2 Esdras 2:42-48
Fabian was a young layman from a distant part of Italy visiting Rome in the year 236 (A.D.) when the election of a new Pope was being held. In those days elections were held in the public square, and all Church members who were present could participate.
James Hannington and his Companions, Martyrs
The Holy Eucharist is one of those things that human beings do that has multiple layers of meaning. Actually, it may very well be the most complex thing that people do—it is virtually unfathomable. There is no one way to think about or to “do” the Eucharist that conveys every single level of significance. The Holy Communion can be celebrated in a mighty cathedral with a brilliant corona of artistic and ceremonial embellishment. Or it can be celebrated on a beach around a campfire. It’s a table for convivial celebration; it’s an altar of holy sacrifice…. Probably best to be open to the sheer multiplicity of meanings and not limit ourselves by becoming overly attached to one way of doing things.
Br. James Koester offered this homily on the prayer of penitence at the Monastery as part of the Teach Us to Pray series, January 26, 2010.
Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle: Acts 26: 9 – 21; Psalm 67; Galatians 1: 11 – 24; Matthew 10: 16 – 22
We continue tonight our preaching series on prayer, drawing as we have done for this series, from the Catechism of the Book of Common Prayer and its teaching on prayer. There we read that “prayer is responding to God, by thought and by deeds, with or without words.”  In addition, the Catechism teaches us that the principal kinds of prayer are “adoration, praise, thanksgiving, penitence, oblation, intercession, and thanksgiving.”
Tonight we look at the prayer of penitence, a prayer most apt for us as we approach the coming days of Lent, but one equally appropriate as we examine it through the lens of the feast we mark tonight, the Conversion of Saint Paul, for penitence, to be life-giving, needs to be grounded not in fear of reprisal or retaliation but in our own ongoing conversion to the loving will of God.