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Holy Week Meditations: 13 April – Palm Sunday

April 13th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

Apr 13

am: Ps 24, 29
pm: 103

am: Zech 9:9-12
pm: Zech 12:9-13:9

1 Tim 6:12-16

Luke 19:41-48


LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: This festival has early roots in the Eastern Church. St. Cyril of Jerusalem writes about annual commemoration of this great event as recorded in the Scriptures, with the custom also being observed by the desert fathers of Egypt and Syria. The first evidence we find in the West is in the 7th Century through the Sacramentary of St. Gregory, that is, at the end of the sixth, or the beginning of the seventh, century. In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday includes a procession of the assembled worshipers carrying palms, representing the palm branches the crowd scattered in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem. The difficulty of procuring palms in unfavorable climates led to their substitution with branches of native trees, including box, yew, willow, and olive. The Sunday was often designated by the names of these trees, as in Yew Sunday, or by the general term Branch Sunday.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY: Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, when we are all called to relive and to celebrate the events, which went before and surrounded Christ’s death and resurrection, the source of our salvation. Today we begin by recalling Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, where the regional custom called for kings and nobles arriving in procession to ride on the back of a donkey. The donkey was a symbol of peace; those who rode upon them proclaimed peaceful intentions. The laying of palm branches indicated that the king or dignitary was arriving in victory or triumph.

When we consider all that is being said in the lessons today we are reminded that Jesus for many is a sign of contradiction in the span of a few days he is acclaimed and then reviled. The fact of the matter is that we are part of that crowd that flips and flops.

Will we chose rightly and embrace Jesus the Son of God, or will give lip service and find ourselves in the universe of Judas or Barabbas. These are very different persons to be aligned with. Will be aligned with the servant of servants or the way of beings elf serving? Will we seek the Father’s will or seek to our own will. Who and what will we chose?

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Lenten Meditations: Saturday 12 April

April 12th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off


April 12

am: Ps 137, 144
pm: 42, 43

Exod 10:21-11:8

2 Cor 4:13-18

Mark 10:46-52

FIFTH SATURDAY OF LENT – St. Basil the Confessor, 8th Century 

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: St Basil the Confessor was elected as bishop by the inhabitants of Paris, who venerated the Saint as a true pastor of the flock of Christ. When the Iconoclast heresy broke out, St Basil resolutely came out on the side of icon veneration and refused to sign the orders for their abolition (the "Iniquitous Scroll" of the Council of 754 AD, which was convened under the emperor Constantine V Copronymos (741-775 AD). The Saint avoided any contact with the heretics and did not permit them into his diocese. For his zeal, he suffered much persecution, hunger and deprivation.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY: : The Daily Office has been providing us with lessons from Exodus which will serve as a good backdrop for those who will be going through the fullness of Holy Week in the Great Vigil of  Easter.  We are reminded in these chapters that when the enslaved Israelites sought to leave Egypt, Pharaoh said no!  Some of the plagues are the type of disasters, some others surreal, and those both in and outside the faith often ask Did the plagues actually occur in the order and manner described in the book. While Biblcal archaeologists and historians might be better served to explore this conversation, what is the faith result that occurs. Certainly, something happened to trigger their departure and it must have been monumental for Pharoah to give up his slave labor? Perhaps a good starting point for reflection is simply, that what ignited the depth of faith of the Hebrew People  was not their physical redemption from Egypt. Certainly that would spur anyone on but rather it could have been their valuing of the mighty acts which the Lord had done in Egypt”— sparing them and smiting their enemy. Perhaps this lesson is a good opportunity for us to pause and look around and consider what mighty work the Lord has done in my life and  make acts of witness accordingly.

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Lenten Meditations: Friday 11 April

April 11th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

April 11

am: Ps 22
pm: 141, 143

Exod 9:13-35

2 Cor 4:1-12

Mark 10:32-45


FIFTH FRIDAY OF LENT George Augustus Selwyn, first Bishop of New Zealand, 1878


LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:  Selwyn was born in London in 1809, educated at Eton and Cambridge and ordained in 1833. In 1841, he was made first Bishop of New Zealand. He diligently studied the Maori tongue on his long sea voyage, and was able to preach in it on his arrival. He laid the foundations of the Church, not only in New Zealand, but throughout the islands of Melanesia. (This was the result of a clerical error. The northern boundary of his diocese was supposed to be the parallel of latitude 34 degrees south of the equator. The official document read "north" instead of "south," and Selwyn cheerfully accepted responsibility for the vast Pacific regions of the Melanesian and Polynesian islands as well as New Zealand. In the ten-year war between the Maoris and the European colonists, Selwyn managed to keep the confidence of both sides, and ultimately at the first general synod of the Church in New Zealand in 1859 to secure the adoption of a Constitution that established the principle of full participation by Maori Christians at all levels of Church government. In 1867, Selwyn was pressured to accept appointment as Bishop of Litchfield. Reluctantly, he returned to England, where he died eleven years later.

