29 January 2014

Prayer for Rain

In 100 days, parts of California could out of water.

OGOD, heavenly Father, who by thy Son Jesus Christ hast promised to all those who seek thy kingdom, and the righteousness thereof, all things necessary to their bodily sustenance; Send us, we beseech thee, in this our necessity, such moderate rain and showers, that we may receive the fruits of the earth to our comfort, and to thy honour; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Teh Gay as First World Issue

Toying with an idea...
  1. Same sex attraction seems to be a universal human and other-species event - not that all species or all humans have it, but it seems common enough to need no special comment. It seems it may be a natural part of  life events, a dysfunction, a mutation or a part of something we've not yet discerned.
        
  2. Throughout most of human history you got married and you raised kids to preserve the family, to care for you in old age, to work the farm, to hunt the woolly mammoth. Sexual attraction, per se, wasn't an issue. Seemingly - likewise by tradition - same-sex action was used as punishment or pleasure, as venting or whatever, but as a secondary reality.
     
  3. People were not "Gay or Straight" but rather sexual. Sex did some things (legal/good/social) and some other things (illegal/not good/anti-social) and even some other things (commercial/military/social+anti-social).  In some cultures there were roles for what we might consider as "sexual transgressors" such as effeminate men cross dressing and living as women, but in other cultures these roles did not exist.  These were not sexual identities as we have now, but rather functions of sex.
        
  4. Marriage, as an institution, preserved so much of society in its very self that the idea of not participating was unthinkable. Until very recently not participating in marriage (unless you were a monastic) also meant that you were become a burden on the family or else alone - totally alone. The spinster aunt in the garret, the bachelor farmer, the crazy cousin who always needs family support.
        
  5. Only in very wealthy societies do we have the wherewithal to imagine that just because we feel something we must act on it.  Only in wealthy societies can we take a feeling and require it to become our identity - and cause others to develop identities either with us or in opposition to us.
        
  6. Only in wealthier societies focused on individualism do we have the finances - and the leisure - to explore such things. Wealth alone is not enough: as in many wealthy societies (ancient and modern Empires, including Ancient Rome and the British Empire in the 17th-Early 20th Centuries) heterosexual marriage was not only the norm but de rigueur even for those who were same-sex attracted as a component of social identity and mobility, as a quality of class standing and economic stability. It's leisure: the time to say 'I don't have to grow my own food, care for my parents/children, work-all-day-and-sleep-all-night, so I can explore my feelings'.
        
  7. In the modern world we have decided that wealth, individualism and freedom of choice/action are supreme moral imperatives. When we "liberate" another society or make economic contact with another society and say things like "wealth and personal freedom" they catch our morals too. Even in "First World" countries poorer communities do not have the same issues because the family is such an important part of fiscal viability that opting out is not considered until one leaves the community.
        
  8. The choice to be sexual active or not is a freedom granted by our wealth and leisure. It would not be a valid choice, even in a more liberal culture, 150 years ago neither in a less-wealthy culture now.
        
  9. The idea that we are right and therefore everyone must yield to our desires/cultural choices is as solidly as based on mere personal and/or cultural bias as any religious claim that we are wrong. 

28 January 2014

Daily Office, 29 Jan - 15 Feb AD 2014



The Daily Offices for Morning and Evening Prayer in the Rite of St Tikhon. The readings are as assigned by the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate, unofficially supplemented with other devotional material taken from the Breviary and the Psalter. Each MP/EP link will take you to a complete office, needing only the daily Psalter or, for MP, the Martyrology link.

I don't usually post this far forward: The links are all valid, but the daily offices are being edited - they will be ready by the day you click on them. This will get us right up to the I Vespers of Septuagesima!

January
  1. Wednesday - Feria - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  2. Thursday - Feria (St Martina, VM) - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  3. Friday - Feria - MP - EP - Martyrology.
February
  1.  Saturday - St Ignatius of Antioch (Bridget of Ireland V) - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  2.  Purification of the BVM (Sunday 4th after Epiphany) - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  3.  Monday - St Blaise B.M. - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  4.  Tuesday - New Martyrs of Russia (St Joseph of Aleppo) - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  5.  Wednesday - St Agatha, VM - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  6.  Thursday - St Photius, CD (St Dorothy) - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  7.  Friday - St. Romuald, Abt - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  8.  Saturday - BVM Feria - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  9.  Sunday 5th after Epiphany (St Cyril of Alexandria BCD, St Apollonia VM) - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  10.  Monday - St Scholastica, V - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  11.  Tuesday - St. Gregory II, P.M. - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  12.  Wednesday - Feria - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  13.  Thursday - Kentigern, BC - MP - EP -  Martyrology.
  14.  Friday - St Valentine PM - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  15.  Saturday - BVM Ss Faustinus and Jovita MM - MP - Martyrology.

18 January 2014

Daily Office 18 - 26 Jan A.D. 2014

The Daily Offices for Morning and Evening Prayer in the Rite of St Tikhon. The readings are as assigned by the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate, unofficially supplemented with other devotional material taken from the Breviary and the Psalter. Each MP/EP link will take you to a complete office, needing only the daily Psalter or, for MP, the Martyrology link.

