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The Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity
Augustine on Psalm CXV

O GOD, forasmuch as without thee we are not able to please thee; Mercifully grant that thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Sacramentary of Bishop Gelasius of Rome [494]. Cranmer in 1549 reversed the order of mercy and our inability. [Barbee and Zahl] One is reminded again of our Lord's promise send the Comforter to direct us, and of Isaiah 64:6 we are all as an unclean thing... our righteousness is as a filthy rag.... We, of and by ourselves, are not worthy to stand before God - not even to see him, until we are perfected by his grace. For he is "of purer eyes to behold iniquity" [Hab 1:13]

"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy Name give the praise"

Ezra and the rebuiding and dedication of the Temple



Michael, Archangel Militant, and all angels - September 29th
Anniversary of the Order of Centurions - September 29th
Ursus and Victory, Soldier of Theban Legion, Martyrs - September 30th
Peter Muhlenburg, Pastor, Soldier, Statesman - October 1st
Roman, Soldier, Othrodox Monk - October 2nd
Francis, Knight, Religious - October 4th

news & views

Andrea Mrozek: Abortion, in plain English
Vatican warns of growing "Christianophobia"


The NIV Study Bible states that many believe today’s Psalm 115 was composed as a litany of praise for use at the dedication of the Second Temple. [Ezra 6] It has a structure that indicates a leader with responses by the people.

Augustine writes:

"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy Name give the praise" For that grace of the water that gushed from the rock ("now that rock was Christ"), was not given on the score of works that had gone before, but of His mercy "that justifieth the ungodly." For "Christ died for sinners," that men might not seek any glory of their own, but in the Lord's Name. "For Thy loving mercy, and for Thy truth's sake" Observe how often these two qualities, loving mercy and truth, are joined together in the holy Scriptures. For in His loving mercy He called sinners, and in His truth He judgeth those who when called refused to come. "That the heathen may not say, Where is now their God?" For at the last, His loving mercy and truth will shine forth, when "the sign of the Son of man shall appear in heaven, and then shall all tribes of the earth cry woe;" nor shall they then say, "Where is their God?" when He is no longer preached unto them to be believed in, but displayed before them to be trembled at.

Augustine rightly identifies two natures of God: He judges, and he loves and shows mercy. Our faith tells us that God’s mercy functions through his Son’s sacrifice and those who have answered his call, so that the sin of those in Christ is hidden, cleansed, is white as snow, and there is no more sin in those who are in Christ.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. [1John 1:7]

Likewise, those who have refused Christ in word, or in deed, shall tremble at the presence of Almighty God on that last great day; even them that pretend to feast with us at the Lord’s Board. Hear what the Apostle teaches us.

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: [2 Pe 2:9ff]



The Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity

Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
Augustine on Psalm CVI

LORD, we beseech thee, grant thy people grace to withstand the devil; and with pure hearts and minds to follow thee, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source Bishop Gelasians Sacramentary [494] where appointed for the Sunday before Ember Days in the Autumn. Ember days were for penitence, fasting, and the Saturday for ordinations in Rome. The 1662 added temptations of the world, the flesh One is reminded of the Lord's prayer and of 2 Peter 2:9

They have made them a molten calf,
and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto



" the calamity of an autonomous, irreligious humanistic consciousness… It has made man the measure of all things on earth—imperfect man, who is never free of pride, self-interest, envy, vanity, and dozens of other defects. We are now paying for the mistakes which were not properly appraised at the beginning of the journey. On the way from the Renaissance to our days we have enriched our experience, but we have lost the concept of a Supreme Complete Entity which used to restrain our passions and our irresponsibility"

news and opinion


This week we look at Augustine’s examination of Psalm 106. The NIV Study Bible states that this psalm was likely composed by a Levite after the return from the Exile. It is a recounting of the history of Israel, of sin, punishment and God’s faithfulness and justice.

The Old Testament lesson that I selected to go with the psalm is Exodus 32. It tells the story of Moses on the Mount and the people and Aaron worshipping the gold calf. God in his anger planned to destroy them, and Moses interceded on their behalf.

Augustine writes:
"So He said, He would have destroyed them" (ver. 23). Since they forgot Him who saved them, the Worker of wondrous works, and made and worshipped a graven image, by this atrocious and incredible impiety they deserved death. "Had not Moses His chosen stood before Him in the breaking." He doth not say, that he stood in the breaking, [4844] as if to break the wrath of God, but in the way of the breaking, meaning the stroke which was to strike them: that is, had he not put himself in the way for them, saying, "Yet now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin;--and if not, blot me, I pray Thee, out of Thy book." Where it is proved how greatly the intercession of the saints in behalf of others prevaileth with God. For Moses, fearless in the justice of God, which could not blot him out, implored mercy, that He would not blot out those whom He justly might. Thus he "stood before Him in the breaking, to turn away His wrathful indignation, lest He should destroy them."
Note he states:
" Where it is proved how greatly the intercession of the saints in behalf of others prevaileth with God.
He speaks here of Moses who was the leader of Israel and alive and with them, not saints in heaven, but rather he uses "saints" as it is used in the early church and as I often use it in referring to members of the Order, where "saints" were and are the lively members of the Church Militant on earth. Moses was a messianic type in that he was a mediator, intercessor, advocate, prophet, priest, and type of king.

