Saturday, April 26, 2008

Episcopal Solitaries

Announcing a new email list for Episcopal Solitaries.

We Episcopal Solitaries are people who seek to give our lives to the
Lord in a form of vowed religious life. Many of us may have tested
our vocations with various religious communities or orders, lay
organizations and were frustrated as we could not find the right fit
or because we care for family members. The Episcopal Church has
provided another way, the path of the Episcopal Solitary.

Membership to this list is reserved for canonically recognized
Episcopal Solitaries, explorers interested in becoming a Solitary or
who those who assist in the discernment process such as spiritual
directors and clergy, etc. It is hoped that this list will serve as a
resource for the Episcopal Church.

My name is Sr Gloriamarie Amalfitano, a canonically recognized
Episcopal Solitary in San Diego, CA. When going through the process of
becoming a Solitary, I felt very much as if I were reinventing the
wheel as no one had done this in my diocese in a very long time. There
are more and more of us exploring this path and so I thought to create
a place where we could come together to share our journeys.

On the website, I have gathered resources in the Files and Links
sections that have been of help to me such as the relevant canons and
liturgy. Articles on discernment, writing a personal rule, FAQs (a
work in progress) are offered. It is hoped that members of this list
would also suggest valuable additions.

About the Daill Meditaion and the Rule of St Benedict

This is my blog and even I can't find the things I am looking for!! The Daily Meditation and the postings about Rule of St Benedict are taking up too much space so from now on, if these offerings have meaning to you, please sing onto the lists designed for them: Knitternun Meditation and Mere Benedictines.

Knitternun Meditation is a no chat list. The only things that get posted there are the meditation and maybe something about the day's saint. To subscribe, pleased go here:

Mere Benedictines is a fairly inactive list, not a lot of traffic. Both the Daily Meditation and the bits about the Rule of St Benedict are posted there. To subscribe, please go here:

Thank you.

Daily Meditation for 04/26/08


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 God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Today's Scripture

AM Psalm 75, 76; PM Psalm 23, 27
Lev. 23:23-44; 2 Thess. 3:1-18; Matt. 7:13-21

From Forward Day by Day:

Matthew 7:13-21. Enter through the narrow gate&the road is easy that leads to destruction.

In C. S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters, an experienced demon advises his nephew Wormwood on leading humans to damnation. He warns Wormwood to avoid dramatic choices that might alert his human to danger: "The safest road to Hell is the gradual one...soft underfoot."

Matthew likewise warns that "the road is easy that leads to destruction." We must avoid the easy way, and strive to enter "through the narrow gate." My daily walk takes me to the edge of town, with a grand view of Sun Mountain. Once a man on a bicycle stopped and asked me if there were a way to the top on a paved road. He seemed discouraged when I told him no, that the way to the summit was by a narrow dirt trail. Our culture encourages us to seek short-cuts, easy routes to our goals. If we are trying to follow Jesus, there will be plenty of easy roads to forgo. The Christian life offers abundant opportunity for renunciation, perseverance, and discipline.

However, beyond the narrow gate there is wide room for joy, for in God's mercy awaits unimaginable recompense for any sacrifice the narrow way requires.

Other reflection's on the day's Scripture:

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Central Newfoundland (Canada, Canada)

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:

Let nothing trouble you

Daily Reading for April 26

Given the reality of medieval office politics (as real for us in the twenty-first century as it was in the thirteenth), Hadewijch offered two main pieces of advice: “be on your guard against instability” and “never abandon the true life of good works.” Hadewijch seems to understand how easy it is to lose one’s center, and how detrimental that can be to one’s spirituality. She writes, “For there is nothing so able and so quick to separate you from our Lord as instability.” As an antidote, she gives us a sort of mantra with a warning attached.

“Whatever troubles may come to you, do not commit the folly of believing that you are set for any other goal than the great God Himself, in the fullness of His being and His love; do not let folly or doubt deflect you from any good practice which can lead you to this goal. If you will confide yourself to His love, you will soon grow to your full stature, but if you persist in doubting, you will become sluggish and grudging, and everything which you ought to do will be a burden to you. Let nothing trouble you [as Teresa of Avila will also advise three centuries later], do not believe that anything which you must do for Him whom you seek will be beyond your strength, that you cannot surmount it, that it will be beyond you. This is the fervor, this is the zeal which you must have, and all the time your strength must grow.”

From Wisdom from the Middle Ages for Middle-Aged Women by Lisa B. Hamilton. Copyright © 2007. Used by permission of Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


Spiritual Practice of the Day

Apologies are the art of spiritual housekeeping. They help to put and keep our lives in order.
— Julia Cameron in God Is No Laughing Matter

To Practice This Thought: Apologize to someone.

An Excerpt from Our Stories Remember: American Indian History, Culture, and Values by Joseph Bruchac

Native American Joseph Bruchac offers wise explanations of this way of life. Here is a story about the importance of attention in the search for plants.

"As with hunting and fishing, there is a proper way to harvest plants. For example, one should never pick the first medicine plant you see, but make certain there are plenty of others. Even then, you do not pick too many or take the largest one. Before you gather any plant, you must speak to it, ask its permission, and offer a gift — such as some tobacco or beads. Then, when you reach for that plant, it will seem to leap you�re your hand. But if you mind is in the wrong place, if you are angry or confused or in a hurry, the medicine plants will hide from you. You cannot hear the medicine voice.

An Abenaki friend of mine went to get sweetgrass from a spot near the road where her late father had planted it years ago. She was in a hurry to get there and get back. She parked the car, got out, and wandered around for an hour trying to find the sweetgrass. Finally, sadly, she concluded that someone had pulled it all up or it had been killed by the road crews spreading salt. But when she told her mother about it, her mother's response was 'Get the car.' The two of them went back, and my friend parked right where she had been before. Her mother got out first. 'Look here,' her mother said. There was the sweetgrass, growing right next to the car."
++++++++++ Reflections

Prayer of a soul enkindled with love. My Way is the way of trust and love.
St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Reading from the Desert Christians


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." 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"
and again, "Sing praises wisely" and "In the sight of the Angels I
will sing praise to Thee." Let us therefore consider how we ought
to conduct ourselves in the 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.

St. Benedict

Daily Meditation from

No pictured likeness of my Lord
I have;
He carved no record
of His ministry
on wood or stone,
He left no sculptured tomb
nor parchment dim
but trusted for all memory of Him
the heart alone.

Who sees the face but sees in part;
Who reads the spirit which it hides,
sees all;
he needs no more.

Thy life in my life, Lord,
give Thou to me;
and then, in truth,
I may forever see
my Master's face!
William Hurd Hillyer

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Question from Above

What are spiritual questions? They are questions from above. Most questions people ask of Jesus are questions from below, such as the question about which of a woman's seven husbands she will be married to in the resurrection. Jesus does not answer this question because it comes from a legalistic mind-set. It is a question from below.

Often Jesus responds by changing this question. In the case of the woman with seven husbands he says, "At the resurrection men and women do not marry Ö have you never read what God himself said to you: 'I am God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob?' He is God not of the dead but of the living" (Matthew 22:23-30).

We have to keep looking for the spiritual question if we want spiritual answers.

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

Simple Gifts
April 26th, 2008
Saturday’s Reflection

O HIGH AND LOFTY ONE who inhabits eternity, who sees backward and forward from our brief lives and far beyond our small communities, help us to notice your many simple but essential gifts that all your children share in common — thread, bread, water, family — and challenge us to build on those similarities when we are tempted to fight over our differences. Amen.

- Jim Melchiorre
Novena in Time of War: Soul-Searching Prayers and Meditations

From pp. 35-36 of Novena in Time of War by Jim Melchiorre. Copyright © 2007 by the author. Published by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

Letting Go

Question of the day:
What in my life leaves me poor, humble, and empty?

When all of our idols are taken away, all our securities and defense mechanisms, we find out who we really are. We're so little, so poor, so empty—sometimes, even so ugly.

