August 11 Devotional (2021)

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

August 11, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings:  Jeremiah 31:1-6 / John 6:35-40 / Of love and charity and of the welcoming of strangers – an Excerpt from Sayings of the Holy Desert Fathers


A prayer inspired by Saint Clare of Assisi, Abbess of Assisi, who the Church remembers on August 11th

O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty Might be rich: Deliver us, we pray thee, from an inordinate love of this world, that, inspired by the devotion of thy servant Clare, we may serve thee with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen.


Invitatory

Come! O Come to the well of God’s Word and meet your Savior; the water He has given will become in you a spring of eternal life. 

Opening Prayer

Most merciful Father, You know our needs and the longings of our soul: Hear the prayers of those who have come here today to search Your Word. For those of us who come feeling broken, bring restoration. For those who come feeling weak, bring strength. For those who come weeping and filled with sorrow, bring joy and hope. For those who come with affliction, bring comfort and reprieve. For those who come with doubts, bring faith. For those who come feeling shame, bring liberation. For those who come feeling burdened, bring rest. For those who come feeling anxious, bring peace. This we ask through Your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Hymn

“Awake, O sleeper, rise from death”

By F. Bland Tucker, 1895-1984

(1982 Hymnal #547)

Lyrics [1]:

Awake, O sleeper,

rise from death,

and Christ shall give you light,

so learn his love—

its length and breadth,

its fullness, depth, and height.

To us on earth he came to bring

from sin and fear release,

to give the Spirit’s unity,

the very bond of peace.

There is one Body and one hope,

one Spirit and one call,

one Lord, on Faith, and one Baptism,

one Father of us all.

Then walk in love as

Christ has loved,

who died that he might save;

with kind and gentle hearts forgive

as God in Christ forgave.

For us Christ lived,

for us he died

and conquered in the strife.

Awake, arise, go forth in faith,

and Christ shall give you life.


Morning Prayer

Prayer by Saint Basil of Caesarea (ca. 330-379)

Steer the ship of my life, Lord, to your quiet harbor, where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict. Show me the course I should take. Renew in me the gift of discernment, so that I can see the right direction in which I should go. And give me the strength and the courage to choose the right course, even when the sea is rough and the waves are high, knowing that through enduring hardship and danger in your name we shall find comfort and peace. [2]

Short Verse

Abba Poemen used to say, “As smoke drives away bees, and men take the sweetness of their labour, even so also does ease of the body drive away the fear of God from the heart, and it carried away all the good [effect] of its labour.”

Sayings of the Holy Fathers, Of fasting and abstinence and of other [similar] labours [3]

Morning Reading: Jeremiah 31:1-6

God promises fruitful vineyards

1 “At that time, declares the LORD, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.”

2 Thus says the LORD:

“The people who survived the sword

found grace in the wilderness;

when Israel sought for rest,

3 the LORD appeared to him from far away.

I have loved you with an everlasting love;

therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

4 Again I will build you, and you shall be built,

O virgin Israel!

Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines

and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.

5 Again you shall plant vineyards

on the mountains of Samaria;

the planters shall plant

and shall enjoy the fruit.

6 For there shall be a day when watchmen will call

in the hill country of Ephraim:

‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,

to the LORD our God.’”

Morning Lesson

The LORD Will Turn Mourning to Joy

“After the completion of the chastisement of his people, God would bless them again and bring them back to the Promised Land. True to his covenant, as a faithful bridegroom to his bride, the Lord loved his people with a steadfast and permanent fidelity. The punishments had not yet been carried out, and God, in his immeasurable love and mercy, was promising already the imminent blessing that would follow his people’s repentance and conversion. His punishment was not an expression of anger, let alone vindictiveness; rather, it was a means to effect interior conversion and reform.” [4]


Midday Prayer

In time of any common plague or Sickness.

(From the 1662 Book of Common Prayer)

O ALMIGHTY God, who in thy wrath did send a plague upon thine own people in the wilderness for their obstinate rebellion against Moses and Aaron, and also in the time of king David didst slay with the plague of pestilence threescore and ten thousand, and yet remembering thy mercy didst save the rest; Have pity upon us miserable sinners, who now are visited with great sickness and mortality, that like as thou didst then accept of an atonement, and didst command the destroying Angel to cease from punishing; so it may now please thee to withdraw from us this plague and grievous sickness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [5]

Short Verse

One of the old men said, ‘How can a man teach to his neighbour that which he himself does not observe?’

Sayings of the Holy Fathers, Of Voluntary Poverty [6]
“The Bread of Life”
by Hermel Alejandre
(source)

Midday Reading: John 6:35-40

Doing God’s will

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Resurrection of the Dead (image source)

Midday Lesson

Raised to everlasting life

Today’s passage from the Gospel of John is a portion of a sermon (Jn 6:26-71) by Christ that is “called the ‘Bread of Life discourse.’ Building upon the miracle of the multiplication of loaves, he revealed that he is the Bread of Life who has come from Heaven to nourish us in faith, hope, and love, whereby we share more profoundly in the life of Christ. Holiness and effective witness of the Gospel requires an ardent love of and frequent reception of the Eucharist.” [7]

“People eat bread to satisfy physical hunger and to sustain physical life. We can satisfy spiritual hunger and sustain spiritual life only by a right relationship with Jesus Christ. No wonder he called himself the bread of life. But bread must be eaten to sustain life, and Christ must be invited into our daily walk to sustain spiritual life.” [8]

