Morning Prayer: June 22nd

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Psalms: 101, 109:1-4;20-30
Old Testament: 1 Sam 7:2-17
New Testament: Acts 6:1-15

[the Israelites said to Samuel] ‘Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, and pray that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines. (1 Sam 7:8b)

As someone who feels called to the priesthood, I definitely feel a tug on the heart-strings when I read this passage. Whatever else I am called to do……whether it be youth work, mission and outreach, figuring out church finances……I am called first and foremost to pray for the people I serve.

It took me a while to grasp that. For a long, long time I viewed prayer as a way to give God my grocery list of needs and wants. Now that I’ve become a bit more mature (not much though :P) I’ve learned that prayer is much much more.

When we come to God…..we bring not only ourselves, but we unite our voices with whole Christian community.

The early Church was insistent that we never pray alone. From the solitary hermit in the deserts of Egypt to the busy family of 5 praying before meals….it is all part and parcel of the same package.

Like Samuel, we are asked not only to pray for ourselves…..but for our friends and families.

To add to the craziness…..Jesus turns things on their head and says we must pray for our enemies…for those we hate……for those who insult us…..and for those whom we struggle to love. 😛

As much as I hate saying the Daily Office sometimes, I am thankful that it forces me to carve out time for others. It forces me to speak aloud to the Trinity when I would much rather just get my tasks done for the day.

Above all though, I am thankful that I have been called to a vocation which allows me to work on my prayer-life–and even more than that–to be supported by my brothers and sisters in Christ as I move forward into ministry……some of which I hope will be officially ordained and recognized by the Church. 🙂 +

Evening Prayer: Eve of Pentecost

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Old Testament: Exodus 19:3-8a, 16-20
New Testament: 1 Peter 2:4-10

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. (1 Pet 2:9)

Sometimes I think Christians take their claim of holiness and priesthood a little too seriously….or rather not, seriously enough. In the zeal to evangelize, and to bring Christ to the masses, Western culture (Canadians included)…has found it tough to avoid an “us vs. them” mentality.

We are the ones who have the Gospel, right???? We are the smart ones…we know the Truth. We are the one’s saddled with responsibility and The White Man’s Burden laying heavy across our shoulders.

In taking such an approach, we have justified the destruction of First Nations people, sanctioned exclusivity on part of the Church, and condemned people to hellfire and damnation :P.

All because we didn’t pay attention to Peter’s next verse:

Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy. (1 Pet 2:10)

Read that verse, and the whole context changes. Now we cannot perceive ourselves as great….or as superior..but as a people who have been lifted up from the dust. Not as masters who can decide the fate of others, but of slaves given freedom and new life.

We are called not to judge each other……but to build one another up. Not to lament our brokenness, but celebrate in the collective joy we find in Christ Jesus…Not to look down on others, but encourage one another living in the Spirit.

I pray that on this birthday of the Church, we can not only celebrate the Spirit in our midst…but give Her the space to transform our hearts, our minds, and the way we each live in this world. 😀 +

Evening Prayer: Feb. 19th

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Psalm: 33
Gospel: Mark 12:35-44
Reading from the Magisterium: An excerpt from a Treatise of Pope Pius XII

As he taught, he said, ‘Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the market-places, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honour at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.’ (Mark 12:37-40)

As someone who feels called to the priesthood…..I must admit that this passage always makes me squirm a little bit. Ordained clergy often have seats of honour both at worship and social functions.

While I know full well that the call of a priest is to serve….it is very easy to get attracted and sustained by the popularity and status that can come with the position. Priests also have a certain degree of authority that is bestowed upon them and that people expect to be exercised.

It is readings like tonight’s that keep me grounded and give me a wake-up call. If I may be so bold, I would ask your prayers for those of us who find ourselves in positions of authority in the Church. That we may remain true to our calling not only as leaders….but of servants who wash feet, and simply tell a fellow beggar where to find Bread and a Cup of Salvation. +

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