May 26 Devotional (2021)

He showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.


A prayer inspired by Saint  Augustine of Canterbury, who the Anglican Church remembers of May 26th

O Lord our God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst call thine Apostles and send them forth to preach the Gospel to the nations: We bless thy holy name for thy servant Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, whose labors in propagating thy Church among the English people we commemorate today; and we pray that all whom thou dost call and send may do thy will, and bide thy time, and see thy glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


May 26, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings:  Ezekiel 37:1-14 / John 20:19-23 / “Beginners must…” by St. Teresa of Avila


Invitatory

The Spirit of the Lord filleth the world: * 

O come, let us worship Him. Alleluia!

Opening Prayer

Almighty God, as we come here today to better know You through the study of Your word, meet us each at the point of our needs, send Your Spirit to guide our hearts and enlighten our minds, and bring us reassurance of Your unfailing love all the day long; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Hymn

“Holy Spirit, Light Divine”


Morning Prayer

O Holy Spirit,

On Pentecost You descended on the apostles as tongues of fire.

Take away all vices from our hearts,

And fill us with all wisdom

And spiritual understanding;

O blessed Spirit,

With the Father and the Son,

You live and reign,

Ever one God,

Now and forever.

Amen.

  • New Mozarabic Collects [2]
  • Short Verse

    The Fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control 

    — from GALATIANS 5:22
    “The Valley of Bones”
    (source)

    Morning Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14

    Life to dry bones

    1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. 2 And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. 3 And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

    7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

    11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.”

    Morning Lesson

    The Final Resurrection

    Ezekiel’s vision reminded the Jews in exile that “He who promised to revive their dead nation was the same God who ‘formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life’ (Gn 2:7). Through His prophets, God demonstrated his power to force death to give up its victims (cf 1Ki 17:17-24; 2Ki 4:18-37).” [3] 

    The Valley of Dry Bones is a prophecy of the Final Resurrection. “The revelation of God’s power to raise the dead sends beams of light into the future beyond Israel’s rescue from death in the Babylonian graveyard. A revived Israel is but the earthly clay that He will use to call into being a Spirit-filled people of all nations, once dead in trespasses but made alive in Christ Jesus (Rm 6:11; Eph 2:1). He who is ‘the resurrection and the life’ will awaken those who sleep in the dust of the earth.” [4]

    “Great is the long kindness of the Lord, that the prophet is taken as a witness of the future resurrection, that we, too might see it with his eyes… We notice here how the operations of the Spirit of life are again resumed; we know after what manner the dead are raised from the opening tombs… And finally, he who has believed that the dead shall rise again ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (for the trumpet shall sound)… shall be caught up among the first in the clouds to meet Christ in the air’; he who has not believed shall be left, and subject himself to the sentence by his own unbelief.” [5]

    ~ St. Ambrose of Milan (c. 340-397) 

    “As we at once perceive that the Creator is in this passage represented as vivifying our dead bodies, and promising resurrection to them, and resuscitation from their sepulchers and tombs, conferring upon them immortality also (He says, ‘For as the tree of life, so shall their days be’), He is shown to be the only God who accomplishes these things, and as Himself the good Father, benevolently conferring life upon those who have not life from themselves.” [6]

    ~ St. Irenaeus (c. 130-202)


    Midday Prayer

    O All-Holy Spirit, blow away and disperse the unclean stench from the soul of the penitent that has been choking him, and lead him to repentance. 

    We bow down and beseech You, O Life-giving and Mighty Spirit! 

  • Extracts From Prayers By The Lake By St. Nikolai Velimirovic [7]
  • Short Verse

    And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

    Romans 5:5
    “Hands of Proof”
    By Hyatt Moore
    (source)

    Midday Reading: John 20:19-23

    Jesus breathes the Spirit

    19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

    Midday Lesson

    The breath of God

    “Jesus again identified himself with his Father. He told the disciples by whose authority he did his work. Then he passed the job to his disciples of spreading the gospel of salvation around the world. Whatever God has asked you to do, remember: (1) Your authority comes from God, and (2) Jesus has demonstrated by words and actions how to accomplish the job he has given you. As the Father sent Jesus, Jesus sends his followers . . . and you.” [8]

    “There is life in the breath of God. Man was created but did not come alive until God breathed into him the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). God’s first breath made man different from all other forms of creation. Now, through the breath of Jesus, God imparted eternal, spiritual life. With this inbreathing came the power to do God’s will on earth.” [9]

    “Christ commission[ed] the disciples to continue His mission on earth, granting them the Holy Spirit (v. 22) and the authority to forgive the sins of others (v. 23)… Through this direct consecration and through apostolic continuity,” which we refer to as apostolic succession, priests and bishops today continue these special duties given to the disciples by Christ. [10]



    Eventide Prayer

    God the Father bless me, Christ guard me, the Holy Spirit enlighten me, all the days of my life! The Lord be the defender and guardian of my soul and my body, now and ever! Amen. The right hand of the Lord preserve me always to old age! The grace of Christ perpetually defend me from the enemy! Direct, Lord, my heart into the way of peace. Hasten to save me, O God! O Lord, come quickly to help me! 

    Blessing from the Book of Cerne, 9th Century [11]

    Short Verse

    But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

    Jude 1:20-21
    Maxfield Parrish’s painting of the Gardener
    1906
    (source)

    Evensong Reading

    Beginners must…

    Beginners must realize that in order to give delight to the Lord they are starting to cultivate a garden on very barren soil, full of abominable weeds. His majesty pulls up the weeds and plants good seed. Now let us keep in mind that all of this is already done by the time a soul is determined to practice prayer and has begun to make use of it. And with the help of God we must strive like good gardeners to get these plants to grow and take pains to water them so that they don’t wither but come to provide refreshment for this Lord of ours. 

    — St. Teresa of Avila [12]

    Compline Prayer

    Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised; for these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, whom you have prepared for all the world to see: a Light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of your people Israel. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.


    Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers

    Citations:

    [1] N/A

    [2] Stratman, P. (2001). Easter Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 80). Rossway.

    [3] House, C. P. (2009). Ezekiel. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 1371). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

    [4] Ibid. 3

    [5] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Ezekiel. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1266). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

    [6] Ibid. 5

    [7] Papavassiliou, V. (2014). Extracts From Prayers By The Lake By St. Nikolai Velimirovic. In The ancient faith prayer book (Kindle ed., p. 135). Chesterton, IN: Ancient Faith Publishing.

    [8] Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (2013). Study Notes: John. In Life application study Bible: King James version (Kindle ed., p. 8515). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House.

    [9] Ibid. 8

    [10] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). John. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1496). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

    [11] Stratman, P. (2001). Blessings. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 85). Rossway.

    [12] Tickle, P. (2006). May Compline. In The divine hours: Prayers for Springtime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 654). New York, NY: Image Books.

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