FRIDAY THE TWENTIETH OF JULY, 2018
Forgive me my sins, O Lord; forgive me the sins of my youth and the sins of my mature years, the sins of my soul and the sins of my body, my secret and my whispering sins, the sins I have done to please myself and the sins I have done to please others. Forgive those sins which I know and the sins which I know not; forgive them, O Lord, forgive them all of your great goodness. Amen
( "Private Devotions" 1560 )
You nations round the earth, rejoice before the Lord, your sovereign king:
serve him with cheerful heart and voice, with all your tongues his glory sing.
The Lord is God: it is he alone who life and breath and being give:
we are his work, and not our own; the sheep that on his pastures live.
Enter his gates with songs of joy, with praises to his courts repair;
and make it your divine employ to pay your thanks and honours there.
The Lord is good, the Lord is kind; great is his grace, his mercy sure;
and the whole race of man shall find his truth from age to age endure.
( Isaac Watts 1674–1748 )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Macrina: holding her own against her famous siblings
Today is a good day to tell the story of Macrina, eldest child of Basil the Elder and his wife, Emmelia, older sister of Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory of Nyssa. She was betrothed at the age of twelve, as was the custom of the day, but when her intended died, she determined to devote her life to prayer and contemplation and to works of charity. After the death of her father, she and her mother formed a community of women who shared her goals. She often brought poor and hungry women home to be fed, clothed, nursed or otherwise taken care of, and many eventually joined the community, as did many women of means.
After the death of their parents, Macrina was chiefly responsible for the upbringing of her ten younger brothers. When they wanted to brag about their intellectual accomplishments, she deflated them with affectionate but pointed jibes. Three of her brothers became bishops and two of them, Basil and Gregory, were leading contenders for the faith of Nicea against the Arians.
Her brother, Gregory, wrote her story in a “Life of Macrina.” He records his last visit with her, and her farewell speech and her prayers and teachings about the resurrection.
Macrina prayed this prayer shortly before she died:
"O you who has power on earth to forgive sins, forgive me, that I may be refreshed and may be found before you when I put off my body, without defilement on my soul. But may my soul be received into your hands spotless and undefiled, as an offering before you."
Macrina serves well as an example of the way the women in families pass on the faith, and nurture and care for not only the physical needs but the spiritual needs of their families.
Scripture. In "The Second Letter to Timothy," chapter one, verse five, Paul tells Timothy:
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice, and now, I am sure, lives in you.
... for peace in the world.
... for all women among the clergy, sisters under vows, cloistered nuns, anchoresses, female spiritual directors, and all women who work to show forth the kingdom of God.
... for the people of Colombia who celebrate their national day today.
... for those who drowned after an amphibious "duck boat" carrying tourists sank in stormy weather on Table Rock Lake in the US state of Missouri; for the safety of all travelling on water. DETAILS
... for victims of stalking, in the real world and on the internet.
... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
From "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis:
I think that many of us, when Christ has enabled us to overcome one or two sins that were an obvious nuisance, are inclined to feel (though we do not put it into words) that we are now good enough. He has done all we wanted him to do and we should be obliged if he would now leave us alone.
As we say "I never expected to be a saint, I only wanted to be a decent ordinary chap," and we imagine when we say this that we are being humble.
But this is the fatal mistake. Of course we never wanted, and never asked, to be made into the sort of creatures he is going to make us into. But the question is not what we intended ourselves to be, but what he intended us to be when he made us. He is the inventor, we are only the machine. He is the painter, we are only the picture. How should we know what he means us to be like?
You see, he has already made us something very different from what we were. Long ago, before we were born, when we were inside our mothers’ bodies, we passed through various stages. We were once rather like vegetables, and once rather like fish: it was only at a later stage that we became like human babies. And if we had been conscious at those earlier stages, I daresay we should have been quite contented to stay as vegetables or fish, should not have wanted to be made into babies. But all the time he knew his plan for us and was determined to carry it out.
Something the same is now happening at a higher level. We may be content to remain what we call "ordinary people" but he is determined to carry out a quite different plan. To shrink back from that plan is not humility: it is laziness and cowardice. To submit to it is not conceit or megalomania; it is obedience.
Ever-living God, we thank you for your teacher and peacemaker Adelaide Case, who inspired generations of students with a love of learning that built up the Church and their communities. Grant that we, following her example, may serve you tirelessly as learners and teachers, labouring for the transformation of the world toward your reign of peace, through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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