30 October 2008

A Question I'm Often Asked

is "where do I begin in reading the Fathers?" There IS tons to choose from. I've given various answers in the past. I've got a new one now: Order your copy of Treasury of Daily Prayer and enjoy some of the very best of the Fathers as part of your daily prayer life. How much easier does it get?

18 comments:

Frank Gillespie said...

It's the very best daily devotional resource I’ve ever seen.

Ryan said...

Testimony time, or is it confession? I have struggled with a consistent devotional plan since entering the ministry. Always wanted the Matins and Vespers thing, but all the juggling for readings and so forth, well it just didn't happen.

The Treasury has got me going for three days straight (I've owned it for three days). This is good. It is so easy to just turn to the day and go for it. It is making a difference in this pastor's life.

William Weedon said...

Frank,

I couldn't agree more! And I've seen LOTS of them - including various breviaries. This one wins, hands down. Because it's a FULL breviary AND its a simple daily devotional AND its everything in between to suit the piety of whoever is using it.

William Weedon said...

Ryan,

I'm certain that your experience will be replicated across the Synod - and beyond. Great for pastors, great for laity, great for non-Lutherans too - for anyone at all who wants an easy way to pray the daily office in some form.

Christopher D. Hall said...

Sheesh, Weedon...do you get royalties from the thing?? ;)

William Weedon said...

Not only no royalties, but I had nothing to do with putting this gem together. It comes to me as sheer gift - and if you haven't ordered yours yet, do so! And if push comes to shove and you can't make it to the gym one day, you can use it for weights!

Scot K said...

As I said on my blog, I feel like the toy maker AND the child -- I am having great fun listening to the comments, listening as people enjoy using it, as you discover the features -- al the bits and pieces that were agonized over that make up the whole. But I am also the child on Christmas morning who could not wait to tear off the cellophane and begin using it. I knew what to expect, or so I thought. How cool to see what you envision come to pass. And I am, just like you, using it every day. It is a joy for my devotional life.

Also, please realize, Will is going to fall into a rhythm and make suggestions based upon his experience and practice. You may fall into a different rhythm, and that is fine, and frankly expected. What I had hoped for and planned was that anybody could come to the Treasury and find something they could immediately use in their daily devotion, and then also something that would challenge them to grow when confidence and time allowed.

And if I can use Will's comments, please let me know how you are using the Treasury, in your family, in your congregation-wherever. Curriculum, Bible study, corporate. Share experience in introducing it so that others can get good ideas. You can comment on the Facebook group, my blog, by e-mail --or take over Weedon's comments like I did :)

Paul McCain said...

Hall: do what Weedon says. The Treasury is a whole lot better than those weirdo hermits you've been hanging out with.

William Weedon said...

Irish,

Now, would those be the same wierdo hermits that our Confessions site from time to time and that Luther loved to tell stories about??? :P

William Weedon said...

CITE!!!!

Rev. Paul Beisel said...

Ryan, I struggled with the same thing for years until I finally was able to find a good daily rythym. It's tough, and depends a lot on what your schedule is like. TDP is a great resource to help you get started on having a regular routine. I wouldn't give up completely on the Matins and Vespers thing though. What I found works best for me (I use the Brotherhood Prayer Book because I am a fan of Gregorian chant) is actually what is called a "flexible Psalm schedule." Instead of trying to stick to appointed Psalms for each day, I just go straight through the Psalter (Psalms 1-109 in the morning; Psalms 110-150 in the afternoon;). I do three/day generally, and pick up the next day where I left off. That way, if I am not able to do it for a couple of days, I don't miss anything. Same thing with the Scripture readings. This works best for me, because I am not always very disciplined, and I don't like feeling like I missed out on part of the Scriptures. REcently I have also been adding Midday/Noonday prayer right before heading home for lunch. I pray an OT canticle in place of the Psalm. Keep working on it! It's worth it.

Christopher D. Hall said...

Bill, you will be pleased to know that I gave into peer pressure and ordered a copy. But a question for you: assuming you are familiar with the Brotherhood Prayer Book, how does it differ?

wrt the Desert Fathers: ditto :)

William Weedon said...

Chris,

Yes, I'm quite familiar with BPB. The BPB I liken more to materials like the Lossius Psalmodia or my beloved Magdeburg Cathedral Book. It's essentially a book of INSTRUCTIONS with SOME of the text needed to pray the offices present. It lacks the readings, and it requires paging all over the place to find what you need. TDP is much more along the lines of a complete Breviary, but with an ingenious way of minimizing the page turning. Everything you need for the Office (provided you are satisfied with a single hymn verse per day) is included for you.

BPB also follows entirely the traditional Gregorian chants (which are stunningly beautiful) and uses the AV for its texts. TDP fits with LSB in using the same Psalm tones provided in it and the ESV texts. The language is almost entirely modern (exceptions being earlier English writings - but translated stuff is brought into current idiom).

BPB provides NO resources (nor references any) for writings from the Fathers such as were traditionally included in Matins (Vigils). TDP includes these each day, though freely making use of Lutheran fathers as well as the fathers of the earlier years.

While BPB is and will remain a stunning achievement, its learning curve is steep; TDP provides a smooth ramp-up for just about any Christian picking up the book. My $. 02

William Weedon said...

P.S. I'll be looking forward to your review of the Treasury on your website! You might note that Ben Mayes was a principle editor in the case of either book.

Paul McCain said...

Hall has been trotting out quotes from these oddballs that make the dialogue from the old Kung Fu TV series seem tame.

: )

Rev. Paul Beisel said...

I am looking forward to getting a copy of TDP. I think it will be great to use with the family, or to use with my daily prayers for readings and writings of theologians. BPB, as Weedon said, is not intended to be a complete breviary with readings and writings of the fathers included. As for frequent page turning, this is a common criticism of BPB. I have found, though, that the only page turning I do is from the Psalms to the Daily/Seasonal Propers. I know the opening versicles by heart, as well as all the minor responses, the kyrie, the Lord's Prayer, and so I begin with the book open to the Psalter, and go from there to the Weekday propers, or the Seasonal propers for the versicle and antiphon for the day. Page turning is very minimal for anyone who can learn things by heart.

O.H. Lee said...

For a good intro to the writings of the fathers, I go with the Ancient Christian Commentary. I've known laity to read it along with the lectionary.

FWIW, I have and have used the BPB. The learning curve is pretty steep; but, once you get the hang of it, it really starts to open up. However, for my personal and family prayer life--TDP all the way.

Dr Matthew Phillips said...

Reading the Fathers should begin with Augustine of Hippo. Begin with the Confessions! This man was simply brilliant.