Evening Prayer: Feast of St. Michael and All Angels (Michaelmas)

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Psalm: 34, 150
Old Testament:Daniel 12:1-3
New Testament: Mark 13:21-27

Hallelujah!
Praise God in his holy temple; *
praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts; *
praise him for his excellent greatness. (Psalm 150:1-2)

In Biblical literature, angels typically have two roles. As I alluded to this morning, they bring God’s messages to humanity…but they also have a special role in that they praise YHWH continually.

The heavenly host reminds us that we too are called not only to love God and neighbour…..but to give thanks and praise for the blessing of creation. As human beings, we are made in the image of the Trinity and given the gift of life….We are indeed marvelously made and surrounded by beauty beyond all telling.

Tonight….I invite you to join your voice and heart to the song of angels so that from north to south, east to west, from heaven to earth, we may proclaim that the LORD is King and his dominion rules over all. +

Morning Prayer: Monday of Holy Week

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Psalm: 51
Old Testament: Jeremiah 12:1-6
New Testament: Philippians 3:1-14

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. (Phil 3:10-12)

Today, we find ourselves one day closer to the Cross of Calvary. Today Paul reminds us that we are called to enjoin our sufferings to Christ…not in the hopes that we might accomplish anything on our own….but in the hope that God will indeed heal us and make us whole.

This past week I heard a hymn composed by one of the parishoners at Bishop Cronyn church that speaks of that kind of struggle and hope. It is called “In Your Footsteps Lord” composed by Pat Sealy and put to music by Benjamin Dyck (also a member of the parish 🙂 )….

Pat was inspired to write this hymn after her battle with breast cancer. Through incredible strength, perseverance and Grace she was able to see the Gospel in a whole new way…..and it is in that Spirit that I share this hymn with you now.

In your footsteps Lord, Guide me through the wilderness
Temptation beckons me astray, and fears devour my rest

Chorus: I hear you my beloved child, come take me by the hand. We’ll be together hearts entwined, I’ll lead you to the promised land. I’ll lead you to the promised land.

In your footsteps Lord, Sustain me with your bread and wine.
O help me never to betray, to face my trials in time. Chorus

In your footsteps Lord, Support me while I take my cross,
The sword that pierces through my side, shows me my life is lost. Chorus

In your footsteps Lord, I feel the darkness of the tomb.
O heal the brokenness within, reborn within your womb. Chorus

In your footsteps Lord, move the limbs beneath the shroud,
and fill me with your living breath, to speak your name aloud. Chorus

In your footsteps Lord, move away the heavy stone.
And let the hope of Easter say, through grace we’re not alone. Chorus

In your footsteps Lord, give me strength to live each day.
And let me be a shepherd now, to show your Gracious way.

May this hymn inspire you and may the Spirit help you to know that we never walk alone. God bless all of you in this most holy week of the year. 🙂 +

Evening Prayer: Ash Wednesday (March 9th)

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Psalms: 102, 130
Gospel: Luke 18:9-14
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a letter to the Corinthians by St. Clement

Le Penitente by Pietro Rotari

 

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities. (Psalm 130:7-8)

The whole point of observing fasting periods is not so much self-deprivation as it is about hope and re-orientation. As we journey towards the Cross, lost in the desert of sound, sight, smell, taste and touch…… we long for something that is real

That’s not to say that the five senses are bad…..after all, we are a Church that believes in the essential goodness of the body which has been redeemed through Christ.

At the same time, there is a temptation to become to reliant on the body…on instant gratification, and the raw rush of emotion.

Lent seeks to get past that….by subduing the flesh (or additionally, things which are causing us to be lazy, stressed, or spiteful) room is made to contemplate the Spirit….to let Christ take his throne in the hearts of each of us.

Take some time in these next weeks and months to listen to what the Spirit–our advocate and guide–is saying to the Church in and through us. After all, we are all members of the one body of the faithful.

May we all, in the name of the LORD observe a Holy Lent and wander hand-in-hand with our Saviour….trusting in his great mercy towards us. +

Morning Prayer: March 5th

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Psalms: 20, 21
Old Testament: Deut 5:21-32
New Testament: 2 Cor 13

Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses,
but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.
They will collapse and fall,
but we shall rise and stand upright. (Psalm 20:7-8)

When I went to go visit my family last weekend, I attended Mass at our home parish and heard this hymn:

    Lyrics

Refrain:

All that we have and all that we offer
Comes from our hearts both frightened and free
Take what we bring now and give what we need
All done in His name

Some men rely on their power
Others put trust in their gold
Some men have only their Saviour
Whose faithfulness never grow old

(Repeat Refrain)

Sometimes the road may be lonesome
Often we may lose our way
Take courage and always remember
Love isn’t just for a day

(Repeat Refrain)

Sometimes when troubles are many
Life can seem empty it’s true
But look at the life of the Master
Who lovingly suffered for you

Trust is a crucial component to every relationship, whether human or Divine.  Make no mistake……there will be times that we feel that trust has been breeched between the Creator and ourselves….When we feel abandoned and betrayed.

But here’s the thing: So did Jesus.

On the Cross we don’t have a confident Saviour…..but one who cries out “My God, my God why have you abandoned me?”  In Christ’s death we have an apparent breaking of covenant and law.  The righteous man is not supposed to die, nor the innocent man condemned…..God is supposed to protect the innocent……..and yet we find the Son of God suffering, dead, and laid in a tomb.

3 days later…….the story takes a dramatic turn.  Jesus is raised, and trust is restored.  What felt like abandonment only a few short hours ago is now the joy of reunion……and what seemed like a gross injustice is now revealed as the most loving justice for all that could ever be dreamed of. 🙂

The next time you feel your trust waining…..know that a) it is completely normal and b) that our Heavenly Father will restore it so that we can live more fully into His presence.+

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