Devotions upon Lent

Discussion in 'Pastoral Resources' started by Admin, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member Typist Anglican

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    We would like to lead our first forum-wide devotional upon Lent, especially considering what today is, the Wednesday of the holy week.

    Here are some resources for all of us to be on the same page and worship in piety upon Lent together, as one community.

    1. As step 1, you are all asked to read Bishop Ken's 1688 letter upon Lent, that has been published on this website. You can find it here:
      http://www.anglican.net/thomas-ken-letter-concerning-lent/
    2. Next, one of our members has sent in another very helpful passage from Bishop Ken, an excerpt upon Lent out of a larger sermon. You are all asked to read and reflect upon this, after having read the first Letter.

      Thomas Ken on Lent from a sermon preached in the King's Chapel at Whitehall. March 8, First Sunday in Lent 1685. (Text: Daniel 10).

      "For what is Lent, in its original institution, but a spiritual conflict to subdue the flesh to the spirit, to beat down our bodies, and to bring them into subjection? What is it but a penitential martyrdom for so many weeks altogether, which we suffer for our own and others' sins? A devout soul, that is able to duly observe it, fastens himself to the Cross on Ash Wednesday, and hangs crucified by contrition all the Lent long; that having felt in his closet the burthen and the anguish, the nails and the thorns, and tasted the gall of his own sins, he may by his own crucifixion be better disposed to be crucified with Christ on Good Friday, and most tenderly sympathize with all the dolors and pressures and anguish and torments and desertion, infinite, unknown, and unspeakable, which God Incarnate endured when He bled upon the Cross for the sins of the world; that being purified by repentance and made conformable to Christ crucified, he may offer up a pure oblation at Easter and feel the power and the joys and the triumph of his Saviour's Resurrection. And to encourage you to such a devotion, thus enforced with fasting, and mourning, and alms, as was this of Daniel, reflect on the wonderful success he found. For when he began his supplications the angel Gabriel was sent to him by God, and arrived before he had ended them; and by that heavenly messenger God then honoured him with that glorious prophecy of the seventy weeks. And the prophet Ezekiel joins Daniel with Noah and Job, as the three greatest instances of prevalence with God that ever prayed."

    3. And finally, make sure to read and be familiar with our reverend Commination Service, which shall be taken, in a standard fashion, from the 1662 Prayerbook:

      http://archive.org/stream/bookofcommonpra00inchur#page/218/mode/2up
    You are strongly enjoined to read and reflect on all these passages. We will do the same on our end as well.
     
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  2. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    George Buddle
    From 'A Short and Plain Discourse, fully containing the Whole Doctrine of Evangelical Fasts' (London, 1609)
    Dedicated to William Barlow, Bishop of Lincoln

    'If we cannot fast with one spare and homely meal a day all the week-days of Lent, so long as Lent lasteth, yet at the least let us hear the Word of God read or preached unto us, an let us in truth and lo longer in profane and childish hypocrisy “turn unto the Lord by weeping, fasting and praying” this whole last week of Lent which we call the Passion Week, in which we ought, if ever, to redeem our ill-kept Lent and to prepare ourselves by nailing our sinful flesh unto Christ's Cross of mortification, to the end that we may rise again with Him at Easter unto justification with Whom we have died by mortification, that also after our suffering with Him, we may one day ascend and enter into glory with Him. The more holily a man shall be found to have kept the fasting of Lent, the more devoutly will he be found and find himself by experience to have honoured the Feast of Easter or of the Resurrection which followeth and endeth Lent. So the same may be said even of the holy and devout keeping of this last week of Lent. For surely now the devil is most busy to draw us from our worthy celebration of this week unto all profaneness, worldliness, security, and wantonness, and at no time of the year doth he so earnestly seek our destruction by forgetfulness of God and of our duties of love to one another as he doth this week of Christ's Passion, to the end that he may still in the same week crucify Christ in His members, and make us altogether unworthy through our profanations and fleshly contentions both of the merits of Christ's death and of the virtue of Christ's Resurrection.'
     
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  3. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Great quote Symphorian. It highlights the scriptural, apostolic, and patristic nature of our faith: it lives in obedience and love.

    "Lent" from "The Temple", 1633:

    Welcome dear feast of Lent: who loves not thee,

    He loves not Temperance, or Authority,
    But is compos’d of passion.
    The Scriptures bid us fast; the Church says, now:
    Give to thy Mother, what thou wouldst allow
    To ev’ry Corporation.

    The humble soul compos’d of love and fear
    Begins at home, and lays the burden there,
    When doctrines disagree,
    He says, in things which use hath justly got,
    I am a scandal to the Church, and not
    The Church is so to me.

    True Christians should be glad of an occasion
    To use their temperance, seeking no evasion,
    When good is seasonable;
    Unless Authority, which should increase
    The obligation in us, make it less,
    And Power itself disable.

    Besides the cleanness of sweet abstinence,
    Quick thoughts and motions at a small expense,
    A face not fearing light:
    Whereas in fulness there are sluttish fumes,
    Sour exhalations, and dishonest rheums,
    Revenging the delight.

    Then those same pendant profits, which the spring
    And Easter intimate, enlarge the thing,
    And goodness of the deed.
    Neither ought other men’s abuse of Lent
    Spoil the good use; lest by that argument
    We forfeit all our Creed.

    It’s true, we cannot reach Christ’s forti’eth day;
    Yet to go part of that religious way,
    Is better than to rest:
    We cannot reach our Saviour’s purity;
    Yet we are bid, ‘Be holy ev’n as he,’
    In both let’s do our best.

    Who goeth in the way which Christ hath gone,
    Is much more sure to meet with him, than one
    That travelleth by-ways:
    Perhaps my God, though he be far before,
    May turn and take me by the hand, and more:
    May strengthen my decays.

    Yet Lord instruct us to improve our fast
    By starving sin and taking such repast,
    As may our faults control:
    That ev’ry man may revel at his door,
    Not in his parlour; banqueting the poor,
    And among those his soul.
     
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