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Lenten Meditations: Thursday 10 April

April 10th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

April 10

am: Ps 131, 132, 133
pm: 140, 142

Exod 7:25-8:19

2 Cor 3:7-18

Mark 10:17-31

FIFTH THURSDAY OF LENT - The Martyrs of East Anglia , 870

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAYThe year 870 was a terrible year for the Church in East Anglia. The Viking army that had arrived in 865 became a permanent army of occupation The army rode from York across Mercia into East Anglia, captured Thetford,  defeated and killed King Edmund. At the same time they came to Medehampstede (Peterborough) and burned and beat it down, slew abbot and monks and all that they found there. Prior to this they had demolished the monastery at Bardney in Lincolnshire, killing all the monks, and destroyed Ely. The same thing happened in Norfolk, and at the abbey at Thorney. Solemn mass was just ended as the Danes broke into the church, and the clergy had not yet left the sanctuary. A few escaped into the forest, but all who tried to hide in the monastery were butchered. They then  sacked the twin monasteries of Chertsey and Barking founded by St. Erkonwald for and his sister St. Ethelburga. All the nuns at Barking  and the 90 monks at Chertsey were killed, including  Beocca, the Abbot, and Hethor, the prior.

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Lenten Meditations: Wednesday 9 April

April 9th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

April 9

am: Ps 119:89-96
pm: 130, 133

Proverbs 3:1-7

1 Cor 15:19-26

Matt  13:47-52

FIFTH WEDNESDAY IN LENT –Bl. Dietrich Bonheoffer, Pastor, Scholar, Martyr, 1945.  

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:   Bonheoffer was born in 1906, son of a professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Berlin. He was an outstanding student, and at the age of 25 became a lecturer in systematic theology at the same University. When Hitler came to power in 1933, Bonheoffer became a leading spokesman for the Confessing Church, the center of Protestant resistance to the Nazis. He organized and for a time led the underground seminary of the Confessing Church.

Bonheoffer had been taught not to "resist the powers that be," but he came to believe that to do so was sometimes the right choice. In 1939 his brother-in-law introduced him to a group planning the overthrow of Hitler, and he made significant contributions to their work. (He was at this time an employee of the Military Intelligence Department.) He was arrested in April 1943 and imprisoned in Berlin. After the failure of the attempt on Hitler's life in April 1944, he was sent first to Buchenwald and then to Schoenberg Prison. His life was spared, because he had a relative who stood high in the government; but then this relative was himself implicated in anti-Nazi plots. On Sunday 8 April 1945, he had just finished conducting a service of worship at Schoenberg, when two soldiers came in, saying, "Prisoner Bonheoffer, make ready and come with us," the standard summons to a condemned prisoner. As he left, he said to another prisoner, "This is the end — but for me, the beginning — of life." He was hanged the next day, less than a week before the Allies reached the camp.

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Lenten Meditations: Tuesday 8 April

April 8th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

April 8

am: Ps 121, 122, 123
pm: 124, 125, 126

Exod 5:1-6:1

1 Cor 14:20-40

Mark 9:42-50

LENT V- FEAST DAY St. Dionysius of Corinth Bishop and Confessor, 177 

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:  The successor of Primus of Corinth what we  know about him comes from the Church Historian, Eusebius. The Bishop was the writer of  a number of  pastoral letters,  ranging from peace and unity, purity in faith and life, marriage and the defense of the faith against heretics. Eusebius mentions 8 of these letters—which he calls "Catholic Epistles," (addressed to Lacedemon, Athens, Nicomedia, Gortyna and other churches in Crete, Amastris and other churches in Pontus, Cnossus and Rome). IN the early days of the church it seems his letters were included as part of the common life of the Christian community. This would not be exceptional as the value attached by Christians to writings was regulated rather by the character of their contents than by the dignity of the writer. Many believed that the value of the letters of Bishop Dionysius were of high value and as a result became the property of the whole Christian community The Eastern church holds him as a martyr while the West does not as the evidence for his martyrdom is unclear.

