Morning Prayer: 19 February – Matthew 5:20-26 ~ the high bar of righteousness

Friday of the First Week of Lent

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)

Morning Reading: Ezekiel 18:31 (NLT)

Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

Morning Reading: Matthew 5:20-26 (NLT)

“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

Sin 1

“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

“When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.

Morning Prayer

Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ: you died on the cross that I might live. Lord, hear the longings of my heart.

+ In your living, you were the example of an abundant life – teach me to joyfully follow your lead.
+ In your dying, you brought me life – take away my sinful inclinations that I may continually choose life.
+ You call on me to feed the hungry – show me how to deny myself today to help others in their need.
+ End the rebellion within my heart – give me a spirit of generosity and willingness to share what I have.

Lord God, I accept from your hands this day of Lent; may I make it yours by deeds of love. Bend my will, Lord, so that by this Lenten observance I may be fully prepared to enter into the joy of Easter; renew me in body, mind and spirit. Through my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Closer” – Bethel Live

Closing Sentence

Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. (Isaiah 55:7)

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: 20 November – Isaiah 45:1, 22-25; Ephesians 4:29-32 ~ Let all the world look to me for salvation!

A Season of Thanksgiving

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening sentence

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
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Morning Reading: Isaiah 45:1, 22-25 NLT

This is what the Lord says to Cyrus, his anointed one, whose right hand he will empower. Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear. Their fortress gates will be opened, never to shut again.
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Twilight over Cathedral Notre Dame and River Seine, Paris France
Twilight over Cathedral Notre Dame and River Seine, Paris France

“Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other.

I have sworn by my own name; I have spoken the truth, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to me.”

The people will declare, “The Lord is the source of all my righteousness and strength.” And all who were angry with him will come to him and be ashamed. In the Lord all the generations of Israel will be justified, and in him they will boast.

Morning Reading: Ephesians 4:29-32 NLT

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
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Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, we thank You. Through Your cross and resurrection You offer freedom and hope to those ready to receive them. Lord, show us Your loving-kindness.

+ We are children of the day: help us to live in the light of Your presence.
+ Guide our thoughts, our words, our actions: so that what we do today may be pleasing to You.
+ Help us to avoid wrongdoing:show us Your mercy and love.
+ Through Your passion and death You have won life for us: give us the strength of Your Holy Spirit.
+ Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

Lord God, You hold out the light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen our hearts through faith, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled within us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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” “Laudate Dominum”” – Barbara Bonney (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Praise the Lord, all nations; Praise Him, all people. For He has bestowed His mercy upon us, And the truth of the Lord endures forever.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and forever, and for generations of generations. Amen.
_________

Canticle

Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Morning Prayer: 18 November – Psalm 36 ~ pour out Your love and justice

A Season of Thanksgiving

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening sentence

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
__________

Morning Reading: Psalm 36 NLT

Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all. In their blind conceit, they cannot see how wicked they really are. Everything they say is crooked and deceitful. They refuse to act wisely or do good. They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots. Their actions are never good. They make no attempt to turn from evil.

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.

shadow of wings

How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights. For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see. Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you; give justice to those with honest hearts. Don’t let the proud trample me or the wicked push me around.

Look! Those who do evil have fallen! They are thrown down, never to rise again.
__________

Prayer:

Give thanks and praise to our Lord, Jesus Christ, who was not ashamed to call us His brothers and sisters.

Help us to live the new life of Easter, so that all may know through us the power of Your love. Every day is a proof of Your love: as You bring us to this new day, make us new in mind and in heart. Teach us to see You present in everyone; help us to recognize You most of all in those who suffer. May our lives today be filled with Your compassion; give us the spirit of forgiveness and a generous heart.

God our Savior, by grace through faith You have made us children of light. Hear our prayer that we may always walk in that light and work for the truth as Your faithful witnesses. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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“Your Love Oh Lord” – Third Day


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Canticle

Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Morning Prayer: 12 June – Psalm 25:8-15; Deuteronomy 6:10-25; Luke 23:34 ~ on humility

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Morning readings in June

DESERT FATHERS – The sayings of The Desert Fathers (c. 300 AD) speak for themselves. (For further reading: The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton.)

Psalm 25:8-15 NLT

prostrate_0132

Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant. For the sake of your name, Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose. They will spend their days in prosperity, and their descendants will inherit the land. The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.

Deuteronomy 6:10-25 NLT

When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you — a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant — then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors, thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the Lord said.

In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Before our eyes the Lord sent signs and wonders — great and terrible — on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”

Luke 23:34 NLT

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Reflections

Abba Pastor said:

A man must breathe humility and the fear of God just as ceaselessly as he inhales and exhales air.

Abba Alonius said:

Humility is the Land where God wants us to go and offer sacrifice.

One of the Elders was asked: “What is humility?”

He answered: “If you forgive a brother who has injured you before he himself asks pardon.”
_____

A brother asked another of the Elders: “What is humility?”

The Elder answered him: “To do good to those who do evil to you.”

The brother asked: “Supposing a man can’t go that far, what should he do?”

The Elder replied: “Let him get away from them and keep his mouth shut.”

Aidan ReadingsAidan of Lindisfarne
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Canticle:

Christ, as a light… illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield… overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

_____________________________________

Peanut Gallery: The general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) Having completed reading through the Gospel of John, our Scripture readings and reflections will be taken from the Aidan Daily Readings (Celtic Daily Prayer). We will continue with the Aidan readings through June. On Sundays, I’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world. Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.

Morning Prayer: 16 May – Psalm 69:9a; Isaiah 59:12-19; Titus 2:11-14 ~ on patience and zeal

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Morning readings

May -To a Young Disciple

This month’s readings are a development of ColambanusLetter to a Young Disciple.

Psalm 69:9a ESV

Christ Cleansing the Temple Bernardino Mei, c. 1655  Siena, Italy
Christ Cleansing the Temple
Bernardino Mei, c. 1655
Siena, Italy

“For zeal for your house has consumed me….”

Isaiah 59:12-19 ESV

For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: transgressing, and denying the Lord, and turning back from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.

Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.

The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.

According to their deeds, so will he repay, wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render repayment. So they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives.

Titus 2:11-14 ESV

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Reflections

BE PATIENT AS FAR AS COMPATIBLE WITH ZEAL

Zeal is defined as ardour, energy, fervour. Patience is well and good, but not if it swamps zeal and extinguishes its direction and energy. Where it is not possible to direct that zeal into action it can be channelled into urgency of prayer, grasping the right arm of God by the elbow to reach and open doors of opportunity fastened tight shut because of our prayerlessness.

When zeal abates or evaporates we need to discern whether we were wrongly counselled to “have patience” or whether the original fervour was misplaced and immature and would have energized some misdirected scheme embraced in rash enthusiasm. It still remains true that it is easier to alter the course of an already moving vehicle than to push-start one that has forgotten how to even let its engine turn over. We need hearts consumed with passion to activate the coming of the Kingdom, that will not rest till its brightness appears as the noonday sun.

The Finan Series of Daily Readings – Finan of Lindisfarne (C. 660)
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Canticle:

Christ, as a light… illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield… overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

_____________________________________

Peanut Gallery: The general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) Having completed reading through the Gospel of John, our Scripture readings and reflections will be taken from the Finan Daily Readings (Celtic Daily Prayer). We will continue with the Finan readings until Pentecost Sunday, June 8th.

On Sundays, I’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world.

Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.