Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio.  Here we see the cycle of a spiritual life.

Oratio (Prayer)-I must admit, before vicarage I prayed little.  I prayed little for the church, for my wife, and especially for myself.  Prayer has become a cornerstone, a foundation, for daily activity.  My wife and I end nearly every day with Vespers, Evening prayer, or Compline now.  We commend ourselves to the angels care daily.  We now believe, as the author of Hebrews wrote in 12:1-2, that we are truly in a race that needs endurance and hope.  That race is now more pressing than before.

Meditatio (Meditation)- Prayer leads to Meditation.  Scripture, the Sermons of great men, and the writings of the fathers; these are the places I turn.  What better to meditate on than the meditations of the hearts of men much more faithful than I am and will be.

Tentatio (Temptation)- The stuff that leads back to prayer.  These are the days when the devil shakes faith.  The fruits of faith are so fragile.  They fall at the slightest wiggle.  They sway at the devils lying breathe.  Tentatio is the way the sinful world inevitably attacks faith because of the light faith glares in a dark world.  The devil attacks our resolve in prayer and meditation.  I pray less.  We pray less.  I am less interested in the Word.  I care less for the words of faithful men.  I am  turned in on my joyless wanderings.  I feel alone.  I feel attacked.  We feel attacked.  What is there that can combat this tentatio?

The Words of Paul to Timothy.  Endure Evil!  Run the race!  Keep going!  The fruits of faith are seasonal.  As we know seasons change.  Leaves fall.  Fruits fall.  But soon after cold, dark, dead days there is a warm dawn of life.  Thanks be to God for His pledge of Resurrection!  Thanks be to God for His final judgment of the devil!  These cold, dark days of exile and death will soon, and very soon, give way to that final bright, righteous dawn when the King Returns!