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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Daily Devotion for August 13, 2017


<i>Angels Worshipping (detail)</i> by Benozzo Gozzoli,
Angels Worshipping (detail) by Benozzo Gozzoli, ca. 1461

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen.

Our “Virtual Sunday Church” this week takes us to the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.



Prayer to Know God

O  Lord our God, who is always more ready to bestow Your good gifts upon us than we are to seek them, and Who is more willing to give more than we desire or deserve: help me, and those who pray with me, so to seek You that we may truly find You, so to ask that we may joyfully receive, so to knock that the door of Your mercy may be opened for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Lord, Bless My Enemies

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Enemies have driven me into Thy embrace more than friends have.
Friends have bound me to earth, enemies have loosed me from earth and have demolished all my aspirations in the world.
Enemies have made me a stranger in worldly realms and an extraneous inhabitant of the world.
Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter than an unhunted animal does, so have I, persecuted by enemies, found the safest sanctuary, having ensconced myself beneath Thy tabernacle, where neither friends nor enemies can slay my soul.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
They, rather than I, have confessed my sins before the world.
They have punished me, whenever I have hesitated to punish myself.
They have tormented me, whenever I have tried to flee torments.
They have scolded me, whenever I have flattered myself.
They have spat upon me, whenever I have filled myself with arrogance.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Whenever I have made myself wise, they have called me foolish.
Whenever I have made myself mighty, they have mocked me as though I were a dwarf.
Whenever I have wanted to lead people, they have shoved me into the background.
Whenever I have rushed to enrich myself, they have prevented me with an iron hand.
Whenever I thought that I would sleep peacefully, they have wakened me from sleep.
Whenever I have tried to build a home for a long and tranquil life, they have demolished it and driven me out.
Truly, enemies have cut me loose from the world and have stretched out my hands to the hem of Thy garment.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Bless them and multiply them; multiply them and make them even more bitterly against me:
so that my fleeing to Thee may have no return;
so that all hope in men may be scattered like cobwebs;
so that absolute serenity may begin to reign in my soul;
so that my heart may become the grave of my two evil twins: arrogance and anger;
so that I might amass all my treasure in heaven;
ah, so that I may for once be freed from self deception, which has entangled me in the dreadful web of illusory life.

Enemies have taught me to know what hardly anyone knows, that a person has no enemies in the world except himself.
One hates his enemies only when he fails to realize that they are not enemies, but cruel friends.
It is truly difficult for me to say who has done me more good and who has done me more evil in the world: friends or enemies.
Therefore bless, O Lord, both my friends and my enemies.
A slave curses enemies, for he does not understand.
But a son blesses them, for he understands. For a son knows that his enemies cannot touch his life. Therefore he freely steps among them and prays to God for them.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Amen.

Benediction

Now to him who by his power within us is able to do far more than we ever dare to ask or imagine — to him be glory in the Church through Jesus Christ for ever and ever,

Amen.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.


endless knot


Blue Latin Cross

Proverbs 2:10-22 (NKJV)

The Way of Wisdom

When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge pleases your soul, Good judgment will preserve you, understanding will keep you,

To deliver you from the way of the evil man, from the man who speaks poisonous things, Who leaves the path of uprightness, to walk in darkness;

Who rejoices to do evil, and delights in the destructiveness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and path is filled with deceit.

To deliver you from wrongful women, from the seductress who flatters with her words; Who abandons the guide of her youth, and forgets her covenant with God.

For her ways lead to destruction, and her path leads to death. Those who go with her become lost, and cannot find the path of life That lets you walk in the way of good men, and keep the path of the righteous.

The upright shall dwell in the bountiful land, and the perfect shall live in it; But the wicked will be cut off from the good earth, and sinners will be uprooted from it.


Psalm 1-1:2 (NKJV)

B


lessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the Lord, and upon his word he meditates day and night.



Notes on the Scripture

  1. A teenager is out with her friends, who start drinking beer and having fun with it. They repeatedly offer her a sip, but she has pledged to her parents not to drink.
  2. A man plays golf with three important friendly clients, who curse and blaspheme constantly; he finds himself saying “Jesus Christ” when he misses a short putt.
  3. You are at a meeting when the group begins to demean Christians for their hypocrisy. You stay quiet about your faith, despite some inner turmoil, not being sure what to say.
  4. A Baptist minister lives in an adequate but humble house. His wife and children want a bigger, nicer one in a more prestigious neighborhood; he feels the allure of a nicer home, but struggles with his conviction that it would be prideful. His congregation and friends argue that he deserves it and owes it to his children.

Countless dilemmas face a Christian living in a secular world, where you want to fudge your beliefs a little to get along in the world. We all give into it sometimes. Even St. Peter denied Christ — three times — out of fear of what the soldiers in Gethsemane might do to him.

Angel illuminated Bible

In today's passages, the Bible teaches us two techniques to help us resist temptation. The Proverb states that when wisdom and knowledge enter our heart and soul, it will protect us from temptation by others. As we study and reflect upon the lessons of the Bible and take them into our heart, we will automatically be “delivered” from two of the most powerful temptations others might make:

The first, men who speak poisonous things. Sarcastic people who puncture sacred cows and point out the hypocrisy and stupidity of others, appeal strongly to our pride. In the face of such articulate wit, one is not anxious to be identified with the object of his scorn. It is a powerful human instinct, not to be scorned and rejected, especially in public and especially in the presence of an intelligent speaker who has charmed a crowd with his cynicism.

The second, a seductive woman, involves another powerful drive. At times, the animal desire for sex can drive men and women near to insanity. Emotional desire for sex — thoughts of intimacy and love, being in the good graces of someone you find beautiful or wonderful, who makes you feel good about yourself, etc. — can be just as powerful.

The passage tells us, though, if you have prepared yourself by learning, it will save you in situations of even such overwhelming temptation. You will know the ultimate outcome of succumbing to even the most powerful temptation, and you will have prepared yourself to face it.

Psalm 1 gives us hope, informing us of the reward if we do resist; we will be blessed. And reinforcing the Proverb, this blessed person meditates constantly on God's word. And the blessing, unlike the promise of eternal life given to us by Christ, is an earthly one. “And he shall be like a tree beside a river of water, who brings forth its fruit in its season; and whatever he does will prosper.”




<i>Angeli Laudantes</i> (Angels giving praise) by Edward Burne-Jones
Angeli Laudantes (Angels giving praise) by Edward Burne-Jones, ca. 1898.

Daily Inspiration

“The Road Is Not Safe”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible





Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 28:19: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.


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Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Aug 13, 2017 were:
Norman Daniels (11)
Cindy Moniz (11)
Tom Kraft (10)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)

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