But God takes away our shame, and we are able to present ourselves to God poor and humble. Then we find out who we are and who God is for us.

from The Great Themes of Scripture

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

The upward movement

Christ is risen! He has burst open the gates of hell and let the dead go free; he has renewed the earth through the members of his Church now born again in baptism, and has made it blossom afresh with men and women brought back to life. His Holy Spirit has unlocked the doors of heaven, which stand wide open to receive those who rise up from the earth. Because of Christ's resurrection the thief ascends to paradise, the bodies of the blessed enter the holy city, and the dead are restored to the company of the living; there is an upward movement in the whole of creation, each element raising itself to something higher. We see the underworld restoring its victims to the upper regions, earth sending its buried dead to heaven, and heaven presenting the new arrivals to the Lord. In one and the same movement, our Savior's passion raises men and women from the depths, lifts them up from the earth, and sets them in the heights.

Christ is risen. His rising brings life to the dead, forgiveness to sinners, and glory to the saints. And so David the prophet summons all creation to join in celebrating the Easter festival: Rejoice and be glad, he cries, on this day which the Lord has made.

Maximus of Turin

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


"Take now thy son . . and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." Genesis 22:2

Character determines how a man interprets God's will (cf. Psalm 18:25-26). Abraham interpreted God's command to mean that he had to kill his son, and he could only leave this tradition behind by the pain of a tremendous ordeal. God could purify his faith in no other way. If we obey what God says according to our sincere belief, God will break us from those traditions that misrepresent Him. There are many such beliefs to be got rid of, e.g., that God removes a child because the mother loves him too much - a devil's lie! and a travesty of the true nature of God. If the devil can hinder us from taking the supreme climb and getting rid of wrong traditions about God, he will do so; but if we keep true to God, God will take us through an ordeal which will bring us out into a better knowledge of Himself.

The great point of Abraham's faith in God was that he was prepared to do anything for God. He was there to obey God, no matter to what belief he went contrary. Abraham was not a devotee of his convictions, or he would have slain Isaac and said that the voice of the angel was the voice of the devil. That is the attitude of a fanatic. If you will remain true to God, God will lead you straight through every barrier into the inner chamber of the knowledge of Himself; but there is always this point of giving up convictions and traditional beliefs. Don't ask God to test you. Never declare as Peter did - "I will do anything, I will go to death with Thee." Abraham did not make any such declaration, he remained true to God, and God purified his faith.

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

April 26, August 26, December 26
Chapter 68: If a Sister Is Commanded to Do Impossible Things

If it happens
that difficult or impossible tasks are laid on a sister,
let her nevertheless receive the order of the one in authority
with all meekness and obedience.
But if she sees that the weight of the burden
altogether exceeds the limit of her strength,
let her submit the reasons for her inability
to the one who is over her
in a quiet way and at an opportune time,
without pride, resistance, or contradiction.
And if after these representations
the Superior still persists in her decision and command,
let the subject know that this is for her good,
and let her obey out of love,
trusting in the help of God.

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

St. Matthew 28:1-20 (4/26) The Gospel at the Divine Liturgy of Great
and Holy Saturday

The Resurrection: St. Matthew 28:1-20, especially vs. 9: "And as they
went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, 'Rejoice!'
So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him." Ultimately,
the dynamis - the power of the Most High God that raised the Lord Jesus
Christ from the dead - will be poured out by the same God upon those
whom He meets as they go on their way. Clearly, He blesses all who come
to Him and take Him by the feet, worship Him, and obey Him (vs. 9). He
numbers them among those who will know the joy and power of His
Resurrection. This was the experience of the Apostle Paul who willingly
"suffered the loss of all things" to gain Christ and know Him "and the
power of His Resurrection" (Phil. 3:8,10). Like the women and the
Apostle, all who meet the risen Christ encounter Him unexpectedly but
always "with fear and great joy" (Mt. 28:8).

Such was true even for Saul of Tarsus who tried to destroy the Faith.
In the end, he reacted much as did the women at the tomb. Without
doubt, he met Christ in a very different spirit than did the women; for
he was on his way to Damascus "still breathing threats and murder
against the disciples of the Lord" (Acts 9:1), while the women came in
loving grief and devotion. The angel revealed the Resurrection to them,
drawing them beyond dread into joy, showing them "the place where the
Lord lay" (28:6), (in the now empty tomb), and directing them to "go
quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead" (Mt.
28:7). Read the report of Saul's conversion while "on his way," and see
that, when at last he knew the Lord Jesus, he responded, like the women,
in submission and obedience: "So he trembling and astonished, said,
'Lord, what do You want me to do?'" (Acts 9:6). He was transformed to
serve as Paul the Apostle.

As one reads this concluding passage of St. Matthew's Gospel, many
facets of the Resurrection appear. The Evangelist reveals an active,
risen Lord that we too may rejoice, come to the Savior, hold Him by the
feet, worship Him, and obey Him. All who meet the risen Christ become
His servants, and the end-point is always the same - obedience. The
power of the Resurrection, dawning upon hearts and souls, evokes the
desire to obey.

To Saul of Tarsus, the command was to "go into the city (of Damascus)
and you will be told what you must do" (Acts 9:6). To the women, a
single, basic command came twice - from the angel and then from the Lord
Himself - "Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they
will see Me" (Mt. 28:10, but also see vs. 7). Saul obeyed and became a
"chosen vessel of [Christ] to bear [His] Name before Gentiles, kings,
and the children of Israel" (Acts 9:15). The women obeyed, and the news
they carried led "the eleven disciples [to go] away into Galilee, to the
mountain which Jesus had appointed for them" (Mt. 28:16).

The dynamis underlying the Resurrection is passed on - transmitted to
the Church - first, by the risen Lord through those chief leaders of the
Church, the eleven of His own choosing, who met Him on the appointed
mountain. Observe: in Christ our God is vested "all
heaven and on earth" (vs. 18), which includes His unlimited power as
God. It was thus that He empowered the entire Church with the Great
Commission, starting with its Apostolic leaders.

The Great Commission has but one command, to "make disciples of all the
nations" (vs. 19). "Going, baptizing, and teaching" are assumed
activities within "discipling" (vss. 19,20). Accurately the original
reads: "Going, therefore, disciple all the nations, baptizing them in
the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching
them to observe all things that I have commanded you." The power of the
Resurrection is the Lord's command to you and me!

O Christ, continue the power of Thy Resurrection on Thy Church to
disciple the nations.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Daily meditation 04/23/08


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 God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Today's Scripture

AM Psalm 72; PM Psalm 119:73-96
Lev. 19:1-18; 1 Thess. 5:12-28; Matt. 6:19-24

From Forward Day by Day:

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28. Pray without ceasing.

We understand that we ought to pray at certain times: upon waking, before meals, on the cusp of sleep. Certainly in emergencies.

But "pray without ceasing"? What can that mean? How is that even possible? The men and women who went into the Egyptian desert in the fourth century to live in silence with God pondered this question. They realized that it was only possible to pray constantly if prayer descended from the head, as it were, and
entered the heart-if prayer somehow became not a conscious enterprise, but as constant as breathing.

In fact, they sought to "breathe" Jesus. The invocation of the name of Jesus, the "Jesus Prayer," became known as the prayer of the heart. Their goal was so
to unite the name (and thereby the very person) of Jesus to one's breathing and life that the prayer be-came spontaneous. Eventually, the desert fathers and mothers believed, one prayed even in one's sleep.

The "way of the name" was a way to participate in the endless love of God that never sleeps, that pours out without ceasing. What might it mean for us to
attempt to pray-to breathe, to live-this way?

Other reflection's on the day's Scripture:

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Chapels Royal, Royal and Religious Peculiars, and Westminster Abbey (The Church of England)

Prayers for Easter Season:

Christ is Risen: The world below lies desolate
Christ is Risen: The spirits of evil are fallen
Christ is Risen: The angels of God are rejoicing
Christ is Risen: The tombs of the dead are empty
Christ is Risen indeed from the dead,
the first of the sleepers,
Glory and power are his forever and ever
St. Hippolytus (AD 190-236)

Praying for those attending General Convention, 2009:

Speaking to the Soul:

Domesticating emptiness

Daily Reading for April 23

The symbol of Easter is the empty tomb. You can’t depict or domesticate emptiness. You can’t make it into pageants and string it with lights. It doesn’t move people to give presents to each other or sing old songs. It ebbs and flows all around us, the Eastertide. Even the great choruses of Handel’s Messiah sound a little like a handful of crickets chirping under the moon.

