From St Cyprian

Here's the first paragraph from the second reading at Matins yesterday. It's from a sermon by St Cyprian, and it is stinging. In a way it is also consoling, to see that Christians 1700 years ago were, well, just as pathetic of Christians as I am.

Our obligation is to do God's will, and not our own. We must remember this if the prayer that our Lord commanded us to say daily is to have any meaning on our lips. How unreasonable it is to pray that God's will be done, and then not promptly obey it when he calls us from this world! Instead we struggle and resist like self-willed slaves and are brought into the Lord's presence with sorrow and lamentation, not freely consenting to our departure, but constrained by necessity. And yet we expect to be rewarded with heavenly honors by him to whom we come against our will! When then do we pray for the kingdom of heaven to come if this earthly bondage pleases us? What is the point of praying so often for its early arrival if we would rather serve the devil here than reign with Christ.

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