June 8, 2022 Devotional

June 8, 2022

Today’s Readings: 

Invitatory

The Spirit of the Lord filleth the world: * 

O come, let us worship Him. Alleluia!

Morning Prayers

Lord, in your mercy 

      hear my prayer. 

Lord, hear me. 

      Lord, graciously hear me.

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.

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 [1]

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. 

Alleluia!

Hymn

Contemplation

The Fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control — GALATIANS 5:22

Morning Reading

Numbers 24:1-14, Balaam speaks with God’s spirit

1 Now Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, so he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens but set his face toward the wilderness. 2 Balaam looked up and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. Then the spirit of God came upon him, 3 and he uttered his oracle, saying,

“The oracle of Balaam son of Beor,

    the oracle of the man whose eye is clear,[a]

the oracle of one who hears the words of God,

    who sees the vision of the Almighty,[b]

    who falls down but with eyes uncovered:

How fair are your tents, O Jacob,

    your encampments, O Israel!

Like palm groves that stretch far away,

    like gardens beside a river,

like aloes that the Lord has planted,

    like cedar trees beside the waters.

Water shall flow from his buckets,

    and his seed shall have abundant water;

his king shall be higher than Agag,

    and his kingdom shall be exalted.

God, who brings him out of Egypt,

    is like the horns of a wild ox for him;

he shall devour the nations that are his foes

    and break their bones.

    He shall strike with his arrows.[c]

He crouched; he lay down like a lion

    and like a lioness; who will rouse him up?

Blessed is everyone who blesses you,

    and cursed is everyone who curses you.”

10 Then Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together. Balak said to Balaam, “I summoned you to curse my enemies, but instead you have blessed them these three times. 11 Now be off with you! Go home! I said, ‘I will reward you richly,’ but the Lord has denied you any reward.” 12 And Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not speak to your messengers whom you sent to me, saying, 13 ‘If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own will; what the Lord says, that is what I will say’? 14 So now, I am going to my people; let me advise you what this people will do to your people in days to come.”

Morning Lesson

When Balaam spoke the truth

“Because Balaam was a sorcerer, he would look for omens or signs to help him tell the future. In this situation, it was clear that God himself was speaking, so Balaam needed no other signs, real or imagined.” [2]

“Who was Agag? Agag was the title for the king of the Amalekites, just as pharaoh was the title for the ruler of Egypt. Saul, the first king of Israel, defeated Agag (1 Sam 15:8). Balaam prophesied correctly the ruin of Israel’s oldest enemy (Exod 17:14-16).” [3]

“Although Balaam’s motives were not correct, in blessing Israel he acted with integrity. God’s message had so filled him that Balaam spoke the truth. In so doing, he forfeited the reward that had lured him to speak in the first place. Staying true to God’s Word may cost us promotions and advantages in the short run, but those who choose God over money will one day acquire heavenly wealth beyond measure (Matt 6:19-21).” [4]

Midday Prayers

Lord, in your mercy 

      hear my prayer. 

Lord, hear me. 

      Lord, graciously hear me.

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! Amen. [5]

COME, O SPIRIT OF UNDERSTANDING, and teach me to know myself and recognize God’s call to me in my daily life and work. [6]

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. 

Alleluia!

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

Midday Reading

Luke 1:26-38, God’s Spirit comes on Mary

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”[a] 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”[b] 35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[c] will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Midday Lesson

Full of grace

“The name Mary means ‘exalted one.’ When Joseph is referred to as of the house of David, it reveals Mary also was descended from David’s royal lineage, for a righteous man would usually marry within his own tribe (see note at 3:23-38). Twice in [verse 27], and again by implication (1:34), Luke calls Mary a virgin.” [7]

“While Eve brought forth children in sorrow (Gn 3:17), Mary, being the new Eve, will rejoice in bringing forth her Son; as Eve had been cursed, so now Mary is blessed (v. 28). Highly favored (Gr. charitou) can also be translated ‘full of grace.’ Mary is the most blessed woman who has ever lived because of her complete willingness to receive God’s grace, or in the words of her Son, to ‘hear the word of God and keep it’ (11:28).” [8]