“Jesus did not work independently of God the Father, but in union with him. This should give us even more assurance of being welcomed into God’s presence and being protected by him. Jesus’ purpose was to do the will of God, not to satisfy Jesus’ human desires. When we follow Jesus, we should have the same purpose.” [9]

“Those who put their faith in Christ will be resurrected from physical death to everlasting life with God when Christ comes again (see 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).” [10]

Saint Chrysostom wrote, “No one who has lived correctly disbelieves the resurrection, but every day they pray and repeat that holy sentence, ‘thy kingdom come’ [Mt 6:10]. Who then are the ones who disbelieve the resurrection? Those who have unholy ways and an unclean life. As the prophet says, ‘His ways are profane at all times. Your judgments are removed from before him’ [see Ps 10:4-5]. For one cannot possibly live a pure life without believing in the resurrection, since they who are conscious of no iniquity both speak of and wish for and believe in it, that they may receive their reward,” (Homilies on the Gospel of John). [11]

“I am the bread of life” performed by the Notre Dame Folk Choir
I am the Bread of Life

I am the bread of life.

He who comes to me shall not hunger;

he who believes in me shall not thirst.

No one can come to me

unless the Father draw him.

And I will raise him up,

and I will raise him up,

and I will raise him up on the last day.

The bread that I will give

is my flesh for the life of the world,

and he who eats of this bread,

he shall live for ever,

he shall live for ever.

And I will raise him up,

and I will raise him up,

and I will raise him up on the last day.

Unless you eat

of the flesh of the Son of Man

and drink of his blood,

and drink of his blood,

you shall not have life within you.

And I will raise him up,

and I will raise him up,

and I will raise him up on the last day.

I am the resurrection,

I am the life.

He who believes in me

even if he die,

he shall live for ever.

And I will raise him up,

and I will raise him up,

and I will raise him up on the last day.

Yes, Lord, I believe

that you are the Christ,

the Son of God,

who has come

into the world.

And I will raise him up,

and I will raise him up,

and I will raise him up on the last day. [15]


Eventide Prayer

A COLLECT FOR PROTECTION

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen. [12]

Short Verse

Abba Poemen used to say, ‘Satan has three kinds of power which precede all sin. The first is error, and the second is neglect (or laxity), and the third is lust. When error has come it produces neglect, and from neglect springs lust, and by lust man fell.’

Sayings of the Holy Fathers, Of Scrupulous Watchfulness in our Thoughts and Words and Deeds [13]
“Empathy”
By Polish artist Rafal Tomasz Urbaniak
(source)

Eventide Reading

Of love and charity and of the welcoming of strangers – An Excerpt from Sayings of the Holy Desert Fathers

A certain old man used to say, ‘It is right for a man to take up the burden for those who are akin (or near) to him, whatsoever it may be, and, so to speak, to put his own soul in the place of that of his neighbour, and to become, if it were possible, a double man; and he must suffer, and weep, and mourn with him, and finally the matter must be accounted by him as if he himself had put on the actual body of his neighbour, and as if he had acquired his countenance and soul, and he must suffer for him as he would for himself. For thus is it written: — ‘We are all one body…’

– An Excerpt from Sayings of the Holy Desert Fathers[14]

Compline Prayer

I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; for only you, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

  • Psalm 4:8

  • Devotionals compiled/written by S. P. Rogers

    Citations:

    [1] Tucker, F. B. (n.d.). Awake O sleeper rise from death. eHymnBook. http://www.ehymnbook.org/CMMS/hymnSong.php?id=pd09884

    [2] Saint Basil of Caesarea. (2021). The Ship of Life. CatholiCity.com. https://www.catholicity.com/prayer/ship-of-life.html

    [3] Of fasting and abstinence and of other [similar] labours (1907). In The Sayings of the Holy Fathers: Books I and II (Kindle ed., p. 29).  W. Budge (Ed.)

    [4] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Jeremiah. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 2281). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

    [5] Cummings, B. (2011). The book of common prayer: 1662. In The book of common prayer: the texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662 (ebook, pp. 313). prayer, Oxford University Press. 

    [6] Of Voluntary Poverty (1907). In The Sayings of the Holy Fathers: Books I and II (Kindle ed., p. 52).  W. Budge (Ed.)

    [7] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). John. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3222). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

    [8] Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (2013). Study Notes: John. In Life application study Bible: King James version (Kindle ed., p. 8463). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House.

    [9] Ibid. 8

    [10] Ibid. 8, P. 8464

    [11] Chrysostom. (2019). John. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 3021). Nashville: Holman Bible.

    [12] Evening Office, Anglican Church in North America 2019 Book of Common Prayer

    http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/08-Daily-Evening-Prayer-11.21.2019.docx

    [13] Of Scrupulous Watchfulness in our Thoughts and Words and Deeds (1907). In The Sayings of the Holy Fathers: Books I and II (Kindle ed., p. 77).  W. Budge (Ed.)

    [14] Of love and charity and of the welcoming of strangers. (1907). In The Sayings of the Holy Fathers: Books I and II (Kindle ed., p. 136).  W. Budge (Ed.)

    [15] Toolan, S. (n.d.). I am the Bread of Life. http://catholichymn.blogspot.com/2015/08/I-am-the-Bread-of-Life.html

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