He rose. A few saw him briefly and talked to him. If it is true, there is nothing left to say. If it is not true, there is nothing left to say. For believers and unbelievers both, life has never been the same again. For some, neither has death. What is left now is the emptiness. There are those who, like Magdalen, will never stop searching it till they find his face.

From “Easter” in Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith by Frederick Buechner (HarperSanFrancisco, 2004).

Spiritual Practice of the Day

Liken yourself to a beautiful original part of creation — a true work of art. Then each day ask yourself how you are living: either in ways that show gratitude for this beauty or in ways that indicate how you are defacing it.
— Robert J. Wicks in Snow Falling on Snow

To Practice This Thought: Watch yourself. Are you showing gratitude for your beauty or defacing it?

An Excerpt from There Is A God, There Is No God: A Companion for the Journey of Unknowing by John Kirvan

John Kirvan provides a new translation and interpretation of the fourteenth century spiritual classic. Here is a passage on the spiritual practice of yearning.

"There comes a moment
when there arises in your soul
a movement that you are
at a loss to describe.

It moves you to desire
you know not what,
only that it is beyond your imagining.

It is God at work within you.

Let God do his work.
Let him lead you, as he will.
He needs only your consent

Be content not to see,
and put aside your need to know.

Accept that someone is moving
lovingly within you,
even if you do not recognize
that it is God at work."
++++++++++ 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


Humility is the only thing we need; one can still fall having
virtues other than humility -- but with humility one does not

Elder Herman of Mt. Athos

Daily Meditation from

Meditation for Day 23

As the rain hides the stars,
as the autumn mist hides the hills,
happenings of my lot
hide the shining of Thy face from me.
Yet, if I may hold Thy hand
in the darkness,
it is enough;
since I know that,
though I may stumble in my going,
Thou dost not fall.
Alistair Maclean

The Lord is thy keeper,
the Lord is thy shade.
The sun shall not smite thee by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee,
thy soul from all evil;
the Lord shall preserve thee,
thy going and thy coming,
from this time forward,
and even for evermore.
from Psalm 121

As it was, as it is,
and as it shall be
evermore, God of grace,
God in Trinity!
With the ebb, with the flow,
ever it is so,
God of grace, O Trinity,
with the ebb and flow.
Traditional Gaelic prayer learned from
Alexander Macneill, fishsalter, Barra

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Being Sent Into the World

Each of us has a mission in life. Jesus prays to his Father for his followers, saying: "As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world" (John 17:18).

We seldom realise fully that we are sent to fulfill God-given tasks. We act as if we have to choose how, where, and with whom to live. We act as if we were simply plopped down in creation and have to decide how to entertain ourselves until we die. But we were sent into the world by God, just as Jesus was. Once we start living our lives with that conviction, we will soon know what we were sent to do.

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

Day Twenty Three - The First Note, cont'd

Humility confesses that we have nothing that we have not received and admits the fact of our insufficiency and our dependence upon God. It is the basis of all Christian virtues. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux said, "No spiritual house can stand for a moment except on the foundation of humility." It is the first condition of a joyful life within any community.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

Our Weakness Is Our Strength
April 23rd, 2008
Wednesday’s Reflection

WHEN WE ADMIT our weaknesses …, we discover one of the greatest secrets of the spiritual journey — that in our weakness lies our strength. This is one of the most powerful spiritual truths that we will ever discover. Rather than rejecting us because of our weaknesses, it opens the door for God to come alongside us and help us overcome what had previously defeated us. God’s strength can lead us beyond our weakness and enable us to grow spiritually strong.

- Trevor Hudson
One Day at a Time: Discovering the Freedom of 12-Step Spirituality

From p. 10 of One Day at a Time by Trevor Hudson. Copyright © 2007 by the author. Published by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

Letting Go

Question of the day:
What must I let go of to receive God's love?

The nothingness we fear so much is, in fact, the treasure that we long for. We long for the space where there is nothing to prove and nothing to protect; where I am who I am, and it's enough.

Spirituality teaches us how to get naked ahead of time, so God can make love to us as we really are.

from Letting Go: A Spirituality of Subtraction


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

The new leaven

Although it was primarily to Peter that he said: Feed my sheep, yet the one Lord guides all pastors in the discharge of their office and leads to rich and fertile pastures all those who come to the rock. There is no counting the sheep who are nourished with his abundant love, and who are prepared to lay down their lives for the sake of the Good Shepherd who died for them.

But it is not only the martyrs who share in his passion by their glorious courage; the same is true, by faith, of all who are born again in baptism. That is why we are able to celebrate the Lord's paschal sacrifice with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. The leaven of our former malice is thrown out, and a new creature is filled and inebriated with the Lord himself. For the effect of our sharing in the body and blood of Christ is to change us into what we receive. As we have died with him, and have been buried and raised to life with him, so we bear him within us, both in body and in spirit, in everything we do.

Leo the Great

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

St. Matthew 26:6-16 (4/23) Gospel at Vespers & PreSanctified
for Great & Holy Wednesday

Generosity and Covetousness: St. Matthew 26:6-16, especially vss. 13,
14, 15: "'What this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to
her.' Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief
priests and said, 'What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to
you?'" The Gospel today portrays two opposites - the overflowing of
generosity, and the corrupting of covetousness. In only one sense can
these two be compared - both are conditions of the heart. Otherwise, in
all respects, they are polar opposites. The first is natural and
life-giving, while the second is unnatural, producing only aberrant
distortions of God's creation.

Of all of the Ten Commandments, only the one which directs us not to
covet (Ex. 20:17) addresses a state of heart. The rest, at face value,
are commands to act or to refrain from specific acts. However, the Lord
Jesus, in His Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5:1-7:29), actually erased this
surface distinction among the Ten Commandments when He revealed that all
of them are matters of the heart. We are not animals who simply act and
react, but, rather, spiritual beings in the image of God with the
ability to choose - to give love, to honor, and to worship. It is just
this unique inner capacity that makes it possible, as we read this
account of the Lord at Bethany, to see the heights of generosity and
perceive the murky depths in the pit of covetousness.

Brethren, ascend the heights to blessed generosity! Choose life! The
display of Divine generosity strikes us before all else, as we observe
the Lord Jesus visiting Simon, a leper (Mt. 26:6). We may thank St.
John Chrysostom for having us notice that "not without purpose did the
evangelist mention the leprosy of Simon....For inasmuch as the leprosy
seemed a most unclean disease, and to be abhorred, and yet...Jesus had
both healed the man (for else He would not have chosen to have tarried
with a leper), and had gone into his house."1 The generosity of God
excels even our best unselfishness, for He comes into our very worst of
conditions with healing love.

Notice that the generosity of our Lord does not end with His visiting
and healing Simon, but is poured out also upon the woman who came to
honor Him by anointing His head with "very costly fragrant oil" (vs.
7). Sadly, in reaction to her act of worship, she was made the brunt of
the disciples' indignation: "Why this waste? For this fragrant oil
might have been sold for much and given to the poor" (vss. 8,9). The
loving Christ rises to her defense, liberally reframing the vision of
the disciples to see the generosity underlying her actions: "she has
done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me
you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body,
she did it for My burial" (vss. 10-12). Do not miss how carefully
Christ Jesus prepares us to see His boundless, overflowing generosity,
both in assuming a body and becoming one of us, and in munificently
embracing death and burial for our salvation!

Surely, let us also remember the woman's generosity. As St. John says,
"For in truth the deed came of a reverential mind, and fervent faith,
and a contrite soul....For if she hath wrought a good work, it is quite
evident she shall receive a due reward."2 And this she does, for "in
the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a
memorial to her" (vs. 13).

Against the beauty of all this generosity, let us also tremble at the
ugly coveting shown here. "Then one of the twelve, called Judas
Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, 'What are you willing to
give me if I deliver Him to you?'" (vss. 14,15). Do we not know full
well that the commandment against coveting, "directed as it is to the
heart, foremost is a warning that greed unchecked will likely lead to
active transgression"?3 It set Judas on the path to betrayal!

