21 OCTOBER 08
Morning Prayer: Psalm 25; II Kings 21:1-3, 10-18; Titus 2
Evening Prayer: Psalm 29, 36:5-end; Deuteronomy 4:15-24; St. Matthew 24:29-41
In the Gospel reading today, found in Evening Prayer, we are again confronted with images of the return of our Lord. Take some time today to read this read through slowly, and then to comtemplate what St. Matthew says while looking at the image of the second coming above.
I would also like to quote from Volume I of, Commentary on the Psalms, specifically from St. Venerable Bede as he wrotes on both the Psalms given for Evening Prayer:
Psalm 29: "The completion of the Tabernacle signifies the perfection of the Church ; which, since it wageth wars against carnal vices, hath rightly received the name of a military tent.
The Prophet, foreseeing that the ends of the world would be brought to the faith, first addresses all the nations, commanding them to bring sacrifices to God. Next, in a sevenfold series, by various allusions, he enumerates the graces of the Holy Ghost : The voice of the Lord is upon the waters. But that he may show that the power of the Father and of the Holy Ghost is one, he telleth, thirdly, how the Holy Trinity effectuates Baptism, and how the Lord giveth virtue and benediction to him who is regenerate from it: The Lord maketh the water-flood to be inhabited, etc."
Psalm 36: "Take, then, The servant of the Lord, is no other sense than of Him, Who, being in the form of God, took upon Him the form of a Servant, and became obedient even unto death. The whole Psalm is said in the person of the Prophet. In its beginning he vehemently accuseth the despisers of the Law, and saith that they have no portion with God, commemorating also their wicked designs. Next, still praising God, he describeth the gifts that are bestowed as the reward of His servants, and saith that they are filled with the plenteousness of the House of the Lord ; and this Psalm is briefly concluded with the destruction of the wicked.
SAINT OF THE DAY
Hilarion was born of heathen parentage at Tabatha in Palestine, five miles south of Gaza, about the year 291. Saint Epiphanius, Bishop of Salarius, knew him well, and wrote his life, from which the following account is largely taken.
As a lad he was sent to study at Alexandria, where he bore a fair name for life and wit. There he embraced the religion of Jesus christ, and made wonderful headway in faith and love. When the name of Anthony became famous in Egypt, Hilarion made a journey into the desert on purpose to see him, and dwelt with him two months, to the end that he might learn his complete rule of life. After the death of his father and mother, he gave all that he had to the poor. And so, before he had completed the fifteenth year of his age, he went into the desert, and built a little house, scarcely big enough to hold him, and wherein he was used to sleep on the ground. He was a comely and delicate youth, and therefore set about to mortify and harden himself. His food was a few figs and some porridge of vegetables, and this he ate not before set of sun, but his pratyer was unceasing. Till his time neither Syria nor Palestine knew of the monastic life, so that Hilarion was the founder of it therein, as Anthony had been in Egypt. He had built many monasteries, and become famous for miracles, when, in the eightieth year of his age, he fell sick. As he was gasping for list last breath, he said " Go out, my soul; what art thou afraid of? And so he gave up the ghost.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord, that the prayeres of thy holy Abbot, blessed Hilarion may commend us unto thee : that we, who have no power of ourselves to help ourselves, may by his advocacy find favour in thy sight. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.