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

The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

Homily of Augustine on Psalm LXXIX

KEEP, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy Church with thy perpetual mercy; and, because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Bishop Gelasius [494]. Jesus promised us the help of the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us [Jn 14:26]. In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul tells us it is charity that is profitable. [Barbee & Zahl]

2Kings xxv, Psalm 97,98 | 79, 80, Galatians vi. 11 & St. Matthew vi. 24

Homily of Augustine on Psalm LXXIX

  And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about. 




Eudoxius, Comitus Hegemon (general), Zeno, Macarius, & Companions - Martyrs -- September 6th (285-305)


President Bush proclaims national days of prayer, 5-7 September




The Psalm appointed for this week is LXXIX. It is post-exilic and refers to the account found in the Lesson from 2nd Kings and the defeat at the hands of the Chaldeans and exile to Babylon
Augustine explains the psalm through the eyes of a Christian as a prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem that came at the hands of Rome in 70 AD.
"They have defiled Thy holy Temple, they have made Jerusalem for a keeping of apples." … If in this prophecy any one of us shall have thought that there must be understood that laying waste of Jerusalem, which was made by Titus the Roman Emperor, when already the Lord Jesus Christ, after His Resurrection and Ascension, was being preached among the Gentiles, it doth not occur to me how that people could now have been called the inheritance of God, as not holding to Christ, whom having rejected and slain, that people became reprobate, which not even after His Resurrection would believe in Him, and even killed His Martyrs. For out of that people Israel whosoever have believed in Christ; to whom the offer of Christ was made, and in a manner the healthful and fruitful fulfillment of the promise; concerning whom even the Lord Himself saith, "I am not sent but to the sheep which have been lost of the house of Israel," the same are they that out of them are the sons of promise; the same are counted for a seed"
Titus' siege of Jerusalem occurred when the pilgrims had crowded the city for the Feast of Passover. One million perished. We know that Jesus foretold of this event in Matthew 24, and understand by tradition that the Church fled the city.
Augustine raises the important theological issue of God's election of certain of the house of Israel to be the "sons of promise," and them he spared. God is acting in his True Church today in the same way with his elect, who know the voice of their Master, endeavor to faithfully follow his commandments, and look with hope for their deliverance, salvation, and final bodily resurrection.
Finally, the psalm ends with this imprecatory petition.

For the blasphemy wherewith our neighbours have blasphemed thee, reward thou them, O Lord, sevenfold into their bosom. So we, that are thy people, and sheep of thy pasture, shall give thee thanks for ever, and will alway be showing forth thy praise from generation to generation



"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]



Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity

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
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.
Source of Collect: Very earliest of the Sacramentaries [440]. 1 Corinthans 13:13 "now abideth faith, hope, and charity... There are two petitions, to "give us increase", and secondly to "make us to love" reminds us of Romans 6:17... being "obedient from the heart" [Barbee and Zahl]


For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth




"The precepts of law are about acts of virtue. But the divine law contains precepts about the acts of faith, hope, and charity…Therefore, faith, hope and charity are virtues directing us to God. Therefore they are theological virtues. "

[Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica, Question LXII]


Julian, Centurion of Brioude (Auvergne), Martyr - August 28th


The homily of Augustine selected this day is on
Psalm 74. This psalm has been dated from the period of the exile. The psalm is in two equal themes: verses 1-11 ask the why and wherefore of their condition; verses 12-23 remember the great triumphs of God in the past. The center verse in Hebrew is key to the psalm, and is used in this place as a literary device. It says,

For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth

Augustine writes:

Asaph hath understood, because on the Title of the Psalm there is, "understanding of Asaph." And what saith he? "But God, our King before the worlds, hath wrought Salvation in the midst of the earth" On the one hand we cry, "No longer is there prophet, and us He will not know as yet:" but on the other hand, "our God, our King, who is before the worlds" (for He is Himself in the beginning of the Word by whom were made the worlds), "hath wrought Salvation in the midst of the earth." "God therefore, our King before the worlds," hath done what? "hath wrought Salvation in the midst of the earth:" and I am yet crying as if forsaken!...Now the Gentiles are awake, and we are snoring, and as though God hath forsaken us, in dreams we are delirious. "He hath wrought Salvation in the midst of the earth."

Augustine points this verse directly to the Word, to Christ, the second person of the Trinity. God came down from Heaven, incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth, into the very midst of the civilized earth, to "wrought salvation". There, in that time and place, through the Jews, Jesus did that which his Father had commanded [Jn 10:18]. By laying down his life he wrought salvation in the world, once done and for all who would accept it, on that Friday at Calvary. His is a perfect and sufficient oblation for the sin of the whole world. The debt is paid. Salvation is won and the folk set free. Satan is defeated for those in Christ.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?




