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1. MEMORIAL: As we come to the end of September, let us pause a moment and remember these martyred Centurions who went before us:

Eustachius - September 20 AD188

Maurice & Theban Legion - Sep 22 AD 286

2. LIST SERVER We are working to set up a mail group/list server for the Order through Google. You should receive a notice shortly that you've been added to the group, and future missives may come through the mail group. We have put a sign-up block for the group at the bottom of our Order's home page to encourage visitors to subscribe. We can explore the best options to serve the Order as we go along. Currently I've set the group options to require approval of membership, and moderate posts, however, all may post. Certain members may be appointed as moderators. Currently registered members of the group should not have to do anything.

3. WEB SITE Recent enhancements to your Order's site include quick link from any page to the home page by clicking on the Labarum symbol, and to a site map and site search by clicking on the Gladius-Vitis. You may wish to look there as there may be some features on your Order's site that you've not yet seen. Also we have added an on-line Chapel with a link on the front page (I pray this will be a place you feel comfortable and drawn to visit frequently, there is a link to Sacred Space that is a truly inspired and a valuable site for the busy person to use for their meditation on Holy Scripture and prayer.) There is a new page on our Battle Cry: "In hoc signo vinces"

4. USAGE - PARTICIPATION Site Stats: There has been a steady increase in hits on the Order's web pages. In August there were 5,725 hits and as of last night, 29 September we were at 5,592 for this month. In one day there were 536 hits with 367 hours of viewing time. Please continue to promote the site with your friends and associates.

5. MEMBERSHIP Auxillia may now be in the general membership and do not need to be associated with a cohort. Auxillia are those members who have not yet been baptized but have said the vow and follow the rule. We encourage all to become baptized into the Church Militant in accordance with our Lord's command.

I invite your thoughts, comments, and recommendations concerning your Order and its website. Thank you for your participation and fidelity.

Please pray for the safety and health of our members - especially those deployed in hostile areas, for those of the Order in military service, and for our Chaplains and othere ministers.

Pax Christi

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Centurio Epistula – Chapel Consecration & Feast of St. Michael

Please join me today in saying this prayer of dedication for the Internet Chapel of the Centurions.

MOST glorious God, whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain; graciously accept the Dedication of this Internet Chapel to your service; and grant that all who shall call upon you here may worship you in spirit and in truth, and may in their lives show forth your praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

At this site you may read the entire Consecration service

The 29th of September marks the Feast of St. Michael & All Angels. It also marks the anniversary of the Order of Centurions. In 2003 on this feast day, we “opened the doors” to on the Internet. This year, we consecrate and dedicate the Internet Chapel of the Centurions. We pray this Chapel will provide a place for members and visitors to come for daily prayer where they may be refreshed and renewed.

One hundred years ago, most worshippers might find a church or chapel that said the daily office or offered daily communion and whose doors were never locked. That is not the case today. However, the Chapel of the Centurions offers a place where worshippers gather through the Internet and may read the collects and lessons every day at any hour. A place of rest from the busy world and a place to reflect on God’s word. The worshippers are not alone, but offer praise and thanksgiving with thousands of worshippers from around the globe around the clock who visit the Internet sites of Sacred Space for the Daily Holy Reading (Lectio Divina), or Oremus for the daily office, and Vanderbilt Divinity Library for the Sunday collects and readings. Cohorts that meet together in worship in their local chapels may use this Internet Chapel as a resource for worship, and those who cannot physically attend a church or chapel to take Communion on Sundays and Holy Days may participate in a Spiritual Communion at this Chapel.

It is fitting that both the Order’s establishment and the Chapel’s consecration are remembered on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angles. Michael means “Who is like God.” Michael is seen in both the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelations as the armed angel fighting against and vanquishing Evil. Michael is the commander of all the angels. His militant and vigilant spirit serves as an example for the Centurion in Christ’s Legion. He guards the faith and fights against the powers that wage war against the Church Militant and God’s Good in the world.

In hoc signo vinces. Amen

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Centurio Epistula – Compassion

In the Gospel appointed for the 16th Sunday after Trinity, Jesus showed compassion on the window of Nain. He consoled her, and brought her son back to life. In the epistle, Paul speaks of the Love of Christ that passes understanding.