O my God, keep me from envy, jealousy, stinginess, and longing for
anything that is another's; rather grant me a gracious, generous heart
toward all, even as Thou hast toward me.

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

April 23, August 23, December 23
Chapter 65: On the Prior of the Monastery

To us, therefore, it seems expedient
for the preservation of peace and charity
that the Abbot have in his hands
the full administration of his monastery.
And if possible let all the affairs of the monastery,
as we have already arranged,
be administered by deans according to the Abbot's directions.
Thus, with the duties being shared by several,
no one person will become proud.

But if the circumstances of the place require it,
or if the community asks for it with reason and with humility,
and the Abbot judges it to be expedient,
let the Abbot himself constitute as his Prior
whomsoever he shall choose
with the counsel of God-fearing brethren.

That Prior, however, shall perform respectfully
the duties enjoined on him by his Abbot
and do nothing against the Abbot's will or direction;
for the more he is raised above the rest,
the more carefully should he observe the precepts of the Rule.

If it should be found that the Prior has serious faults,
or that he is deceived by his exaltation and yields to pride,
or if he should be proved to be a despiser of the Holy Rule,
let him be admonished verbally up to four times.
If he fails to amend,
let the correction of regular discipline be applied to him.
But if even then he does not reform,
let him be deposed from the office of Prior
and another be appointed in his place who is worthy of it.
And if afterwards he is not quiet and obedient in the community,
let him even be expelled from the monastery.
But the Abbot, for his part, should bear in mind
that he will have to render an account to God
for all his judgments,
lest the flame of envy or jealousy be kindled in his soul.

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

Monday, April 21, 2008

Daily Meditation 04/21/08


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 God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Almighty God, you raised up your servant Anselm to teach the Church of his day to understand its faith in your eternal Being, perfect justice, and saving mercy: Provide your Church in every age with devout and learned scholars and teachers, that we may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Today's Scripture

AM Psalm 56, 57, [58]; PM Psalm 64, 65
Lev. 16:1-19; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Matt. 6:1-6,16-18

From Forward Day by Day:

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18. Your Father who is in secret...

I vividly remember the first time I ever heard this verse read aloud in church-how startled I was, wondering if our "Father who is in secret" could be the same God as "our Father who is in heaven." Was heaven then a secret place? I spent a great deal of time, as a child, in secret places (both actual and imaginary), so this mattered to me. Perhaps because I was such a solitary child, biblical references to God knowing us in secret have long been inseparable from my sense of God's presence.

As an adult (with more, sometimes, to want to hide from God) I find this identification of God as one "from whom no secrets are hid" less uniformly comforting. There is no place we can go where God is not. There is nowhere in our experience-or memory, or guilt, or nightmare fear-so dark or hidden that God is not there before us. There is not just truth about God's omniscience in this promise, there is also an invitation: we may, by grace, go into our own interior secret places, and close the door, and be with God, "alone with the Alone."

Other reflection's on the day's Scripture:

Today we remember:

Psalm 139:1-9 or 37:3-6,32-33
Romans 5:1-11; Matthew 11:25-30

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Central Florida (United States)

Prayers for Easter Season:

Catholic Prayer for the Easter Virtues

the resurrection of Your Son
has given us new life and renewed hope.
Help us to live as new people
in pursuit of the Christian ideal.
Grant us wisdom to know what we must do,
the will to want to do it,
the courage to undertake it,
the perseverance to continue to do it,
and the strength to complete it.
New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book

Praying for those attending General Convention, 2009:

Speaking to the Soul:

A monastic scholar

Daily Reading for April 21 • Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1109

In the year 1109, on the Wednesday in Holy Week, the Archbishop of Canterbury lay dying. His friends, knowing that they were at the death-bed of a saint, were ready to improve the occasion: ‘My lord and father,’ they said, ‘we cannot help knowing that you are going to leave the world to be at the Easter court of your king.’ But Anselm was not to be caught by pieties and sentimentalities. His reply is the key to his life and a way to begin to understand him: ‘And indeed,’ he replied, ‘if His will is set upon this I will gladly obey His will. However, if He would prefer me to stay among you, at least until I can settle a question about the origin of the soul which I am turning over in my mind, I should welcome this with gratitude, for I do not know whether anyone will solve it when I am dead.’

There is in this reply first the obedience of the monk—a joyful love of whatever might be God’s will for him. And secondly a true estimate of his own intellectual powers as a scholar, without false humility; a mind still employed to its utmost in understanding the things of God for the sake of the people of God. . . .

As a monk Anselm understood theology to be the dynamic reflection upon mysteries already accepted and believed, by which the whole person, engaging in an arduous and totally demanding task—an ascesis—would be transfigured, receiving more and more of the light which is God. Anselm was a man of profound learning and alert mind who made his intellectual genius an integral part of his commitment to God as a monk. . . . Fides quarens intellectum, or, as Hilary of Poitiers said: ‘Bestow upon us, O Lord, the meaning of words, the light of understanding, the nobility of diction, and grant that what we believe that we may also speak.’

From Anselm of Canterbury: A Monastic Scholar by Sister Benedicta Ward SLG (Fairacres Publication No. 62, 1973).

Spiritual Practice of the Day

Do good, get good. Goodness radiates and sticks to people.
— Ajahn Sumano Bhikkhu in Meeting the Monkey Halfway

To Practice This Thought: Become sticky.
++++++++++ Reflections

Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends - it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.
St Teresa of Jesus
Life, 8.14

Reading from the Desert Christians


When you are praying alone, and your spirit is dejected, and you
are wearied and oppressed by your loneliness, remember then, as
always, that God the Trinity looks upon you with eyes brighter
than the sun; also all the angels, your own Guardian Angel, and
all the Saints of God. Truly they do; for they are all one in God,
and where God is, there are they also. Where the sun is, thither
also are directed all its rays. Try to understand what this means.

St. John of Kronstadt

Daily Meditation from

Meditation for Day 21

Seven times a day, as I work upon this hungry farm,I say to Thee,
'Lord, why am I here?
What is there here to stir my gifts to growth?
What great thing can I do for others - I who am captive to this dreary toil?'

And seven times a day Thou answerest,
'I cannot do without thee.
Once did My Son live thy life,
and by His faithfulness did show My mind,
My kindness, and My truth to men.
But now He is come to My side, and thou must take His place.'
From Hebridean Altars

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Ordering Our Desires

Desire is often talked about as something we ought to overcome. Still, being is desiring: our bodies, our minds, our hearts, and our souls are full of desires. Some are unruly, turbulent, and very distracting; some make us think deep thoughts and see great visions; some teach us how to love; and some keep us searching for God. Our desire for God is the desire that should guide all other desires. Otherwise our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls become one another's enemies and our inner lives become chaotic, leading us to despair and self-destruction.

Spiritual disciplines are not ways to eradicate all our desires but ways to order them so that they can serve one another and together serve God.

Merton Institute Weekly Reflection

More and more I appreciate the beauty and solemnity of the "Way" up through the woods, past the bull barn, up the stony rise, into the grove of tall, straight oaks and hickories and around through the pines on top of the hill, to the cottage.

Sunrise. Hidden by pines and cedars on the east side of the house. Saw the red flame of it glaring through the cedars, not like sunrise but like a forest fire. From the window of the front room, then he, the Sun (can hardly be conceived as other than "he"), shone silently with solemn power through the pine branches.

Now after High Mass the whole valley is glorious with morning light and with the song of birds.

It is essential to experience all the times and moods of this place. No one will know or be able to say how essential. Almost the first and most important element of a truly spiritual life, lost in the constant, formal routine of Divine Offices under the fluorescent lights in choir--practically no change between night and day.

Thomas Merton. Turning Toward the World. Edited by Victor A. Kramer (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1997): 122.

Thought for the Day

Many, no doubt, are vaguely aware that it is dawn, but they are protected from the solemnity of it by the neutralizing worship of their own society, their own world in which the sun no longer rises and sets.

Turning Toward the World: 123.

