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The Sunday called Septuagesima


Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

News of the Order and commentary appear after the Proper Collect, Epistle and Gospel


The Sunday called Septuagesima
the third Sunday before Lent
Augustine on Psalm VIII

O LORD, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Source: Sacramentary of Bishop Gregory of Rome [600 AD]. The collect shows the great stress that Gregory knew from all sorts of calamities and threats - often perceived directly as a result of the sin of the nation. Septuagesima is the pre-Lent Sunday approximately 70 days before Easter. The name comes from the Middle Ages-as do the purple vestments often used in this season.


Joshua i:1   Psalms 8, 148 | 104;   1 Corinthians ix. 24   &   St. Matthew xx. 1

Homily of Augustine on Psalm VIII

I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
Is it not lawful for me to do what will with mine own?






I cannot pretend to be indifferent about the veracity of the records which profess to reveal him whom I believe to be not only the very Truth but the very Life.


[J.B. Lightfoot , English Bishop and a most notable 19th Century Bible Scholar, commenting on the work of D. F. Stauss that disparaged traditionally held bible truths ]




Sebastian, Centurion, Martyr - January 20th [Diocletian's Purge]

The Conversion of Paul -- January 25th

Maximinus, Legionary of the Imperial Guard Antioch, Martyr - January 26th


 In researching Bishop Lightfoot I came across many of his works here at Internet Archive.  This appears to be an excellent resource.



This Sunday we begin the season of Pre-Lent. We note the tone in the collect today. It is a reflective period, and one in which we may begin to prepare for the Great Fast of Lent.   As we approach a most sacred day of Ash Wednesday in the Western Church, upon which day we are called to search ourselves deeply with contrition and circumcision of our hearts, I am reminded of the quotation of Bishop Lightfoot above concerning the verity of the Gospel history of our Lord.   I am also reminded too of an absolution in the Common Prayer Book.  At Morning and Evening Prayer in the Anglican tradition, the priest admonishes the congregation with these words:, " [God] pardoneth and absolveth all those who truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel."
Now, those of us who have studied the Art of War, and even battles of the Old Testament (of Ai, Judges 8), understand well the meaning of a feint. It is a military term: to make a false show in order to deceive. We, however, are called to believe in truth (in our hearts).  I am disturbed by titular Christians who rehearse our Creed in public worship, but deny it in their hearts, and even upon their lips. They do not believe the historical truth behind the Articles of Faith. Even worse are those who attempt to pervert the Creed with spin, changing the plain meaning of the words, in order to justify their perversion and apostasy. They ought to heed the admonition of Paul (1 st Cor 1:18-25) "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise".  God reads our hearts like an open book, and it is through our faith and repentance, known as true or feigned only by him, that opens to us Christ's one perfect sacrifice as the propitiation for our sins.


Likewise, we who think we believe unfeignedly ought not to boast, but give earnest thanks, for it is written: But unto them which are called…Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For some folk in this age of science, materialism, and apostasy, the challenge to belief in "His story" is perhaps greater than any preceding era, but there is help for them who are called. We may pray to our Lord in times of uncertainty: "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."[Mt 9:24] and do as did Bishop Lightfoot in scholarly study.  As we approach the Great Fast, and the seasons of Passion Week, Easter, and Pentecost, we may anticipate hearing again the most amazing story the world has ever known as it unfolds: that God's incarnate Son made the ultimate sacrifice for the salvation of his elect for the cause of love, and God raised him from the dead to be our only Advocate and Mediator and seated him at his right hand, and then sent his Holy Ghost to dwell in our hearts.


We continue with Augustine's homilies on Psalm VIII this week.  He touches on the subject of our quotation


Thou, our Lord, declaring first by the Apostle, "Except ye believe, ye shall not understand ;" and saying by His own mouth, "Blessed are they that have not seen, and shall believe." "Because of the enemies:" against whom too that is said, "I confess to Thee, O Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise, and revealed them unto babes." "From the wise," he saith, not the really wise, but those who deem themselves such.[see below] … Although the philosophers too of this world may be well taken as the enemies and defenders: forasmuch as the Son of God is the Power and Wisdom of God by which every one is enlightened who is made wise by the truth : of which they profess themselves to be lovers, whence too their name of philosophers; and therefore they seem to defend it, while they are its enemies, since they cease not to recommend noxious superstitions, that the elements of this world should be worshipped and revered.


What "goes around – comes around," Daddy used to say.  Speaking of philosophers, a popular TV personality here in America, whose fans consider a "wise philosopher"  is Oprah Winfrey. She has taken it upon herself this coming season to produce a program for her disciples teaching the tenants of New Age religion, which among other things includes the following: [Orthodox insert: I've suggested a counter to the heretical with an orthodox (right-belief) argument in the brackets]


 * "God is in everything I see."  - [Orthodox-God created all things-you shall not worship anything created]
* "The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself." [Orthodox-Man is created in the image of God - they who have seen (know) the Son have seen (know) the Father]
* "The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power ." [Orthodox-You can do all things in Christ Jesus. (Oprah's hawk here sounds like it touches on Hinduism as I recall, where adherents believe ultimately that all are subsumed into the cosmic represented by "OM", like a raindrop in the ocean.]
* "The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation." [Orthodox-All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God; therefore all need Christ's salvation]


[See much more of her heretical teachings in this article – and beware of she-wolves.]


From all false doctrine, heresy, and schism; from hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word and Commandment,

     Good Lord, deliver us!

Order of Centurions


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