than any day. Everyone, young and old, whether born into or received into the Orthodox faith, knows by heart the chant that will be repeated over forty days,the song that colours the yearly cycle: ‘Christ is risen from the dead.’ In an age when we look for ways and moments to celebrate life, Easter marks the feast of feasts. . . .

The cross is indeed the final word. In the paradox of the cross, problems and difficulties do not disappear. They simply appear in a new light. They are appreciated in a new perspective. We know differently. They are perceived in the light of the final age that is to come. We understand that, through them and beyond them all, there exists the invincible power of Christ’s crucified love. The light of the cross is stronger than any darkness in the world.

The Greek word for Easter, Pascha, derives from the Hebrew meaning ‘passover’. The crucifixion and the resurrection are a ‘passing over’ from survival to fullness of life, and from mere life to life in abundance. The tomb of Christ was not empty. It was open! It remains for us an open invitation.

The thunderous response to the Easter greeting is: ‘Christ is truly Risen!’

From Light Through Darkness: The Orthodox Tradition by John Chyrssavgis (Orbis, 2004).


Spiritual Practice of the Day

God must be allowed the right to speak unpredictably.
— Thomas Merton quoted in The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia

To Practice This Thought: Don't put God in a box.
++++++++++ Reflections

In this temple of God, in this Mansion of His, He and the soul alone have fruition of each other in the deepest silence.
St Teresa of Jesus
Interior Castle, III.3

Reading from the Desert Christians


Even if an angel should indeed appear to you, do not receive him
but humiliate yourself, saying, 'I am not worthy to see an angel,
for I am a sinner.'

Apophthegmata Patrum

Daily Meditation from

Meditation for Day 7

For whoever believes
in the power
of the blood of Jesus,
nothing is impossible!

The Lord shall surely
perfect that thing,
that thing
which concerneth thee.

To whoever believes
in the power
of the blood
of the Crucified Lamb,
nothing shall be called impossible!

Blessed be the Lamb
that was slain before
the foundation of the world.

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Friends as Reminders of Our Truth

Sometimes our sorrow overwhelms us so much that we no longer can believe in joy. Life just seems a cup filled to the brim with war, violence, rejection, loneliness, and endless disappointments.

At times like this we need our friends to remind us that crushed grapes can produce tasty wine. It might be hard for us to trust that any joy can come from our sorrow, but when we start taking steps in the direction of our friends' advice, even when we ourselves are not yet able to feel the truth of what they say, the joy that seemed to be lost may be found again and our sorrow may become livable.

Merton Institute for Contemplative Living Weekly Reflection

The parable of the Good Samaritan is a revelation of God in a word that has great importance through all the Scriptures from beginning to the end. It is a revelation of what the prophet Hosea says, speaking for the invisible God, "I will have mercy and not sacrifices." What is this mercy which we find spoken everywhere in the Scriptures, and especially in the Psalms? The Vulgate rings with misericordia as though with a deep church bell. Mercy is the "burden" or the "bourdon," it is the brass bell and under-song of the whole Bible. But the Hebrew word-chesed-which we render as mercy, misericordia, says more still than mercy.

Chesed (mercy) is also fidelity, it is also strength. It is the faithful, the indefectible mercy of God. It is ultimate and unfailing because it is the power that binds one person to another, in a covenant of wills. It is the power that binds us to God because He has promised us mercy and will never fail in His promise. For He cannot fail. It is the power and the mercy which are most characteristic of Him, which come nearer to the mystery into which we enter when all concepts darken and evade us.

Thomas Merton. Seasons of Celebration. (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1950): 175.

Thought for the Day

Each day is a new dawn of that lumen Christi, the light of Christ which knows no setting. Seasons of Celebration: 53.

