Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Thursday, June 16

The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime (pp. 84-85)

To read today's office, click here.

Today's reading weaves together two indissoluble themes: the goodness of God's grace and the need for us to "remain" (I prefer the KJV's "abide") in Christ. So, the Refrain puts it together perfectly: "no good things [God's gracious provision] will the Lord withhold from those who walk with integrity [remaining/abiding]." Because it is the Lord's wondrous provisions that keep us on the "straight and narrow," the Request for Presence says, "I call with my whole heart [every bit of me knows the need]; answer me, O Lord, that I may keep your statutes."

What I have noticed about the spiritual masters of the Christian tradition is this: each of them shows a very real and noticeable dependence on God's grace and, at the same time, an unwavering discipline to do what they know to be good and right.

Take John Bunyan's classic, The Pilgrim's Progress, a book unfortunately not read enough any more. Christian, the pilgrim character who lives out the Christian life, is constantly affirming how great the Lord's provisions are and how important it is for him to keep his mind on the business of staying on the path to the Celestial City.