Collect: Confession of St. Peter the Apostle (Jan 18)

Today, because many of you will not have access to this material, I quote in its entirety the description of this commemoration in Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2003. ~Fr. Dan

petersinaiWhen Simon Bar-Jona confessed, “You are the Christ,” Jesus responded, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church.” This rough fisherman and his brother Andrew were the first disciples called by Jesus. Peter figures prominently in the Gospels, often stumbling, impetuous, intense, and uncouth.

It was Peter who attempted to walk on the sea, and began to sink; it was Peter who impulsively wished to build three tabernacles on the mountain of the Transfiguration; it was Peter who, just before the crucifixion, three times denied knowing his Lord.

But it was also Peter who, after Pentecost, risked his life to do the Lord’s work, speaking boldly of his belief in Jesus. It was also Peter, the Rock, whose strength and courage helped the young Church in its questioning about the mission beyond the Jewish community. Opposed at first to the baptism of Gentiles, he had the humility to admit a change of heart, and to baptize the Roman centurion Cornelius and his household. Even after this, Peter had a continuing struggle with his Jewish conservatism; for Paul, writing to the Galatians, rebukes him for giving way to the demands of Jewish Christians to dissociate himself from table-fellowship with Gentiles.

Though the New Testament makes no mention of it, the tradition connecting Peter with Rome is early and virtually certain. According to a legend based on that tradition, Peter fled from Rome during the persecution under Nero. On the Appian Way, he met Christ, and asked him, “Domine, quo vadis?” (“Lord, where are you going?”). The Lord answered, “I am coming to be crucified again.” Peter thereupon retraced his steps, and was shortly thereafter crucified, head downwards. “I am not worthy to be crucified as my Lord was,” he is supposed to have said.

As we watch Peter struggle with himself, often stumble, love his Lord and deny him, speak rashly and act impetuously, his life reminds us that our Lord did not come to save the godly and strong but to save the weak and the sinful. Simon, an ordinary human being, was transformed by the Holy Spirit into the “Rock,” and became the leader of the Church.

Lesser Feasts and Fasts, 2003

May we have the grace requested in this collect so “that in unity and peace we may proclaim the one truth and the one Lord.” ~Fr. Dan

Almighty Father, who inspired Simon Peter, first among the apostles, to confess Jesus as Messiah and Son of the living God: Keep your Church steadfast upon the rock of this faith, so that in unity and peace we may proclaim the one truth and follow the one Lord, our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For further reading

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Collect: Antony, Abbot in Egypt, 356 (Jan 17)

In the third century, many young men turned away from the corrupt and decadent society of the time, and went to live in deserts or mountains, in solitude, fasting, and prayer.  Antony of Egypt was an outstanding example of this movement, but he was not merely a recluse. He was a founder of monasticism, and wrote a rule for anchorites. […] For a time, he was tormented by demons in various guises. He resisted, and the demons fled. Moving to the mountains across the Nile from his village, Antony dwelt alone for twenty years. In 305, he left his cave and founded a“monastery,” a series of cells inhabited by ascetics living under his rule. Athanasius writes of such colonies: “Their cells like tents were filled with singing, fasting, praying, and working that they might give alms, and having love and peace with one another.”

Holy Women, Holy Men

In the collect for the day we pray for a purity of heart and mind (imagine that!) in order to follow God through the trials, temptations, disappointments, and even the joys of life. May it be so. ~Fr. Dan

O God, by your Holy Spirit you enabled your servant Antony to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil: Give us grace, with pure hearts and minds, to follow you, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Like Roman Catholics and the Orthodox, Episcopalians honor our ancestors in the faith, men and women of exceptional character and action as Christ-followers, who inspire and encourage us along the Way. The Collect used on the day they are honored often asks for graces to become a better Christ-follower in our day and in our lives. What did you hear today?

For further reading

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Collect: Martin Luther King, Jr, Civil Rights Leader and Martyr, 1968

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta. […] King lived in constant danger: his home was dynamited, he was almost fatally stabbed, and he was harassed by death threats. He was even jailed 30 times; but through it all he was sustained by his deep faith. […] After preaching at Washington Cathedral on March 31, 1968, King went to Memphis in support of sanitation workers in their struggle for better wages. There, he proclaimed that he had been “to the mountain-top” and had seen “the Promised Land,” and that he knew that one day he and his people would be “free at last.” On the following day, April 4, he was cut down by an assassin’s bullet.

