Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE THIRTY-FIRST OF JANUARY, 2017
* JUAN BOSCO AND SAM SHOEMAKER *

OPENING PRAYER

God our Father,
in your love you welcome us as your children,
through your care you have shaped the universe,
with your mercy you hear our prayers.
Hear us, your children,
as we come before you.

Jesus, our risen master,
in our weakness, you call us,
in our confusion, you teach us,
in our troubles, you offer us peace.
Meet us, your friends,
as we come to hear your word.

Spirit, living one,
in the beginning, you breathed life,
in chaos and darkness, you brought hope,
in many tongues, you spread good news.
Transform us, your people,
as we open our minds and hearts to you.

God,
loving Father, Son and Spirit, we come.
Yet we know we come with doubts and fears.
We know we come in ignorance.
We know we have failed you,
your creation and your people,
in many ways.
Trusting in your love, we turn again to you.
As we open our hearts to your mercy and forgiveness,
grant us your peace.

Accept these prayers,
accept us,
through your love. Amen

( Jenny Adams )

PSALM THIRTY-FIVE ( abridged )

Give me justice, O Lord my God,
according to your righteousness.

Contend, O Lord, with those that contend with me;
fight against those that fight against me.
Take up shield and buckler
and rise up to help me.
Draw the spear and bar the way
against those who pursue me;
say to my soul, 'I am your salvation.'

False witnesses rose up against me;
they charged me with things I knew not.
They rewarded me evil for good,
to the desolation of my soul.

But as for me, when they were sick I put on sackcloth
and humbled myself with fasting;
When my prayer returned empty to my bosom,
it was as though I grieved for my friend or brother;
I behaved as one who mourns for his mother,
bowed down and brought very low.

But when I stumbled, they gathered in delight;
they gathered together against me;
as if they were strangers I did not know
they tore at me without ceasing.
When I fell they mocked me;
they gnashed at me with their teeth.

O Lord, how long will you look on?
Rescue my soul from their ravages,
and my poor life from the young lions.
I will give you thanks in the great congregation;
I will praise you in the mighty throng.

Do not let my treacherous foes rejoice over me,
or those who hate me without a cause
mock me with their glances.
For they do not speak of peace,
but invent deceitful schemes against those
that are quiet in the land.

This you have seen, O Lord; do not keep silent;
go not far from me, O Lord.
Awake, arise, to my cause,
to my defence, my God and my Lord!
Give me justice, O Lord my God,
according to your righteousness;
let them not triumph over me.

So shall my tongue be talking of your righteousness
and of your praise all the day long.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Give me justice, O Lord my God,
according to your righteousness.

Free us, righteous God, from all oppression,
and bring justice to the nations,
that all the world may know you
as King of kings and Lord of lords,
now and for ever. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Juan Bosco, Samuel Shoemaker: servants of Christ

Today Saint Laika’s remembers the work of two priests: an Italian Roman Catholic priest of the nineteenth century, and an American Episcopal priest of the twentieth century.

Juan Bosco was born in 1815 near Turin, Italy. His father died when Juan was just two years old, and his family subsisted at a poverty level afterwards. He was a religious boy, and kindly disposed, which put him at odds with many of the other boys with whom he grew up. He entered seminary and got himself ordained. He began a ministry to youth that would span his life. At first a chaplain in a girls boarding school, he found himself drawn to the streets, where he would work with impoverished boys, giving them catechism, basic schooling, and supervised play. In 1846 he was able to open an orphanage, and created the Salesian order of priests and brothers, to continue his work. In his lifetime the order was able to open orphanages, vocational schools and nighttime primary schools for working people. He died on this day in 1888

Born in Baltimore in 1893, Sam Shoemaker was a highly influential priest of the Episcopal Church and is remembered for his empowerment of the ministry of the laity. While attending Princeton University he began to hone his skills at evangelism, and eventually came to participate in the Oxford Group, aimed at the personal evangelisation of the influential and wealthy. The principles he learned through the Oxford Group stayed with him after he studied for the priesthood, was ordained, and was called as rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in New York City in 1925. The church grew dramatically under his leadership.

But he is best known for his influence on Bill Wilson, founder of the group known as Alcoholics Anonymous.

On one occasion Wilson paid tribute to Sam Shoemaker: “It was from Sam Shoemaker, that we absorbed most of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, steps that express the heart of AA's way of life. Dr. Silkworth gave us the needed knowledge of our illness, but Sam Shoemaker had given us the concrete knowledge of what we could do about it, he passed on the spiritual keys by which we were liberated.”

Shoemaker died in 1963.

Scripture. In the fourth chapter of "Philippians," at verses six and seven, we read:

"Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

 INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for orphans and for children who live on the street; for children in care.

... for alcoholics and all addicts; for those recovering from addictions, that they may have the willpower, courage and self-confidence to continue in their endeavours to remain healthy.

... for the people of Nauru who are celebrating their national day.

... for asylum seekers.

... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

"I Stand at the Door" by Sam Shoemaker

I stand by the door.
I neither go to far in, nor stay to far out.
The door is the most important door in the world,
it is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There is no use my going way inside and staying there
when so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
is only the wall where the door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men
with outstretched, groping hands,
feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
yet they never find it.
So I stand by the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world
is for men to find that door, the door to God.
The most important thing that any man can do
is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands
and put it on the latch, the latch that only clicks
and opens to the man's own touch.

Men die outside the door, as starving beggars die
on cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter;
die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live on the other side of it, live because they have not found it.

Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
and open it, and walk in, and find him.
So I stand by the door.

Go in great saints; go all the way in,
go way down into the cavernous cellars
and way up into the spacious attics.
It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements
of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms
and know the depths and heights of God,
and call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.
Sometimes I take a deeper look in.
Sometimes venture in a little farther
but my place seems closer to the opening.
So I stand by the door.

There is another reason why I stand there.
Some people get part way in and become afraid
lest God and the zeal of his house devour them;
for God is so very great and asks all of us.
And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia
and want to get out. 'Let me out!' they cry,
and the people way inside only terrify them more.
Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled.
For the old life, they have seen too much:
one taste of God and nothing but God will do any more.
Somebody must be watching for the frightened
who seek to sneak out just where they came in,
to tell them how much better it is inside.
The people too far in do not see how near these are
to leaving, preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door
but would like to run away. So for them too,
I stand by the door.

I admire the people who go way in
but I wish they would not forget how it was
before they got in. Then they would be able to help
the people who have not yet even found the door
or the people who want to run away again from God.
You can go in too deeply and stay in too long
and forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
near enough to God to hear him and know he is there,
but not so far from men as not to hear them
and remember they are there too.

Where? Outside the door,
thousands of them. Millions of them.
But, more important for me,
one of them, two of them, ten of them
whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
So I shall stand by the door and wait
for those who seek it.

I had rather be a door-keeper
So I stand by the door.

CLOSING PRAYER

Holy God, we thank you for the lives and ministries of Juan Bosco and Samuel Shoemaker, priests and servants in your Church; and we pray that we may follow their example to help others find salvation through knowledge and love of Jesus Christ our saviour and lord. Amen

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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