Two truths are emphasized in Gabriel’s announcement (vv. 31-33): 

  1.  “you will conceive in your womb: the Lord Jesus took His flesh-His human nature from Mary herself” [9]; and 
  2. “this is the divine Son of the Highest in Mary’s womb. Thus the one Person, Jesus, the eternal Son and Word of God, is both fully human and fully divine. This truth was crucial in the defeat of the heretic Nestorius, who taught that Mary conceived a mere man who was later joined by the divine Son of God.” [10]

Mary’s question in verse 34, How can this be? “does not indicate a lack of faith, as Zacharias’ question did (v. 18). Rather, she is merely inquiring into the manner in which something so extraordinary would happen.” [11]

“Holy One (v. 35) is a messianic title (see Ps 15:10). Note the revelation of the Holy Trinity: The Father (the Highest), the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” [12]

In verse 39, “Mary’s faithful response is that of highest obedience to God… Whereas Eve once disobeyed, Mary now obeys; whereas Eve closed herself to God, Mary opens to His will. Mary’s response says, ‘I am a tablet; let the Writer write whatever He desires on it’ (Theophylact of Bulgaria).” [13]

Eventide Prayers

Lord, in your mercy 

      hear my prayer. 

Lord, hear me. 

      Lord, graciously hear me.

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 [14]

O DIVINE LOVE, sacred bond uniting the Father and the Son, Almighty Spirit, faithful comforter of the afflicted: penetrate the depth of my heart and fill it with the brightness of thy light. Amen. [15]

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. 

Alleluia!

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

Eventide Meditation

Novena To The Holy Spirit

O HOLY SPIRIT, Lord and Giver of Life, I adore thee and humbly acknowledge here in thy sacred presence that I am nothing and can do nothing without the life and breath thou dost give.

          Come, advocate and guide into all truth. Come, source of strength and wisdom. Come and fulfill the promise of our Savior that we would not be left as orphans. Come and enter into my mind and heart as on the day of Pentecost. Grant that I may also receive the gifts poured out on the disciples and the Blessed Mother of Jesus. Amen.

          TAKE FROM MY HEART all that is not pleasing to thee and make it a worthy dwelling place for Jesus. Illumine my mind that I may see and understand the things that are for my eternal well-being.

          Kindle in my heart the pure love of God, teaching me to love God in all things and above all things, that I might receive all things with gratitude and use them to God’s purposes.

          Strengthen my will that it may be conformed to the will of my creator and guided by holy inspiration. Aid me to practice the virtues seen in the earthly life of Jesus. Amen.

          DESCEND UPON ME, O mighty Spirit, that inspired and encouraged by thee, I may faithfully fulfill the duties of my life and vocation, that I carry my cross with patience and courage and accomplish more nearly thy perfect will. Make me day by day more holy and give to me that heavenly peace which the world cannot give. Amen.

          O HOLY SPIRIT, THOU GIVER of every good and perfect gift, inspire my prayer and grant me the intention which moves me to pray earnestly, with hope and expectation. Amen. 

        THE SPIRIT HELPS US in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray but the Spirit intercedes for us in sighs too deep for words. — ROMANS 8

          Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire, and lighten with celestial fire. Thou the anointing Spirit art, who dost thy seven-fold gifts impart.

          Thy blessed unction from above is comfort, life, and fire of love. Enable with perpetual light the dullness of our blinded sight.

          Anoint and cheer our soilèd face with the abundance of thy grace. Keep far our foes, give peace at home: where thou art guide, no ill can come.

          Teach us to know the Father, Son, and thee, of both, to be but One, that through the ages all along, this may be our endless song:

          Praise to thy eternal merit, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

          Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of thy love.

[16]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

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.


Citations:

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

[2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Numbers. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 5859). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[3] Ibid. 2

[4] Ibid. 2

[5] 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.

[6] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Topical Devotions. In Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 259). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[7] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Luke. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1391). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[8] Ibid. 7

[9] Ibid. 7

[10] Ibid. 7

[11] Ibid. 7

[12] Ibid. 7

[13] Ibid. 7

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

[15] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Topical Devotions. In Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 251). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[16] Ibid. 15, P. 257-259

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