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Centurio Epistula - Advent

Today is the first Sunday in Advent. Advent begins on the Sunday closest to the feast of St. Andrew [November 30]. It is an ancient period of preparation for the Feast of the Nativity. Ancient records show that Christians celebrated Christmas on the 25th of December in the middle of the third century in Antioch. In the forth century, under Emperor Constantine, the 25th was made the official celebration of the Nativity. In the Council of Trent in 567, the Church codified the Advent season as one of fasting in preparation of the Nativity, and the 12 days of Christmas up to the Epiphany as a festive season

see the collect, appointed lessons, art, and the rest of the homily here

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Centurio Epistula - CS Lewis

Today the Order remembers 2LT CS Lewis: Christian Apologist, 20th Century Knight. A lieutenant wounded in WWI, a scholar engaged as a spokesman for the Royal AF in WWII. Perhaps the most quoted religious writer of the modern era.

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Centurio Epistula – Faith, Healing, and Relics -- 24th Sunday after Trinity

The Gospel story today is recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. There is a lesson in it about faith and healing. It gave the early Church a faith and hope in the efficacy of relics that continues to this day. The Jews beckoned our Lord to come and raise Jairus' daughter, the ruler of the synagogue in Capernaum, who was ill to the point of death. Along the way to Jairus' house, a woman who had suffered from continual menstrual bleeding for twelve years approached Jesus from behind in order to discretely touch the hem of his garment. As she did so, she thought to herself that even by just the touch the hem of his robe she would be miraculously healed. She did so and felt the healing power of Jesus deep within her. At that very moment her issue ceased. At the same moment, Jesus felt a force leave him. He turned asked who had touched him. His disciples were confounded that with so many pressing against them, Jesus could ask who touched him. However Jesus kept looking about him for the person who had touched him. The woman came and fell at his feet in fear and confessed her deed. Jesus had compassion on her and told her, "Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole."

See the rest of the homily, readings, and art here (including other Biblical accounts and the story of the Spear of St. Longinus: 24th Sunday after Trinity

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Centurio Epistula - Prayers for the Persecuted Church

I bid your prayers for the Church:

O Almighty God, who did give to thy servants boldness to confess the Name of our Savior before the rulers of this world, and courage to suffer and die for our faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord. Guide, O Lord, thy Church in all godliness, and protect it from those who would persecute it, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever. Amen

see more here:

Jesus said,

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

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Centurio Epistula – Service to the State and God

Jesus said, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

Our Lord: Jesus taught in today’s lesson two duties, to the state and to God. In meeting our obligations to the state, we must remember that our duty to God comes first – and is different. In the Order we remember early Christian military martyrs who put God first, refused to worship the Roman deities or Caesar, and made the ultimate sacrifice for their Lord.

See the readings and an homily here:

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Centurio Epistula - Veterans and Martin & Mennas [11 Nov]

A salute to all veterans and their families today. In the United States communities will be pausing to remember veterans, and I encourage you to attend a community event.

Today the Order remembers two Christians who wore the uniform of their nation and served Christ faithfully and with distinction

* Martin of Tours - November 11th

* Mennas, Legionary & Martyr November 11th

Several months ago I shared an article with the Order about Imprecatory prayer

I recalled General Patton's Third Army prayer as he went into theWWII Battle of the Bulge in France. Our Praefectus Castrorum forwarded this prayer to me recently. Please join with me in praying today forour veterans, especially those of the Order who are in harms way:

Almighty and most merciful Father, Lord of Hosts, founder of every righteous battle, the giver hope to David, even the slayer of the Philistines; we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great strength, to strike fear into the hearts of our immoderate foes, with which we lately do contend; speed our fingers to the fight and our arms to strike the enemy; send fair weather, clear heads, sharp thoughts, and humble hearts for Battle; Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee; that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies. And should, in the heat of battle, some are called to thy bosom, meet them at the cross and lift them up forever, as those who go on establish Thy justice among contentious, ancient, and falsely led nations. Amen

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Centurio Epistula - War and Peace – An Orthodox Chaplain’s Perspective

Highly commend this interview with Chaplain Webster of the Virginia National Guard and co-author of the book, The Virtue of War: Reclaiming the Classic Christian Traditions East and West. He speaks of the two orthodox paths, pacifism and just warrior.

Chaplain Webster is a priest, author, and educator. He quoted this verse from revelations as his epiphany:

"And they have conquered him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death." [Revelation 12:11]

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Centurio Epistula - Centurio Julius of the Augustan Cohort [8 Nov] ca 60

On November 8th, the Order pauses to remember the Centurion Julius of the Augustan Cohort. The officer who escorted Paul on his historic trip to Rome to appear before the Emperor. We have chosen this day as the estimated date of the shipwreck, when Julius interceded to prevent the murder of Paul by the legionaries. Jefferson White, who wrote a book on Paul's journeys, has placed this excellent extract his analysis ofthis voyage on the www. See it here

" they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named\Julius, a centurion of Augustus ' band ...And the soldiers ' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escapedall safe to land."

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Centurio Epistula – Keep Thy Church – 22 Trinity

Sunday’s collect is appropriate for our times. Please join with me in saying:

LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy household the Church in continual godliness; that through thy protection it may be free from all adversities, and devoutly given to serve thee in good works, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In today’s Gospel Jesus teaches about perfect forgiveness, and Paul prays for the strength and condition of the Church. See the readings and an homily here

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Centurio Epistula - JOANNICUS of Mount Olympus
[Nov 4] - 846

Joannicus, born in what is now Turkey, was a soldier who retired after20 years of service in the Roman (Byzantine) Empire. He became a famous monk on Mount Olympus. He was at first an Iconoclast, but later struggled to have the icons returned to the Church and prophesied that it would happen - it did in 842. See more here: or here

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