Saturday, October 10, 2020

Perrin: failures dear to Christ

Saturday, October 10, 2020
    Feast of Paulinus, Bishop of York, Missionary, 644
Meditation:
    And rejoice before the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name—you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, the Levites in your towns, and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows living among you.
    —Deuteronomy 16:11 (NIV)
Quotation:
    A great many of those about me would be imprisoned under any law; in France, as here, they would be regular jail-birds. But I loved them better and better—and still I knew how little was my love for them compared to Christ’s. It is easy enough for a man to be honest and a “good Christian” and keeper of “the moral law,” when he has his own little room, his purse well filled—when he is well shod and well fed. It is far less easy for a man who has to live from day to day, roaming from city to city, from factory to factory. It is far less easy for someone just out of jail, with nothing to wear but old down-at-the-heels shoes and a shirt in rags. All of a sudden, I understood our Lord’s words: “I was in prison ... and you visited me not.” All these men, lazy, outside the law, starving: these failures of all kinds—they were dear to Christ—they were Christ, waiting in prison for someo ne to lean over Him—and if we were true Christians, we would do them every kindness.
    ... Henri Perrin (1914-1954), Priest-Workman in Germany, London: Sheed & Ward, 1947, p. 83 (see the book)
    See also Deut. 16:11; Ps. 69:32,33; Matt. 25:36; Rev. 3:17
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, soften our hearts towards the poor.
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Friday, October 09, 2020

Grosseteste: the pastoral charge

Friday, October 9, 2020
    Commemoration of Denys, Bishop of Paris, & his Companions, Martyrs, 258
    Commemoration of Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, Philosopher, Scientist, 1253
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
    “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for m e.’“
    
    —Matthew 25:34-40 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The pastoral charge [does not] consist merely in administering the sacraments, chanting the canonical hours, celebrating masses—though even these are not properly done by hirelings—; it consists also in feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, covering the naked, receiving guests, visiting the sick and those in prison. By the doing of these things is the people to be instructed in the holy duties of an active life.
    ... Robert Grosseteste (c.1170-1253), Bp., in a letter [1250], in Church and State in the Middle Ages, Arthur Lionel Smith, Oxford: Clarendon, 1913, p. 123 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 25:31-46; 2 Cor. 6:1; 1 Pet. 5:1-4
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, lead us into pastoral life.
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Thursday, October 08, 2020

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de Sales: the danger of silence

Thursday, October 8, 2020
Meditation:
    He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
    but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
    —Proverbs 28:13 (NIV)
Quotation:
    One great remedy against all manner of temptation, great or small, is to open the heart and lay bare its suggestions, likings, and dislikings before some spiritual adviser; for, ... the first condition which the Evil One makes with a soul, when he wants to entrap it, is silence.
    ... François de Sales (1567-1622), Introduction to the Devout Life [1609], London: Rivingtons, 1876, IV.vii, p. 308 (see the book)
    See also Prov. 28:13; Ps. 38:18; Matt. 5:23-24; 10:26; 18:15; John 3:19; Jas. 5:16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You will bring all sin to light.
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Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Augustine: the necessity of death

Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Meditation:
    Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
    —2 Corinthians 5:1 (NIV)
Quotation:
    It is necessary to die, but nobody wants to; you don’t want to, but you are going to, willy-nilly. A hard necessity that is, not to want something which cannot be avoided. If it could be managed, we would much rather not die; we would like to become like the angels by some other means than death. “We have a building from God,” says St. Paul, “a home not made with hands, everlasting in heaven. For indeed we groan, longing to be clothed over with our dwelling from heaven; provided, though we be found clothed, and not naked. For indeed we who are in this dwelling place groan, being burdened; in that we do not wish to be stripped, but to be covered over, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” We want to reach the kingdom of God, but we don’t want to travel by way of death. And yet there stands Necessity saying: “This way, please.” Do you hesitate, man, to go this way, when this is the way th at God came to you?
    ... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), “Exposition II, Sermon I on Psalm 30” in Expositions on the Book of Psalms, v. I, Oxford: Parker, 1847, p. 248-249 (see the book)
    See also 2 Cor. 5:1-4; Gen. 3:19; Deut. 31:14; Ps. 31:1-9; Acts 2:24; 2 Cor. 4:7; 2 Pet. 1:13-14
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have come through death to bring eternal life.
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Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Tyndale: all service pleasing to God

