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The Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity

Augustine on Psalm 134
Home, 21st Sunday after Trinity 

Grant, we beseech thee merciful Lord, to thy faithful people indulgence and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve thee with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Sacramentary of Bishop Gelasius of Rome [494AD]. Cranmer in 1549 translated the Latin "indulgence" as the English "pardon". The call for "peace" in this collect has been ascribed to the fact that at the time, Rome was under heavy assault that threatened to break Pax Romana. This collect is used in the place of an absolution when the office is conducted by a layman. Dr. Peter Toon translated the original Latin as follows: "Be reconciled, we beseech thee, Lord, to thy faithful ones, and grant them bountifully indulgence and peace, that they may be cleansed from all offences, and at the same time do unto thee devoted service without distraction of mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Psalm 134, Ephesians vi. 10   &   St. John iv. 46 
Homily of Augustine on Psalm 134

Behold, now, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord 


Augustine opens with:

"Behold, now, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord" (ver. 1), "who stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God" (ver. 2). Why has he added, "in the courts"? Courts mean the wider spaces of a house. He who stands in the courts is not straitened, is not confined, in some fashion is enlarged. Remain in this enlargement, and thou canst love thy enemy, because thou lovest not things in which an enemy could straiten thee. How canst thou be understood to stand in the courts? Stand in charity, and thou standest in the courts. Breadth lies in charity, straitness in hatred.

This short psalm has only three verses. It is the last of the Songs of Degrees. Perhaps in the Temple they would sing all of them throughout the day, and then when the daily duties were done, the concluded with this song to Jehovah; for it was likely sung at eventide and in a prayerful attitude with the men standing in the 'orans" position of prayer with their hands held up to the LORD. 

The song also alludes to another duty of the priests of guarding the Temple itself, they "who stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God" .  We have many non-commissioned officers in the Order who can relate to this duty, wherein men are stationed at strategic points to guard the camp, base, or ship.

The old Temple built by hands is long gone, but the one Christ set in the hearts of his elect is with us yet.  However, there is a problem, and it has been a problem throughout the history of the church of certain strangers who would break in and steal.  The faith once delivered t0 the saints is under attack by a whole culture: it is a perverse generation that revels in the licentious, kills its young, denies that there is any real - objective "Good", and twists or denies the words of our Lord to support its particular agenda of the age, which calls good, evil; and evil, good

Some 1,688 years ago, long after the Temple had been plowed under by the Roman Legions, Emperor Saint Cornelius set his own Labarum Guard of 50 centurions on the 28th of October around and about the Labarum, (the ensign he had been ordered to create and carry before his army on that fateful day when he met his counterpart outside of Rome at the bridge of Saxa Ruba).  

There are today a few centurions who also have pledged to stand guard of this historic faith and defend it and the Church Militant against all enemies, and like the oath of the US forces says, "foreign and domestic" .  In this case the foreign is represented by a secular and aggressively bellicose society who would break down the Church, and by those of other faiths who joy in killing her members. The domestic are best represented by those who appear in vestments and hide behind the pulpit to insinuate their apostasy on an unsuspecting laity.  The latter are more to be watched carefully. Keep your enemies close, and your friends closer.

Take a moment after the psalm today and reflect too on the appointed epistle this day, and then put on the whole Armour of God to guard the faith, the Church Militant, and to fight against these evil  forces, visible and invisible, foreign and domestic.

A salute this day to all who stand by night to guard the faith.

en touto nika

Semper Vigilans


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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