Nativity of St. John Baptist


Breviary Ordo

ix Lessons. Festal Psalms. At all Hours follow the directions of the Feast (E236-43). Antiphons are doubled, no Preces no Common Commemoration, but commem. of St. William (Table 10 a) at Vespers.

Scripture Reading

II Samuel 8, 9 & 10 (LXX = II Kings 8, 9, & 10).

David revives the worship of God which had increasingly declined under Saul. He chose 4000 singers from the Levites and he himself wrote several hymns for the worship of God. Many of the 150 Psalms are attributed to David.

Patristic Reading

St. Athanasius Against the Heathen Chapter 3, vs., 1-2.

Thus then, as we have said, the Creator fashioned the race of men, and thus meant it to remain. But men, making light of better things, and holding back from apprehending them, began to seek in preference things nearer to themselves. 2. But nearer to themselves were the body and its senses; so that while removing their mind from the things perceived by thought, they began to regard themselves; and so doing, and holding to the body and the other things of sense, and deceived as it were in their own surroundings, they fell into lust of themselves, preferring what was their own to the contemplation of what belonged to God. Having then made themselves at home in these things, and not being willing to leave what was so near to them, they entangled their soul with bodily pleasures, vexed and turbid with all kind of lusts, while they wholly forgot the power they originally had from God.

It seems to me that Athanasius makes even more clear what it means that we have fallen from a better condition to one that is worse. Now that we are worshipping our own bodies via its senses, appetites, and even lust we have become idolatrous and have lost our communication with God. To fall into the body means nothing other than to have our souls entangled with bodily pleasures. This fall has nothing to do with a fall from heaven into bodies, but everything with our minds becoming enslaved to the senses, desires, lusts, of the body. Whereas it ought to be the mind that controls the body, the body has come to control the mind. The mind has become enfleshed that is it is had descended to being subject to the bodily needs, desires and lusts.

Fr. Gregory Wassen

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About Father Gregory

I am an Anglican Catholic Priest, currently residing in Orvelte, the Netherlands.
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