November 11 Devotional (2021)


November 11 Commemoration: St. Martin of Tours

Lord God of hosts, who didst clothe thy servant Martin the soldier With the spirit of sacrifice, and didst set him as a bishop in thy Church to be a defender of the catholic faith: Give us grace to follow in his holy steps, that at the last we may be found clothed with righteousness in the dwellings of peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


November 11, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings: 

  • Psalm 16, My heart is glad
  • Daniel 4:4-18, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream
  • 1 Timothy 6:11-21, Life that really is life

Invitatory

God is the great Lord * Come, let us adore Him.

Opening Prayer

The light that arises is yours,

just as the first light that was made

at the beginning in ancient times,

only begotten Lord,

who went to the cross to wash

away our

sins;

you live and reign, forever and ever.

Amen. [1]

Intercession

[2]

Hymn

“What Wondrous Love Is This” (American Folk Song)

Lyrics:

What wondrous Love is this, O my soul, O my soul, 

What wondrous Love is this, O my soul! 

What wondrous Love is this that caused the Lord of bliss 

To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul, 

To bear the dreadful curse for my soul! 

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down, 

When I was sinking down, sinking down, 

When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown, 

Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul, 

Christ laid aside his crown for my soul. 

To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing, 

To God and to the Lamb I will sing; 

To God and to the Lamb who is the great I Am, 

While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing; 

While millions join the theme, I will sing! 

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, 

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on; 

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be, 

And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, 

And through eternity, I’ll sing on! [3]


Morning Prayer

For Trust in God

O God, the source of all health: So fill my heart with faith in your love, that with calm expectancy I may make room for your power to possess me, and gracefully accept your healing; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [4]

Short Verse

Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

Luke 6:37

Morning Reading

Psalm 16, My heart is glad

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;

I have no good apart from you.”

As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,

in whom is all my delight.

Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;

their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out

or take their names upon my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;

you hold my lot.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;

in the night also my heart instructs me.

I keep the Lord always before me;

because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;

my body also rests secure.

For you do not give me up to Sheol,

or let your faithful one see the Pit.

You show me the path of life.

In your presence there is fullness of joy;

in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Morning Lesson

The transfigured life

Psalm 16 is similar to Ps 15 in that it “teaches the Church the transfigured life in the Person of God Incarnate, who assumed the weakness of mortal flesh (but without sin) for the sake of the inheritance (vv. 5, 6), which is “the world to come” (Creed). And as Man, He interceded to the Father on behalf of the Church, (1) to preserve those who hope in the Father (v. 1, 2); (2) to magnify His will in them amid the fallen world (vv. 3, 4); (3) to enlighten them (v. 7); (4) that they should keep their eyes on the Father (v. 8); (5) that they should hope in the resurrection from the dead, because the soul of Jesus was not left in Hades, nor did His body decay in the grave, and therefore, they should not fear death (vv. 9, 10; see also Acts 2:25-31; 13:35-37); for He was raised from the dead for the sake of their life (v. 11) “in the world to come” (Creed).” [5]

Commentary from the Early Church

Psalm 16:1-11 

Cassiodorus 

“The person of the Lord Savior is represented throughout the entire psalm. The first theme is undertaken from the perspective of his humanity in accordance with his custom. He speaks to the Father, asking to be saved because he has always placed his hope in him. In speaking this way, he does not minimize his own divinity in any way, but shows the nature of his humanity. . . . In the second theme, he returns thanks to the Father, who . . . has overcome the iniquity of this age by the strength of his omnipotence. On this basis, he claims that his soul has been freed from hell, and he mentions that after the glory of the resurrection he has been placed among the delights at [God’s] right hand.” 

(Explanation of the Psalms 16.1) [6]

Psalm 16:9-10 

Cyril of Alexandria

“Let us see [Jesus] . . . in his suffering as man but not suffering as God, and in his dying in the flesh but being greater than death, and in not remaining . . . in the tomb as we do and not being held fast by the gates of the underworld together with the other dead. . . . For he rose again, despoiling death and “saying to the prisoners: Come out, to those in darkness: Show yourselves” [see Is 49:9], and he ascended to his Father above in the heavens to a position inaccessible to people, having taken on himself our sins and being the propitiation for them. Letter 41.13. Gregory of Nyssa: [Christ’s] Godhead, alike before taking flesh and in the flesh and after his passion, is immutably the same, being at all times what it was by nature and so continuing forever. But in the suffering of his human nature the Godhead fulfilled the dispensation for our benefit by severing the soul for a season from the body, yet without being itself separated from either of those elements to which it was once for all united, and by joining again the elements that had been thus parted, so as to give to all human nature a beginning and an example that it should follow of the resurrection from the dead, that all the corruptible may put on incorruption, and all the mortal may put on immortality, our firstfruits having been transformed to the divine nature by its union with God . . . [T]he Lord, reconciling the world to himself by the humanity of Christ, apportioned his work of benevolence to people between his soul and his body, willing through his soul and touching them through his body.”

(Against Eunomius 2.13) [7]

Psalm 16:11 

Theodoret of Cyrus 

“He will be in unceasing joy, having become immune to suffering, to change, to death, even in his human nature. As God, you see, this was always the case, and of course even in his human nature once formed in the womb it was easy to provide him with this. But he allowed the nature he had assumed to travel through the sufferings so as by these means to loose the sway of sin, put a stop to the tyranny of the devil, undo the power of death and provide all people with the basis of a new life. So as man he assumes both incorruption and immortality.”