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

Day Twenty One - The Three Notes of the Order

Humility, love, and joy are the three notes which mark the lives of Tertiaries. When these characteristics are evident throughout the Order, its work will be fruitful. Without them, all that it attempts will be in vain.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

Why Saints?
April 21st, 2008
Monday’s Reflection

SAINTS WERE AND ARE ORDINARY PEOPLE. Though imperfect, doubt-filled, weak, lonely, and fearful at times, they chose to remain uncompromisingly faithful witnesses to the gospel. This great “cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1) is the unity of all believers past, present, and future. …

Saints come from all walks of life and from every culture; the young, the old, the rich, the poor — all are illumined by the mystery of God’s loving presence in their lives. These ordinary folks make loving God and neighbor their extraordinary choice day in and day out. Saints step out in faith, trusting and obeying the call of God. Their purty of heart awakens us to the realization that we too are called to be shining examples of God’s spirit of love.

- Ellen K. McCormack
The Upper Room Dictionary of Christian Spiritual Formation

From p. 224 of The Upper Room Dictionary of Christian Spiritual Formation edited by Keith Beasley-Topliffe. Copyright © 2003 by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

Letting Go

Question of the day:
How do feel being the thought God is lost in?

We are God's prayer. We are, in fact, God's thought. And God is hopelessly lost in thinking us. All we can do is stay naked and self-forgetful, ready for lovemaking. The primary temptation is to cover ourselves with roles, controls, successes and satisfying explanations.

Be quiet and self-forgetful, dear friends. Don't miss out. You must know for yourself that Someone is thinking you (as opposed to another) each creative moment. The only good choice is to love and trust yourself in God.

from Radical Grace: Daily Meditations

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

May I find my joy in you

Lord, inaccessible light is your dwelling place, for no one apart from you can enter into it and fully comprehend you. If I fail to see this light it is simply because it is too bright for me. Still, it is by this light that I do see all that I can, even as weak eyes, unable to look straight at the sun, see all that they can by the sun's light.

The light in which you dwell, Lord, is beyond my understanding. It is so brilliant that I cannot bear it, I cannot turn my mind's eye toward it for any length of time. I am dazzled by its brightness, amazed by its grandeur, overwhelmed by its immensity, bewildered by its abundance.

O supreme and inaccessible light, O complete and blessed truth, how far you are from me, even though I am so near to you! How remote you are from my sight, even though I am present to yours! You are everywhere in your entirety, and yet I do not see you; in you I move and have my being, and yet I cannot approach you; you are within me and around me, and yet I do not perceive you.

Anselm of Canterbury

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


"Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip?" John 14:9

Our Lord must be repeatedly astounded at us - astounded at how un-simple we are. It is opinions of our own which make us stupid, when we are simple we are never stupid, we discern all the time. Philip expected the revelation of a tremendous mystery, but not in the One Whom he knew. The mystery of God is not in what is going to be, it is now; we look for it presently, in some cataclysmic event. We have no reluctance in obeying Jesus, but it is probable that we are hurting Him by the questions we ask. "Lord, show us the Father." His answer comes straight back - "There He is, always here or nowhere." We look for God to manifest Himself to His children: God only manifests Himself in His children. Other people see the manifestation, the child of God does not. We want to be conscious of God; we cannot be conscious of our consciousness and remain sane. If we are asking God to give us experiences, or if conscious experience is in the road, we hurt the Lord. The very questions we ask hurt Jesus because they are not the questions of a child.

"Let not your heart be troubled" - then am I hurting Jesus by allowing my heart to be troubled? If I believe the character of Jesus, am I living up to my belief? Am I allowing anything to perturb my heart, any morbid questions to come in? I have to get to the implicit relationship that takes everything as it comes from Him. God never guides presently, but always now. Realize that the Lord is here now, and the emancipation is immediate.

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

April 21, August 21, December 21
Chapter 64: On Constituting an Abbess

Once she has been constituted,
let the Abbess always bear in mind
what a burden she has undertaken
and to whom she will have to give an account of her stewardship,
and let her know that her duty is rather to profit her sisters
than to preside over them.
She must therefore be learned in the divine law,
that she may have a treasure of knowledge
from which to bring forth new things and old.
She must be chaste, sober and merciful.
Let her exalt mercy above judgment,
that she herself may obtain mercy.
She should hate vices;
she should love the sisterhood.

In administering correction
she should act prudently and not go to excess,
lest in seeking too eagerly to scrape off the rust
she break the vessel.
Let her keep her own frailty ever before her eyes
and remember that the bruised reed must not be broken.
By this we do not mean that she should allow vices to grow;
on the contrary, as we have already said,
she should eradicate them prudently and with charity,
in the way which may seem best in each case.
Let her study rather to be loved than to be feared.

Let her not be excitable and worried,
nor exacting and headstrong,
nor jealous and over-suspicious;
for then she is never at rest.

In her commands let her be prudent and considerate;
and whether the work which she enjoins
concerns God or the world,
let her be discreet and moderate,
bearing in mind the discretion of holy Jacob, who said,
"If I cause my flocks to be overdriven,
they will all die in one day."
Taking this, then, and other examples of discretion,
the mother of virtues,
let her so temper all things
that the strong may have something to strive after,
and the weak may not fall back in dismay.

And especially let her keep this Rule in all its details,
so that after a good ministry
she may hear from the Lord what the good servant heard
who gave the fellow-servants wheat in due season:
"Indeed, I tell you, he will set that one over all his goods" (Matt. 24:27).

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

St. Matthew 24:3-35 (4/21) The Gospel at Vespers & the Pre-Sanctified
on Great & Holy Monday

Fair Warnings: St. Matthew 24:3-35, especially vs. 35: "Heaven and earth
will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away." The Lord
Jesus' revelations in this Gospel are extensive. Recognizing this, St.
John Chrysostom addressed what Christ says here in a series of three
homilies. In these sermons, the observant Archbishop notes a
significant division in the revelations that must not be overlooked to
rightly understand what the Lord discloses.

The first portion of the Lord's teaching (vss. 3-22) was given as a
warning to first century Christians "of wars in Jerusalem....of the
Jewish wars coming upon them at no great distance, for henceforth the
Roman arms were a matter of anxiety."1 From verse 23 onward, our Lord,
"having passed over all the intermediate time from the taking of
Jerusalem unto the preludes of the consummation...speaketh of the time
just before the consummation."2 This basic division places us between
these two moments - the calamitous war of the first century, and our
Lord's "second coming [which] shall be also more grievous than the
former" events, bringing history to an end.

In all the revelations, the Lord's main concern is for His beloved
Church. To the Faithful of the first century, He amply described what
would - and did - take place during the Jewish rebellion and the
retaliation by Rome and her legions. To our brethren of that
generation, the Lord gave a key warning, "then let those who are in
Judea flee to the mountains" (vs. 16).

With respect to His second coming, He cautions us - as every generation,
"Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ! or 'There!' do
not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show
great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect....For
as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also
will the coming of the Son of Man be" (vss. 23,24,27). To every
Christian and all men, the Lord's assurance does not vary: "Heaven and
earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away" (vs. 35).

Heed the Lord Jesus! Give close attention to what our Savior and God
says! Above all the Master is cautioning us that deceivers will come
along to present us with other christs: "do not believe it" (vs. 23).
As the Apostle Paul reminds every Orthodox Christian: "...(as there are
many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of
whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through
Whom are all things, and through Whom we live. However, there is not in
everyone that knowledge" (1 Cor. 8:5-7). Turn to the icons of our Lord
in the temple or at home. He alone is Sovereign and God. Be good
servants and wait for Him!

Second, if anyone tries to lure you away from the peace that our
Orthodox Church gives in every Liturgy, resist the temptation.
Announcements, exciting news: "'He is in the desert!' will be false. Do
not go out! Do not believe it. Here is why: as the lightning comes
from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the
Son of Man be" (Mt. 24:26,27).

In every generation - and now especially - decade by decade, year by
year, people are making the news with solid programs for deepening your
spiritual life. What!? Such talk ignores the Holy Tradition handed on
to us, as if it were not alive and available today, this very moment, in
the Church of God. Christ is known, taught, served, received, and
worshiped as ever! Be at peace in the safety of the Church until He
returns, for every eye will see Him at the end.

We have fair warnings in what the Holy Fathers teach us: the cleansing
of our souls, the preparation of our hearts for the Bridal Chamber, the
attainment of a worthy wedding garment.

