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Monday, March 23, 2020

   “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence; and remove not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation: establish me with the governing/directing Spirit (πνεύματι ἡγεμονικῷ).” (Ps 50: 10-12, Septuagint-translation)

     Psalm 50 (51) is chanted several times each day, in our daily cycle of church-services. In it we ask for “renewal,” several times each day, – because we can be “renewed” in God’s ever-new, ever-“governing” or “directing” us forward, Spirit, whenever we choose to open up to Him. Whenever I notice that I’ve slipped into going around in circles, according to “old” patterns or some “wrong” spirit or voice in my head, like idleness or despondency, I can call out and be restored in...

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

     “Restore unto me the joy of your salvation, and with your governing Spirit establish me. I shall teach transgressors your ways (Διδάξω ἀνόμους τὰς ὁδούς σου, научу беззаконныя путем твоим), and the ungodly shall turn back to you.” (Ps 50: 12-13)

     One might ask, Can “I” really teach transgressors God’s ways? I mean, isn’t this verse of Psalm 50 a bit presumptuous for me, who is also a transgressor? 

     No, it isn’t presumptuous, when I look at all of Psalm 50, and how it progresses, – or teaches me to progress, – from placing myself and all my “transgression” into the hands of God’s “great mercy,” and from there to open up to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and reliance on Him. It is in Him, not in “me,” in the self-isolation of self-reliance, that I not only...

Monday, May 28, 2018

     “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew the right Spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation, and with your governing Spirit establish me.” (Ps 50: 10-12, Septuagint-translation)

     This Monday, the day right after Pentecost, is called “The Day of the Holy Spirit,” because it is traditional for our church-calendar to celebrate the main “actor/s” of a great feast one day after the feast (e.g., one day after Christmas we celebrate the Theotokos; one day after Theophany/The Baptism of the Lord we celebrate St. John the Baptist; one day after The Meeting of the Lord we celebrate Sts. Symeon and Anna). So today we “celebrate” (from the Latin “celebrare” that means “to assemble to h...

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