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The Sunday called Sexagesima

the second Sunday before Lent 
Augustine on Psalm CXXXIX
Sexagesima Home

O LORD God, who seest that we put not our trust in any thing that we do; Mercifully grant that by thy power we may be defended by protection of the Doctor of the Gentiles against all adversity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Sacrmentary of Bishop Gregory of Rome. 

  Psalm 33, 93 | 139;   ii Corinthians xi. 19   &   St. Luke viii. 4

Homily of Augustine on Psalm 139

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.


A few weeks ago folk gathered in the United States on the Washington Mall and at churches in Washington to protest the US Supreme Court decision of 1973 that allowed abortion. The polls today say that the opinions concerning abortion are shifting toward life. The organization"NOW" is upset because Focus on the Family is planning to team with a football star for an advertisement for life and family. He is at the Super Bowl because his mother bravely chose life.

Today's psalm is one of the key scriptures that concerned Christians cite in defense of life. Let us now read some of what Augustine told his congregation.

Behold Thou, Lord, hast known all my last doings, and the ancient ones". ...

"Thou hast fashioned me, and hast laid Thine hand upon me." "Fashioned me," where? In this mortality; now, to the toils whereunto we all are born. For none is born, but God has fashioned him in his mother's womb; nor is there any creature, whereof God is not the Fashioner.

We have discovered the means by which God accomplishes this miracle. It is in the  genetic code that God fashions in the instant of conception in the mother's womb when man and woman unite and a life is created. 

Now then, some who present themselves as religious leaders in our society endorse, even bless, the destruction of these babes which God has created, and by the most inhumane type of slaughter. It is important that all clearly understand what is entailed (caution: the techniques describe on this site are accurate and horrible)

There are  churches that have joined hands with this abomination (e.g., TEC and RCRC) and have actively and officially petitioned the US Congress to fund  abortions with tax dollars -- collected from a people who are for the most part against abortion.  

Meanwhile, others take a strong stand for life  (e.g. RCC, OCA, PCA, LCMS, etc. and see also this resolution from the TEC Diocese of South Carolina against the TEC & RCRC ) Many have taken a personal stand and signed the Manhattan Declaration: A Call to Christian Conscience, which has become a grassroots protest against government's actions that destroy life, diminish the institution of marriage, and curtail freedom of religion.

What of early Christians...well they held the same belief as the Jew.  Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian of the 1st Century who was present at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 when Christianity was still considered a sect of the Jews, wrote, "The law, moreover enjoins us to bring up all our offspring, and forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten, or to destroy it afterward; and if any woman appears to have so done, she will be a murderer of her child, by destroying a living creature, and diminishing humankind.[*]  Of course, he spoke here of the same law that our Lord did, the Commandment that thou shalt do no murder.

I cannot help but wonder whether they who perpetuate this holocaust in the womb may be of those whom Augustine says, in this homily,

For there is another "latest" for certain wicked ones, to whom it shall be said, "Go ye into everlasting fire." ...

Finally, let us consider the collect for today, drawn from the Sacramentary of Gregory I of Rome. I hope we can all acknowledge that the words of Saint Paul, the Doctor to the Gentiles, have served us well through the centuries, and through God's power we have been defended and protected from heresies such as calling abortion a blessing. Paul, a servant of Christ, has left us a legacy that has guided us in running our race in the way of the Commandments, toward that ultimate prize.  Glory be to God!


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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