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From this morning’s Matins canticle (again paraphrased from Dame Julian):
“All that we owe is redeemed in truly loving God, *

  for the love of Christ works in us;

  Christ is the one whom we love.”
None of us is remotely perfect. But our loving God invites us into a redemptive relationship. And we enter that relationship by loving God back. For me, Jesus is the face of that love. Jesus embodies that love. And as we love, our lives are shaped by this love. We receive the gift of God’s saving grace. And our lives are transformed. 
We are still not perfect. But our lives are continually transformed by living out our love, and by being loved unconditionally. We are redeemed “in truly loving” our truly loving God. 

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I expect a post later to the new Sacramento Clergy Write blog (from someone other than me) from our session today.  But I will post this, from me, here on my blog.  The prompt was from George MacDonald’s Phantastes:  “Art rescues nature from the weary and sated regards of our senses.”

Been there.

Done that.

Seen that before.

There is a sense in which this is true – for adults anyway.  Maybe not a child.  For adults, as we generalize our experience, there really may be “nothing new under the sun.”

Except, of course (more…)

One of the blogs I follow is Midlife Bat Mitzvah (by Ilana DeBare).  And she’s just posted a fascinating interview with one of her rabbis — Andrea Berlin.  In it she talks about how her relationship with God (which is both personal and transcendent) changes every day.  She talks about the authority of the Holy Books of various faiths (“Judaism teaches that I am bound to Torah because my people accepted it.   … Only the people who are part of the covenant need to adhere to it.”)  She talks about prayer (and her personal sense of “waking with God” as she climbed Half Dome).  She talks about cyber=Judaism (which she sees as an emerging and helpful supplement to congregational involvement).  And she talks about her anger with God (“My tradition gives me the right to be very angry at God.”).

If I have whetted your appetite, you can find the whole interview here.

So, I’m using their Breviary.  And today is the day they celebrate the founding of their order (said celebration started last night with first Vespers, but as I often do, I missed that).  I’ve been impressed by all I’ve seen so far.  So I thought I could at least share the collect for this celebration:

O gracious God, through whose Beloved One we are able to know ourselves also as beloved, we thank you for the nine women whose vision and trust in you brought this community into being:  Clothe us, who have been called together by you, with the garments of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; let the message of Christ in all its richness inform our lives, that true forgiveness, gratitude and love may grow among us and show forth in our lives and service; through Jesus Christ who has taken our humanity into your divinity and lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, now and for ever.  Amen.

If you are interested, you can link to their home page.

Today is my brother Fred’s birthday.

It is also the feast day for St. Helena (the Emperor Constantine’s mother, and the most prominent active Christian of her day), who is the patron of the Order of St. Helena – who’s breviary I am using.  I’m exploring the possibility of Associate status with them.  So it’s a first class feast for me these days.

Helena is not in the calendar of the Episcopal Church.  William Porcher DuBose is remembered today on that calendar.  I found myself quite taken with what I read about him.

In “Brightest and Best” Sam Portaro writes that DuBose, who was born in 1836, was “one of those persons born seemingly ahead of his time …  At the heart of his faith DuBose held a tenacious and fundamental belief in the Incarnation, the premise that in Jesus Christ God places before us not just the image of what it means to be human, but the very person who fulfills God’s intention for humankind.  Dubose would have had little patience for our spirtualizations of Jesus that make him an oddity, the exception rather than the rule of what we are to be.” (more…)

We have reached the point in Christmas where energy is running pretty low.

We’ve had enough parties.  We’ve even celebrated the ringing in of a new calendar year, which for most people really marks the end of the celebration (recovering from it all over football and parades as the new year begins).  The church, however, celebrates that day as Holy Name Day.  (Jesus would, by custom, have received his name on his seventh day of life.)  Ok.  I have to admit I watched football. (more…)

My younger daughter called last night from Wichita. Yesterday, her husband, an aeronautical engineer, was laid off. They laid off all the contract workers, and thousands of the employees. This follows an earlier round of layoffs. The employees got two months pay. The contract workers got nothing. All of them were told to take their stuff as they left (and don’t come back). Glenn was a contract worker. Audrey is not employed. I have no idea what they are going to do.

(more…)

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