In the Order of Centurions we remember the compassion of Cornelius the Centurion, a member of the Italian Cohort, who "gave much alms to the people"

Today we have the opportunity to follow in Jesus’ footsteps in showing compassion to complete strangers. In my hemisphere I think of the many efforts, faith-based and secular, that are going on to provide relief to the peoples of the Caribbean who have been devastated by tropical storms. Let us follow the example of our Lord and Cornelius in compassion, and take the time to do what we can to comfort and help our neighbor who is in need. Red Cross Donation

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Centurio Epistula – Law and Morality

A few days ago I wrote about putting God first. Jesus said, But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. [Matt vi. 33]. This week I came across two articles with a similar theme:

The left thinks legally, the right thinks morally. The author argues that Europe and the American Left respect secular law, rather than morality, in determining what is right and good. An example of this tension that comes to my mind is the type of argument that says, “I believe life starts at conception, but I believe in the right of a woman to terminate that life [because the Supreme Court said so?]”

Caesar and Conscious addresses the relationship between law and morality. Mr. Reardon says, “It is high time, in short, for Caesar to reassess and rise to his moral responsibilities.”

We remember the Centurions not only for their relationship to God, but also for their standing in the Roman secular society evidenced by their “deliberation, constancy, and strength of mind." Emperor Constantine [IV Century] was very concerned with the state of morality in the Roman Empire, and he recognized in Christianity the moral fiber that would serve the people and the Government. He not only believed in the tenets of Christianity, he saw their practical application in the Empire. For that reason Constantine implemented legal policies like those Mr. Readon suggests : “It is certainly a function of government to “legislate morality,” not in the sense of establishing the moral law by its legislation (for that would put Caesar in the place of God), but by consulting moral principles in the crafting of that legislation

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Centurio Epistula –St. Matthew

St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist [September 21]

O ALMIGHTY God, who by thy blessed Son didst call Matthew from the receipt of custom to be an Apostle and Evangelist; Grant us grace to forsake all covetous desires, and inordinate love of riches, and to follow the same thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Matthew, whose name was Levi, was a tax collector in Capernaum. Jesus may have given him the name Matthew, which means, "gift of the Lord." Jesus called Matthew to follow him, and he did. It appears that Matthew was so happy that he called his friends to join him in a banquet. The Pharisees outside were critical of Jesus for eating with sinners, and Jesus answered by saying he came to call the sinners to righteousness.

One of the Gospels is named for Matthew, and it is generally accepted that his sayings about Jesus are included in that Gospel. The Gospel was written in Greek, probably for Jews, to prove that Jesus was the Messiah.
Traditionally, it was believed that after working as an evangelist in Judea, Matthew traveled to the east and was there martyred.

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Centurio Epistula – Putting God First

In the appointed Gospel for the 15th Sunday after Trinity , Jesus tells us we cannot have two masters. We cannot serve both God and mammon (money). Jesus then gives us wonderful examples of how God provides for his creation. He concludes by saying,

But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Four years ago during a presidential campaign debate, George W. Bush said that Jesus Christ was the most important philosopher in his life. He received quite a bit of criticism for saying that. He said the same sort of thing in his book, A Charge to Keep. Since becoming President he has stated time and again that his faith and relation with Jesus guide his decisions. That bothers a great many people. I think that is because they do not know Jesus, or understand His promise, or the way in which He, through the Holy Spirit, guides Christians.

In the Order of Centurions we salute Cornelius. God chose him to be the first baptized Christian because Cornelius put God first. God added to him eternal honor as a devout and righteous man. What more could one ask?

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Centurio Epistula - CBS News … Do the Right Thing

Have you ever heard the old saying, “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably isn’t” Dan Rather and CBS News should have been reciting that saying last week when they presented certain documents that impinged the dignity and honor of Lt. George W. Bush. Perhaps their bias got in the way of their better judgement. By everything I see now, it appears the alleged memoranda of Lt. Col. Killian were fraudulent. CBS was duped; and they know it.

So, Centurions, what is the right thing to do?

My opinion: to begin with, based on the overwhelming evidence against these documents, CBS ought to lead the investigation into their source and get the affair out in the open where a good airing can heal it. If they are fraudulent, then a retraction and apology are in order. At the very least now, there should be an admission that the allegations are not founded because of the doubt behind the witnesses’ credibility. That isn’t what we got, however. What we got instead was self-righteous justification..

