Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Meekness

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 -- -- Week of Proper 17
Paul Jones, Bishop, 1941

Today's Readings for the Daily Office
(Book of Common Prayer, p. 983)
Psalms 26, 28 (morning)     //     36, 39 (evening)
Job 12:1, 13:3-17, 21-27
Acts 12:1-17
John 8:33-47

[Go to http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html for an online version of the Daily Office including today's scripture readings.]

The Gospel often makes a sharp contrast between the willingness of the poor, the sinner and the outcast to hear Jesus' message and the unwillingness of the authorities, the learned and powerful.  Today Jesus tells them frankly, if you were of God you would recognize me, because I am from God.  Sadly, their proud theology has no room for his simple message of generous love and compassion.  But those who were humble and meek recognized Jesus and loved him.

Here is an evocative passage about the meekness that enlightens, from the 7th century monastic John Climacus:

The light of dawn comes before the sun, and meekness is the precursor of all humility.  So let us listen to the order in which Christ, our Light, places these virtues.  He says, "Learn from me because I am meek and humble of heart."  Therefore, before gazing at the sun of humility we must let the light of meekness flow over us.  If we do, we will then be able to look steadily at the sun.  The true order of these virtues teaches us that we are totally unable to turn our eyes to the sun before we have first become accustomed to the light.

Meekness is a mind consistent amid honor and dishonor.  Meekness prays quietly and sincerely for a neighbor, however troublesome he may be.  Meekness is a rock looking out over the sea of anger which breaks the waves which come crashing on it and stays entirely unmoved.  Meekness is the bulwark of patience, the door, indeed the mother of love, and the foundation of discernment.  For it is said, "The Lord will teach his ways to the meek."  And it is meekness that earns pardon for our sins, gives confidence to our prayers and makes a place for the Holy Spirit.  As it stands in the prophecy of Isaiah:  "To whom shall I look if not to the meek and the peaceful?"

Meekness works alongside obedience; it guides a religious community, checks frenzy, curbs anger.  It is a minister of joy, an imitation of Christ, the possession of angels, a shackle for demons, a shield against bitterness.  The Lord finds rest in the hearts of the meek, while the turbulent spirit is the home of the devil, for "the meek shall inherit the earth."
 

   John Climacus, from The Ladder of Divine Ascent, 24; ET by Colm Luibheid & Normal Russell, 1982, p. 214-15; quoted by Robert Atwell, Celebrating the Seasons, Canterbury, 1999, p.414


Lowell
______________


Audio podcast:  Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week.  Go to: http://www.stpaulsfay.org/id244.html

About Morning Reflections
"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html

Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life: 
We aspire to...
    worship weekly
    pray daily
    learn constantly
    serve joyfully 
    live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas

1 Comments:

At 9:04 AM, Anonymous mike wertz said...

I was watching (again) Dances with Wolves last night. I just got to the part where he is going to dig up the rifles to share with his adoptive tribe, the Sioux, to fight the more powerful Pawnee. It takes me a couple of days to watch a movie anymore.

I really enjoyed the part the Kostner played in the movie. I appreciated it even more last night. It was the attitude of humility that he brought to that part. It was a well written movie, not only depicting the beauty (and his appreciation of that beauty) of nature, but as well as his honest, humble, disciplined, clumsy, yet ultimately effective way of dealing with the life that he chose through the circumstances that brought him to those choices.

It was just a movie, but we are just writing fiction here too. It depicted a humble warrior as well as any bible ever did.

mike

 

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