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Showing posts from July, 2010

Collect for the Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Collect for the Eighth Sunday After Pentecost

Loving God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in our asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Child Jesus Christ our Saviour, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Collect for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

O God, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, now and for ever.  Amen.


While preparing for this month’s reflection, I had a ‘light bulb’ moment.  For a large part of Western Christian history, people have equated that all people are ‘dead in the sins’ ‘separated from God’ and, therefore, ‘enemies of God’ and destined for ‘hell’ (see various Christian thinkers on this, including, but not limited to, Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and most likely your local pastor and probably yourself).  Furthermore, St Paul states the same thing (Romans 6.13; Ephesians 2.1, etc.).

But, ‘death’ isn’t the only metaphor that Paul uses for the human condition.  In fact, it’s not even close to the one he uses most of the time.  The problem comes when we try to fit all of Paul’s metaphors under one umbrella.  He uses many - lost, blind, slave, dead, etc.  It does us no good to just pick one.  The situation is much more complex than that.  Saying everyone is ‘dead’ (while neither Paul nor Jesus limited it to just that one image) is to misunderstand what is trying to b…

Collect for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbor:  Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Reflection: 06-10

This month’s reflection is from Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously but not Literally by Marcus Borg. I have read another of Borg’s books before, and this one is similar yet different. In both books, Borg sets out to show two very different ways of seeing. In this book, his focus is on seeing the Bible in a new way (but it could very easily be shown to be an “ancient” way).
I have to say that I really enjoy this book! It is very engaging and empowering. It helps pour fuel on the fire of the Holy Spirit as she guides us in a new direction. I could probably write something on every page of this book! But I won’t. Instead I’m going to focus on the idea of two different ways of seeing.
The “old” way of seeing, according to Borg, is one that is “literalistic,” “doctrinal,” “moralistic,” “patriarchal,” and “afterlife-oriented” (pg. 11-12). This was all based on “believing” -- believing all of the events and stories to be factually, literally true. He goes on…

Reflection: 05-10

I recently discovered that I had not sent in last month's reflection to my abbott nor did I post it here. So, here it is a month late.


For this month’s reflection, I turned to Celtic Spirituality, from the ‘Classics of Western Spirituality’ series edited by Oliver Davies and Thomas O’Loughlin. My selection from this wonderful resource is ‘The Rule for Monks by Columbanus’. While I’ve read this entire book before, I didn’t think it would be advisable for a monthly reflection on the whole book so I just picked one of the articles (it was a toss-up between this and Pelagius’ letter).

A little background here is in order. Columbanus was an Irish monk who lived roughly between 540 and 615 CE. His feast day is 23 November. He is said to have founded many monasteries, most notably Luxeuil in France and Bobbio in Italy. Some scholars have suggested that St Francis stayed at Bobbio for a time and was heavily influenced by the Celtic Christian way of seeing.

One of the things that i…

Priestly Dream

Last night (or early this morning, whichever you prefer), I had an interesting dream.  I dreamt that I was in a clerical shirt and talking to a woman who had just lost her husband.  I told her that I was there for her is she needed.  She said she would like that so we went to a room and sat down.  I remember, in my dream, thinking, 'Just listen.  Don't try to fix it.'

The next scene was a mail carrier dropping off mail to a mailbox on a rural road.  She pulled up in her vehicle and put mail in the box.

The next scene was in a small, dark-ish 'office'.  There were about three women there and one, taking a piece of mail, said something like, 'I wonder what it is?'  Another one said, 'I wonder if he will tell us what she said?' - meaning the widow.  I came in and took the envelope from the first woman and stated, 'This is addressed to me.  And,' looking at the other woman, 'concerning what she said', the widow, who was sitting in a chai…