By Wednesday, Rather was inhaling smoke from his own fogging machine, claiming that if the documents were forgeries, "I want to break the story." Really, folks, he actually said that. And then he went on to say that the authenticity of the documents didn't matter, only that what was in them was true. Really, he actually said that, too. [Federalist Journal]

I am doing a detailed study of Exodus these days, and the IX Commandment comes to mind:

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”

Now the IX Commandment concerns giving testimony, but the spirit goes much beyond that. Whenever a person utters something about his neighbor that causes people to believe bad things, and that something is not true, then he has indeed born false witness. We are all subject to commit this sin from time to time if we pass along information. Last year I was caught twice on this very thing when I forwarded stories in the form of emails {I don’t know why I gave them credibility – probably because of bias an I wanted to believe the worst was true).. Benevolent friends on my mailing list referred me to and a site called where one can see if the story has been investigated. I ended up publishing two retractions to almost my whole mailing list. In the age of the Internet, when news travels “faster than a speeding bullet”, if behooves all of us to take care in what we might forward to others as “news” when it defames a neighbor.

One of the good things to be appearing on the Internet these days are blogs from some very wise and inquiring folk. It was the bloggers who quickly saw this "witness" for what it was and blew the whistle on CBS.


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Centurio Epistula - Holy Cross Day

Today is Holy Cross Day, please pause to recite today's collect:

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world unto himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen +

I commend this site for a very good discussion on this feast day

This is an special day in the calendar of the Order of the Centurions. It was first celebrated as a feast day in 335 on 14 September when the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was dedicated. Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, went to the Holy Land to find the ancient places of the Bible and located Golgatha, the tomb, and the remains of the Cross. She set the practice for later pilgrimages that continue to this day. Her faith was important to Constantine's, who we recognize in the Order, and the entire Orthodox and Catholic Church as we know it today.


Centurio Epistula 9/11 Lord have mercyÂ…

Today as I watched the scene at Ground Zero, and saw the survivors of the Attack on America, I was mindful of the Gospel account for this Sunday, the

14th Sunday after Trinity

. The ten lepers called out to Jesus for help saying, Master, have mercy on us. At Ground Zero, three years after the fact, the people are still in mourning. I could not hear their cry, but I imagined that they too were crying out to the Lord, asking that He would heal them, protect them, and comfort them in their loss.

In the Gospel story, Jesus answered the call of the lepers; he healed them with his word. Jesus continues to heal by his word and command today; He said, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid [Jn 14:27]

The collect for this Sunday is quite appropriate for the times:

Almighty and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Centurio Epistula - Choosing the Lesser Evil

America's Responsibility in the Present Crisis - "When men or nations must choose between two evils, the choice of the lesser evil becomes Christian duty ... That is the alternative confronting the American people now."

This was written in 1940 concerning the Axis powers by the Christian realists. I invite you to read this commentary entitled Onward, Christian Pacifists

The author compares the pacifists of the 30's and 40's with today in reminding us of our need to meet international tyranny head on. There are times when "doing the right thing" will require us to take action to prevent the wrong thing... and so it is with international terrorism that strikes the young, defenseless, and innocent to shock the powerful - Remember the school children in Russia - Remember 9/11 - Remember the trains in Spain - Remember WWII - REMEMBER.

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Centurio Epistula - Arab Self Critical Commentary

The recent terrorist strikes in Russia have prompted the article below from Abdel Rahman al-Rashed. The article is preceded with an analysis by Steven Emreson. I commend both to you.

I am thankful that he has spoken out against the violence and has called faithful Arabs to action to do the right thing.

I bid your prayers for peace and safety.


Investigative Project
Steven Emerson
Executive Director

5505 Connecticut Ave NW No. 341
Washington, DC 20015

202-363-8602 202-966-5191 fax

Given the particularly horrific attacks by Islamic terrorists in the past week in Russia, Israel and Iraq, I am sending you an extraordinary piece of self-critical commentary by a prestigious Arab journalist that is almost unprecedented. The commentary is right on target. It is sober reading. It faults mainstream Islamic leaders and clergy for fostering a religious culture that sanctions violence.

