Lead Me Increasingly
by Paul Lang on March 30th, 2020
(Lead me) increasingly,Saint Augustine of Hippo begins his Confessions with the observation:"Thou has formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee."— Confessions, i. 1.We are made such that we will spend our lives longing for a respite from everything in us that leads to agitation, disquiet, and fretfulness.  Augustine reminds us that when we attempt to find a sol...  Read More
(Lead Me) Irresistibly
by Paul Lang on March 27th, 2020
(Lead me) irresistiblyTo ask that the Lord’s leading be irresistible is not to engage in the well-worn theological debates between Augustine and Pelagius, or Calvin and Arminius.  I leave such debates to theologians who punch above my weight-class.  Rather it is to ask that God lead us in paths so obviously virtuous that we are drawn naturally to the light and life offered.  The Gospel according t...  Read More
Lead Me Pervasively
by Paul Lang on March 26th, 2020
(Lead me) Pervasively,To ask that the Lord’s leading be pervasive is to ask that God be present in every aspect of our life.  Our work, our play, our home life, our worship, our civic responsibilities, and in our speech, both private and public.  It is asking that God permeate our very thoughts so that we more and more conform our minds to the mind of Christ.  This petition is echoed in the appeal...  Read More
Lead Me Gently
by Paul Lang on March 24th, 2020
(Lead me) gentlyIn a world where anger is all the rage, gentleness is much maligned.  Ours is a world where might, and power, and privilege, and affluence are pursued.  So pervasive is the culture of self-assertion, self-promotion, and self-justification that we are tempted to believe that these attitudes are the way things are intended to be in the human heart and that our faith and our commitmen...  Read More
Lead Me Lord
by Paul Lang on March 23rd, 2020
Lead me, Lord, This opening petition is at the heart of a Pilgrim’s Prayer.  Christians yearn to have their lives be directed by the leading of God.  We join our voices with the cries of the Psalmists who persistently lift up this supplication before God — lead me!  [You find this phrase only in (but throughout) the Book of Psalms: Psalms 5:8;  25:5;  27:11;  31:3; 43:3;  61:2; 119:35;  139:10;  1...  Read More
A Pilgrim's Prayer
by Paul Lang on March 22nd, 2020
A Pilgrim’s PrayerToday I will begin re-posting some Lenten devotions written last year which connect to A Pilgrim's Prayer.   I wrote these as a way of developing my thoughts on the prayer which holds a significant place in The Pilgrimage ministry.  Given the nature of Lent as a journey to Jerusalem these devotions see, to fit the season well.The season of Lent which begins that longer arc, can b...  Read More
The Gift of Christian Community
by Paul Lang on March 18th, 2020
Thoughts on the gift of Christian community in a time of social distancing.  Read More
Christmas Day
by Paul Lang on December 25th, 2019
Lux ArumqueChristmas DayLux,Calida gravisque pura velut aurumEt canunt angeli mollitermodo natum.Light,warm and heavy as pure goldand angels sing softlyto the new-born babe.Our text for Christmas day is actually a poem  Light and Gold written in English by poet Edward Esch (b. 1970).  When composer Eric Whitacre chose to create a piece based on the poem it was translated into Latin for him.There i...  Read More
Tuesday, December 24
by Paul Lang on December 24th, 2019
O Magnum MysteriumO magnum mysterium
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in præsepio.Beata virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
portare Dominum Christum, Alleluia!O great mystery
and wondrous sacrament,
that animals should see the newborn Lord
lying in their manger.Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy
to bear the Lord Jesus Christ. Alleluia!This text, part of t...  Read More
Monday, December 23
by Paul Lang on December 23rd, 2019
O Come, O Come Emmanuel [9th century Latin]O come, O come, EmmanuelAnd ransom captive IsraelThat mourns in lonely exile hereUntil the Son of God appearRejoice, rejoice, EmmanuelShall come to thee, O IsraelThis verse of the ancient hymn is, to my mind, the most poignant.  When I was in seminary in the late 1980s there was a book which was widely read and discussed.  Written by a theologian who woul...  Read More
Sunday, December 22
by Paul Lang on December 22nd, 2019
O Come, O Come Emmanuel [9th century Latin]O come, Desire of nations, bindall peoples in one heart and mind;bid envy, strife, and discord cease;fill the whole world with heaven's peace.Rejoice, rejoice, EmmanuelShall come to thee, o IsraelPerhaps there is no more needed or yearned for blessing than peace.  The O Antiphon for today gives voice to that ache we feel for a world in which envy, strife,...  Read More
Saturday, December 21
by Paul Lang on December 21st, 2019
O Come, O Come Emmanuel [9th century Latin]O come, thou Day-Spring come and cheerOur spirits by thine advent hereDisperse the gloomy clouds of nightAnd death's dark shadows put to flightRejoice, rejoice, EmmanuelShall come to thee, o IsraelThe Advent & Christmas cycle are often understood to be a movement from darkness to light.  These liturgical seasons span across the winter solstice.  The winte...  Read More