News of the Order and commentary appear after the Proper Collect, Epistle and Gospel
The Twenty Second Sunday after Trinity
Augustine on Psalm 123
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.
Source: Sacramentary of Bishop Gregory of Rome [604 AD] The Latin used the word familia, which points to the traditional Roman family that was the basic and most important element of society. It included all in the household, inlcuding slaves, and was headed by the pater familias who was responsible for the welfare of all. This concept of the household is the basis of the Gospel story today. As the Chruch is the bride of Christ, the son of God, we are of his family, and he is that Father of the family
Ask gladly and heed humbly the sayings of saints, and do not disdain the parables of the ancient fathers, for they were not spoken without great cause
[Thomas á Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, ch. v]
Next week Remembrance-Veterans Day falls on Sunday. We encourage the churches in countries where these days are remembered to include prayers, hymns, psalms, Scripture, and an homily that honors our fallen dead. I hope to send forth a suggested program directly. I have received a letter from Robert of New Jersey concerning veterans in his family, including the Great War, parts of which I hope to share with you next week.
If you have never read the historical and geographical analysis of the story in Acts of Centurion Julius, who delivered Paul to Rome, I highly recommend it at the link above. He was not a Christian that we know of, but was certainly Paul's protector according to God's will.
Thomas a Kempis is quoted above this week with advice that we take very seriously in the Order of Centurions. I highly commend the Imitation of Christ for your reading list. Other than the Bible, it is probably the most widely read religious book in the world -- "humility and peace"
Augustine continues with the theme of ascent in his examination of Psalm 123. I chuckled when I came to this line which our Navy and Marine folk should appreciate: And if thou gavest him a vessel to pilot, he would be shipwrecked with it: yet he wishes to deprive God of the government of this world, and himself to hold the helm of Creation… This is characteristic of Augustine who gave all the glory to God. Can you think of any examples in our day of those who have pretended to take the "helm of Creation" from the hand of Almighty God? See it all at the link above.
Here is a short piece from Edward Pusey, Church of England (ca 1854) concerning the work of Augustine of Hippo on the psalms, which is our focus for the next three years or so:
His mystical and allegorical interpretation, in spite of occasional
mistakes, which belong rather to the translation than to himself, will
be found in general of great value. It is to a considerable extent
systematic, and the same interpretation of the same symbols is repeated
throughout the work, and is indeed often common to him with other
Fathers. The "feet" taken for the affections, "clouds" for the
Apostles, and many other instances, are of very frequent occurrence.
And it is evident that a few such general interpretations must be a
great help to those who wish to make an allegorical use of those
portions of Holy Scripture which are adapted for it. Nor are they
adhered to with such strictness as to deprive the reader of the benefit
of other explanations, where it appears that some other metaphor or
allegory was intended. Both St. Augustin and St. Gregory acknowledge,
and at times impress on their readers, that metaphorical language is
used in Holy Scripture with various meanings under the same symbol…
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]
IN HOC SIGNO VINCES - TIME DEUM ET OPERARE IUSTITIAM