Tuesday, October 6, 2020
    Feast of William Tyndale, Translator of the Scriptures, Martyr, 1536
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
    —Luke 13:30 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Now if thou compare deed to deed, there is difference betwixt washing of dishes, and preaching of the word of God; but as touching to please God, none at all: for neither that nor this pleaseth, but as far forth as God hath chosen a man, hath put his Spirit in him, and purified his heart by faith and trust in Christ.
    Let every man therefore wait on the office wherein Christ hath put him, and therein serve his brethren.
    ... William Tyndale (1492?-1536), “Parable of the Wicked Mammon” [1527], in Doctrinal Treatises and Introductions, Cambridge: The University Press, 1848, p. 102 (see the book)
    See also Luke 13:30; Mark 9:35; John 13:14-16; 1 Cor. 12:28
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant me a willing heart to do the service You have appointed me to.
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Monday, October 05, 2020

Jones: the Holy Spirit's power over the subconscious

Monday, October 5, 2020
Meditation:
    However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
    —1 Corinthians 2:9-11 (NIV)
Quotation:
    If the Holy Spirit can take over the subconscious with our consent and cooperation, then we have almighty Power working at the basis of our lives, then we can do anything we ought to do, go anywhere we ought to go, and be anything we ought to be. Life is supplied with a basic adequacy...
    The conscious mind determines the actions, the unconscious mind determines the reactions; and the reactions are just as important as the actions. Many Christians are Christians in their actions—they don’t lie, steal, commit adultery, or get drunk; but they react badly to what happens to them—they react in anger, bad temper, self-pity, jealousy, and envy... When the depths are held by the Holy Spirit, then the reaction is Christian.
    ... E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), Conversion, New York: Abingdon Press, 1959, p. 233,235 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 2:9-14; Matt. 19:26; Rom. 8:11; Eph. 2:22; 4:3-4
Quiet time reflection:
    Spirit of God, reign within my heart.
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Sunday, October 04, 2020

Jones: love for all

Sunday, October 4, 2020
    Feast of Francis of Assisi, Friar, Deacon, Founder of the Friars Minor, 1226
Meditation:
    The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.
    —James 1:9-10 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The great wonder is the living fountain of love and joy which Christ poured into and through this ‘poor little man’. [Francis] always knew where the real miracle lay. It was not in things that happened to his body, though they were wonderful enough. It was not to be found in the fact that birds and beasts, even the wolf of Gubbio, felt the spell of his spirit. It was the radiance of light and love breaking across the darkness and hate of his world and his time. He loved lepers. He loved robbers and changed their lives. He loved beggars in their rags. He loved rich men, too, and members of the Church, who needed him as much as the robbers did. He brought Christianity out of forms and creeds and services into the open air, into action and into the movements of life. He changed the entire line of march of religion in the Western World. Brother Masseo, half jesting, asked him once why the whole world was running after him, not very comely, not very wise, not of noble birth. “Why after thee?” “God chose me,” Francis answered, “because He could find no one more worthless, and He wished by me to confound the nobility and grandeur, the strength and beauty and learning of the world.” But the real answer is that here at last in this wonderful man was an organ of that Spirit which was in Christ, and a marvellous transmitter of it to the world. The divine agape went out into men’s lives through him. Here was a childlike lover of men, ready, if need be, to be crucified for love, but also ready in humble everyday tasks to reveal this love.
    ... Rufus M. Jones (1863-1948), The Luminous Trail, New York: Macmillan, 1947, p. 77-78 (see the book)
    See also Jas. 1:9-10; Isa. 29:14,19; Zeph. 3:12; Matt. 11:25; 1 Cor. 1:21-23,27; 2:14; 2 Cor. 10:4-5
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I pray for You to extinguish the spirit of superiority in my heart and implant a spirit of thankfulness for the bounties of your grace and mercy.
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