The Thirteenthe Sunday after Trinity

Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

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
ALMIGHTY and merciful God, of whose gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service; Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so run to thy heavenly promises, that we fail not finally to attain the same; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Source of Collect: Bishop Leo I [440-461] Sacrementary. Archbishop Cranmer changed it to read as shown here: ALMIGHTY and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service; Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Exodus xv. 19; Psalm lxxxi, lxxxii | lxxiii; Galatians iii. 16   &  St. Luke x. 23

Homily of Augustine on Psalm LXXXI

Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her



"When there is no truth that deserves assent from everybody, the only arbiter in our competing desires is power. Where truth doesn't define what's right, might makes right. And where might makes right, weak people pay with their lives. When the universal claim of truth disappears, what you get is not peaceful pluralism or loving relationships; what you get is concentration camps and gulags"

[John Piper]


Andrew Stratilatus, Martyr -- August 19 [286-305]

Evgeny of Chechnya, Martyr - August 20th [2002]

Centurio Luxurius, with Camerinus, and Cisellus - August 21th

The noble army of martyrs praise thee

The collect today reminds us that we are called to "laudable service". The word "true" is heavy; and worth pondering. It gets at the heart of a person's service. Was his act "self serving" or was it "selfless service"?  The Order has established the Labrum Guard as a special branch for our members to encourage laudable service to the Church and the community in Christ's name.
The Old Testament lesson is the Song of Mariam [Ex iv. 19]. It has been regarded by some critics as one of the oldest passages in the Bible. The account here, and in the Song of Moses, clearly establishes celebration as a form of worship pleasing to God. Psalm LXXXI proclaims the gaiety and celebration that was a part of the annual feasts, with "timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery"
This gay beginning of this psalm seems to point to the Feast of the Passover, as it has God's voice saying "am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.", and to the Feast of the Tabernacles with its reference to the sounding of the horn at the new moon.
The psalm then addresses the idolaters and evil-doers. What saith God? "So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Augustine writes:

"And I let them go according to the affections of their heart" (ver. 12). Behold the press: the orifices are open, the lees run. "And I let them go," not according to the healthfulness of My commands; but, according to the affections of their heart: I gave them up to themselves. The Apostle also saith, "God gave them up to the desires of their own hearts." "I let them go according to the affection of their heart, they shall go in their own affections." There is what ye shudder at, if at least ye are straining out into the hidden vats of the Lord, if at least ye have conceived a hearty love for His storehouses, there is what ye shudder at. Some stand up for the circus, some for the amphitheatre, some for the booths in the streets some for the theatres, some for this, some for that, some finally for their "new gods;" "they shall go in their own affections."

In the perversity of their hearts do men pursue that which is evil and unseemly. Paul warned the Romans of such when he said,

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

"Be not deceived" - indeed. The unrighteous persist in their misdeeds at their own peril.



Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

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

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving unto us that that our prayer dare not presume to ask, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Source of Collect: Leo [460], revised by Gelasius [494]. (An 1662 revision by Bishop Cosin added and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. [Barbee and Zahl]

Sheba of Belial

Behold, Sheba's head shall be thrown to thee over the wall



 Florence Nightingale, Nurse to Combatants - August 13

Ursakios, Tribune, Martyr -- August 14 [286-305]


"God is for our Captain, the devil a deserter: the Captain gave a commandment, the deserter suggested guile: where were thine ears between precept and deceit?"

[St. Augustine]


Archeologists in Jerusalem have discovered seals of two priests who in the Scriptures advised King Hezekiah to kill the prophet Jeremiah.
The article appears in the Jerusalem Post


The theme of the psalm, OT Lesson, and part of Augustine's examination of the psalm is rebellion. I believe many have rebelled against God's Word and authority and are clearly being led astray in beliefs and actions. How is this? What is afoot?

Our psalm for today's homily of Augustine is
Psalm LXXI. Based on several verses, one gathers that David wrote this psalm at an old age. The adversary here could well be Sheba son of Bichri cited this day [2nd Sam XX], and the artwork, concern Sheba's rebellion and death.

In thinking on this rebellion, I recall the 1662 change in the Litany of the Prayer Book that the loyalist added when the English monarchy was restored

"From all sedition, privy conspiracy, and rebellion..."

This verse was added to the existing phrase which already spoke of the rebellion against God and Christ's Church and read:
"From all false doctrine, heresy, and schism; from hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word and Commandment,
Good Lord deliver us."

Today this rebellion comes from those who pledged to defend the faith, and yet they do not believe, or else have weak faith, in the tenets of Christianity. David in his old age said, "Thou has taught me from my youth". I am concerned that in very many denominations folk send believing youth off to a seminary where they are taught cynicism and not to believe the biblical accounts of Christ's miraculous healing and work on earth. Why? How is this? What is afoot?

Augustine addresses this issue in his homily 
as shown below:

"O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth." From the very beginning of my faith, wherewith Thou hast renewed me, Thou didst teach me that nothing had preceded in me, whence I might say that there was owing to me what Thou hast given. For who is turned to God save from iniquity? Who is redeemed save from captivity? But who can say that unjust was his captivity, when he forsook his Captain and fell off to the deserter? God is for our Captain, the devil a deserter: the Captain gave a commandment, the deserter suggested guile: where were thine ears between precept and deceit? was the devil better than God? Better he that revolted than He that made thee? Thou didst believe what the devil promised, and didst find what God threatened. Now then out of captivity being delivered, still however in hope, not yet in substance, walking by faith, not yet by sight, "O God," he saith, "Thou hast taught me from my youth." From the time that I have been turned to Thee, renewed by Thee who had been made by Thee, re-created who had been created, re-formed who had been formed: from the time that I have been converted, I have learned that no merits of mine have preceded, but that Thy grace hath come to me gratis, in order that I might be mindful of Thy righteousness alone.