  1. Satruday - BVM (St Peter's Chair at Rome) - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  2. Sunday 2nd after Epiphany Ss Maris, Martha, Audifax and Habakkuk, Persian, MM at Rome; St Mark Evgenikos, B. of Ephesus - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  3. Monday - Ss Fabian P. & Sebastian, Mm at Rome - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  4. Tuesday - St Agnes, VM - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  5. Wednesday - Feria (Ss Vincent, Dea. M. & Anastasius, M.) - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  6. Thursday - Feria (St Merentiana, VM) - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  7. Friday - St Timothy, B. - MP - EP -  Martyrology.
  8. Saturday The Conversation of St Paul, Apostle - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  9. Sunday 3rd after Epiphany St Polycarp, B. - MP - EP - Martyrology.

St Augustine on the Created Beauty


Wherever I look, heaven and earth and all that is in them tell me that I should love you, Lord; and they cease not to tell it to all men, so that there is no excuse for them. But what is it that I love when I love you? Not the beauty of any bodily thing, nor the order of seasons, not the brightness of light that rejoices the eye, nor the sweet melodies of all songs, nor the sweet fragrance of flowers and ointments and spices: not manna nor honey, not the limbs that carnal love embraces. It is not these I love when I love God. Yet in a sense I do love light and melody and fragrance and food and embrace when I love my God – the light and the voice and the fragrance and the food and embrace in the soul, when that light shines upon my soul which no place can contain, that voice sounds which no time can take from me, I breathe that fragrance which no wind scatters, I eat the food which is not lessened by eating, and I lie in the embrace which satiety never comes to sunder. It is this that I love, when I love my God.
And what is the object of my love? I asked the earth and it answered: “I am not he”; and all things that are in the earth made the same confession. I asked the sea and the depths and the creeping things, and they answered: “We are not your God; seek higher.” I asked the winds that blow, and the whole air with all that is in it answered: “Anaximenes was wrong; I am not God.” I asked the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars, and they answered: “Neither are we God whom you seek.” And I said to all the things that throng about the gateways of the senses: “Tell me of my God, since you are not he. Tell me something of him.” And they cried out in a great voice: He made us. My question was my gazing upon them, and their answer was their beauty. I asked the whole frame of the universe about my God and it answered me: “I am not he, but he made me.”
Surely this beauty should be self-evident to all of sound mind? Then why does it not speak to everyone in the same way? Animals great and small see it, but cannot put a question about it; for in them reason does not sit in judgement upon the evidence of their senses. But men can question it, and so should be able clearly to see the invisible things of God understood by things which are made; but they love created things too much and become subject to them, and subjects cannot judge. All these things refuse to answer those who ask, unless they ask with power to judge. If one person merely sees the world, while another not only sees but questions it, the world does not change its speech – that is, its outward appearance which speaks – in such a way as to appear differently to the two people; but it presents exactly the same face to each, saying nothing to the one, but answering the other: or rather it gives its answer to all, but it is only understood by those who hear its outward voice through their senses and compare it with the truth within themselves. For truth says to me: “Your God is not heaven or earth or any corporeal thing.”
St Augustine, Confessions X.6; Word in Season V.

11 January 2014

Daily Office Readings 12 - 18 Jan AD 2014



The Daily Offices for Morning and Evening Prayer in the Rite of St Tikhon. The readings are as assigned by the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate supplemented with other devotional material. Each MP/EP link will take you to a complete office, needing only the daily psalter or, for MP, the Martyrology link.

  1. Sunday within the 8va of the Epiphany The Holy Family; St Benedict Biscop - MP - EP -  Martyrology.
  2. Monday - Octave day of the Epiphany - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  3. Tuesday - St Hilary, B, St Felis, P. St Sava (Sabas), B.C., - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  4. Wednesday - St Maurus, B; St Paul the First Hermit, C. - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  5. Thursday - Feria (St Marcellus I, Pope, M.) - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  6. Friday - St Anthony the Great, Ab. - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  7. Saturday - BVM (St Peter's Chair at Rome) - MP - EP - Martyrology.
  8. Sunday 2nd after Epiphany Ss Maris, Martha, Audifax and Habakkuk, Persian, MM at Rome; St Mark Evgenikos, B. of Ephesus - MP - EP - Martyrology.

04 January 2014

An Important Announcement!


Know, dearly beloved Brethren, that by the mercy of God, as we have been rejoicing in the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, so also do we announce unto you the joy of the Resurrection of the same our Saviour.
Septuagesima Sunday will be on the 16th day of February.

Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the fast of most holy Lent will be on the 5th of March.

On the 20th of April we shall celebrate with joy the holy Pasch of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ will be on the 29th of May.

The Feast of Pentecost on the 8th of June.

The Feast of Corpus Christi on the 19th of the same month.

On the 30th of November will occur the first Sunday of the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom are honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.