Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday in Epiphany 5: "Pick it up and read it"

Opening Sentence
I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth. Isaiah 49:6b

Collect of the Day
Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known o us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 88

Lessons: Genesis 27:46-28:4, 10-22; Romans 13, John 8:33-47

[Writing about his conversion] In that very moment, from the absolute bottom of my soul there came together like a knot in my heart all of my past struggles and present arguments, and it caused me to break into tears. So that I would not embarrass anyone and so I could let myself go completely, I left Alypius [one of his close friends, later bishop of Thagaste]. He knew what was happening and let me go by myself. I found myself in a garden and collapsed there under a tree, sobbing like a baby and babbling about my worthlessness. . . . As I was carrying on, suddenly I heard from somewhere a voice -- like a child's -- saying softly, over and over, "Pick it up and read it." My confused mind cast about, trying to remember if these were the words to some game that children play, but I couldn't think of any. I got control of myself and stood up. I decided that this was a direct answer to me from God, directing me to take up His Holy Scripture and to read the first chapter that I opened to. . . . Quickly I raced back to where Alypius sat and seized the Epistles of Saint Paul which I had left there. Opening it, I rad to myself the first words that came to my eyes [Romans 13:13]: Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying: but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh in concupiscence. I did not need to go on; as soon as I finished that one sentence perfect truth filled my heart; confusion and doubt were gone forever.


Trading My Sorrows