Saturday, 1 December 2012

For the last day of the Church's year:

From this morning's Office of Readings - 

"Let us sing Alleluia here below amid anxiety so that we may someday sing it in security with the saints. Why amid anxiety here? Am I not to be anxious when I read: “Man’s life on earth is a trial”?; when I hear: “Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation”? How is a people well-off when it must cry out, as I do: “Free us from evil”? Yet, brothers, even amid evil let us sing Alleluia to the good God who rescues us from evil.
    Even amid danger and temptation we should sing Alleluia. For “God is faithful and will not let you be tempted beyond your strength.” This is why we sing Alleluia: man is still a sinner, but God is faithful. He does not say: “He will not-let you be tempted,” but: “He will not let you be tempted beyond your strength.” Like the potter’s vase you are shaped by preaching and fired by temptation. But when you enter into temptation, remember there is a way out, for God is faithful: “The Lord will guard your going in and your going out.”
    When our bodies become immortal and incorruptible, all temptation will be over. For “the body is dead because of sin,” but “the Spirit is life.” Are we to abandon the dead body? No! The “Spirit who raised Christ from the dead will give life to our dead bodies.” The body is now earthly, then it will be spiritual.
    O blessed Alleluia! There no enemy lurks, no friend perishes. Here and there alike we praise God - here as anxious mortal men making our pilgrimage in hope; there as secure victorious men at home in their own country.
    Let us sing now, brothers, not to delight our rest but to lighten our labour. Sing and walk on. “Walk,” that is, advance in goodness. Some men, the Apostle tells us, advance in evil. Advance then in goodness, in authentic faith, in uprightness. And sing as you go."

St Augustine of Hippo; from Sermon 256

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