(Commentary on the Psalms 16.8) [8]


Midday Prayer

Thursday: Of the Holy Eucharist

God our Father, whose Son our Lord Jesus Christ in a wonderful Sacrament has left us a memorial of his passion: Grant us so to venerate the sacred mysteries of his Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within ourselves the fruit of his redemption; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. [9]

Short Verse

Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

Luke 6:21

Midday Reading

Daniel 4:4-18, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream

4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. 5 I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay in bed the fancies and the visions of my head alarmed me. 6 So I made a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. 7 Then the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers came in, and I told them the dream, but they could not make known to me its interpretation. 8 At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy godsc—and I told him the dream, saying, 9 “O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too difficult for you, tell me the visions of my dream that I saw and their interpretation. 10 The visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. 11 The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth. 12 Its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.

13 “I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. 14 He proclaimed aloud and said thus: ‘Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from a man’s, and let a beast’s mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him. 17 The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’ 18 This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. And you, O Belteshazzar, tell me the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation, but you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”

Midday Lesson

Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream

Daniel 4:5

Both Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and his experience that follows reveal how God humbles the proud and then raises him up again. Fear and terror can be seen as God’s mercy, for the “fear of God is the beginning of wisdom” (Pr 1:7).

[22]

Daniel 4:8, Belteshazzar:

An abbreviated form of the Babylonian expression “Bel, protect his life”. This was the name given to Daniel in 1:7. Bel, meaning “lord”, was a title borne by Marduk, the high god of Babylon.

[10]

Daniel 4:8, spirit of the holy gods:

Or, “Spirit of the holy God”… One Greek version (Θ) reads: “the holy Spirit of God”. • Nebuchadnezzar’s words recall Pharaoh’s declaration that Joseph, who also interpreted dreams, was indwelt by “the Spirit of God” (Gen 41:38).

[11]

Daniel 4:10-17

This passage brings great comfort to believers: The Most High God reigns over the affairs of rulers and nations, for the tree to be cut down is the king (see v. 25).

[23]

Daniel 4:10-18:

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is a parable of judgment. It warns that his pride will be brought low like a tree that is felled and stripped of its branches and foliage (4:23-25). The banded stump is a sign that his rule can be restored once humility brings him to recognize the sovereignty of God over every earthly dominion (4:26). Archeology has discovered an inscription commissioned by Nebuchadnezzar that describes Babylon as a mighty tree. Here and elsewhere Scripture uses trees to symbolize kingdoms (Ezek 17:22-24; 31:1-18; Mt 13:31-32).

[12]

Daniel 4:11, top reached to heaven:

Points to the extreme heights of human pride. This level of arrogance is associated with Babylon and its kings also in Gen 11:4 and Is 14:13-14.

[13]

Daniel 4:13, a watcher:

An angel assigned the role of a watchman or sentry (4:17, 23). The term is used of angels only in this chapter of the Bible, though it is often employed in this way in non-biblical Jewish literature (e.g., 1 Enoch, Jubilees, Testaments of the 12 Patriarchs).

[14]

Daniel 4:15, band of iron:

Bands were tightened around the top of a tree stump to prevent the exposed wood from cracking and splitting open. In the symbolism of the dream, this will enable the stump to sprout and grow again (cf. Is 11:1).

[15]

Daniel 4:16, times:

Possibly years, but this is uncertain because the text does not specify the duration of the king’s insanity in conventional terms.

[16]

Eventide Suffrages

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful, 

        We entreat you, O Lord. 

That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and Goodwill, 

        We entreat you, O Lord. 

That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses, 

        We entreat you, O Lord. 

That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world, 

        We entreat you, O Lord. 

That we may depart this life in your faith and fear, and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ, 

        We entreat you, O Lord. 

That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit in the communion of all your saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ, 

        We entreat you, O Lord.

Amen. [17]

Short Verse

This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

Psalm 119:50

Eventide Reading

1 Timothy 6:11-21, Life that really is life

11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

20 O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” 21 for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.

Grace be with you.

Eventide Lesson

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

“In contrast to the worldly preacher of the previous passage, Paul urged Timothy to lead a virtuous and holy life and to preach and defend the faith courageously. Those who are wealthy must be urged to be detached from riches and to stay focused on using their wealth for the good of others.” [18]

“God’s divine life far transcends our human experience and capacity, yet he desires to adopt us as his children and communicate this divine life to us. God’s self-revelation provides us the opportunity to respond to his love for us through prayer and deeds of charity.” [19]

“The faith with which Timothy had been entrusted is precious and sacred; it must be preserved and taught without corruption in the midst of many conflicting claims and philosophies. “ [20]

Compline Prayer

*  May God be in my sleep; may Christ be in my dreams. May the Spirit be in my repose, in my thoughts, in my heart. In my soul always may the Sacred Three dwell.

Amen. [21]


Citations:

[1] Stratman, P. (2001). Morning Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 16). Crossway.

[2] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Intercessions. In Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 62). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[3] Tickle, P. (2000). November. In The divine hours: Prayers for Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 217). New York, NY: Image Books.

[4] Episcopal Church. (1979). The Ministration of the Sick. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 461). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[5] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Psalms. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 720). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Cassiodorus. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1546). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[7] Cyril of Alexandria. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1547). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[8] Theodoret of Cyrus. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1547). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[9] Episcopal Church. (1979). Collects. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 251). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[10] Hahn, S., Mitch, C., & Walters, D. (2013). Commentary. In Daniel (Sec Catholic ed., p. 1956). San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press.

[11] Ibid. 10

[12] Ibid. 10, P. 1959

[13] Ibid. 10, P. 1963

[14] Ibid. 10, P. 1963

[15] Ibid. 10, P. 1968

[16] Ibid. 10, P. 1968

[17] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office, Rite II. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 122). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[18] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). 1 Timothy. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3646). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[19] Ibid, 18

[20] Ibid. 18

[21] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Compline. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 92266). London: HarperCollins.

[22] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Daniel. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1293). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[23] Ibid. 22

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