October 7 Devotional (2021)


A prayer inspired by nurse Edith Cavell, who we remember on October 7th

God of compassion, as we recall the fearless courage of your servant Edith Cavell, give us a heart to serve and to care even for those who abuse and despise us. Remove from us all fear, hatred, and bitterness, and give us that life-giving love that loves to the uttermost and seeks the good of all, through Jesus Christ who came to seek and to save the lost. Amen.


October 7, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings: Psalm 90:12-17 / Deut 5:1-21 / Heb 3:7-19

Invitatory

The mercy of the Lord is everlasting: Come let us adore him.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, 

* and to the Holy Ghost. 

As it was in the beginning, is now, 

* and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,

    hallowed be thy Name,

    thy kingdom come,

    thy will be done,

        on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

    as we forgive those

        who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

    but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

    and the power, and the glory,

    for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn: “Standing on the Promises” 

By R. Kelso Carter

Lyrics: 

Standing on the promises of Christ my King, 

Through eternal ages let his praises ring; 

Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, 

Standing on the promises of God. 

Standing on the promises that cannot fail, 

When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, 

By the living Word of God I shall prevail, 

Standing on the promises of God. 

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, 

Bound to him eternally by love’s strong cord, 

Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword, 

Standing on the promises of God. 

Standing on the promises I cannot fall, 

Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call, 

Resting in my Savior as my all in all, 

Standing on the promises of God. [1]


A Third Century Morning Prayer 

We give you hearty thanks for the rest of the past night, and for the gift of a new day, with its opportunities of pleasing thee. Grant that we may so pass its hours in the perfect freedom of your service, that at eventide we may again give thanks unto thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

 —The Eastern Church [2]

Short Verse

Kyrie eleison.

Christe eleison.

Kyrie eleison.

“Boats at Rest”
by Arthur Wesley Dow
(Wikicommons)

Morning Reading: Psalm 90:12-17

Teach us to number our days

12 Teach us to number our days,

that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?

Have compassion on your servants.

14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,

that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,

for as many years as we have seen trouble.

16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,

your splendor to their children.

17 May the favor  of the Lord our God rest on us;

establish the work of our hands for us—

yes, establish the work of our hands.


A Third Century Table Grace 

Abba, Father, fulfill the office of Your Name towards Your servants; do You govern, protect, preserve, sanctify, guide, and console us. Let us be so enkindled with love for You, that we may not be despised by You, O most merciful Lord, most tender Father; for Jesus Christ’s sake. AMEN. 

—Old Gallican Sacramentary [3]

A First Century Intercession for All Kings and Rulers 

Grant unto all Kings and Rulers, O Lord, health, peace, concord, and stability, that they may administer the government which You have given them without failure. For You, O heavenly Master, King of the Ages, gives to the sons of men glory and honour, and power over all things that are upon the earth. Do You, Lord, direct their counsel according to that which is good and well pleasing in Your sight, that administering in peace and gentleness, with godliness, the power which You have given them, they may obtain Your favour. O You Who alone art able to do these things, and things far more exceeding good than these, for us, we praise You, through the High Priest and Guardian of our souls, Jesus Christ; through Whom be the glory and the majesty, unto You, both now and for all generations, and forever and ever. AMEN.

 —Clement of Rome [4]

Short Verse

“The closer one approaches to God, the simpler one becomes.”

St. Teresa of Avila

[5]
“La Siesta”
By Paul Gauguin (1892-94)
(Wikicommons)

Midday Reading: Deuteronomy 5:1-21

The Ten Commandments

1 And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them. 2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. 3 Not with our fathers did the LORD make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today. 4 The LORD spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire, 5 while I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD. For you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up into the mountain. He said:

6 “‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

7 “‘You shall have no other gods before me.

8 “‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 9 You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

11 “‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

12 “‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 You shall remember that you were a slavec in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

16 “‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

17 “‘You shall not murder.

18 “‘And you shall not commit adultery.

19 “‘And you shall not steal.

