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The Second Sunday in Advent

BLESSED Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Source: Archbishop Thomas Cranmer [1549 AD]. The emphasis on Scripture is enunciated here. To understand Cranmer and his desire to encourage Bible reading, read the Preface to the Cranmer Bible and the Preface to the 1549 Prayer Book. [Barbee and Zahl] Cranmer proposed continuous reading of the Scriptures - "lectio continua". Archbishop John Chrysostom, among other early doctors, was an advocate and practicioner of lectio continua.

Psalms 80, 82 | 25, 26 Romans xv. 4    St. Luke xxi. 25

Homily of Augustine on Psalm 26


I always appreciate this Sunday in our tradition, because of this most wonderful prayer. It is not ancient, as the note shows, but it carries an ancient theme that was sounded by the great Church fathers. If you seek truth, then look to the canon of Scripture. Paul spoke of the OT in  2nd Timothy 3:16, but Augustine and others said the same of the canon of the New Testament. 

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

This week we will look at Augustine and his treatment of Psalm 26. Augustine most often used allusions and looked at the Psalms from a Christian viewpoint of speaking of Christ. However, he was always true to the faith; he did not attempt to "pull a fast one" by claiming the scriptures were speaking of some new innovation when no one in catholic history had ever so much as dreamed of that meaning.  That is not the case today.  Some less than honest clerics use poor exegesis, or eisegesis, to read in their agenda. However, I pray all readers will have a discerning spirit. Our collect today speaks to that, and so does the psalm pointed out by Augustine concerning thi selected verse.

"In Thy truth guide me:" avoiding error. "And teach me:" for by myself I know nothing, but falsehood. "For Thou art the God of my salvation; and for Thee have I waited all the day" (ver. 5). For dismissed by Thee from Paradise, and having taken my journey into a far country,  I cannot by myself return, unless Thou meetest the wanderer: for my return hath throughout the whole tract of this world's time waited for Thy mercy. 

Augustine relflects here his battle with Pelagius and his followers. Augustine argued that man of his own accord lost his ability to do right without the aid of God. Augustine puts it in terms of God "meeting" the wanderer-a nice analogy that reminds us of our Lord on the road to Emmaus. 

If you have a frend that you believe is wandering in the wastelands that represent so much of our culture today, say a pray, bid God to speak to this brother in such a way that he will be able to hear, read, mark, and inwardly digest the Word of God and be brought to the foot of the Cross and the blessed hope of everlasting life through Christ.  

For consideration: A Centurion this month referred this book to me. I recall reading it when it came out and remember that it echo's the words of today's collect: God in the Wastelands

We are in the second week of Advent and I am reminded of that wonderful Advent Hymn O Come Emmanuel, I pray you will have a chance to sing it this season and offer the verses here for meditation.

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.


Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.


O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.


O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.


O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.


O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai's height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.


O come, Thou Root of Jesse's tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.


O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.


[1851 compiled from 12th century hymns]

Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"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]


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