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Lenten Meditations: Monday 7 April

April 7th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

April 7

am: Ps 31
pm: 35

Exod 4:10-31

1 Cor 14:1-19

Mark 9:30-41

LENT V- FEAST DAY St. Finan of Kinnity, Abbot, 6th Century


LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:  St. Finan, the patron saint of Kinnity, Ireland founded the abbey  there in 557A.D (where a Church of Ireland  still stands today).  St Finan was born in Kerry on the Dingle Peninsula. He went to school to St. Senan of Inis Caltra on the Shannon and after some years, he became associated with St. Brendan the Navigator from Clonfert and eventually started a monastic foundation under the pattern of life establish by St. Brendan. He died on the 7th April.


MEDITATION OF THE DAY: In the Psalm for evening time we are reminded again that most of us hold onto the things of this life with clenched fists and not open hearts, minds and hands. Given how tightly we hold onto to things, it should not be surprising that it is often in a crisis,  that has such deep stress upon us that we are faced with  releasing our grasp on that which we have deemed as truly cherished, which all too often are only mere idols,  which we must let go of. For as the Psalm reminds us God is God, and will not endure from us the substitutions we may make.

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Lenten Meditations: Sunday 6 April

April 6th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off


April 6

am: Ps 130
pm: 19, 46

  Ezekiel 37:12-14

Romans 8:8-11

John 11:1-45



LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: The Fifth Sunday in Lent was previously called "Passion Sunday" which was intended to mark the beginning of Passiontide, calling the community of faith to a deeper journey for the end of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week. The Liturgical Reforms of Vatican II ended this practice of Passion Sunday and limited the themes of the Passion to Palm Sunday.  There are still some Anglican churches that follow this practice of Passion Sunday base don their observation of the rubrics of the Sarum Rite where those parishes would use crimson vestiture on the fifth Sunday of Lent (replacing the unbleached muslin cloth known as the Lenten Array.


 In the Eastern Tradition of the Church, Christians in the Orthodox and Oriental Rites commemorates St. Mary of Egypt for her recognition of her own sinfulness and as an example of how a person can be freed of sin and the burdens sins bring to bear. This recognition of sin is imperative during the Holy Season so that faithful Christians can embrace a means of self-examination and preparation for a more virtuous life in anticipation of Holy Week and the Great Feast of Easter.    


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Lenten Meditations: Saturday 5 April

April 5th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

April 5

am: Ps 102, 108
pm: 33

Exod 2:23-3:15

1 Cor 13:1-13

Mark 9:14-29

FOURTH SATURDAY OF LENT – St. Ethelburga, Abbess, 647

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: St. Ethelburga (Aethelburh) was born into the royal family of East Anglia, daughter of St. Ethelbert of Kent in the seventh century. She was also wife to King St. Edwin of Northumbria, England, (also called Tate. She King St. Edwin to faith in Christ and when he died, she as abbess until her death. Her sister, St. Erconwald (May 13), founded the monastery of Barking (Berecingum) in Essex which she became the abbess of after she founded a convent at Lyminge after the King’s death. She led a virtuous life and guided those who were under her spiritual care.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY: This psalm is a boost the spirit as it is a clear call to rejoice in the Lord and why we should not because God is our hope, our help and our shield This like many Psalms calls us to find our rest, our hope, and our peace in the Lord, in season and out of season. Despite calamity the key is to e keep our eyes on the Lord as our God is a God of “unfailing love in a broken and sinful world. This psalm affirms the Sovereignty of God, and the consolation and joy that it should bring us! It is again an encouragement for us to praise and trust Him.

John Calvin called the Psalms a ‘mirror of the soul.’ This psalm reminds us that the joy God brings to us is not a theological construct but essential to our spirituality if we are to give authentic witness to Him and articulate our heart to God and others.

