Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

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Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Reason to Rule: IV Maccabees 2:1-23 with poem by Shakespeare, How All Occasions

Daily Readings
Isaiah 40:1-41:1, Daniel 4, IV Maccabees 2:1-23, Revelation 17

Daily Text: IV Maccabees 2:1-23

Reason To Rule
In chapter 2:1-23 the author addresses some examples of reason ruling emotion in the matters of sexual passion, greed, leniency in favor of the law with those one loves, and the ‘more violent emotions’ listed as lust for power, vainglory, boasting, arrogance, malice and above all anger. The essay closes with the observation that the emotions, gentle and violent, are gifts from God, and rational judgement is given to control them, not to destroy them, to rule, not to be ruled by them.

How All Occasions
from Hamlet iii.iv.32
William Shakespeare

How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.
Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and god-like reason
To fust in us unus’d.
413:436:15

Collect for the Day
Almighty God, create in us a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within us, that amid the din and confusion of this noisy world we may always choose the more excellent way. Through Christ. Amen.

[479:247]

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