The Collect for Sexagesima

From the 1662 Book of Common Prayer:

O LORD God, who seest that we put not our trust in any thing that we do; Mercifully grant that by thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

That says a lot.  It’s only by God’s mercy and love–and the power that comes from him–that we have a chance in this life, and the life to come.  It was what Paul found out at his “highest” moment:

“I must boast! It is unprofitable; but I will pass to visions and revelations given by the Lord. I know a man in union with Christ, who, fourteen years ago–whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows–was caught up (this man of whom I am speaking) to the third Heaven. And I know that this man–whether in the body or separated from the body I do not know; God knows– Was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable things of which no human being may tell. About such a man I will boast, but about myself I will not boast except as regards my weaknesses. Yet if I choose to boast, I shall not be a fool; for I shall be speaking no more than the truth. But I refrain, lest any one should credit me with more than he can see in me or hear from me, and because of the marvelous character of the revelations. It was for this reason, and to prevent my thinking too highly of myself, that a thorn was sent to pierce my flesh–an instrument of Satan to discipline me–so that I should not think too highly of myself. About this I three times entreated the Lord, praying that it might leave me. But his reply has been–‘My help is enough for you; for my strength attains its perfection in the midst of weakness.’ Most gladly, then, will I boast all the more of my weaknesses, so that the strength of the Christ may overshadow me. That is why I delight in weakness, ill-treatment, hardship, persecution, and difficulties, when borne for Christ. For, when I am weak, then it is that I am strong!” 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, Positive Infinity New Testament.

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