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Lenten Meditations: Friday 4 April

April 4th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

April 4

am: Ps 107:1-32
pm: 107:33-43

Exod 2:1-22

1 Cor 12:27-13:3

Mark 9:2-13


FOURTH FRIDAY IN LENT - St. Isidore of Seville, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, 636

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: Today we remember, Saint Isidore born in Cartagena of a devout family who with his brother Leander both served consecutively as bishops of Seville in a time of conflict and growth for the Church in Spain. As the Dark Ages began to touch parts of Europe with the barbarian invasions, the Visigoths invaded shortly before Isidore's birth. People of orthodox faith were tested they as many were Arians— apostate Christians who said Christ was not God. Spain was split in two: One people (Catholic Romans) struggled with another (Arian Goths). Eventually, Isidore reunited Spain, making it a center of culture and learning, a teacher and guide for other European countries whose culture was also threatened by barbarian invaders.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY: In the New Testament Lesson, from 1 Corinthians, we realize this is one passage with which most of us are familiar. We are the body of Christ, and we are endowed with a variety of gifts, yet none has value without love. Paul refers to "love" as the more "excellent way." What does that basic concept look like? To be part of the Body of Christ imbued with Gifts rooted in love? In the Document from the Second Vatican Council entitled Lumen Gentium ( The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church), the Council Fathers reminded us that in the Body of Christ, all the members share “a common dignity” so that “no inequality arising from race or nationality, social condition or sex” exists, because  all are one in Christ.    The idea of love and unity clearly are not just ideals but in fact they are constitutive elements of how each member of the Body is to frame his or her life with the understanding that we all share in a common dignity.

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Lenten Meditations: Thursday 3 April

April 3rd, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

April 3

am: Ps 69
pm: 73

Exod 1:6-22

1 Cor 12:12-26

Mark 8:27-9:1


FOURTH THURSDAY OF LENT - Saint Nicetas, Abbot of Medicium, 824

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAYSaint Nicetas lived in the eighth century and became the Abbot of the Monastery of Medicium, which was near the city of Triglia on the Sea of Marmara. For his Orthodox confession of the veneration of the holy icons, he was persecuted and exiled twice by the Iconoclast Emperor Leo the Armenian, but recalled by Michael the Stutterer, and reposed, adorned with the twofold crown of holiness and of confession of the Orthodox Faith, about the year 824..

MEDITATION OF THE DAY:  As we consider the continuing story in the Old Testament because it resonates so closely the steps of our own Lenten journey. The Israelites have remained in Egypt after Joseph’s death. Proving again none of us really likes changes they stay put but have become quite populous, and Pharaoh, is threatened by their growing numbers. He responds in a typically worldly fashion: employ brute force and try to contain them by violent oppression. So, the stage is being set for God’s plan to deliver his people. As God delivered his people in Egypt so he seeks to do that for us but we must be willing to be led which is not always our first inclination.


It is interesting to note that the sons of Israel and their families numbered 70 (v. 5) when they arrived in Egypt, a mere clan. But when the “sons of Israel” leave Egypt, they do so as a great nation with a vision and a leader! We are given a glimpse of the continuity of God’s plan by the fact that the promises and purposes of God commenced in the Book of Genesis will be continued in the Book of Exodus. However, as we see in these books human beings do try to interfere with God’s plan and God ultimately does work through such circumstances ( even slavery and oppression in this case) to demonstrate his power. The continuity of God is a good lesson for us to remember when faced with adversity because God does prevail.

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Lenten Meditations: Wednesday 2 April

April 2nd, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

April 2

am: Ps 101, 109
pm: 119:121-144

Gen 50:15-26

1 Cor 12:1-11

Mark 8:11-26

FOURTH WEDNESDAY OF LENT – St. Ebba the Younger, Virgin and Martyr, 879

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: Ebba was abbess of the great monastic foundation of Coldingham in the Marshes on the Scottish border, which had been founded two centuries earlier by Saint Ebba the Elder (f.d. August 25). During a Danish invasion Saint Ebba feared for her virginity because of the Viking reputation for rape and massacre. She gathered her nuns in the chapter house and encouraged them to follow her example: with a razor she cut off (or cut open) her nose and upper lip to discourage rape by the invaders. The entire community did likewise. They must have made a frightful spectacle. Their appearance so disgusted the raiders that the women were saved from rape but not from death: The Danes soon returned and set fire to the convent. The entire community perished in the flames in 879.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY: This passage from Genesis reminds us of the importance of forgiveness and graciousness as we see the culmination of the story of Joseph and his brothers. Many who read this story wonder how could Joseph be willing to help so many people and not give everything of his up entirely? Joseph is a striking figure really as he managed in his role in Pharaoh’s court to help strangers and his family. He decided early on despite the great injustices done to him, who he was and how he was going to live his life. What values was he going to uphold?  All of us can relate on some level to the images of betrayal and forgiveness in this story. The key is how we who are ordinary persons can live into extraordinary opportunities of grace. Joseph like us was an ordinary person, but he was able to live into extraordinary moments in his life being kind and caring to others, rather than be vengeful and vindictive.