20 “‘And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

21 “‘And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’

Midday Lesson

The Decalogue 

“The Decalogue was not an independent set of moral instructions but part of the larger covenant between God and Israel, and, in the Pentateuch, it is always spoken of within that larger context.” [6]

Verse 3 says, Not with our fathers did the LORD make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today. Saint Eusebius of Caesarea wrote, “See how distinctly he alludes to this [Mosaic] covenant when he says God did not give the same covenant to their fathers [Abraham and Noah]. For if he had said that absolutely no covenant was given to their fathers it would have been a false statement. For Holy Scripture testifies that a covenant of some kind was given both to Abraham [see Gn 12:1-3] and Noah [Gn 8:20-9:17]. And so Moses adds that one ‘not the same’ was given to their fathers. This points to that other greater and glorious covenant, by which all of these were shown forth as friends of God,” (Proof of the Gospel 1.6). [7]

“The Decalogue was a direct Revelation of God’s will spoken to Moses from a theophany of fire. In revealing the Commandments in a spectacular way, he manifested that Israel was his Chosen People.” [9]

“The Son of God on Mt. Sinai was ‘a consuming fire’ (4:24; Heb 12:29). His divine fire purified Moses from all materialistic attachments; therefore, he was able to go up on the mountain in the midst of this fire. The children of Israel had no access to Him because they were materialistic; that is, they were attached to the world. But when the Son of God became incarnate, all Israelites had access to Him. He even ate and drank with sinners (Mt 9:10-13), for He was their friend (Mt 11:19). This contrast between Mt. Sinai and the Incarnation is described in Heb 12:18-29.” [10]

“Moses served as the mediator between God and His people at Sinai, carrying messages back and forth during the preparation for the covenant (Ex 19) and for the ratification (Ex 24). We see in Moses a preview of our Lord Jesus Christ, who mediates between God and us ( 1Tm 2: 5 ).” [11]

In verse 6, “God introduces Himself— part of a standard suzerain-vassal agreement of the ancient Near East. In these pacts, the ruler begins the agreement with a preamble (“I am the LORD your God”), followed by a historic prologue (“who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery”).” [12] “God did indeed lead his people out of slavery as a type of the much greater liberation from the bondage of sin.” [13] “This verse is critical for our understanding of the covenant. These Commandments were given to people who were already called and redeemed by God in order that they might show their love for God. They were not given to sinners in order for them to achieve justification, which they had already received by faith.” [14]

The statement, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, in verse 9, “is not universal in application, but is spoken about certain ones who came out of Egypt. For after they saw the Lord’s signs and wonders in Egypt, they committed worse sins than their forefathers who saw none of these things [St. John Chrysostom].” [15]

Verse 8 coincides with Exodus 20:4. Sacred images, such as those in stained glass windows, “are not a sin against the Commandments since the images themselves are not worshiped; rather, they are intended to cultivate a spirit of prayer and love for God,” as well as serving as educational tools illustrating scenes from the word of God. [16] The prohibition against making idols for worship has been misunderstood by some. For example,, “the radical German Reformer Andreas Karlstadt (c 1480– 1541) led a movement to destroy statuary and remove all art from churches. His ideas influenced Swiss reformers Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin, who stripped their area churches of art. They allowed illustrations of biblical stories to appear in people’s homes, so long as the pictures were not used devotionally. In contrast, God told Moses to create images of cherubim for the tabernacle (Ex 25:18–20).” [32] God’s Word did not forbid the creation of such images, but prohibited idol creation and worship. [33]

“Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.”

Deut. 5:12

“The law of Moses was given to the children of Israel to check their rebellious spirit and to threaten them with divine vengeance if they persisted.” [17] As 1 Timothy 1:9 says, “knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless.” “But it was given also to lead them to Christ, ‘the end of the law’ (Rom 10:4; Gal 3:24).” [18]

“Though much of the Decalogue consists of negative prohibitions (“You shall not . . .”), they are crucial elements of self-mastery that lead to positive deeds of charity.” [19]

“The Commandment to honor your father and mother enjoys a special importance since it refers to the love of one’s parents. Fulfillment of this mandate is so pleasing to God that he promises a long and prosperous life for those who keep it.” [20] Luther emphasized “the wider implications of this commandment: ‘All authority flows and is born from the authority of parents.’” [21]


A Second Century Prayer for Soul Cleansing

Release, pardon, and forgive, O God, all our voluntary and involuntary sins, such as we have committed in action and in word, knowingly and ignorantly, by night and by day, in mind and thought, forgive us all in goodness and love.

—Liturgy of St. James [22]

Short Verse

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17
“Siesta” (1886)
By Frank Duveneck
(Wikicommons)

Eventide Reading: Hebrews 3:7-19

Against disobedience

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,

8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,

on the day of testing in the wilderness,

9 where your fathers put me to the test

and saw my works for forty years.

10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation,

and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;

they have not known my ways.’