Yea, I the Creator, rich in Godhead, came Myself to serve poor Adam,
whose likeness I took willingly, and to give Myself as a Redemption for
him, Who Am without suffering as to My Godhead. Let us praise the
Lord....for in glory He hath been glorified.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Daily meditation 04/20/08


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 God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Today's Scripture

AM Psalm 24, 29; PM Psalm 8, 84
Lev. 8:1-13,30-36; Heb. 12:1-14; Luke 4:16-30

From Forward Day by Day:

John 14:1-14. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Today's gospel text is another hard one. The absoluteness of Christianity is affirmed over and over in John's Gospel and never more disturbingly (to our
pluralistic ears) than in this passage. Jesus declares himself to be "the way, the truth, and the life" that leads to the Father; no one comes to the Father except through him.

This grates on us. What about Jews? Muslims? Buddhists? Agnostics? C. S. Lewis, addressing this concern in Mere Christianity, reminds us that "God has not told us what his arrangements about other people are." We know that no man can be saved except for Christ, but we do not know that only those who know him can be saved through him, Lewis adds. The heart of the matter, then, is not measured by the extent of our awareness. Grace is a mystery, not a formula-and not subject to our prior approval.

The Spirit blows where it will.
The epistle to the Hebrews reminds us that the word of God spoken in Christ is "living and active." In hidden ways we cannot see, control, or imagine-even in other religions-Christ is bringing the whole world home to the Father, one beloved person at a time.

Other reflection's on the day's Scripture:

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Central Ecuador (Prov. IX, U.S.)

Prayers for Easter Season:

Praying for those attending General Convention, 2009:

Speaking to the Soul:

Just like us

Daily Reading for April 20 • The Fifth Sunday of Easter

The disciples were simple people. They were ordinary folks who worked for a living, paid bills, and had to fulfill all the mundane responsibilities of life. Some were married and had to take care of those relationships properly. A few certainly must have had children. They had all the ingredients for the recipe of ordinary, everyday people.

Just like us.

But Jesus called them. He called them to follow him, to be with him and learn from him. He called them to see him heal and touch and transform people’s lives and to hear him teach amazingly simple yet startlingly counterintuitive truths.

Just as he has called us.

So, the disciples followed him, and they were amazed to see Jesus’ astonishing works, to hear his challenging words. They’d never seen anyone do things like this. But Jesus told them that they would not only do the same work he did, but “even greater things.”

Greater things than Jesus did? It’s hard to believe. Yet Jesus really only touched the lives of a handful of people in a very small area of the planet. The disciples who followed him, and those who followed them even until today, have made an impact on the entire world, sharing the message of God’s loving forgiveness and gracious acceptance in word and deed. As a result of their simple acts of obedience, the world is a different place.

Jesus’ words are meant for us too. He challenges us to follow him, to do even greater things for him. It’s not about who we are—our personality or gifts or background. It’s about how willing we are. How touched we are by Jesus’ love. How filled we are by his Spirit.

So, what’s stopping you? Even greater things await you.

From Living Loved: Knowing Jesus as the Lover of Your Soul by Peter Wallace. Copyright © 2007. Used by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY.

Spiritual Practice of the Day

To maintain the taste for life and feed the zest for living can never simply be taken for granted, just as we cannot take our health as a simple given but have to examine, cultivate, and take care of it.
— Ursula King in Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: Writings
++++++++++ Reflections

Look Jesus in the Face ... there you will see how He loves us.
St Therese of the Child Jesus

Reading from the Desert Christians


God descends to the humble as waters flow down from the hills into
the valleys.

St. Tikhon of Voronezh

Daily Meditation from

Readings for Day 20

April 20

Psalm 18:28–9 You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. 29 With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.

Isaiah 40:21–4 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? 22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. 23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. 24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

2 Corinthians 11:26–7,30 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Healing Contradictions

The many contradictions in our lives - such as being home while feeling homeless, being busy while feeling bored, being popular while feeling lonely, being believers while feeling many doubts - can frustrate, irritate, and even discourage us. They make us feel that we are never fully present. Every door that opens for us makes us see how many more doors are closed.

But there is another response. These same contradictions can bring us into touch with a deeper longing, for the fulfillment of a desire that lives beneath all desires and that only God can satisfy. Contradictions, thus understood, create the friction that can help us move toward God.

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

Day Twenty - The Third Way of Service, cont'd

Tertiaries endeavor to serve others in active work. We try to find expression for each of the three aims of the Order in our lives, and whenever possible actively help others who are engaged in similar work. The chief form of service which we have to offer is to reflect the love of Christ, who, in his beauty and power, is the inspiration and joy of our lives.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

Walking with Kindness
April 20th, 2008
Sunday’s Reflection

help me not
to walk behind others
or to walk in front of them
but to walk beside them
with kindness.

- Richard Morgan
Settling In: My First Year in a Retirement Community

From p. 138 of Settling In by Richard Morgan. Copyright © 2006 by the author. Published by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

etting Go

Question of the day:
How does one give control over to God?

Scripture clearly says God helps those who trust in God, not those who help themselves. We need to be told that so strongly because of our entire "do it yourself" orientation.

It takes applying the brakes, turning off our own power and allowing Another. What the lordship of Jesus means is that first we come to him, first we put things into his hands. Our doing must proceed from our being. Our being is "hidden with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:3)

from The Great Themes of Scripture

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

Love what is human

Iappeal to you by the mercy of God. This appeal is made by Paul, or rather, it is made by God through Paul, because of God's desire to be loved rather than feared, to be a father rather than a lord. God appeals to us in his mercy to avoid having to punish us in his severity.

Listen to the Lord's appeal. In me, I want you to see your own body, your members, your heart, your bones, your blood. You may fear what is divine, but why not love what is human? You may run away from me as the Lord, but why not run to me as your father? Perhaps you are filled with shame for causing my bitter passion. Do not be afraid. This cross inflicts a mortal injury, not on me, but on death. These nails no longer pain me, but only deepen your love for me. I do not cry out because of these wounds, but through them I draw you into my heart. My body was stretched on the cross as a symbol, not of how much I suffered, but of my all-embracing love. I count it no loss to shed my blood: it is the price I have paid for your ransom. Come, then, return to me and learn to know me as your father, who repays good for evil, love for injury, and boundless charity for piercing wounds.

Peter Chrysologus

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


"For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen." 2 Corinthians 1:20

Jesus told the parable of the talents recorded in Matthew 25 as a warning that it is possible for us to misjudge our capacity. This parable has not to do with natural gifts, but with the Pentecostal gift of the Holy Ghost. We must not measure our spiritual capacity by education or by intellect; our capacity in spiritual things is measured by the promises of God. If we get less than God wants us to have, before long we will slander Him as the servant slandered his master: "You expect more than You give me power to do; You demand too much of me, I cannot stand true to You where I am placed." When it is a question of God's Almighty Spirit, never say "I can't." Never let the limitation of natural ability come in. If we have received the Holy Spirit, God expects the work of the Holy Spirit to be manifested in us.

The servant justified himself in everything he did and condemned his lord on every point - "Your demand is out of all proportion to what you give." Have we been slandering God by daring to worry when He has said: "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you"? Worrying means exactly what this servant implied - "I know You mean to leave me in the lurch." The person who is lazy naturally is always captious - "I haven't had a decent chance," and the one who is lazy spiritually is captious with God. Lazy people always strike out on an independent line.

Never forget that our capacity in spiritual matters is measured by the promises of God. Is God able to fulfil His promises? Our answer depends on whether we have received the Holy Spirit.

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

April 20, August 20, December 20
Chapter 64: On Constituting an Abbess

In the constituting of an Abbess
let this plan always be followed,
that the office be conferred on the one who is chosen
either by the whole community unanimously in the fear of God
or else by a part of the community, however small,
if its counsel is more wholesome.

Merit of life and wisdom of doctrine
should determine the choice of the one to be constituted,
even if she be the last of the order of the community.

But if (which God forbid)
the whole community should agree to choose a person
who will acquiesce in their vices,
and if those vices somehow become known to the Bishop
to whose diocese the place belongs,
or to the Abbots, Abbesses or the faithful of the vicinity,
let them prevent the success of this conspiracy of the wicked,
and set a worthy steward over the house of God.
They may be sure
that they will receive a good reward for this action
if they do it with a pure intention and out of zeal for God;
as, on the contrary, they will sin if they fail to do it.