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Lenten Meditations: Tuesday 1 April

April 1st, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

April 1

am: Ps 97, 99, 100
pm: 94, 95

Gen 49:29-50:14

1 Cor 11:17-34

Mark 8:1-10

FOURTH TUESDAY OF LENT – St. Hugh of Grenoble, Bishop, 1132

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:  Hugh who after serving as bishop for two years, was greatly troubled by the corruption of the church and sought life in a monastery; until the Bishop of Rome called him out to pioneer the work of church reform. He was a defender of the Church in resolving conflicts between the Church and state. While being an eloquent as a preacher, he was able to restore the cathedral; and make civic improvements in the town. Hugh may be best known as patron and benefactor of Saint Bruno, who was the founder of the Carthusian Order

MEDITATION OF THE DAY: This story from Mark is quite familiar to us and does remind us of the feeding of the 5000. What does strike us is not so much Jesus desire to help the hungry but the ongoing inability of the disciples who continue to follow Jesus without fully understanding Him as Lord and Savior Jesus.  In verse 4 they say “How are we going to do that (feed the crowd)?” We almost expect Jesus to say “are you serious, don’t you just remember what I did not so long ago?” But he doesn’t. His response is patient and he explains the directions to them again. We see that the disciples still don’t get it after more miracles and more teaching. We of course wonder what the Lord himself must wonder about us: “What is it going to take for them to understand?” Just as with the disciples then and us today, our understanding will require more catechesis, more prayer, more miracles, and more grace. The disciplines of Lent can help us with those things and lead to a place of better understanding of our Lord. 

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Lenten Meditations: Monday 31 March

March 31st, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

Mar 31

am: Ps 89:1-18
pm: 89:19-52

Gen 49:1-28

1 Cor 10:14-11:1

Mark 7:24-37

FOURTH MONDAY OF LENT - Saint Benjamin of Persia, Deacon and Martyr, 424


LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAYThe Christians in Persia had enjoyed twelve years of peace during the reign of Isdegerd, son of Sapor III, when in 420 it was disturbed by the indiscreet zeal of Abdas, a Christian Bishop who burned the Temple of Fire, the great sanctuary of the Persians. King Isdegerd threatened to destroy all the churches of the Christians unless the Bishop would rebuild it.  As Bishop Abdas refused to comply, the threat was executed; the churches were demolished, Abdas himself was put to death, and a general persecution began which lasted forty years. Isdegerd died in 421, but his son and successor, Varanes, carried on the persecution with great fury. The Christians were submitted to the cruelest tortures. Among those who suffered was St. Benjamin, a Deacon, who had been imprisoned a year for his Faith. At the end of this period, an ambassador of the Emperor of Constantinople obtained his release on condition that he would never speak to any of the courtiers about religion.

St. Benjamin, however, declared it was his duty to preach Christ and that he could not be silent. Although he had been liberated on the agreement made with the ambassador and the Persian authorities, he would not acquiesce in it, and neglected no opportunity of preaching. He was again apprehended and brought before the king. The tyrant ordered that reeds should be thrust in between his nails and his flesh and into all the tenderest parts of his body and then withdrawn. After this torture had been repeated several times, a knotted stake was inserted into his bowels to rend and tear him.

