Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Daily readings.

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger...

My 'lectio' is usually based upon the daily readings at Mass.  Sometimes it amazes me how 'living and active' the Word really is - since we read the same passages Year A, B, C after year,  and yet it is always new.  These past weeks we've been hearing Paul's letter from 1 Corinthians.  Almost daily it is as if the Holy Spirit is writing to me personally, or addressing issues in the contemporary Church. 
This month I'd been disappointed because I never received my September Magnificat, the monthly which always includes wonderful meditations on the daily readings, so I had to rely on my old  Daily Roman Missal.  (I called Magnificat and they sent me a replacement, which I just received this morning.)  My Roman Missal can be rather disconcerting since the translations of the readings do not match what we use today.  It takes some getting used to, especially since most modern translations are generally so unsatisfactory anyway.  Why can't there be just one, accurate, un-PC liturgical text?*  But I digress.
Today's reading concerning lawsuits in civil courts reminded me of the priest I wrote about the other day, the one suing his bishop and abbot.  One must remember the political situation wherein Paul wrote was quite different from our own.  Our judicial system is based upon Judeo-Christian principles, so Christians having recourse to the civil courts is not a bad thing - though it can be abused.  Canonical court cases can be abused as well.  Nevertheless, Paul asks, "Why not put up with injustice?  Why not let yourself be cheated?  Instead, you inflict injustice and cheat, and this to brothers." - 1 Cor 6
I think that is often true - Christians do inflict injustice upon Christians, and even cheat one another.  Ironically one of my favorite bloggers, Br. Stephen of Sub Tuum printed an interesting passage from a novel he had been reading that fits in well with something I experienced recently and which influenced my meditation upon the Pauline text this morning:

"These are strange times. There are now two kinds of people.
This has never happened before.
One are decent, tenderhearted, unbelieving, philanthropic people. The other are some preachers who tell the truth about the Lord but are themselves often rascals if not thieves.
What a generation! Believing thieves and decent unbelievers!
The Great Depriver's finest hour!" - Fr. Smith, Walker Percy’s 1987 novel, The Thanatos Syndrome 

The Holy Spirit, through St. Paul in today's first reading seems to me to be convincing us of sin here - or as charismatics like to say, convicting:  "Instead, you inflict injustice and cheat, and this to brothers."  Well maybe not you, but I have been convicted. 

Whenever you sin, be careful not to despair but to run to the spiritual doctor to confess and seek a cure: the mercy of God. The Lord came into the world to save not the righteous, those who are healthy in soul, but the sinners, those who are ill. He will receive these with great love and mercy as He received the prodigal son, the prostitute, the thief, the publican, and millions of sinners who were saved by repentance and confession. I leave you this paternal counsel: never, never despair whenever you sin, but have confidence and hope in the immeasurable mercy of God. Repent and confess, and you will be saved. - Elder Philotheos Zervakos

* Br. Stephen also has an excellent post on the subject of scriptural translations - specifically the New American Bible - Isn't It Time To Retire the "New" American Bible?


  1. Yes, yes, yes!
    I'm a Douay-Rheims' man today for "lectio"; the missals have different translations (I have a Baronius Press edition of the EF; we have a SSPX (gasp!) missal with other translations); the Daily Roman Missal; the lectionary (approved today...maybe not tomorrow!)...
    Just gimme da Word (as It reads)...just gimme Jesus!!:P!

  2. Well I hauled myself into court this afternoon - accused of horrible crimes... I went to confession!

  3. Maria9:33 PM

    Walker Percy (a convert). The King of Irony. Don't get me started on my long love affair w/ Walker Percy. He said, in one of his novels, I think it was The Second Coming ( my favorite)," if the born again are twice born, I am waiting for the third go round".

  4. Anonymous6:33 AM

    I saw something regarding the new monastery being built.

    The article says:

    "In part because of the austere life, Father Daniel Mary says, his community only takes “the cream of the crop.”

    “We have guys who pound the door down, crying about getting in here,” he said. “We cut a lot of guys.”

    I admire Father's zeal and His trust in God to provide for his community, which the article later mentions. It's this notion of the "cream of the crop" and "cutting" guys that I wonder about...I don't know, I guess I sometimes think there is this tension between the 'stars' in the Church or the heros for Christ and those who are weak, perhaps even by their own sins and its effects, and what place they have.

    Do you know what I mean? "Cutting" guys sounds like a football team. If they cannot live the life, then I understand--they probably want to 'cut' themselves. I just wonder about the dejection and what those men must think of their own place in the grand scheme of things.

    Article here:



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