Friday, October 19, 2018

Taylor: for all in misery

Friday, October 19, 2018
    Feast of Henry Martyn, Translator of the Scriptures, Missionary in India & Persia, 1812
Meditation:
    When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”
    Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.”
    —Matthew 11:2-5 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Relieve and comfort all the persecuted and afflicted; speak peace to troubled consciences; strengthen the weak, confirm the strong; instruct the ignorant; deliver the oppressed from him that spoileth him, and relieve the needy that hath no helper; and bring us all by the waters of comfort, and in the ways of righteousness, to the kingdom of rest and glory, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
    ... Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), Holy Living [1650], in The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., v. III, London: Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1847, p. 33 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 11:2-5; Ps. 29:11; 85:8; Isa. 61:1-3; Luke 4:14-21; John 14:27; Acts 3:17-19; 17:30; Gal. 2:10; Eph. 2:17; Heb. 5:2; Jas. 1:27
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, make me an instrument of Your mercy.
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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Owen: prayer and life

Thursday, October 18, 2018
    Feast of Luke the Evangelist
Meditation:
    During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him...
    —Hebrews 5:7-9 (NIV)
Quotation:
    He who prays as he ought will endeavour to live as he prays.
    ... John Owen (1616-1683), I.4 in The Grace and Duty of being Spiritually Minded [1681], in Works of John Owen, v. VII, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 295 (see the book)
    See also Heb. 5:7-9; Matt. 6:5-8; Rom. 12:10-15; Jas. 2:12
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, send Your Spirit to conform my life and prayers to Your will.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Augustine: unnatural desires

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
    Feast of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, Martyr, c.107
Meditation:
    Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
    —Romans 1:24 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
    ... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Confessions [397], Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1886, I.xii, p. 15 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 1:24; Matt. 6:31-33; Luke 12:29-31; John 15:19; Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:17; Col. 3:2; 1 John 2:15
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I praise your justice and your mercy.
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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Ambrose: vespers hymn

Tuesday, October 16, 2018
    Commemoration of the Oxford Martyrs, Hugh Latimer, Nicolas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer, bishops and martyrs, 1555
Meditation:
    The LORD has heard my cry for mercy;
    the LORD accepts my prayer.
    All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed;
    they will turn back in sudden disgrace.
    —Psalm 6:9-10 (NIV)
Quotation:
Thee, Lord, before the close of day,
Maker of all things, Thee we pray
for Thy dear loving kindness’ sake
to guard and guide us in Thy way.

Banish the dreams that terrify,
and night’s fantastic company;
keep us from Satan’s tyranny;
defend us from unchastity.

Protect us, Father, God ador’d,
Thou, too, coequal Son and Lord,
Thou, Holy Ghost, our Advocate,
whose reign can know nor bound nor date.
    ... St. Ambrose of Milan (Aurelius Ambrosius) (339-397), hymn for compline, Roman Breviary, 8th century, attrib. (see the book)
    See also Ps. 6:9-10; 23:4; 91:5; 136:1-3; 141:2; Isa. 54:14; Luke 21:34-36; Rom. 8:26; 1 Cor. 15:55-57; Tit. 2:3-5
Quiet time reflection:
    In You, Lord, is victory over all fears.

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Teresa of Avila: the corruption of comforts

Monday, October 15, 2018
    Feast of Teresa of Avila, Mystic, Teacher, 1582
Meditation:
    I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
    —Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Our body has this defect that, the more it is provided care and comforts, the more needs and desires it finds.
    ... Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, v. II, Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1980, p. 80 (see the book)
    See also Phil. 4:12-13; Pr. 10:4; 12:24; 21:24; Heb. 6:10-12
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, make me to need only You.
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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Foster: the adversary's tools

Sunday, October 14, 2018
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.”
    —Matthew 13:22 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Our Adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry and crowds. If he can keep us engaged in “muchness” and “manyness,” he will rest satisfied.
    ... Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline: the path to spiritual growth [1978], San Francisco: Harper, 2003, p. 15 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 13:22; 6:24-25; Mark 10:23-25; Luke 12:16-21,29-31; 21:34; 1 Tim. 6:9-10; 1 John 2:15-16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, keep the enemy’s distractions away, and fill my heart with Your word.
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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Lewis: the letter killeth

Saturday, October 13, 2018
    Feast of Edward the Confessor, 1066
Meditation:
    It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.
    —Romans 4:13 (NIV)
Quotation:
    One mustn’t make the Christian life into a punctilious system of law, like the Jewish [for] two reasons. (1) It raises scruples when we don’t keep the routine. (2) It raises presumption when we do. Nothing gives one a more spuriously good conscience than keeping rules, even if there has been a total absence of all real charity and faith.
    ... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Letters to an American Lady, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1986, p. 38 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 4:13; John 6:36; Rom. 1:17; 8:1-2; 2 Cor. 3:6; 5:7; Gal. 2:20; 3:11; 1 John 1:1
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, keep love and faith alive within me.
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