A story is told that Lycurgus, semi-legendary lawgiver of ancient Sparta, was once asked how the city might best avoid invasion and conquest. His reply, according to Plutarch, was, “Stay poor and let no man wish to be more important than another.” Why “Stay poor?” First, because a poor Sparta would not be as tempting a target to any would-be conqueror, and secondly because wealth allows luxury and luxury often leads to self-indulgent weakness.

We are a very wealthy society. Our standard of living would be unimaginable to anyone living at any time prior to our own. A trip to a supermarket will give ample evidence of this. Foods of all varieties from all over the world are easily obtained, even fresh fruits and vegetables out of season. No king or sultan ever had the ready availability of so many different foods that we take for granted. In short, we are food-rich.

One unfortunate consequence of this is that an extraordinarily high percentage of Americans are dangerously obese. Given all of the food options open to us, we too often choose to eat large amounts of things  high in sugar, fats, and carbohydrates rather than admittedly less tasty but much healthier alternatives. The results of those choices are deleterious to our health, physical capabilities, and longevity.

A similar situation obtains in the matter of reading. Any literate American has available a massive amount of reading material, more than anyone at any previous time in history. In addition to printed books, newspapers, and magazines, the internet offers us a torrent of words on every subject from aardvarks to zymurgy. As with what we eat, what we read is a matter of choice, and all too often the choices are poor ones.

Previous generations were far more restricted in their reading choices, and the relatively high cost of books forced them to choose carefully. Contemporary people are often quite surprised to see in the speeches and news reporting of the eighteenth and nineteenth century frequent quotations from and allusions to The Bible, Shakespeare, Pilgrim's Progress, and Greco-Roman history and mythology. Those were not literary or rhetorical flourishes designed to impress their audience with the authors' learning, they were written with the confident assumption that they would be easily understood by any moderately well-educated English speaker. Those works were the common cultural inheritance of the English-speaking world, and, being morally and intellectually serious, they gave society a depth of seriousness that is sadly lacking today.

A body fed too much pastry and ice cream rather than vegetables and protein soon grows flaccid and unhealthy. A mind fed too much celebrity trivia and sensationalist fiction does the same, as does a soul fed on shallow sentimentalism and horoscopes. The grace and wisdom of centuries of Christian experience are spread before you. Do not, for your soul's health, neglect them.

Fr Bragg+

All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own
have we given thee.

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Upcoming Events

Sunday Services, 7:45, 9:00 & 11:15 AM nursery care provided during 9 & 11:15 AM services  (for online participation for the services go to: https://www.facebook.com/saintsofscotland/ ) Nursery at 9:00 AM & 11:15 AM Services

Sunday School, 10:30 AM

Wednesday at Noon – Holy Communion

Men's Breakfast, Saturday May 21, 8:30 AM, Full breakfast, Fellowship, Bible Study

Vestry meeting, Monday May 23, 7:30 PM, undercroft

Please remember to pray for everyone on the parish's prayer list that is in the attached bulletins.

Your Food Donations are Greatly Needed
Please help this month with a food donation if you are able. Christ House is very thankful for the food we provide to them each month. Please also buy low sugar cereals (and not the kid's types that have lots of sugar).  Current needs include the following:
• canned meats (chicken, corned beef, spam)
• peanut butter
• jelly
• tuna
• canned vegetables (corn, green beans - (regular and low sodium)
• individual fruit cups (low sugar)
• canned fruit (low sugar)
• cereal (low sugar)
• pasta (regular and gluten-free)
• instant potatoes
• Macaroni & cheese kits
• Coffee, cooking oil, flour, sugar 
 Updated list: MaRIH Center is also in great need of our help  (crisis pregnancy center)
MaRIH Center with its all volunteer staff has been providing help to mothers-to-be and mothers in need.  If you can provide some of the items that are needed, please do so. (You can leave the donations where the food for the food bank is collected on the pew in the undercorft.)

Especially Needed
Baby wipes (an ongoing great need)
Diapers (sizes 4, 5, & 6)

Sleep Sacks: Girls 0-6 mos.
Socks: Boy/Girl 2T
Short sleeved onesies: Boy/Girl 3-6 mos.

Diaper rash ointment
Baby shampoo
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St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland
1607 Dewitt Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301-1625