We don’t see folk worshipping gold calves anymore, but there is a new idol that is worshipped far and wide in our western culture. Our featured quotation today from a famous Russian Orthodox Nobel Prize winner, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who was indeed a 20th century martyr, tells the story: Our society is anthropocentric. The new idol is man himself. I encourage you to read more on this very interesting and Orthodox Christian at the links above.

Consider also our collect today in terms of the Old Testament lesson and psalm. It clearly acknowledges our weakness and susceptibility to temptation, causing us to sin at the displeasure of a righteous God, and our need for his mercy. May God grant his protection for every member of the Order, that they may resist the temptations of this materialistic world that would tend to separate them from God’s love.



Holy Cross Day - 14 September

We remember the dedication of the Church of the Sepulcher on Calvary on 14 September 335. Constantine had decreed it be built and his aged mother, Helena, supervised it. They believed they had found the very cross that Jesus had been crucified on, and kept it in the Church.

Just as God provided a remedy for the Israelites during their wilderness trek, when they had sinned against him and he sent serpents to destroy them, God has provided a remedy for mankind in his Son's one perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world. Jesus told Nicodemus:
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” [Jn 3:14-15]

The Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity
Grace unto you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

Augustine on Psalm 105

LORD, we pray thee that thy grace may always prevent and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Bishop Gregory [595]. "Pevent" meaning to come before from the verb prevenient. This calls to my mind Patrick's Breastplate Christ behind me, Christ before me... and Psalm 139 Thou hast beset me before and behind...



Holy Cross Day -- September 14th

Autum Embertide

Great Martyr General Placidas Eustachius - September 20th



A survey in 2002 found that a third of the

Church's clergy doubted or disbelieved in the physical resurrection and only half were convinced of the truth of the virgin birth.

[Counterfeit Communion And The Truth That Set Free]


news and views

Links for traditional Anglicans: "Not to Distruction but to Salvation, by Albert Mohler., The Society for the Propagation of Reformed Evangelical Anglican Doctrine, and the Society of Confessing Anglicans at GAFCON.

Benedict preaches in Paris against the lust for money and power

An Industry of Racism: Alveda King..

The racism in Planned Parenthood's history is undeniable. America's largest abortion provider was founded by Margaret Sanger, a woman who wanted what she termed "more children from the fit, less from the unfit." She once described aboriginal Australians as "just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development." She had no problem speaking to a Klan meeting.



The quotation above on the churh and the news items address the continuing issues in several national churches, which mirror the attitudes and cultural shifts of the society in which they exist - incorporating these ideas into their worship and doctrine. Albert Mohler quotes the 1928 US Prayer Book Ordinal for the consecration of bishops for the title: "Not to Destruction but to Salvation".. That same ordinal uses 1 Timothy iii. where it is written that a bishop shall be the husband have one wife. In the examination before the consecration the candidate is asked:

Are you ready, with all faithful diligence, to banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God's Word; and both privately and openly to call upon and encourage others to the same?

This Sunday is Holy Cross Sunday. We remember that it was on 14 September that the Church of the Sepulcher on Calvary was dedicated through the imperial decree of Helena and Constantine in 335, and the new church housed what was believed to be the Holy Cross which was found during the excavations.

Today's ancient homily is from Augustine on Psalm CV. The NIV Study Bible proposes it was composed by a Levite for one of the great festivals, probably the Feast of the Weeks (Pentecost) and recounts God's mighty acts for his people with an exhortation to offer the praise due his holy name. I focus your attention on this:

"Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm"

But it may well excite a question, in what sense they were styled (Christs, or) anointed, before there was any unction, from which this title was given to the kings. ...Whence then were those patriarchs at that time called "anointed"? For that they were prophets, we read concerning Abraham; and certainly, what is manifestly said of him, should be understood of them also. Are they styled "christs," because, even though secretly, yet they were already Christians? For although the flesh of Christ came from them, nevertheless Christ came before them; for He thus answered the Jews, "Before Abraham was, I am." But how could they not know Him, or not believe in Him; since they are called prophets for this very reason, because, though somewhat darkly, they announced the Lord beforehand? Whence He saith Himself openly, "Your father Abraham desired to see My day, and he saw it, and was glad." For no man was ever reconciled unto God outside of that faith which is in Christ Jesus, either before His Incarnation, or after: as it is most truly defined by the Apostle: "For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus."

This teaching is central to our faith. It is being lost to a generation of church-goers who listen to false doctrine that says any man may be saved by his particular sect and that no man needs to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord to be saved.  However; Jesus said,

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 Augustine concludes with this:

..."That they may keep His statutes, and seek out His law" (ver. 45). Lastly, since by the seed of Abraham he wished those to be understood here, who were truly the seed of Abraham, such as were not wanting even in that people; as the Apostle Paul clearly showeth, when he saith, "But not in all of them was God well pleased;" for if He was not pleased with all, surely there were some in whom He was well pleased: since then this Psalm praiseth such men as this, he hath said nothing here of the iniquities and provocations and bitterness of those with whom God was not well pleased. But since not only the justice but also the mercy of Almighty God, the merciful, was shown even unto the wicked; concerning these attributes the rest of the Psalm pursueth the praises of God. And yet both sorts were in one people: nor did the latter pollute the good with the contagion of their iniquities. For "the Lord knoweth who are His;" and if he cannot separate in this world from wicked men, yet, "let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."...

