Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent's offertory Sentence

I couldn't help but to connect these two together when I heard the offertory sentence from the BCP at this morning's Eucharist.

Advent. As we have opportunity, let us do
good unto all men; and especially unto them that
are of the household of faith. Galatians 6. 10

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

~ Mother Teresa

Collect for First Sunday of Advent

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may
cast away the works of darkness, and put
upon us the armour of light, now in the time of
this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ
came to visit us in great humility; that in the
last day, when he shall come again in his glorious
Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal; through him
who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy
Spirit, now and ever. Amen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christ the king

"For God indeed is said to rule as King when nothing worldly meddles in the governing of our souls and when in every respect we live not of this world."
Blessed Theophylact

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Collects for Sunday November 21

From the BCP - The Sunday next before Advent

STIR Up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills
of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously
bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of
thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

From the BAS - The Reign of Christ

Almighty and everlasting God,
whose will it is to restore all things
in your well-beloved Son, our Lord and King,
grant that the peoples of the earth,
now divided and enslaved by sin,
may be freed and brought together
under his gentle and loving rule;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen

Friday, November 19, 2010

Draw Close to God

Sin is always a crime against the Father’s love. Sin occurs when we distance ourselves from God and incline towards the passions. Repentance is always bound up with abstinence from sinful leanings. Humanism, too, involves overcoming various vices. But in so far as ignorance of the deep-rooted essence of sin -pride – persists, this evil source remains entrenched and the tragical-ness of history continues to increase. The holy Fathers tell us that humility alone can save mankind, and pride alone is enough to bring us to the darkness of hell…. A great many of us frequent churches erected by man but relatively few find the “narrow way” which leads to the heavenly tabernacle not made by hands (c.f. Matt 7:14).

The struggle to “cast off the works of darkness, and… put on the armor of light” (Rom. 13:12) is a painful one. The age-old experience of holy ascetics demonstrates irrefutably that pride is the principle obstacle to enlightenment by the Holy Spirit…. God is Light, God is Truth, Love, Mercy, and much else. I would make bold to add: God is Humility. Nothing that is unclean – which means proud – can draw near Him. Pride is abomination, the opposite of Divine goodness. Pride is the principle of evil, the root of all tragedy, the sower of enmity, the destroyer of peace, the adversary of divinely-established order. In pride lies the essence of hell. Pride is the “outer darkness” where man loses contact with the God of love. “Men loved darkness” (Jn. 3:19). Repentance alone can deliver us from this hell.

People make their own hell for themselves. Better to be killed than kill is the attitude of the humble man of love.

~Archimandrite Sophrony

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Peace Within

According to Abba Isaac, we are to be a friend as were as a stranger to everyone. Express your opinion without imposing it. Listen to the others even when they sound boring or foolish. They, too, have their pain, their story to tell, and Christ has shed His Precious Blood for them as well. Abba Isaiah warns us not to compare ourselves with others; it is a dangerous game if you say you are better than another, you fall into pride. If you say you are worse, you fall into fatalism, inferiority, despair. Be vitally concerned with progress in your studies and your work, but also be aware that everyone -cobbler, a street cleaner – can be a hero and a saint. See to it that you are who you actually are, do not pretend to be good for it is a burdensome illness that leads to death. At the same time do not fall into cynicism where love is concerned. Do not hurry and do not delay. Be as gentle and polite with yourself as you are austere and demanding. Do not idle away your time and do not tire yourself with programmatic endeavors that cannot be sustained.
Weariness and loneliness can quickly destroy health. Be reconciled with God. Be reconciled with yourself. Be reconciled with others in your life, and no one will ever be able to take away the peace from your heart.

~Monk Moses of Athos

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All Soul's Day

From the BCP

MOST merciful Father, who hast been pleased
to take unto thyself our brethren departed:
Grant to us who are still in our pilgrimage, and
who walk as yet by faith, that having served thee
faithfully in this world, we may, with all faithful
Christian souls, be joined hereafter to the company
of thy blessed Saints in glory; through Jesus
Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy
Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, world without
end. Amen.

From the BAS

Father of all,
we pray to you for those we love, but see no longer.
Grant them your peace,
let light perpetual shine upon them,
and in your loving wisdom and almighty power,
work in them the good purpose of your perfect will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen

Monday, November 1, 2010

Collect for All Saint's Day

From the BCP

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast knit together
thine elect in one communion and fellowship,
in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our
Lord: Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed
Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we
may come to those unspeakable joys, which thou
hast prepared for them that unfeignedly love thee;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From the BAS

Almighty God,
whose people are knit together in one holy Church,
the mystical Body of your Son,
grant us grace to follow your blessed saints
in lives of faith and commitment,
and to know the inexpressible joys you have prepared
for those who love you;
through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen