Lenten Meditations: Monday 19 February

Feb 19, 2018 by

Feb 19
am: 41, 52
pm: 44
Gen 37:1-11 1 Cor 1:1-19 Mark 1:1-13

LENT I – The Venerable Mother Philothea of Athens, 1589

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: Born in 1528 she showed a love for prayer early in her life while being a sought-after wealthy heiress, marrying a rough, violent man. After three years, the brutal husband died, and Philothea gave herself entirely to a life of prayer and fasting, living like a hermitess though still in her parents’ house. When her parents died ten years later, she used her entire fortune to found a convent. Its design had been given her in a vision by the Apostle Andrew, and it was dedicated to him. Alongside the monastery, she founded a hospital, a hospice for the poor, and schools where boys and girls could receive a Christian education, something obviously not provided by the Turkish rulers.

Philothea offered asylum and refuge to Christian slave women who had fled their masters to preserve their faith and chastity. This angered the Turks, who surrounded the monastery, seized Philothea, and brought her before the judge. She was told to deny Christ or die, and when she refused was sentenced to death; but some influential Athenian Greeks were able to intervene on her behalf and to obtain her release.

Immediately upon her release she redoubled her prayers, her apostolic labors and her works of mercy, and was soon granted the gift of working miracles and healings. So many disciples came to join her that she established a second monastery. Her growing influence aroused the hatred of some of the Turks, who broke into the monastery one night and beat her violently, leaving her half-dead. She bore the effects of her injuries patiently, and after a short time gave back her soul to God in 1589.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY: Psalm 52 appointed for the Daily Office is worthy of our consideration this day. The psalmist states in the opening line a stunning reflection considering the saint and martyr remembered this day…. Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?    The steadfast love of God endures all day.  Certainly, The Lord’s steadfast love “endures all day” and Archbishop Janani was utterly confident in that and it was the light of he and his people in the wake of such darkness.  They indeed face a mighty man whose only boast was darkness, but it was the Lord’s steadfast love which made the archbishop and his fellow clergy strong in the face of such evil They knew well the Lord would plant them in the paradise of His saints by His blood on the tree of the Cross.

While our sole confidence can never be in our righteous acts – such as our consideration of the voiceless; our confidence is in the Righteous One who has considered the voiceless compels us through Word and Sacrament to be an outward sign of His grace. This Lent we are called to journey with the One who did rise again, and that gracious God provides for the healing of our souls and the granting of true righteousness by faith.


PRAYER OF THE DAY: Gracious God we give thanks to you for the life and mission of Philothei. She had a jubilation of Spirit, and a profound sense of reverence. Please grant me the desire for that in my life. Let me be ever mindful that she lived her whole life working for the fruits of kindness and mercy. Grant O Merciful Father our prayers this day and that we like here may be deemed worthy to entreat ourselves to God.


Lenten DisciplineLead a Study at lunch and invite a few friends or colleagues. Read Psalm 52 and discuss some specific ways in which we can you can trust in the steadfast love of God    forever and ever in your public and private lives.


ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE: “‘A martyr is, one who has become the instrument of God, who has lost his will in the will of God, not lost it but found it, for he has found freedom in submission to God. The martyr no longer desires anything for self, not even the glory of martyrdom.” —T.S. Elliot.

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