Sunday, February 01, 2015

Collect for Septuagesima

Prayer book
O LORD, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Breviary (Sarum)
O Lord, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people, that we who are justly punished for our offences may be mercifully delivered for the glory of thy name. Through etc.

In this universe of cause and effect, we have no choice but to accept the consequences for our choices, both bad and good. We often suffer for both of them, regardless and oft, like Job, we sit puzzled in our sadness trying to work out what we could have possibly done to deserve the punishment we receive.

We cry out to God and ask, "for what reason am I being punished?" and God's silence comes back to us. If we are wise, we listen in that silence, examining our own conscience to see where we are presently falling short in our actions, desires, intentions and words since in each sin we distance ourselves from God.

Yet, we know that our own scrutiny of our conscience is also flawed. We could fall into despair at the rottenness of our own being, but there is a better way. With God we can be good, for God defines goodness through His own self. Our Creation is Good. We are not totally depraved, but bear the goodness of God's creation by being part of God's creation. We turn to God and see in ourselves where we lack Him by His benevolence.

Septuagesima calls attention that soon Lent is coming and we must prepare ourselves for that self-scrutiny. With God holding our hand we will see the truth and survive it!

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