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: Feb. 1st

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Psalms: 61, 62
Old Testament: Isaiah 52:1-12
New Testament: Galatians 4:12-20

St. Bridget

My little children, for whom I am again in the pain of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…. (Galatians 4:19)

I’m going to take a moment to jump to the defence of clergy this morning. Often clergy, teachers, and people in other positions of authority get a bad rap for trying to impose their will on others. Sometimes this can be true and there can be abuses of power…but mostly clergy are insistent because they want to see a positive change in the lives of all they serve.

This reflection is brought on in part by a series I read over at the Episcopal Cafe in which the author argued against open table communion.

For those of you who don’t know…open table Eucharist refers not to inter-denominational communicats…but giving the Body and Blood of Christ to those who are not baptized.

Many in the Church today are for this practice….believing that it spreads a message of Grace and inclusivity. While that is true to some extent……where does that leave the Sacrament of Baptism???

The point being made in this article is not so much that the Church wishes to exclude people……but to get people to take the message of Christ seriously. We are called not only to follow him but to die with him….which is a scary prospect and one hell of a commitment to be making! :S

Sometimes when clergy and teachers stick to their guns, it’s not in an effort to be authoritarian, but a genuine desire to see Christ grow within the congregation…..with a solid theological background.

Ministers and those in authority care for their church like they do their own families. Sometimes they are called to make hard decisions….and to insist on some very ancient practices…..but it is all in the hope that the Good News is planted….and a new and free person is born in the Light of Christ. +

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