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Daily Devotion for January 16, 2022


<i>St. Cecelia</i> by Paul Delaroache ca. 1836.
St. Cecelia, by Paul Delaroache, ca. 1836.
Little historical information exists about Cecelia, other than that the Romans martyred her in Sicily in 176 A.D. She has become the patron saint of music and is depicted here playing a miniature Renaissance organ.

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” take us to St. John’s Church in Detroit for one of my favorite hymns.




Call to Sunday Worship

O  Lord, I beseech you mercifully to hear my prayers, and the prayers of all your people who call upon you; and grant that we may both perceive and know what things we ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill them; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Amen.

Confession


Repentance of St. Peter by Ribera

Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a humble and miserable sinner. [At this point, pause to remember specific sins you have committed during the week and speak or think them.] I renounce all of these sins, heavenly Father, and repent of them, and I promise to make every effort not to repeat them.

Have mercy on me, pardon me for these offences and any I might have omitted from forgetfulness or ignorance; in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray that your Holy Spirit may dwell with me today and throughout the coming week, to comfort me, to give me strength against temptation, and to guide me into the path of righteousness.

Amen.

Prayer of Praise to Christ

Lord Jesus, You are the First and the Last, and the Living One; You were dead, but You are alive forevermore, and You have the keys of death and of Hades. You are the Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David and the Overcomer. You are the Lamb who was slain and whose blood purchased for God people from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You are worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.

The kingdom of the world has become Your kingdom, and You will reign forever and ever. You are called Faithful and True, and in righteousness You will judge and wage war. You are King of kings and Lord of lords. You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. And You are coming quickly, and Your reward is with You. Come, Lord Jesus.

Amen.

Doxology

Now to him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present ourselves blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.

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

Illusory Pleasures

Whatsoever we have over-loved, idolized, and leaned upon, God has from time to time broken it, and made us to see the vanity of it; so that we find the readiest course to be rid of our comforts is to set our hearts inordinately upon them.

~John Flavel


Blue Latin Cross

Romans 9:27-29 (ESV)

Accepting the World as It Is
A

nd Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” [Isaiah 10:22]

And as Isaiah predicted,

“If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.” [Isaiah 1:9]

Notes on the Scripture

What are we to think when we look at Western society and the direction it is headed? It seems sometimes like God is losing the battle.

Church attendance is down; in many places, beautiful old church buildings have become little more than local recreation centers and wedding chapels. Governments sometimes seem to be actively promoting atheism, especially in schools. Celebrities and the media seem to espouse ever-increasing degrees of sexual promiscuity in the name of personal freedom.

In the late 1970s, a shocking and controversial report showed that one out of four — 25% — of black children in the US were born out of wedlock. By 2007, the figure was 70%, and in 2013 the percentage of babies born out of wedlock, regardless of ethnicity, was 48%. (CPUS article, 2013.)

And Christian churches themselves bear considerable responsibility. Catholic bishops being indicted for conspiracy to commit child molestation will hurt for many years, and every week seems to bring another pastor or minister who has robbed the church bank account. Not even to mention the issues of hypocrisy, rapacious televangelists, etc.

As with so many problems, the solution to the pain, frustration, and helplessness we may feel about these issues is right in the Bible. Even before Christ, Isaiah prophesied that only a “remnant” of Israel — God’s chosen nation — would be saved. Nothing in the Bible promises that we will live in a world that is good or just.

We must do what the Bible commands us to do, and we must be at peace with the result, for God is in charge, not us. We must accept the possibility that God knows, or even intends, that during this age societies and governments will be dominated by atheism and sin. Nowhere are we promised that every person, or a majority of people, or even a large number of people, are going to know God’s grace. Total victory will not be ours until Christ comes again, and only God knows when that will occur.

The practical conclusion of today’s Scripture is summarized wonderfully in “The Serenity Prayer”:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. . . . Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; . . .”



Antique Catholic prayer card to St. Cecelia.
Antique Catholic prayer card to St. Cecelia. The scroll reads “Cantantibus organis Cecilia virgo decantabat dicens Fiat cor meum immaculatum.”
(See Today in Daily Prayer, below, for more).

Daily Inspiration

“Love and Judgment”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

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Today in Daily Prayer


Saint Cecelia

Saint Cecelia is the patron saint of music and is popular in the Catholic and other liturgical churches. She was martyred with her husband, after she convinced him to convert to Christianity. She is frequently depicted playing a viola, a small organ, or other musical instrument

There is an antiphon dedicated to her, which was set to music by numerous Renaissance composers, and it is this that appears in the scroll on the depicted prayer card. It reads: Cantantibus organis Cecilia virgo decantabat dicens: Fiat cor meum immaculatum ut non confundar. Translated: While the musicians played, Cecilia the virgin sang, saying: 'Lord, let my heart (and body) remain without stain, that I be not put to shame.'

Memory Verse

Romans12:2: Do not be conformed to this age . . . .



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