Friday, November 23, 2012

Morning Prayer Guide - Friday

Friday, November 23, 2012 – St. Clement of Rome, Bishop and Martyr
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.

Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read: Psalm 15, Micah 6:6-8, Philippians 4:1-9, and Luke 6:17-23

St. Clement was a Roman by birth, but like St. Paul he had Jewish ancestors.  He became a believer by the work of St. Peter and St. Paul; Paul later wrote in Philippians that Clement was his “fellow laborer”.

He accompanied Paul to Rome and according to one of the early Fathers was ordained bishop by Peter.   Peter is generally held to be the first bishop of Rome, followed by St. Linus and St. Cletus.  Clement was the fourth, beginning about 91CE.
After he became bishop of Rome, there was a fight in the church at Corinth.  Paul had written four letters to them (two of which are in our Bible), and they still had problems.  Clement wrote another, and it was very highly regarded in the ancient Church – being held almost on a par with the canonical books of Scripture.

Clement died in the year 100.  Ancient tradition holds that he was martyred, but we don’t know where or how.

Clement was a faithful servant of Jesus and worked hard to grow the Church.  Take a moment to pray about this.  Ask God to help you be as faithful as St. Clement was.  You may find the following prayer helpful:

Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Clement, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at last we may with him attain to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

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