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

St. John 12:1-18 (4/20) Gospel for Palm Sunday: The Entrance of the
Lord into Jerusalem

Near But Not On: St. John 12:1-18, especially vs. 16: "His disciples did
not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then
they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they
had done these things to Him." Being an Orthodox Christian implies
embracing and living correct theology, defending the true revelation,
confirming the Gospel (Gal. 1:8), and treasuring Holy Tradition. Being
a member of the Church does not mean we always hit the mark in these
efforts. Nevertheless, by calling ourselves Orthodox, we imply that we
intend both to uphold the truth of the whole Faith and to struggle to
live and express it rightly.

To carry out these purposes is not primarily a matter of having
answers in neat, correct phrases. Rather, being truly Orthodox means
inner listening: an attentive heart, a spirit that seeks illumination
and wisdom derived from God, a humility concerning one's personal
insight, and a trust in and a resolve to hold firmly to what the Church
always has taught. Today's reading is an account of four persons or
groups who were almost right concerning the mission, Person and teaching
of Christ - but not quite. Like us, they were fallible humans who came
near the truth, but missed the whole through serious errors. Their
miscalculations are preserved by the Evangelists to help us strive on
toward a more complete holding of the Truth.

First, there was Judas Iscariot. Let us not too readily malign him for
asking, "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii
and given to the poor?" (vs. 5). The Lord Himself forcefully commends
concern for the needy of this world (Mt. 25:35-40). Judas had learned
some things along the way. His words reflect a degree of righteous

On the other hand, the text reveals that wicked motives lay behind
Judas' "speaking up." There was a deeper, twisted desire lurking beneath
his expressed care for the poor (vs. 6). Note Jesus' reaction: lest
others among the disciples, those of purer motives and with deeper
concern for the poor, should be led astray by Judas, the Lord defended
Mary's action (vss. 7,8). Events would soon prove that she acted very
appropriately, for she had "...chosen that good part, which will not be
taken away from her" (Lk. 10:42), sitting at His feet, listening to Him
(Lk. 10:39).

Next we learn about "the Jews" who "...knew that He was there;
and...came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see
Lazarus..." (vs. 9). The spectacular attracts those looking for
entertainment. One often hears of people flocking to religious
gatherings just to see the miraculous: "Let's go and see!" There's a
certain titillating factor that draws the hungry to the Faith. The Lord
warns against shallowness in His parable of the Sower. The Gospel can
fall on men of stony ground without much depth. Some people come to the
Faith, but "...have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a
time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's
sake, immediately they stumble" (Mk. 4:17). Be cautious!

Consider the crowd who greeted the Lord as He rode into Jerusalem. This
mass of people were close to the truth, but they also missed the whole.
Many greeted the Lord, and soon were in the mob crying, "Crucify Him!"
(Jn. 19:15). Indeed, the crowds turned against Him, because many who
cheered His arrival were motivated by mere curiosity (Jn. 12:18). The
Lord Jesus is intriguing, but, in the end, fascination with the dramatic
is no foundation for eternal salvation. Turn to Him because He alone
can fill you with true love, humility, and self-sacrifice!

Finally, the Evangelist reports that the future Apostles "did not
understand these things at first" (vs. 16). It would take the direct
experience of Jesus' death and Resurrection, and their illumination by
the Holy Spirit to bring them to full understanding and commitment.
Save us also, O Lord!

Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Confess to the Lord;
for He is good.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Daily Meditation for April 14, 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 Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Today's Scripture

AM Psalm 41,52; PM Psalm 44
Exod. 32:1-20; Col 3:18-4:6(7-18); Matt. 5:1-10

From Forward Day by Day:

Matthew 5:1-10. Blessed are the poor in spirit.

The New English Bible translates "poor in spirit" as "those who know their need of God." In our culture that relentlessly promotes self-reliance, it is dangerously difficult for us to know our need of God.

The French philosopher and mystic Simone Weil pointed out (in Europe, in the abundance of industrialized nations) that people were in danger of spiritual starvation not because there was no bread, but because they thought they were not hungry. There is perhaps no illusion so pernicious-or so prevalent-as one that assures us we are not hungry, that we have no need of God.

Out of their wealth and their weariness of waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain, and their need for a tame and undemanding god, the rebellious Israelites fashioned an idol in the shape of a golden calf, and worshiped it.

We too tend to be more comfortable with a religion based on a god we have invented and can control: our wealth, national security, sense of importance.

The poor have less chance to delude and defend themselves with things; they are more likely than the rich to know their need of God. Blessed are they, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Other reflection's on the day's Scripture:

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Cape Coast (West Africa)

Prayers for Easter Season:

God our Father,
may we look forward with hope
to our resurrection,
for you have made us your sons and daughters,
and restored the joy of our youth.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Praying for those attending General Convention, 2009:

Speaking to the Soul:

Distinct value

Daily Reading for April 14

It’s quite all right to be a sheep, so long as we pay attention and hear the shepherd’s voice. The essential, crucial point is this: the good shepherd knows the sheep. This is not just a matter of a head count; each is of distinct value.

I yearn to be known, and at the same time I fear it. Most of the time, we let ourselves be known by bits and pieces, and we know others in the same way. My husband of nearly half a century thinks that he knows me, my children are sure they have me figured out, my colleagues and students and friends also would claim that they know me. Foolishly, I think I know myself. Even as I want to be known, I want to be known on my own terms—a carefully constructed and edited version, not as a sheep who gets lost, falls off cliffs, and gets hung up in the brambles. Certainly not as a sheep who can’t find her own way.

To be known, fully known, is not possible in our human relationships, but it is the foundation of our relationship with Christ. To be known, fully known, is both painful and profoundly comforting. It is to accept the humble status of sheep, to let the masks and defenses drop away, and to let ourselves be carried on the shepherd’s shoulders and occasionally poked by his staff. It means sometimes to be thwarted—the edge of that cliff doesn’t look too dangerous, and I wasn’t going to wander very far, honest!— and sometimes to be shut in a pen. It means to listen for the shepherd’s voice and to rejoice that he knows which one I am, in this great, blundering, well-intentioned, sheepish flock.

From “Sheep” in Just Passing Through: Notes from a Sojourner by Margaret Guenther. Copyright © 2007. Used by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY.

Spiritual Practice of the Day

I've learned how to not be broken from life's unwanted things by watching a willow in the wild wind tossing and bending rather than pushing back against the storm. It's taught me that I can't always have everything go my way. Sometimes I need to bend a bit.
— Joyce Rupp in The Cosmic Dance

To Practice This Thought: Find a teacher in nature.
++++++++++ Reflections

It used to help me to look at a field, or water, or flowers. These reminded me of the Creator … they awakened me, helped me to recollect myself and thus served as a book.
St Teresa of Jesus
Life, 9.5

Reading from the Desert Christians


If you are praised, be silent. If you are scolded, be silent. If
you incur losses, be silent. If you receive profit, be silent. If
you are satiated, be silent. If you are hungry, also be silent.
And do not be afraid that there will be no fruit when all dies
down; there will be! Not everything will die down. Energy will
appear; and what energy!

St. Feofil, the Fool for Christ

Daily Meditation from

Meditation for Day 14

Every curse becomes a blessing
to the people of God's choosing.
He who spoke it shall perform it.
He shall bring on us the blessing,
though the enemy may fight.
My Jesus has done all things

In the dry and desert places
Jesus is our souls' oasis.
He will give us of His plenty,
fill the vessels once so empty,
pour His waters on the ground,
living waters gushing round.
See the land so black and barren;
God will make a watered garden:
fruitfulness where once
was parchedness,
light to break into the darkness,
upper springs
and nether springs
in the field
that Father's given.