Lesser Feasts and Fasts

Martin Luther King, Jr.Commemorations in the Episcopal Church often occur on the day the Holy Woman or the Holy Man entered into glory. While America remembers Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birthday (Jan. 15) the Episcopal Church remembers him on April 4, the day he was assassinated. In the collect for the day we pray for the strength to resist oppression with love. May it be so in all that we say and do so that “all [God’s] children [may enjoy] the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” ~Fr. Dan

Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last: Grant that your Church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Like Roman Catholics and the Orthodox, Episcopalians honor our ancestors in the faith, men and women of exceptional character and action as Christ-followers, who inspire and encourage us along the Way. The Collect used on the day they are honored often asks for graces to become a better Christ-follower in our day and in our lives. What did you hear today?

For further reading

Collect: Second Sunday after Epiphany

A light shining in the darkness

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, 215

Many Collects begin by addressing God and include an additional recognition of an attribute of God. Today we acknowledge that the Son of (Almighty) God is Jesus Christ, Savior, and “the light of the world.”  We are beloved daughters and sons of God and kin to Jesus Christ. Consider, today and throughout the week, what we ask of God: that we, kin to Jesus, “illumined by [God’s] Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory.”

As this part of our prayer is granted we pray that, through us, Christ “may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth.”

Let us humbly make our prayer and with humility and compassion shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory this week and always. ~Fr. Dan

For further reading

Lord, help me to persist

Keep tryingThis Sunday we’ll use the words of the Psalmist as we listen to the readings: “I waited patiently upon the Lord; * he stooped to me and heard my cry.” and “Happy are they who trust in the Lord! * they do not resort to evil spirits or turn to false gods.” (Psalm 40:1,4 BCP translation).
And yet, we’ve all experienced moments of frustration, hopelessness, even despair. We may have experienced times when, despite our fervent prayers, despite our “trust in the Lord” nothing seemed to be happening. “Lord, help me to persist” is a prayer from one of my favorite teachers, Marian Wright Edelman, it is for you, it is for all who wait patiently upon the Lord even as they cry out for help. ~Fr. Dan
Lord, help me to persist
although I want to give up.
Lord, help me to keep trying
although I can’t see what good it does.
Lord, help me to keep praying
although I’m not sure You hear me.
Lord, help me to keep living
in ways that seek to please You.
Lord, help me to know
when to lead and when to follow.
Lord, help me to know
when to speak and when to remain silent.
Lord, help me to know
when to act and when to wait.

A prayer by Marian Wright Edelman in Guide My Feet: Prayers and Meditations on Loving and Working for Children (Boston: Beacon Press, 1995) p. 65

Collect: Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, 367 (Jan 13)

Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, was a prolific writer on Scripture and doctrine, an orator, and a poet to whom some of the earliest Latin hymns have been attributed. Augustine called him “the illustrious doctor of the Churches.” Jerome considered him “the trumpet of the Latins against the Arians.”

Hilary was born in Poitiers in Gaul, about 315, into a pagan familyof wealth and power. In his writings, he describes the stages of the spiritual journey that led him to the Christian faith. He was baptized when he was about thirty.

Lesser Feasts and Fasts

Today, while giving thanks for the life and writings of Hilary, we ask God for a heartfelt fidelity and affirmation of the faith “we professed at our baptism.” May we truly rejoice in in our union with God. ~Fr. Dan

O Lord our God, you raised up your servant Hilary to be a champion of the catholic faith: Keep us steadfast in that true faith which we professed at our baptism, that we may rejoice in having you for our Father, and may abide in your Son, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit; who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

Like Roman Catholics and the Orthodox, Episcopalians honor our ancestors in the faith, men and women of exceptional character and action as Christ-followers, who inspire and encourage us along the Way. The Collect used on the day they are honored often asks for graces to become a better Christ-follower in our day and in our lives. What did you hear today?

For further reading

Hearing Loss, Hearing Aid and More Health Advances From 2016

I live with a significant hearing loss. I am grateful that with the help of hearing aids I am able to enjoy the sounds of the mountain and forest and hear the people around me. I read this article with interest. ~Fr. Dan

I was intrigued by this part of the longer post:

Hearing loss is being recognized as a national health issue

In June, a series of recommendations on hearing loss announced by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine seemed to be proof that hearing is loss is finally getting its due as a national health issue.

If followed, these 12 recommendations — combined with those made the previous autumn by a presidential commission on science and technology — could result in a revolution in hearing health care. They would provide changes that would open the market to a wider range of hearing technology and devices, making it easier for consumers to “find and fully use the appropriate, affordable, and high-quality services, technologies, and support they need.”

Attention please.Read the entire AARP post here: Hearing Loss, Hearing Aid and More Health Advances From 2016 – AARP

For further reading