That is good news brothers, for we who reject strange doctrine need not fear the wolves that go about to destroy the faith, but may rely on the promise of God, for the Lord konweth who are his and will not suffer their destruction, but he promises Salvation to his own.


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

The Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

Augustine on Psalm LXXXIX

O LORD, we beseech thee, let thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source of Collect - Bishop Gelasius' Sacrementary [494AD].One is reminded of Psalm 51 purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean and Rev 7:14, washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb

Isaiah xii, Psalms 98, 99 89, Ephesians iii. 13 & St. Luke vii. 11

Homily of Augustine on Psalm LXXXIX

My lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.



Captain Leroy Homer and the Martyrs of the Attack on America - September 11 (2001)

Sergeant John R. Cash, Evangelist, September 12 [2003]


For Christians under Persecution in India, Pakistan, and around the world.


Christian woman takes art centre to court over lewd' Jesus statue - Christian Today

Christians flee to remote jungle to escape attacks by Hindu mobs -Sydney Morning Herald


This week

Augustine examines Psalm LXXXIX . It was probably written during the time of the exile, perhaps when king Zedekiah was insulted and abused by Nebuchadrezzar. Our Old Testament Lesson from Isaiah we hear his prophetic voice speak of God's mercy and faithfulness to deliver his own, just as the psalm cries out to God for mercy and deliverance.

Augustine writes about a very interesting concept concerning sin in the life of a Christian, and God's work with his children:

"Nevertheless, My mercy will I not utterly take from Him" (ver. 33). From whom? From that David to whom I gave these promises, whom "I anointed with my holy oil of gladness above His fellows." Do you recognise Him from whom God will not utterly take away His mercy? That no one may anxiously say, since He speaks of Christ as Him from whom He will not take away His mercy, What then will become of the sinner? Did He say anything like this, "I will not take My loving-kindness utterly from them"? "I will visit," He saith, "their offences with the rod, and their sin with scourges." Thou didst expect for thy own security, "I will not utterly take my loving-kindness from" them. And indeed this is the reading of some books, but not of the most accurate: though, where they have it, it is a reading by no means inconsistent with the real meaning. For how can it be said that He will not utterly take His mercy from Christ? Has the Saviour of the body committed aught of sin either in Heaven or in earth, "who sitteth even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us"? Yet it is from Christ: but from His members, His body which is the Church. For in this sense He speaks of it as a great thing that He will not take away His mercies from Him, supposing us not to recognise the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father; for there the Man is not counted for His Person, but the One Person is God and Man. He therefore does not utterly take His mercies from Him, when He takes not His mercy from His body, His members, in which, even while He was enthroned in Heaven, He was still suffering persecutions on earth; and when He cried from Heaven, "Saul, Saul," not why persecutest thou My servants, nor why persecutest thou My saints, nor My disciples, but, "why persecutest thou Me?" As then, while no one persecuted Him when sitting in Heaven, He cried out, "Why persecutest thou Me?" when the Head recognised its limbs, and His love allowed not the Head to separate Himself from the union of the body: so, when He taketh not away His mercies from Him, it is surely that He taketh it not from us, who are His limbs and body. Yet ought we not on that account to sin not without apprehension, and perversely to assure ourselves that we shall not perish, be our actions what they may. For there are certain sins and certain offences, to define and discourse of which it is either impossible for me, or if it were possible, it would be too tedious for the time we have at present. For no man can say that he is without sin; for if he says so, he will lie; "if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." Each one therefore is needfully scourged for his own sins; but the mercy of God is not taken away from him, if he be a Christian. Certainly if thou committest such offences as to repel the hand of Him who chasteneth, the rod of Him who scourgeth thee, and art angry at the correction of God, and fliest from thy Father when He chasteneth thee, and wilt not suffer Him to be thy Father, because He spares thee not when thou dost sin; thou hast estranged thyself from thy heritage, He has not thrown thee off; for if thou wouldest abide being scourged, thou wouldest not abide disinherited. "Nor will I do hurt in My truth." For His mercy in setting free shall not be taken away, lest His truth in taking vengeance do harm.

There are a couple of important articles here proposed by Augustine:

First, that Christ was and is sinless. That is becoming a foreign notion in the Post-Modern church! I recently read of one column that wrote that Jesus had showed his bigotry in his encounter with the Canaanite woman, and when challenged Jesus had learned an important lesson!

Secondly, that God will not abandon the faithful. It is they who will endure through correction and keep the faith which is a major theme of Isaiah and of our psalm today.

Third, that there are sins and conditions of men's hearts that in effect cause one to estrange himself from God, so that God even ceases to correct, and allows them to go - blindly.