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

Day Seven - The Second Aim

To spread the spirit of love and harmony

The Order sets out, in the name of Christ, to break down barriers between people and to seek equality for all. We accept as our second aim the spreading of a spirit of love and harmony among all people. We are pledged to fight against the ignorance, pride, and prejudice that breed injustice or partiality of any kind.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

On This Rock
April 7th, 2008
Monday’s Reflection

“YOU ARE PETER, AND ON THIS ROCK I will build my church,” said Jesus to Simon Peter (Matt. 16:18). I had always envisioned this as the rock-strengthened church standing firm against all the onslaughts and batterings of hell’s forces. “Not so,” a scientist who was also a lay minister once told me, “I see that rock of the church not standing still, waiting to be attacked, but thrown by God, flying through the air, crashing into the gates of evil to release those trapped there.” What an insight!

- Flora Slosson Wuellner
Forgiveness, the Passionate Journey

From Forgiveness, the Passionate Journey by Flora Slosson Wuellner. Copyright © 2001 by the author. Published by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

Living in the Now

Question of the day:
Can we come to believe that the Kingdom of God is really now?

God gives us just enough tastes of the Kingdom to believe in it and to want it more than anything. It's always now-and-not-yet.

We only have the first fruits of the Kingdom in this world, but enough to know that it's the only thing that will ever satisfy us. For once you have had the truth, you can't be satisfied with half-truths any more. The Kingdom is the experience of the love of God, the ultimate and real truth.

from Jesus' Plan for a New World

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

The light of day

The Easter festival brings the grace of holiness from heaven to the children of the human race. Through the repeated celebration of the sacred mysteries they receive the spiritual nourishment of the sacraments. Fostered at the very heart of holy Church, the fellowship of one community worships the one God, adoring the triple name of his essential holiness, and together with the prophet sings the psalm which belongs to this yearly festival: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. And what is this day? It is the Lord Jesus Christ himself, the author of light, who brings the sunrise and the beginning of life, saying of himself: I am the light of day; whoever walks in daylight does not stumble. That is to say, whoever follows Christ in all things will come by this path to the throne of eternal light.

Such was the prayer Christ made to the Father while he was still on earth: Father, I desire that where I am they also may be, those who have come to believe in me; and that as you are in me and I in you, so they may abide in us.

Ancient Homily

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


"He charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead." Mark 9:9

Say nothing until the Son of man is risen in you - until the life of the risen Christ so dominates you that you understand what the historic Christ taught. When you get to the right state on the inside, the word which Jesus has spoken is so plain that you are amazed you did not see it before. You could not understand it before, you were not in the place in disposition where it could be borne.

Our Lord does not hide these things; they are unbearable until we get into a fit condition of spiritual life. "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." There must be communion with His risen life before a particular word can be borne by us. Do we know anything about the impartation of the risen life of Jesus? The evidence that we do is that His word is becoming interpretable to us. God cannot reveal anything to us if we have not His Spirit. An obstinate outlook will effectually hinder God from revealing anything to us. If we have made up our minds about a doctrine, the light of God will come no more to us on that line, we cannot get it. This obtuse stage will end immediately [when] His resurrection life has its way with us.

"Tell no man . . " - so many do tell what they saw on the mount of transfiguration. They have had the vision and they testify to it, but the life does not tally with it, the Son of man is not yet risen in them. I wonder when He is going to be formed in you and in me?

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

April 7, August 7, December 7
Chapter 55: On the Clothes and Shoes of the Brethren

Let clothing be given to the brethren
according to the nature of the place in which they dwell
and its climate;
for in cold regions more will be needed,
and in warm regions less.
This is to be taken into consideration, therefore, by the Abbot.

We believe, however, that in ordinary places
the following dress is sufficient for each monk:
a tunic,
a cowl (thick and woolly for winter, thin or worn for summer),
a scapular for work,
stockings and shoes to cover the feet.

The monks should not complain
about the color or the coarseness of any of these things,
but be content with what can be found
in the district where they live and
can be purchased cheaply.

The Abbot shall see to the size of the garments,
that they be not too short for those who wear them,
but of the proper fit.

Let those who receive new clothes
always give back the old ones at once,
to be put away in the wardrobe for the poor.
For it is sufficient if a monk has two tunics and two cowls,
to allow for night wear and for the washing of these garments;
more than that is superfluity and should be taken away.
Let them return their stockings also and anything else that is old
when they receive new ones.