11 As I swore in my wrath,

‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

Eventide Lesson

The three types of Sabbath rest 

Verses 7-11 reference “the rebellion of those who left Egypt during the Exodus. Due to their unbelief, the whole generation (v. 10) was forbidden to enter Canaan, the promised land, and thus could not enter God’s rest (v. 11). Rest (Gr. sabbatismos) literally means a Sabbath rest or Sabbath observance.” [23]

“There [were] three types of God’s rest known to the Jews: (1) the Sabbath rest, the day on which God rested from His works (Gn 2:2, 3); (2) the rest from Egyptian bondage, which the Israelites coming out of Egypt experienced in Canaan; (3) the rest in the kingdom, the ultimate Sabbath rest in heaven established by the Messiah. Hebrews uses this OT quote (Ps 95:8-11) concerning Canaan to refer to the rest in the Kingdom of heaven. Significantly, we experience this rest now as we ascend to God in worship.” [24]

Verse 12 warns, Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. “Those in Christ are not immune to turning away from God. There is a temporary attractiveness in sin, which leads to a hardened heart and ultimately apostasy. We must take constant daily care not to be deceived and thus fall (see Mk 4:5, 6, 16, 17).” [25]

Verse 14 says, For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. Here, “the author urged the faithful to keep strong in the Faith since lukewarmness is incompatible with holiness and can result in a gradual fall from grace. Even the baptized can compromise their salvation through infidelity, just as most of the Israelites, through their lack of faith in God’s goodness and promises, perished in the desert before reaching the Promised Land.” [26] “Union with Christ belongs to those who persevere in their faith to the end, not to those who stop with a one-time profession of faith.” [27]

“The Israelites survived as a nomadic people for forty years in the desert after leaving Egypt. When Canaan was indicated as the Promised Land, there were many Israelites who doubted because of the Canaanites military strength. Despite all the wonders and miracles they had witnessed during their long sojourn, they lacked faith and trust that God would protect them and lead them to the Promised Land (cf. Nm 13:25-33).” [28] The five questions in verses 16-19 “demonstrate the consequences of Israel’s disobedience and her failure to believe God in the wilderness. Once agains, faith (v. 19) and works (v. 19) are distinguished, but not separated. As the fundamental component of entering God’s rest (v. 18) is faith, so the primary cause of failing to enter (v. 19) is unbelief.” [29]

“Just as God rested on the seventh day of creation, the Israelites found their ‘rest’ in their arrival to the Promised Land after forty years in the desert. For the Christian faithful, too, there is a future rest: the promise of eternal happiness in Heaven.” [30]

Compline Prayer

From the Amra (Eulogy) of St. Columba 

God, God—I pray before I come into your presence. You are my chariot in battle. God of heaven, do not leave me to the demons who shout through the great smoke of hell. Great God, be my protection from the fires of hell and all its sorrows. Righteous God, truly you are always near. My flesh and my heart cry out to you in heaven. 

  • The Amra of St. Columba, date unknown, after 597 The Irish Liber Hymnorum, p. 60-61 Paraphrased translation for Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church [31]

Citations:

[1] Tickle, P. (2000). October. In The divine hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime  (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 26). New York, NY: Image Books.

[2] Potts, J. M. (2020). Third Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 31). essay. 

[3] Potts, J. M. (2020). Third Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 31). essay. 

[4] Potts, J. M. (2020). First Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 17). essay. 

[5] Dillon, M. (n.d.). 14 of the most powerful PEACE quotes from st Teresa OF AVILA. The Writings of Cora Evans. Retrieved September 21, 2021, from https://www.coraevans.com/blog/article/14-Of-The-Most-Powerful-Peace-Quotes-From-St-Teresa-Of-Avila

[6] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Deuteronomy. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 559). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[7] Eusebius of Caesarea. (2019). Deuteronomy. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 645). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[8] A., E. E. (2016). Deuteronomy. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 1382). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[9] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Deuteronomy. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 559). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[10] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Deuteronomy. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 286). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[11] A., E. E. (2016). Deuteronomy. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 1382). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[12] Ibid. 11

[13] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Deuteronomy. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 559). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[14] A., E. E. (2016). Deuteronomy. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 1382). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[15] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Deuteronomy. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 286). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[16] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Deuteronomy. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 559). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[17] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Deuteronomy. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 286). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[18] Ibid. 17

[19] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Deuteronomy. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 559). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[20] Ibid. 20

[21] A., E. E. (2016). Deuteronomy. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 1382-1383). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[22] Potts, J. M. (2020). Second Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 22). essay. 

[23] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Hebrews. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1687). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[24] Ibid. 23

[25] Ibid. 23

[26] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Hebrews. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3702). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[27] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Hebrews. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1687). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[28] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Hebrews. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3702). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[29] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Hebrews. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1687-1688). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[30] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Hebrews. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3701). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[31] Stratman, P. (2001). Loricas. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 9). Rossway.

[32] A., E. E. (2016). Noe Graven Image? [essay]. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 703). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[33] Ibid. 32

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