The piece should be required reading for the editorial apologists of militant Islam at the New York Times, the LA Times, and the Chicago Tribune who have recently criticized the decision by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deny Islamic "scholar" Tariq Ramadan a visa to the United States to teach at Notre Dame. DHS did the right thing in stopping Ramadan--who professes moderation but is in fact a savvy purveyor of Islamic extremism -- from getting a visa to pollute the minds of young Americans.

Similarly, the attached piece comes only two days after the Associated Press filed a story on September 3 on radical cleric Yousef Al-Qaradawi, who, as the author noted below, just issued a fatwa calling for the killing of Americans. The AP story however characterized Al-Qaradawi as someone "whose voice carries considerable weight in the Islamic world [and] is considered a moderate figure who has condemned violence." Nothing could be further from the truth; Qaradawai has been justifying suicide bombings against "infidels" for years.

One of the reasons why Islamic terrorism continues to fester is that we in the West have indulged extremists or fallen for their deception. That is the real lesson of 9-11. Not flow-charts. Not redesigned bureaucracies. But the pervasiveness of Islamic militancy within the Islamic world, a fact that some in the United States continue to deny with the connivance of "mainstream" Islamic leaders who live here and who, in a twist of reality, assert that "Islam is under assault" or that anti-terror policies of the US is "anti-Muslim." No, the spread of Islamic extremism is the problem. And those who contend otherwise are wittingly and unwittingly allowing the purveyors of Islamic extremism to effectively deny any culpability in this murderous ideology.

Steve Emerson
Executive Director
The Investigative Project

'Innocent religion is now a message of hate'
(Filed: 05/09/2004) The Sunday Telegraph (London
September 5, 2004

Abdel Rahman al-Rashed is general manager of Al- Arabiya news channel. Yesterday, his article appeared in the pan-Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.

It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims.

The hostage-takers of children in Beslan, North Ossetia, were Muslims. The other hostage-takers and subsequent murderers of the Nepalese chefs and workers in Iraq were also Muslims. Those involved in rape and murder in Darfur, Sudan, are Muslims, with other Muslims chosen to be their victims.

Those responsible for the attacks on residential towers in Riyadh and Khobar were Muslims. The two women who crashed two airliners last week were also Muslims.

Bin Laden is a Muslim. The majority of those who manned the suicide bombings against buses, vehicles, schools, houses and buildings, all over the world, were Muslim.

What a pathetic record. What an abominable "achievement". Does all this tell us anything about ourselves, our societies and our culture?

These images, when put together, or taken separately, are shameful and degrading. But let us start with putting an end to a history of denial. Let us acknowledge their reality, instead of denying them and seeking to justify them with sound and fury signifying nothing.

For it would be easy to cure ourselves if we realise the seriousness of our sickness. Self-cure starts with self-realisation and confession. We should then run after our terrorist sons, in the full knowledge that they are the sour grapes of a deformed culture.

Let us listen to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Sheikh - the Qatar-based radical Egyptian cleric - and hear him recite his "fatwa" about the religious permissibility of killing civilian Americans in Iraq. Let us contemplate the incident of this religious Sheikh allowing, nay even calling for, the murder of civilians.

This ailing Sheikh, in his last days, with two daughters studying in "infidel" Britain, soliciting children to kill innocent civilians.

How could this Sheikh face the mother of the youthful Nick Berg, who was slaughtered in Iraq because he wanted to build communication towers in that ravished country? How can we believe him when he tells us that Islam is the religion of mercy and peace while he is turning it into a religion of blood and slaughter?

In a different era, we used to consider the extremists, with nationalist or Leftist leanings, a menace and a source of corruption because of their adoption of violence as a means of discourse and their involvement in murder as an easy shortcut to their objectives.

At that time, the mosque used to be a haven, and the voice of religion used to be that of peace and reconciliation. Religious sermons were warm behests for a moral order and an ethical life.

Then came the Neo-Muslims. An innocent and benevolent religion, whose verses prohibit the felling of trees in the absence of urgent necessity, that calls murder the most heinous of crimes, that says explicitly that if you kill one person you have killed humanity as a whole, has been turned into a global message of hate and a universal war cry.

We can't call those who take schoolchildren as hostages our own.

We cannot tolerate in our midst those who abduct journalists, murder civilians, explode buses; we cannot accept them as related to us, whatever the sufferings they claim to justify their criminal deeds. These are the people who have smeared Islam and stained its image.