Satan tries, but cannot block it,
powers of Hell could never stop it.
Darkness flees as light is given.
God establishes His heaven
in our hearts, and in this place
shows the radiance of His face.
Reflections on Judges 1:14-15;
Numbers 24:1-10; Psalm 26:3-4

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Laying Down Your Life for Your Friends

Good Shepherds are willing to lay down their lives for their sheep (see John 10:11). As spiritual leaders walking in the footsteps of Jesus, we are called to lay down our lives for our people. This laying down might in special circumstances mean dying for others. But it means first of all making our own lives - our sorrows and joys, our despair and hope, our loneliness and experience of intimacy - available to others as sources of new life.

One of the greatest gifts we can give others is ourselves. We offer consolation and comfort, especially in moments of crisis, when we say: "Do not be afraid, I know what you are living and I am living it with you. You are not alone." Thus we become Christ-like shepherds.

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


Tertiaries seek to live in an atmosphere of praise and prayer. We aim to be constantly aware of God's presence, so that we may indeed pray without ceasing. Our ever deepening devotion to the indwelling Christ is a source of strength and joy. It is Christ's love that inspires us to service, and strengthens us for sacrifice.

Upper Room Daily Reflection

Making Room
April 14th, 2008
Monday’s Reflection

HOW CAN I MAKE ROOM in my life for the things that really matter? This question plagues most adults in the developed world. We have so many things, so many activities, so many opportunities, and so many responsibilities. Is it possible to find a place for God in our busy lives? Many have answered the question with a resounding no. Others have answered by filling every moment of every day with activity until there is no time even to think about God. Others yearn to find that sacred space and time but just don’t know how or where to look.

- Rueben P. Job
A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God

From pp. 341-342 of A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God by Norman Shawchuck and Rueben P. Job. Copyright © 2003 by the authors. Published by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection


Question of the day:
How would the Third Way help me?

We are slowly discovering what many of us are calling "the Third Way," neither flight nor fight, but the way of compassionate knowing.

Both the way of fight and the way of flight fall short of wisdom, although they look like answers in the heat of the moment. When it's an either/or world you have no ability to transcend, to hold together, to be creative.

from Hope Against Darkness


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

The beginning of a new life

Because it revolves in cycles and never comes to an end, the year is a symbol of eternity. Christ, the sacrifice that was offered for us, is the father of the world to come. He puts an end to our former life, and through the regenerating waters of baptism in which we imitate his death and resurrection, he gives us the beginning of a new life.

The knowledge that Christ is the passover lamb who was sacrificed for us should make us regard the moment of his immolation as the beginning of our own lives. As far as we are concerned, Christ's immolation on our behalf takes place when we become aware of his grace and understand the life conferred on us by this sacrifice. Having once understood it, we should enter upon this new life with all eagerness and never return to the old one, which is now at an end. As scripture says: We have died to sin—how then can we continue to live in it?

John Chrysostom

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


"Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me." Matthew 11:29

"Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth." How petty our complaining is! Our Lord begins to bring us into the place where we can have communion with Him, and we groan and say - "O Lord, let me be like other people!" Jesus is asking us to take one end of the yoke - "My yoke is easy, get alongside Me and we will pull together." Are you identified with the Lord Jesus like that? If so, you will thank God for the pressure of His hand.

"To them that have no might He increaseth strength." God comes and takes us out of our sentimentality, and our complaining turns into a pæan of praise. The only way to know the strength of God is to take the yoke of Jesus upon us and learn of Him.

"The joy of the Lord is your strength." Where do the saints get their joy from? If we did not know some saints, we would say - "Oh, he, or she, has nothing to bear." Lift the veil. The fact that the peace and the light and the joy of God are there is proof that the burden is there too. The burden God places squeezes the grapes and out comes the wine; most of us see the wine only. No power on earth or in hell can conquer the Spirit of God in a human spirit, it is an inner unconquerableness.

If you have the whine in you, kick it out ruthlessly. It is a positive crime to be weak in God's strength.

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

April 14, August 14, December 14
Chapter 60: On Priests Who May Wish to Live in the Monastery

If any ordained priest
should ask to be received into the monastery,
permission shall not be granted too readily.
But if he is quite persistent in his request,
let him know
that he will have to observe the whole discipline of the Rule
and that nothing will be relaxed in his favor,
that it may be as it is written:
"Friend, for what have you come (Matt. 26:50)?"

It shall be granted him, however, to stand next after the Abbot
and to give blessings and to celebrate Mass,
but only by order of the Abbot.
Without such order let him not make any exceptions for himself,
knowing that he is subject to the discipline of the Rule;
but rather let him give an example of humility to all.

If there happens to be question of an appointment
or of some business in the monastery,
let him expect the rank due him
according to the date of his entrance into the monastery,
and not the place granted him
out of reverence for the priesthood.

If any clerics, moved by the same desire,
should wish to join the monastery,
let them be placed in a middle rank.
But they too are to be admitted only if they promise
observance of the Rule and stability.

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

Genesis 27:1-42 (4/14) 1st Reading at Vespers, Mon. of the
6th Week of the Great Fast

Spiritual Growth: Genesis 27:1-42, especially vs. 28: "And may God give
thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and
abundance of corn and wine." In this last week of the Great Fast, the
Genesis readings focus on Abraham's grandson, Jacob, the younger of
fraternal twins begotten to Abraham's son Isaac and his wife Rebekah
(Gen. 25:21-23). In personality these twins were very different: the
Holy Fathers perceived Esau, the elder, having a tendency to sensual
wickedness, but in Jacob they found a man growing in relationship with
God. The two men provide rich insight into growth in the Spirit: Esau
teaches us to "trample down all carnal desires,"1 and Jacob reveals how
to "enter upon a spiritual manner of living,"2 and to "complete the
remaining time of our life in peace and repentance."3

Reading the present lesson in isolation from the entire history of Jacob
and Esau, one might well conclude that a gross injustice was worked
against Esau because of the plot of Rebekah and Jacob. The Holy
Fathers, however, read this passage in the context of all the historical
evidence concerning the two. Hence, Origen observed that "the plot of
Esau against Jacob has its apparent occasion in taking away the
blessing. But before this, Esau's soul had 'roots' of his being immoral
and irreligious."4 Evidence for this assertion of Origen appears in
today's reading. Esau brooded angrily, and finally decided upon murder
(Gen. 27:41,42).

The Apostle Paul, referring to Esau, warns the Faithful to look
"carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of
bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;
lest there be any...profane person like Esau" (Heb. 12:15,16). After
all, our Lord requires us to "trample down all carnal desires." And the
Apostle adds: "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil
speaking be put away from you, with all malice" (Eph. 4:31).

The Holy Fathers, reflecting on the plot of Rebekah and Jacob, found a
type of spiritual growth. Just as Esau and Jacob came from the single
womb of Rebekah, so also both evil and good come from the same source -
our souls. Hence St. Ambrose teaches that, like Rebekah, we should
repudiate the evil offspring of our hearts and see that "...goodness is
fostered and strengthened."5 Similarly, two prayers in the Liturgy are
like these fraternal twins: in one we pray that we may "trample down all
carnal desires," and positively, in the other, we are to seek growth in
God the Holy Spirit by "entering upon a spiritual manner of living."
Let us pursue the virtues actively, then, as Nikitas Stithatos says, we
shall be "in [God's] likeness if we possess virtue and understanding;
for His virtue covered the heavens" (see Hab. 3:3).6

There is a two-sided effort required for spiritual growth: to rid
ourselves of the sinful passions, and to make the virtues our own. In
the Great Canon, St. Andrew of Crete teaches us to speak to ourselves:
"O my soul, you have given away the birthright and lost your Father's
blessing, and in your wretchedness been twice supplanted in action and
knowledge."7 We can easily give away the likeness of God impressed upon
us; yet, through God's grace received in the Holy Mysteries of
Confession and Communion, we may regain that inestimable treasure.

Again, we lose the heritage of our Heavenly Father by our sins: thus,
St. Andrew says, "Therefore, repent now."8 Let us "spend the remaining
time of our life in peace and repentance,"9 and be restored to our
original and intended state. After the blessing was gone, Esau came
pleading because he wanted to inherit the blessing; but he was
rejected. As the Apostle teaches, he "found no place for repentance
though he sought it diligently with tears" (Heb. 12:17). However, in
Christ, genuine repentance, the cleansing of our sins, and restoration
to God are possible again.

O Lord, accept the dust of our repentance, and grant us the heaven of
Thy grace.