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Lenten Meditations: Sunday 30 March

March 30th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

Mar 30

am: Ps 23, 67
pm: 19, 46

1 Samuel 16:1-13

Eph 5:8-14

John 9:1-41


FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT – Mothering Sunday


LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: The fourth Sunday of Lent is rather unique; like the third Sunday of Advent ("Gaudete Sunday"), the fourth Sunday of Lent is a break in an otherwise penitential season. The vestments for this day will be rose, as they are on Gaudete Sunday in Advent, and flowers may adorn the Altar. This day is called "Laetare Sunday" (also "Rose Sunday"), and takes its name from the opening words of the Mass, the Introit's "Laetare, Jerusalem". This day is also known as Mothering Sunday The old practice of visiting the cathedral, or "mother church" of the diocese on this day was considered important for people to return to their home or "mother" church at least once a year. So each year in the middle of Lent, everyone would visit their "mother" church. As the return to the "mother" church became an occasion for family reunions when children who were working away from home returned. (It was quite common in those days for children to leave home to work in service from ten years of age. In England, natural mothers are honored today, too, in a manner rather like the American "Mother's Day”. The rose vestments on Laetare Sunday is a custom originating in the fact that, as a symbol of joy and hope in the middle of this somber Season.


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Lenten Meditations: Saturday 29 March

March 29th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

Mar 29

am: Ps 87, 90
pm: 136

Gen 47:27-48:7

1 Cor 10:1-13

Mark 7:1-23

FIFTH SATURDAY OF LENT – John Keble, Priest, and Scholar  1866

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: John Keble, born 1792, ordained Priest in 1816, tutor at Oxford University from 1818 to 1823. He was Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1831 to 1841, and from 1836 until his death thirty years later he was priest of a small parish in the village of Hursley near Winchester. On 14 July 1833, he preached the Assize Sermon at Oxford for the opening of the civil and criminal courts. His sermon was called "National Apostasy," and denounced the Nation for turning away from God, and for regarding the Church as a mere institution of society, rather than as the prophetic voice of God, commissioned by Him to warn and instruct the people. The sermon was a nationwide sensation, and is considered to be the beginning of the religious revival known as the Tractarian Movement or as the Oxford Movement.


The Tractarians emphasized the importance of the ministry and of the sacraments as God-given ordinances. The movement profoundly influenced the religious thinking, practice, and worship of large portions of Christendom. Their insistence, for example, that it was the normal practice for all Christians to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion every Sunday has influenced many Christians who would never call themselves Anglicans, let alone Tractarians. 


Although the Anglican Communion chooses now, officially, to recognize his centenary, he, in whose memory Keble College stands, was unhonoured while he lived. He was never offered any preferment and was regarded with disdain and dislike by many bishops and clergy whose names are well forgotten. He never despaired when days were darkest, and his calm continuance in well-doing is a lasting rebuke to those who faint and fall in the stress of persecution.

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Lenten Meditations: Friday 28 March

March 28th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

Mar 28

am: Ps 88
pm: 91, 92

Gen 47:1-26

1 Cor 9:16-27

Mark 6:47-56

FIFTH FRIDAY OF LENT – Saint Hilarion the New, 754

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:  St Hilarion the New, Abbot of Peleke Monastery, from his youth, he devoted himself to the service of God and spent many years as a hermit. Due to his holy and blameless life he was ordained a Priest, and later he was made abbot of the Pelekete monastery . St Hilarion suffered on Great and Holy Thursday in the year 754 AD, when the military commander Lakhanodrakon suddenly descended upon the Pelekete monastery in pursuit of icon-venerators, boldly forcing his way into the church, disrupting the service and throwing the Holy Gifts upon the ground. Forty-two monks were arrested, slapped into chains, sent to the Edessa district and murdered. The remaining monks were horribly mutilated, they beat them, they burned their beards with fire, and they smeared their faces with tar and cut off the noses of some of the confessors. St Hilarion died for the veneration of icons during this persecution.

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Lenten Meditations: Thursday 27 March

March 27th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

Mar 27

am: Ps 42, 43
pm: 85, 86

Gen 46:1-7, 28-34

1 Cor 9:1-15

Mark 6:30-46


FIFTH THURSDAY OF LENTSaint John of Egypt, Hermit, 394


LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:  Also known as St. John of Lycopolis  this servant of God when he was twenty-five, decided to leave the world for good to spend his life in prayer and sacrifice for God. He was one of the famous desert hermits of that time.  St. John spent four or five years in various monasteries. He wanted to become familiar with the way monks pray and live. Finally, John found a cave high in the rocks. The area was quiet and protected from the desert sun and winds. He divided the cave into three parts: a living room, a work room and a little chapel. People in the area brought him food and other necessities. Many also came to seek his advice about important matters. Even Emperor Theodosius I asked his advice twice, in 388 and in 392.