We cannot clear our names unless we own up to the shameful fact that terrorism has become an Islamic enterprise; an almost exclusive monopoly, implemented by Muslim men and women.

We cannot redeem our extremist youths, who commit all these heinous crimes, without confronting the Sheikhs who thought it ennobling to re-invent themselves as revolutionary ideologues, sending other people's sons and daughters to certain death, while sending their own children to European and American schools and colleges.


Centurio Epistual - Inspirational Web Sites


A salute to Brother Floyd, a fellow centurion who shares this "Interview with God" inspirational web site with the order. The site features beautiful photographs, serene music, and a poem in the form of an interview with God. The presentation requires a little time to download before playing.

A related site is Pathways to Peace .

Both sites also offer for sale screensavers, calendars, etc.


Centurio Epistula - Summary of the Law

The Rule of the Order of Centurions, and the Vow of the Order ,include the Summary of the Law. The Gospel lesson for the 13th Sunday after Trinity begins at Luke x. 23. In the passage, a lawyer temps Jesus by asking, "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus responds with a question, "What is written in the law? how readest thou? " The lawyer answered with what we know as the Summary of the Law,

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."

Jesus said he was right and then told him,

"this do, and thou shalt live"


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Centurio Epistula – Natural Law and Homosexuality is back publishing and I commend this article entitled:
Homosexuality and the Corruption of a Culture: San Francisco is only the beginning
by John Mark Reynolds that was posted yesterday 9/02/04.
Mr. Reynolds makes a secular and religious case against any culture "approving" homosexual marriage - he makes a distinction between approval and endorsement as opposed to toleration.
His first argument looks to what everyone knows without having to look to any particular religion: Natural Law if you will (physical as well). He writes:

Homosexuality is not natural. Sexual relations, and the body parts that go with them, are designed for reproduction and for pleasure. The two functions are joined. Males and females are quite literally made for each other. Any other form of sexuality is deviant in the sense that it is not natural, not part of God's design plan for human beings. Humans are bi-sexual.

He then argues from a religious perspective. He says that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, as well as most all other religions have always taught that homosexuality is wicked and warns that

"God judges wicked nations as well as wicked men."

Centurio Epistula - Contemplative Rudder


One of the rules for the Order of Centurions is to Pray "without ceasing". Bishop John+ has written to us and shared this site that you may find resourceful

Between the Clouds: A Rudder for the Contemplative

located at:

The site suggests a framework for daily prayer based on the ancient hours of Matins and Lauds for Morning Prayer and Vespers and Compline for Evening Prayer. The site offers a selection of readings for these divine hours.


Centurio Epistula - Natural Law and Doing What is Right


The Natural Law is what all men know to be right and wrong. My first exposure to this concept was in the CS Lewis book, The Abolition of Man. I was delighted to have found this excellent book on the web and encourage all to read it. At the very least, please pause to briefly take a look at the Appendix where Lewis speaks of the codification of the Natural Law, which he calls Tao, in many of the religious writings from around the world. The acknowledged source of the Natural Law is of course God.  When man teaches that the Natural Law is wrong - and substitues other things as right, he is on the slope to the abolition of man. (e.g. Episocpal Church USA and  homosexuality).

On the Acton web site there is an excellent interview by Religion and Liberty Journal with Dr. J. Budziszewski entitled The Natural Law Is What We Naturally Know that looks at his new book, What We Can't Not Know-A Guide. His testimony at the end of the interview about his movement from atheism to Christianity is very interesting. Budziszewski, like Lewis, is an Anglican, and his emphasis on Reason is in the Anglican tradition. He also makes the point that there is no conflict between Scripture and the Natural Law.

An awareness of the Natural Law is important for Centurions seeking to Fear God and do what is right. The Scriptures speak of following the Spirit of the Law that gives life and not the letter of the law that kills [2Cor 3:6] and the Natural Law does indeed exist for all [Rom 2:14-15] Certainly, God is the author of the Natural Law. The Law that God has written on our hearts must guide us in our day-to-day encounters as we endeavor to live in this world and do what is right.

If you are interested in exploring Natural Law further, and would like to read from works throughout the ages, you may find this Natural Law/Natural Right Page resourceful.