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Ordinary Holiness

Ordinary Holiness

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 — Week of Proper 19

Edward Bouverie Pusey, Priest, 1882

[Go to for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office

(Book of Common Prayer, p. 985)

Psalms 61, 62 (morning) // 68:1-20 (21-23) 24-36 (evening)

Job 40:1, 41:1-11

Acts 16:6-15

John 12:9-19

Today is the feast of the Oxford Tractarian and noted preacher Edward Bouverie Pusey. Here is a nice excerpt from one of his sermons:

Holiness is made for all. It is the end for which we were made; for which we were redeemed; for which God the Holy Ghost is sent down and ‘shed abroad in the hearts’ which will receive him. God willed not to create us as perfect. He willed that we, through grace, should become perfect. We know not why our freewill is so precious in the eyes of God that he waits for us, pleads with us, draws us, allures us, wins us, overpowers us with his love; but he will not force us. He made us to be like him. And what is this but to be holy? ‘Be ye holy, for I your God am holy.’

The mistake of mistakes is to think that holiness consists in great or extraordinary things beyond the reach of ordinary people. It has been well said, ‘Holiness does not consist in doing uncommon things, but in doing common things uncommonly well.’ …

It is not by great things, but by great diligence in little everyday things that thou canst show great love for God, and become greatly holy, and a saint of God. Few ever do great things, and the few who can do them can each do but few. But every one can study the will of God and can give great diligence to know it and to do what he knows. Everyone can, by the grace of God, be faithful to what he knows. Your daily round of duty is your daily path to come nearer to God.

(from Robert Atwell, Celebrating the Saints, Canterbury, 1998, p. 529)


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