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Weekly Message from Our Pastor – 9/2/2018

Dear Parishioners,

We have been looking at our tithing these last few weeks. To sum it all up, we need to remember that it is God’s Will that we tithe. We have hopefully done some Lectio Divina with the passages that I have pointed out, and there encountered Our Lord in a special way to discern His Will for our tithing. This will of God is not only manifest in scripture but also in the teaching of the Church, particularly in what we call the commandments of the Church. The most important thing for us to keep in mind is that our tithing is our loving, generous response to the amazing love of God in our lives which is the source of our being, and thus every good thing we have and experience.

It has been a long time but now we are going to get back to our Lectio Divina course.
Session 4: Oratio

You can type that into your browser window or just go to “” and if you have used the parish sign up method before, it will recognize your computer and log you in, then pull down the “study” tab and then select “Bible studies” and then click on the “Lectio Prayer” square in the middle of the page.

Up to now we have looked at the first three installments, and so now we go to the fourth. It is entitled “Oratio”, and that is the third step on St. Guigo’s ladder. So far we have learned about “lectio” the slow paused reading of the text, and “meditatio”: the consideration of, reflection on, and pondering of the text, and so now comes “oratio”—conversing about the text with God. Dr. Gray, in this video, begins talking about an icon of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well. He points out that Jesus is having a conversation with the woman and that is what this stage of our “lectio divina” should be. He has the fingers of his right hand formed in the classic mode of blessing with three fingers extended, and there is a scroll in the left. The scroll represents scripture and when Jesus says to her, “If you knew the gift of God…” The gift that he is referring to is God’s revelation in Holy Scripture. This reading of Holy Scripture is our access point to God. Dr. Gray uses the example of St. Augustine and his conversion and his great autobiographical work—“The Confessions of St. Augustine.” That work doesn’t just tell the story of his life but maps out his spiritual journey through the reading and pondering of Sacred Scripture. St. Augustine breaks down his pride and resistance to God’s Will by praying with the Psalms. Dr. Gray then goes on to point out that in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus speaks first about almsgiving (what we give to the poor as part of our tithing), he then teaches them the “Our Father” and then encourages them to fast. These are the three great means to obtain sanctity—almsgiving (tithing), prayer, and fasting. God speaks to us in scripture as we read and ponder it, and we converse with Him in “Oratio”.