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The Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

Augustine on Psalm LIX
Trinity 16 Home

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, 59 Ephesians iii. 13   &   St. Luke vii. 11

Homily of Augustine on Psalm LIX

Deliver me from mine enemies, my God,
and from men rising up upon me, redeem thou me


Augustine wrote:

"Deliver me from mine enemies, my God, and from men rising up upon me, redeem Thou me" (ver. 1). There hath been done this thing in the flesh of Christ, it is being done in us also. For our enemies, to wit the devil and his angels, cease not to rise up upon us every day, and to wish to make sport of our weakness and our frailness, by deceptions, by suggestions, by temptations, and by snares of whatsoever sort to entangle us, while on earth we are still living. But let our voice watch unto God, and cry out in the members of Christ, under the Head that is in heaven, "Deliver me from mine enemies, my God, and from men rising up upon me, redeem Thou me."

Augustine has treated this opening verse as relating to Satan and his minions.   That is the Gospel, but it is a Gospel that is lost to a large part of the post-modern Church I fear. Satan is treated as some sort of a fairytale hobgoblin and is not taken seriously.  Many have dismissed the idea of "evil" altogether and have labeled behaviors which are hurtful and deviant as only some medical disorder for which an atheist offers treatments.  Day by day we read of those who turn on their families, friends, and neighbors. They kill them and then kill themselves.  That happened just this week near my little home town-with six now dead.  What evil is this that pervades our society and flourishes from time to time with these extreme acts of hatred and malice?  What is the remedy? 

The collect for today rightly addresses the need of the Church for God's continual grace in cleansing its members and protecting it from the Adversary; who is himself the father of lies, deceit, cruelty, lust, hatred, and enmity. The Bishop of Rome recently said as much when one of his lieutenants accused the press of persecuting the Roman Church...saying,  "The greatest persecution of the church doesn't come from enemies on the outside, but is born from the sin within the church"

Today's collect is a good one for the Church. Our Lord gave each of us one for ourselves in the Lord's Prayer, and as an article of our petition we ask our Father in Heaven to keep us from all temptation, and another article to deliver us from the wiles of the Evil One.  Amen and amen.

    From all evil and mischief; from sin; from the crafts and assaults of the devil; from thy wrath, and from everlasting damnation, 
     Good Lord, deliver us.
     From all blindness of heart; from pride, vainglory, and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness, 
     Good Lord, deliver us.
     From all inordinate and sinful affections; and from all the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil, 
     Good Lord, deliver us.

Amen.  (a Litany)
May God have mercy on those who have succumbed to the wiles of Satan, hear their prayer of confession, heal their sin, and as our verse today says, "redeem thou me" -- redeem them to everlasting fellowship with him.


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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