Friday, May 1, 2009


Before I went to seminary, I was taught that the Latin word credo means I believe. In settings of the Mass, the creed begins Credo in unum Deum - I believe in one God.

Monday I'll leave for a week in Louisiana at a conference, a retreat for clergy, sponsored by The Church Pension Fund. It's time to reflect on my health - physical, spiritual, financial, vocational. The conference is called CREDO. It is called CREDO after the more proper translation of credo which is I give my heart to.

Now that would certainly change the mechanical recitation every Sunday of the Nicene Creed: I give my heart to One God, Father almighty... I give my heart to Jesus Christ his Son, our Lord... I give my heart to the Holy Spirit... I give my heart to one holy, catholic and apostolic Church...

This Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday. I suggest you go to Mad Priest's blog, OCICW... and read his sermon for this coming Sunday. I hope that link works - it's a long url and it's a brilliant sermon. At the same time, I also suggest you change the reading of Psalm 23 for the same reason I'd like to change the reading of the Creed - to snap us out the mechanical, soothing recitation of the familiar.

The 23rd Psalm is the psalm appointed for this coming Sunday. It begins, "The Lord is my Shepherd..." I suggest you read, instead,

"Love is my Shepherd; I shall not be in want. Love makes me lie down in green pastures; Love leads me beside still waters. Love revives my soul and guides me along right pathways for his Name's sake. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for Love is with me. Love's shepherd's crook comforts me. Love spreads a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; Love has anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over. Surely Love's goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of Love for ever." (I got this idea from the latest issue of Trinity News out of Trinity Wall Street.)

Then read, "We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us..."

That line is the first line of the epistle appointed for the day, 1 John 3:16-24 (careful, this is not the Gospel of John, this is the first letter of John. The three letters of John come just before the epistle of Jude, which is then followed by the Revelation.)

"...I shall dwell in the house of Love for ever." (Psalm 23:6b)
"We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us..." (1John 3:1)

Think about what you have read. How does it change you? How does it change your world view?

Then go and read Mad Priest's sermon again.

I'll be back in the office on Wednesday, May 13. I doubt I'll be blogging. There is not a lot of time allowed for access to the center's computer and I don't carry a computer with me. I'm an analogue girl in a digital world - I believe strongly in being disconnected from time to time.

So, I count on everyone being kind to one another in the comment section. Think unconditional love, not "tough" love, and all shall be well.


Coity_Castle said...


We don't know one another, but by some mystery our paths have crossed. I was searching for info on CREDO and came across your blog.

Thanks very much for your comments on the Creed and the 23rd Psalm. I have been trying to get my 70-year old head around all this God stuff again and seem to have concluded, with help from many retired clergy outside my home parish, that God equals love. It is close to being possible to simply make a global edit in everything I read and hear; you have taken that a step further.

Thank you profoundly. I'll be making certain all my spiritual guides know of your posting and I am now going to the sermon you mentioned.


Ken Coit
one of the sheep at
St. Mark's Episcopal Church
Raleigh, NC

Lois Keen said...

Blessings, Ken. Thank you for commenting.