Morning Prayer: December 3rd

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Psalm(s): 71
Old Testament: Ezra 7:11-26
New Testament: Revelation 14:1-13

Today is the feast day of Richard Hooker; an intellectual giant of the English Reformation.Β  His eight volume work entitled Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity was originally commissioned as a defence against the Puritan and Calvinist movements. His careful examination of natural law, Sacraments, and the role of Scripture, Reason and Tradition helped shape the roots of what we now know as Anglicanism

I have been like a portent to many,
but you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all day long (Psalm 71:7-8)

What if I told you were a role-model to the world??? I know, it’s unfair…some of us don’t want to be taken seriously in the public sphere. And yet, the truth is….no matter how much we may want to remain hidden and behind the scenes……we are a portent (window) to somebody.

As long as we are living, we cannot be invisible….we must emerge from our homes and apartments to pick up groceries, to grab money from the ATM, to pay bills at the bank, and any other myriad of activities.

No matter how menial the task….people see us……and sometimes we are judged harshly based on our appearance, demeanour, or attitudes. The Good News is that there is at least three persons who see as as we truly are. The Trinity. πŸ™‚

We don’t need to worry about what other people think, but we do need to pay attention to our relationship with God. Are we angry with Him? Are we struggling to find Him in the world? Are we trying to discern what to do in a difficult moral situation?? Do we feel alienated from our heavenly Father?

Whatever our internal relationship with the Divine is what we will project to the world. The question for today is not whether we will be portents….but rather whether we are windows which will let the light pass through.

Either one is OK I promise you….God knows our hearts and we will all go through times when we wander in the wilderness….and he will constantly call to us. πŸ™‚

But take it from my experience, it is far more enjoyable to welcome the light of Grace and mercy into your soul than to let the darkness persist. Be blessed today and always, knowing that–as a baptized Christian–you are a child of the Light that never fades. As they say in Firefly…Shiny! πŸ˜‰ +

Evening Prayer: Feast of St. Luke (Oct. 18th)-Combo Post

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Psalms: 103, 67, 96
Old Testament: Ezekiel 47:1-12, Isaiah 52:7-10
New Testament: Luke 1:1-4, Acts 1:1-8

As with each of the four gospel accounts in the Bible, Luke has its own distinct style and message when it comes to telling the story of Jesus of Nazareth. The 3rd Evangelist’s account is the book where we find some of the best known stories of the New Testament….like the parable of the Prodigal Son, the parable of the Good Samaritan and the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary by Gabriel.

Throughout the entire book….there is special emphasis placed on healing, forgiveness, reconciliation, and inclusion of women and Gentiles into the covenant.

As a result of these trends, the tradition of the Church holds that Luke was a physician…..and today is typically a day when we pray for all medical personnel.

So here’s my question to you…..In what ways are you being Christ-like? How are you reaching out to the poor, the lame, and those who are wounded?

Wounds can take many forms……some are physical, some are emotional, and others are spiritual. If you saw my post earlier today, I think it’s important to recognize that sometimes wounds hit the trifecta, and drain away our very will to live. 😦

We are human. That means that we won’t be able to cure everything….we have to know our finite limits in terms of skill-set and talent….but each of us has the capacity to touch the life of another…. To reflect the light of the Holy Spirit and to help someone’s darkness to be a little less intimidating and scary.

Even if we think ourselves to be an insignificant flicker, for someone else we may be the beacon of hope through which they see the loving face of God.

I pray that as we move forward from this online place of prayer and reflection, we emerge with a sense and conviction that our light and warmth are worth sharing…and that we can live more each and every day in the glorious Light that Jesus provides for us, and gifts us with at our baptism. Amen. Alleluia! +

Morning Prayer: Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (August 6th)

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Psalm: 2, 24
Old Testament: Exodus 24:12-18
New Testament:2 Corinthians 4:1-6

For it is the God who said, β€˜Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 4:6)

The Transfiguration is a difficult feast to talk about. For one thing, it is not entirely clear why it is included in the Gospel accounts. Jesus’ clothes are made to shine dazzling white, with a repeat of the message coming at Christ’s baptism….that he is God’s chosen and that the people should listen to him.

