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May the peace of God reign in this place
and the love of God forever hold you tight,
May the Spirit of God flow through your life
and the joy of God uphold you day and night.

Daily Devotion for June 19, 2017

Jacob and Joseph, Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo
"Jacob and Joseph" from The Ancestors of Christ, fresco in the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo c. 1512



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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.


Jacob’s Ladder, sung by the World Choir in the old Cardiff Park Arms Stadium. We don’t usually have “sing along” music on Mondays, but this song begs you to join in!

For a Sense of Wonder at God's Creation

Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of your universe. Delight me to see how your Christ plays in ten thousand places, in limbs and eyes not His, to be the father through the features of men's faces. Each day enrapture me with your marvelous things without number. I do not ask to see the reason for it all; I ask only to share the wonder of it all.


Prayer to Look Beyond Appearances

Heavenly Father, I confess that in my life, I have been more attentive to someone who was beautiful and ignored another who was not. I have judged people by the way they look, by how old they are, by how they are dressed; and yet I know, in my heart, that all souls are beautiful to you and that you have commanded us to love one another, not through the sinful eye of our body and our emotions, but through the perfect eye of your Spirit.

Help me, I pray, to see other people as you see them, as my fellow souls struggling to find you. Let me not be deceived by appearance; let me not be misled by my prejudice. Let me not compare the outside of other people to the inside of myself, nor believe that the circumstances of my birth define a standard that others are supposed to meet. Let me see my own imperfection and not that of my fellow man. This I pray,


Epitaph of Winifred Holtby

God give me work
Till my life shall end
And life
Till my work is done.



[If you love Him, why not serve Him?]


May the God of peace, who declared victory over death by the resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ, make me perfect in every thought and act through His grace, that my life might be pleasing in His sight and that I might share the perfect peace that is only possible through Him, to whom be glory for ever and ever.


Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.

<i>The Sacrifice of Isaac</i>, by Philippe de Champaigne, ca. 1650.
The Sacrifice of Isaac, by Philippe de Champaigne, ca. 1650. (See Full-size.)

The Daily Examen of (Saint) Ignatius of Loyola

Ignatius of Loyola is most famous for founding the Jesuits (formally known as “the Society of Jesus”). Whether one is Catholic or not, he examined every day, before he slept, in a disciplined format called an examen, which any of us might find profitable to follow. Here is a simplified version of the five-step Daily Examen that St. Ignatius practiced:

1. Become aware of God’s presence.

2. Review the day with gratitude.

3. Pay attention to your emotions.

4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.

5. Look toward tomorrow.

Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 28:16-22 (DPB)

The Story of Jacob [2] - Jacob’s Vow

Then Jacob woke up. “God lives here!” he exclaimed in terror. “I’ve stumbled into his home! This is the awesome entrance to heaven!”

The next morning he got up very early and set his stone headrest upright as a memorial pillar, and poured olive oil over it. He named the place Bethel (“House of God”), though the previous name of the village was Luz.

And Jacob vowed this vow to God: “If God will help and protect me on this journey and give me food and clothes, and will bring me back safely to my father, then I will choose Jehovah as my God! And this memorial pillar shall become a place for worship; and I will give you back a tenth of everything you give me!”

Notes on the Scripture

(Editor’s Note: Having studied the lives of Abraham and Isaac, it was a temptation simply to skip over Genesis 29-36, for it is in Chapter 37 that we begin the interesting and important story of Joseph. But although in many ways these chapters are less meaningful to the modern Christian — Genesis 36 contains nothing but a long list of Esau’s descendants, including the Kings of the Edomites — they contain the story of Jacob. Jacob was, and in some senses still is, Israel; his sons’ names live on as the names of the 12 tribes. So, we are going to compromise and hit the highlights of Jacob’s life before we move onto Joseph and, thus, to Moses.)

We pick up today where we left off on June 9. Jacob has just had a vivid dream, in which he saw angels walking up and down a ladder to heaven. He named the spot Bethel, “House of God,” and one would expect it to have become a center of later Judaism. But here, we see the sharp difference between the two great patriarchs of the Bible, Abraham and Moses.

Abraham was one man, and his relationship with God passed down to one son. We might think of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as “Phase One” in God’s plan of salvation through the Jews.

Consider the enormous differences between the two periods. God’s promise to Abraham’s seed was in the singular; it was a promise to his heir, not to his heirs. Moreover, Abraham did not live under much in the way of rules. The general obligations God placed upon him were, primarily, that he was obligated to worship God and to circumcise all the males in his household. Most of God’s commandments to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were a single direct order, such as the notable command to Abraham that he sacrifice Isaac.

Moses, although he had a direct speaking relationship with God, fulfilled a much different role. Moses ultimately became a vehicle through whom God made His general covenant with the Jews. Moses was a lawgiver, the vehicle through whom God spelled out the lengthy and complex Law. This was not intended for a single man, but rather for all the descendants of Jacob's 12 sons. In Moses, Judaism became an organized religion for a great mass of related people. Moreover, it became more a religion of laws, whereas Abraham's religion was one almost entirely of simple faith.

The Law required the building of a temple, which was eventually accomplished under Solomon in Jerusalem. Thus, Jerusalem became the fixed center of organized Judaism after the conquest of Canaan had been completed. Jacob’s Bethel was subordinated and ultimately forgotten, except as an historical place mentioned in today’s passage. We might even speculate that, when Jacob believed he had found the entrance to heaven, that entrance was Jacob himself, rather than the physical location where he happened to be. For there would be an heir of Abraham (and Isaac and Jacob) who was once again a single person, and who would once again emphasize grace through faith, rather than compliance to laws, as the means of salvation: Jesus of Nazareth.

endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“The Fulfillment of the Law”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Matthew 5:17: Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

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