Morning Prayer: St. Irenaeus

Almighty God, you upheld your servant Irenaeus with strength to maintain the truth against every blast of vain doctrine: Keep us, we pray, steadfast in your true religion, that in constancy and peace we may walk in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The N.T. reading for the day (1 Tim 2:22b-26) - Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and that they may escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

OK.  I have mixed feelings about Irenaeus and some of his heavy handedness in his "defenses of the church"against "vain doctrines," and 1 Tim's recommendation about shunning youthful passions (I'm not sure we should condemn that idea so broadly), but I do very much like the part about shunning stupid and senseless controversies.

Also Irenaeus said, "The Glory of God is a human being fully alive."  I love, love, love that - one of my favorite early church person quotes ever.



How do we define "stupid & senseless?" marriage in NY? ..immigrant laws I'm Arizona? Lady Gaga over the top? .. the admonition is a vaguery, is it not?
Hi Pag - thanks for your comment!

The admonition is vague, as are many things in life, and I believe that, as in many things in life, we are called to discern the difference between honest conversation and engagement on big issues (which would include laws and human rights) and petty stuff (like arguing over Lady Gaga). Perhaps the verses from 1 Tim are the Biblical version of "don't sweat the small stuff." Certainly, to suggest we ought not to spend our precious time and energy embroiled in pettiness seems appropriate.