MEDITATION OF THE DAY: Today, Psalm 42 invites us to  ponder what a deep and driving longing or yearning might look and feel like. Not a mere desire or wish but an almost unquenchable yearning. The author of the Psalms find himself a bit out of his element, he is a bit disoriented  but he is focused on only on reality his longing for God .Being in touch with what our deepest pining is can give us a sense of our spiritual depth and compass because our longings reveal our priorities. The psalmist longed for God and not for lesser things. His soul was restless in its desire for fellowship with God. He was sustained in his trials by the conviction that he would again worship God with others of like faith. His priority was fellowship with God. Our longings reveal much about our priorities. They reveal the place God truly holds in our hearts and minds.? Certainly, the essence of this Psalm compelled John of Egypt to commit fully to his spiritual life and discipline with the gifts he was given. What if our yearning for God was as deep what gifts could we render without compromise in service to Him?

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Lenten Meditations: Wednesday 26 March

March 26th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off

Mar 26

am: Ps 75, 76
pm: 23, 27

Gen 45:16-28

1 Cor 8:1-13

Mark 6:13-29

THIRD WEDNESDAY OF LENT – St. Margaret Clitherow, Mother and Teacher, 1586

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: Margaret was born in 1555, she was raised as a member of the Church of England, but after her marriage to John Clitherow, she made the decision to become Roman Catholic. It was a brave decision because Margaret lived during the English Reformation.

Margaret’s husband did not become Catholic, but he supported her decision. John even paid the fines Margaret was charged for not attending Anglican services in their local church! Margaret had two hiding places built in their home. One was a small room, large enough for several priests to hide from the authorities looking to arrest any members of the clergy. The other secret place in Margaret’s house was a small cupboard. In it she kept the sacred vessels, including a chalice and paten, and vestments—anything a priest would need to celebrate the Eucharist. The home was searched often because the authorities suspected that Margaret was breaking the laws against Catholics. Margaret made plans to send her oldest son to France so that he could receive a Catholic education. This, too, was a crime. Someone reported Margaret and she was arrested. She refused to admit that she had broken any laws. Margaret was found guilty and sentenced to death. The Church honors St. Margaret as a saint for her courage and faith like many martyrs of the church on both sides in that era.

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Lenten Meditations: Tuesday 25 March

March 25th, 2014 Jill Posted in Lent Comments Off


Mar 25

Ps 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-2

Isaiah 7:10-14, 8:10

Hebrews 10:5-10

Luke 1:26-38


Third Tuesday  in Lent- Feast of the Annunciation

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:  On this feast of the Annunciation, we take a slight break from the Lenten disciplines and  remember the Angel Gabriel’s proclamation of Good News  While it is quite an honor for Mary…Blessed are you…. We know too well, human honor is, indeed, fleeting. But God's honor stands forever, even in the face of criticism. Mary accepted, even proclaimed, God's will in her life. She placed her future in the hands of the Father. Her example should inspire us to stand firm as Christians in today's ever-changing fads and fancies. Remember, the words of others may sting, but the Spirit of God burns within. The divine fire can withstand the darts others fling toward us.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY –The lessons today come from the order of the Mass for the Latin Rite t seems lately, I have heard that phrase often: Be not afraid. The Angel that comes to Mary calms her with these words, and also in turn, Joseph, and they become parents of Heaven’s royal child. The Angel that informed the shepherds of the baby’s birth first said, “Be not afraid. I bring you tidings of great joy”. And how many times does Jesus admonish me not to worry, not to fear, and to be of good courage? I hear it over and over in the Bible, echoed in prayer, hymns and poetry. It seems that Jesus is often saying, “Be not afraid” to those who love Him. Wonderful things happen, but not until after we are able to shake off our fear and live in to the fullness of that promise, just as Blessed Mary did.


ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE: " From Mary you may take your pattern of life, showing, as an example, the clear rules of virtue: what you have to correct, to effect, and to hold fast”. – St. Ambrose of Milan (Book II)


PRAYER OF THE DAY:  O God, you have taken to thyself the blessed Virgin Mary,
mother of thy incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”

Lenten Discipline Reflect on who in your life could use a piece of Good News and go about cultivating an opportunity where they can see hope and a vision for the future as Mary did from Gabriel. What message or action can you bring today to an unsuspecting person that will give them a sense of Christ.

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