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Daily Devotion for January 26, 2018


<i>Saint Francis in Ecstasy (detail)</i> by Giovanni Bellini, ca. 1480
Saint Francis in Ecstasy (detail) by Giovanni Bellini, ca. 1480. Saint Francis surely came as close to perfect love of Christ as anyone in the past 1000 years, and here he receives an earthly taste of heaven as a reward. The castle behind him was his inheritance, which he rejected for an open cave.

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.

This piece is so beautiful if one follows the lyrics. “Ah, Lord, let Your dear little angel, at my final end, take my soul to Abraham's bosom.”




For Joy in God's Creation

O  Heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty; Open my eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that rejoicing in your whole creation, I may learn to serve you with gladness, faithfully managing your bounty; for the sake of him by whom all things were made, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayer for Forgiveness

Heavenly Father, true God, who sent your beloved Son to seek the wandering sheep, I have sinned against heaven and before you; receive me like the Prodigal Son, and clothe me with the garment of innocence, of which I was deprived by sin. Have mercy upon your creatures and upon me, a great sinner, through the miracle of Christ’s resurrection and your grace, I pray.

Amen.

For the Departed

We give back to you, O God, those whom you gave to us. You did not lose them when you gave them to us, and we do not lose them by their return to you. Your dear Son has taught us that life is eternal and love cannot die. So death is only an horizon, and an horizon is only the limit of our sight.

Open our eyes to see more clearly, and draw us closer to you that we may know that we are nearer to our loved ones, who are with you. You have told us that you are preparing a place for us; prepare us also for that happy place, that where you are we may also be always, O dear Lord of life and death.

Amen.

Dedication

God of mercy, swift to help: as my lips pour forth your praise, fill my heart with the peace you give to those who wait for your salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.


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.




endless knot

Poverty of Spirit

God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves.

~ Dwight L. Moody


Blue Latin Cross

1 Corinthians 13:4-6 (ESV)

Faith, Hope, and Charity [2]

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


Notes on the Scripture

T

here is something that resonates deeply within us when we read or hear this passage. It stirs an emotion hidden in our souls. It feels like a long lost desire from some time early in our life, before we had suffered the hard lessons of the world and were brimming with the hope that life on earth could be something wonderful.

But when we do not find God, when we look to the world to fulfill this fundamental instinct for goodness, kindness, thoughtful and sympathetic sacrifice for others, we become disillusioned and, ultimately, cynical and wounded. We can be bitter when our love is taken and we are kicked in the face for our trouble. Paul's reminder of what love could be then becomes bittersweet, for we always remember our dream.

Looking for redemption in the things of earth is a dead-end. Life is an insoluble maze; whichever way we turn, we eventually find a wall, until we give up, or run out of time.

There is only one path by which we can find our way out; it is narrow, and we are constantly tempted away from it. By a quirk of human nature, sometimes our bitterness at taking a wrong turn makes the temptation even more irresistible. Sometimes people get on the wrong path and out of some misguided streak of determination, or pride, insist on continuing along the same way.

The feeling that wells up within us, when we read something as profound and beautiful as 1 Corinthians 13, is a wonderful opportunity to accept change in our lives, change that we really know we should make. Habits are hard to change, and old lines of thought dig deep grooves in our minds; we slip back into them easily. But our longing for love has the power to bring us out of a sinful habit and into a new way of life, for ultimately, we can only find love in giving it to Christ.



Amor caritas, Christian love, St. Gaudens
Amor Caritas (Charitable Love) by Auguste St. Gaudens, c. 1918


Daily Inspiration

“ The Garden ”

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Memory Verse

1 Corinthians 1:13: Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?



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