So what’s the significance? Why does the Church care to remember this moment in history?

For myself, I think it’s important to remember that the encounter on Mount Tabor happens just before Christ’s entrance into the holy city to face His passion and death.

The message to listen to the Son of God on the way to Jerusalem is not only a call to listen to his teaching…..but to observe the Lamb of God taking up His cross and following the will of the Father.

If we want to see Christ as he truly is….we must be prepared to be mocked, ridiculed, and have our lives put in danger. Only then can our lives be truly united to the Son and then we too will arise victorious from the pain and strife of the grave.

Take up thy cross
and follow Christ
nor think ’till death to lay it down
For only those who bears the Cross
may hope to wear the glorious crown +

Evening Prayer: July 15th

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Psalm: 35
Gospel: Mark 3:7-19
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a treatise on the Mysteries by St. Ambrose

Random fun fact: When I was in seminary, we often would joke around about being posted to “St. Swithin’s by the Swamp” for first ministry assignments (to refer to parishes out in the boonies)…..At first I thought it was just a euphemism my profs. and colleagues used…..turns out he’s an actual saint who is venerated in England….Today (July 15th) is his feast day. πŸ™‚

Light is preferable to its shadow, reality to its symbol, the body of the Giver to the manna he gave from heaven.

At the risk of getting a little too po-mo in my reflection……I kinda like what Ambrose says here.

In the Christian conception, the Sacraments are what allow us to see God as He truly is…a person who gives us life and fulfillment for the body, the mind and the soul.

Our God is not one who hides behind the veil of heaven…..but discarded the veil and came down to meet us face to face. One of the unspoken extensions of this is that the Sacraments change us too.

By placing our faith in a God who reveals himself fully, we are also making a choice to show our full selves to the world….to be a reflection of the one who created us and reshaped us in baptism. St. Ambrose’s call to recognize the bread and wine as Body and Blood also act as a subtle reminder that our lives are to be sacraments…our actions are to be outward and visible signs of the inward and invisible Grace we have received.

We don’t have the time or energy to waste in presenting false personas to the world……After all….what does that accomplish…..except to hide behind the comfortable veil of sin and self-will once more????

The key–I think–is to remember that we have been adopted as children of the Most High. Once we claim that identity for our own…..the true Light which dispels all darkness becomes a part of us……so that when we encounter one another 1:1, the other person sees not only our personalities…..but the love of Jesus radiating through us……as we are truly meant to shine in this world. ❀ +

Amazing!!! :D

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Normally, I don’t put random stuff up on this blog…..but this is way too good not to be shared. πŸ˜€

I came across it while reading Josh’s blog and I was absolutely floored. ❀

This was a virtual arrangement put together by Eric Whitacre, who is the conducter of the aptly named Virtual Choir (which consists of Youtube users) Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Evening Prayer: March 3rd

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Psalms: 18:21-50
Gospel: Matt 7:1-12
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from the Moral Reflections on Job by St. Gregory the Great

It is you who light my lamp;
the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness. (Psalm 18:28)

OK am I the only one who thought of this when reading this verse 28????

πŸ˜€

Seriously though, this line is the one that caught my attention tonight. God is the one who gives light to guide our feet on the path….but where does this path lead to???

Ironically enough, it leads us back to Him who is the source of life….

For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light. (Psalm 36:9)

Light is an important part of our life..it allows us not only to see…..but to see in colour and detail. It can be a spot of joy on otherwise dreary, snowy, and overcast days that are otherwise miserable… :P…..Can you tell I’m looking forward to spring???

Light can also give us direction in the darkness…..at times when we are uncertain and lost…..its appearance can give hope admist despair.

May you always find yourself in the light, and remember that in light, we reflect the one who made us in delight +

Evening Prayer: March 1st

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Psalms: 10, 11
Gospel: Matt 6:16-23
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from the Confessions of St. Augustine

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:21)

It always astounds me how simple the Gospel can be sometimes. I can see no reason to explain it away with exegesis and/or commentary :D……

May we set our hearts on the one who creates, redeems and sustains us all the days of our lives. ❀ +

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