Keeping the faith, and defending against rebellion and assaults on the Church is a very real issue today, more so than in any period in the recent past. Secular influences in the West are taking a toll on churchmanship and faith, and the threat is very real. Much of it comes from within as I have stated above. This Order was formed to defend against that very threat. Now, upon the 5th Anniversary of the Order on the Feast of St Michael the Archangel, God willing, we will open the Academy of Centurions Theological School to our members to assist in tracking their progress in auditing certified courses from accredited schools of theology, and will feature master's-level seminary courses that I believe keep the faith once given - that which is "merely Christian", and will train up centurions to defend against the adversary. For those who never felt they had the opportunity or means to participate in quality theological training, please consider enrolling for a course, or in pursuing a Theological Diploma by completing the series of classes offered.



The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

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


The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

O GOD, who declarest thy almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity; Mercifully grant unto us such a measure of thy grace, that we may obtain thy gracious promises, and be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Gelasius [492-496]. This is the original as Cranmer translated it faithfully, It it was altered in the 1662 update by adding the phrase " running the way of thy commandments" The Collect's emphasis on Grace, compliments the story of the Pharisee and the Publican praying in today's Gospel story from Luke.

II Sam xv, Psalms 63, 64 | 54, 55 , 1 Corinthians xv. 1 St. Luke xviii. 9

Homily of Augustine on Psalm LIV

2 Sam 15 - People Pass over Kidron

Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom




King Oswald & Aidan August 5 [642]

Transfiguration -- August 6th


You are bishops whose jurisdiction is within the church, but I also am a bishop, ordained by God to oversee those outside the church."

[Constantine 325, See Article]


Road to Nicaea is an interesting article on the first Ecumenical Council in which I found some ideas that I had not encountered elsewhere, like the suggested number of bishops, there localities, and the suggested source of the key word of the Creed " of the same substance".


Today's quote reminds us that Constantine took seriously his role as moral leader. He stopped Gladiatorial Combat and initiated many secular moral reforms. This web page discusses some of his

reforms for Rome:

Today's homily by Augustine is on Psalm LIV. It has been considered by many to point to the situation with his son, Absalom, which is addressed in the OT Lesson at the link above and the artwork of David fleeing Absalom. David well knew Absalom was an evil and ambitious man, out to kill his father; yet he never kept praying that Absalom would be spared, and end the end all things would work for better. Compare this desire of David with the commentary of Augustine below, as he identifies David's psalm with the plight of our Lord, and God's sovereignty in exercising judgement. Just this morning, in a rendezvous with a very old and dear friend, we discussed those today who in the church disparage their fellow, especially other Christians, judging and condemning them. God is sovereign. He alone will judge and condemn or save. As Augustine says below: let God sparing evil men profit thee, so that thou show mercy. In today's collect we pray for God's grace and his mercy, may he merciful grant you the Grace to follow our Lord's example amongst strangers and fellows, and may he bring the evil man to repentance and life everlasting in his eternal Kingdom

"Hear Thou, O God, my entreaty, and despise not my prayer: give heed unto me, and hearken unto me"

Of one earnest, anxious, of one set in tribulation, are these words. He is praying, suffering many things, from evil yearning to be delivered: it remaineth that we hear in what evil he is, and when he beginneth to speak, let us acknowledge there ourselves to be; in order that the tribulation being shared, we may conjoin prayer. "I have been made sad in my exercise, and have been troubled" (ver. 2). Where made sad, where troubled? "In my exercise," he saith. Of evil men, whom he suffereth, he hath made mention, and the same suffering of evil men he hath called his "exercise." Think ye not that without profit there are evil men in this world, and that no good God maketh of them. Every evil man either on this account liveth that he may be corrected, or on this account liveth that through him a good man may be exercised. O that therefore they that do now exercise us would be converted, and together with us be exercised! Nevertheless, so long as they are such as to exercise, let us not hate them: because in that wherein any one of them is evil, whether unto the end he is to persevere, we know not; and ofttimes when to thyself thou seemest to have been hating an enemy, thou hast been hating a brother, and knowest not. The devil and his angels in the holy Scriptures have been manifested to us, that for fire everlasting they have been destined. Of them only must amendment be despaired of....Therefore since this rule of Love for thee is fixed, that imitating the Father thou shouldest love an enemy: for, He saith, "love your enemies:" in this precept how wouldest thou be exercised, if thou hadst no enemy to suffer? Thou seest then that he profiteth thee somewhat: and let God sparing evil men profit thee, so that thou show mercy: because perchance thou too, if thou art a good man, out of an evil man hast been made a good man: and if God spared not evil men, not even thou wouldest be found to return thanks. May He therefore spare others, that hath spared thee also. For it were not right, when thou hadst passed through, to close up the way of godliness.