Those who are sent on a journey
shall receive drawers from the wardrobe,
which they shall wash and restore on their return.
And let their cowls and tunics be somewhat better
than what they usually wear.
These they shall receive from the wardrobe
when they set out on a journey,
and restore when they return.

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

Genesis 13:12-18 (4/7) 1st Reading at Vespers, Mon. of the 5th
Week of the Great Fast

The Patriarch Abraham II ~ The Promised Land: Genesis 13:12-18, especially
vs. 18: "And Abram having removed his tent, came and dwelt by the oak of
Mambre, which was in Chebrom, and he there built an altar to the Lord."
From Chapter 12:1-7, the book of Genesis provides a series of readings
concerned with Abram's faith and life. The present passage, Chapter
13:12-18, discloses three ways by which Abram remained open to God's will
during his sojourn in Canaan: 1) he arranged to separate from his nephew,
Lot; 2) he migrated the length of Canaan from Bethel to Hebron to resettle;
and 3) he built an altar to God.

The first eleven verses of Chapter 13 explain the division between Abram and
Lot: their possessions were great, and "the land was not large enough for
them to live together...there was strife between the herdmen of Abram's
cattle, and the herdmen of Lot's cattle" (vss. 6,7). So "Abram said to Lot,
'Let there not be a strife between me and thee, and between my herdmen and
thy herdmen'" (vs. 8). The Patriarch proposed, instead, that Lot choose
whatever territory he favored, and Abram would be satisfied with whatever
region he did not choose. The result: "Lot dwelt in a city of the
neighboring people, and pitched his tent in Sodom" (vs. 12).

Observe Abram's unspoken faith that God's will would be achieved by allowing
his nephew to choose the land he wished. Thus, "Lot, having lifted up his
eyes, observed all the country round about Jordan, that it was all watered"
(vs. 10). The region seemed desirable to him, and so he chose the far
southern plain of the Arabah-rift valley; but Abram waited for God. Notice
the difference between uncle and nephew: "And God said to Abram after Lot
was separated from him, 'Look up with thine eyes, and behold from the place
where thou now art'" (vs. 14). Lot looked for what he thought best, but
Abram looked solely to God for direction.

Abram's faith blessed him to be a peacemaker, to be meek, and to hunger for
the righteous will of God. Abram continued as the "friend of God" (Jas.
2:23). Thus, he inherited the promised land (Mt. 5:5) and saw God in the
visit of the three angels (Gen. 18:1-3). The unfortunate Lot, trusting in
what his eyes showed him, moved to Sodom where the men "were evil, and
exceedingly sinful before God" (Gen. 13:13). In following his own
perceptions instead of God's will, Lot paid a terrible price, losing his
home, wife, and God's blessing. St. Augustine characterizes the mind of
Abram as one which trusted God to show him what to do: "I have believed that
You are God, Who gives to man that which enables him to do as You

When God instructed Abram to "Look up with thine eyes," He showed him the
Promised Land "northward and southward, and eastward and seaward" (vs. 14).
Then, God led Abram to "experience" the land, to walk its length from Bethel
in the north to Hebron in the south, with the promise that "all the land
which thou seest, I will give it to thee and to thy seed for ever" (vs. 15).
To secure Abram's faith, God explained that the seed of Abram would be "like
the dust of the earth" (vs. 16). This was no extravagant figure of speech;
for, in Christ our God- the "Seed" of the righteous Abram - the Patriarch's
descendants are exceedingly numerous (Gal. 3:7).

Finally, notice where the man of faith arrived when he was led by God.
Hebron is the highest point in all of Palestine, over 3,000 feet above sea
level. By contrast, Lot went down to the lowest place in all the earth,
over 1400 feet below sea level. Faith leads us to "seek those things which
are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God" (Col. 3:1).
When God revealed His best, Abram built an altar to God and worshiped. Let
us direct our steps to the altar of the Lord, His highest place, and be
fruitful in peace, meekness, and righteousness.

O Lord, Make straight our path: establish us all in Thy fear; make firm our


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