The Herb Of Grace

Theology and Poetry, Politics and Prose

a sneak preview: St. Stephen’s Prayerbook April 2, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joel @ 3:04 am

It is late indeed.  Here is a few days of readings to give you a taste, enjoy

Daily Readings from the life of the SSU community

By themes and movements of the heart, mind, body, and soul.

Imitation

In all our seeking and struggle we need a clear mission: to be as Jesus in the world, His very body in living action.  To do this, the first order of business is to get our minds straight about imitation.  Imitation of the Lord Jesus is not for the few or for the special, it for all the people, for every community that would name as their own the God revealed by the actions of Jesus.

Day 1

Thomas Á Kempis has been a faithful guide to many down through the ages; even the title of his classic devotional work, The Imitation of Christ, speaks to our purpose: to know the heart-posture of Jesus, even in some mysterious way to know Jesus Himself, and then to act from that place. 

“’He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness,’ says Our Lord.           

In these words Christ counsels us to follow His life and way if we desire true enlightenment and freedom from all blindness of heart.  Let the life of Jesus Christ, then, be our first consideration.

Day 2

Gregory the Great, acclaimed as great for his remarkably humble and balanced leadership, encourages believers to consider the life of Jesus as the example of how to live, not trusting the world which would, by its wealth, claim to take away our pain but trusting in the God who promises, by His wealth, to make our pain the same as that of Jesus: a powerful sign of love in a world ruled by self-interest.

But since He came in the flesh for the purpose of not only redeeming us by His passion, but of teaching by His life, giving an example to those who follow Him, He freely went to the gibbet of the Cross.  He fled from the exalted glory offered Him and chose the pain of an ignominious death, that His members might learn to flee from the favors of the world, not to fear its terrors, to love adversity for the sake of truth, to shrink in fear from prosperity, for this latter thing often defiles the heart by vainglory, but the other cleanses it by sorrow.

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5 Responses to “a sneak preview: St. Stephen’s Prayerbook”

  1. Matt Says:

    mmm. yummy. Smells good, like a loaf of just finished bread almost too hot to eat. Thanks Joel. I can’t wait to read the whole thing.

  2. Matt Wiebe Says:

    Sounding good Joel.

  3. Mike Harris Says:

    It looks wonderful, Joel. Man, *I’m* even inspired. Really, I think you’re going to have something beautiful on your hands when you’re all done.

  4. roflyer Says:

    Are you writing most of this Joel? Are you collecting prayers from SSU community members? Or just prayers and thoughts from saints, theologians, etc.?

  5. masonmusic Says:

    I’m collecting from both ancient and SSU sources. I’m also writing the intros to most of the readings. I’m framing, kind’ve.

    So, in a way I’m doing all 3 of your options!

    hope you’re well man, haven’t heard anything from edinburgh yet. I’ll call you when i do.


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