MONDAY THE TWENTY-SEVENTH OF MARCH, 2017
Almighty God, of your fullness grant to us who need so much, who lack so much, who have so little, wisdom and strength. Bring our wills in line with your will. Lift our understandings into your heavenly light; that we thereby beholding those things which are right, and being drawn by your love, may bring our will and our understanding together to your service, until at last, body and soul and spirit may be all yours, and you are our father and our eternal friend. Amen.
PSALM SIXTY-FOUR ( abridged )
The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.
Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from the gathering of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongue like a sword
and aim their bitter words like arrows,
That they may shoot at the blameless from hiding places;
suddenly they shoot, and are not seen.
They hold fast to their evil course;
they talk of laying snares, saying ‘Who will see us?’
But God will shoot at them with his swift arrow,
and suddenly they shall be wounded.
Their own tongues shall make them fall,
and all who see them shall wag their heads in scorn.
All peoples shall fear and tell what God has done,
and they will ponder all his works.
The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord
and put their trust in him,
and all that are true of heart shall exult.
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.
The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.
Cut through the malice of our hearts, redeeming God,
with the Spirit’s sword,
wound the pride of our rebellion
with the grace that makes righteous
and bring near the day of Christ,
when love shall reign in joy;
for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Dr Jonas Salk announces vaccine to prevent polio in 1953
It is difficult for us today to understand the fear of polio that existed in the post-World War II world. It was said that people feared the atomic bomb first, and polio second. The 1952 U.S. epidemic was the worst outbreak in the nation’s history. Of nearly 58,000 cases reported that year, 3,145 people died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis, with most of its victims being children. Because parents felt so helpless in the face of this epidemic, they organised support for funding the medical research necessary through organisations like the March of Dimes.
Jonas Salk enrolled in the New York University School of Medicine. While excelling in his studies, it became clear to him that he did not want to practice medicine as a physician, but he wanted to be a research scientist. His areas of expertise were bacteriology and virology. In the 1940’s he worked with the army to develop an influenza vaccine that was soon in wide use in military bases around the world. After the war, he was invited to join the fight against polio. The devastating numbers of polio victims in 1952 pushed him harder into the research.
On the twenty-sixth of March, 1953, Doctor Jonas Salk announced on a national radio show that he had successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis, the virus that causes the crippling disease of polio. For promising eventually to eradicate the disease, which is known as “infant paralysis” because it mainly affects children, Salk was celebrated as the great doctor-benefactor of his time. The vaccine was rigorously field tested, and in April 1955, it was ready for the public. By the summer of 1957, one hundred million doses had been distributed throughout the United States and “reported complications following their administration have been remarkably rare”, noted the scientists at the International Polio Conference in Geneva. By the end of 1990, an estimated five hundred thousand annual cases worldwide of paralysis resulting from polio had been prevented due to immunisation programmes carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, and many other organisations, and in 1991, transmission of polio was declared as “interrupted” in the Western Hemisphere.
It is interesting that Jonas Salk refused to take out a patent for his polio vaccine. He wanted it to have the widest distribution as fast as possible.
In the fourteenth chapter of “John” at verse twelve we read:
“Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.”
Jonas Salk stands in that long line of humanitarians who applied his gifts and skills to the eradication of disease. Today say a prayer for all research doctors and scientists who are doing research on cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other crippling diseases, asking God to rid the world of that which harms us and to keep and preserve us for eternal life.
… for peace in the world.
… for all doctors and scientists who are doing research on cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other crippling diseases.
… for the safety of the people of Queensland, Australia, and all in the path of Cyclone Debbie. DETAILS
… for the eight Japanese high school students feared dead, after they were caught in an avalanche at a ski resort earlier today near Nasu in Tochigi prefecture, Japan; for their families, teachers and friends. DETAILS
… for the people of Northern Ireland as the the deadline to form a new power-sharing executive passes with no sign of agreement; for the continuation of peace and cooperation in the province.
… for the six aid workers who have been killed in an ambush in South Sudan. DETAILS
… for those injured when several buildings collapsed in a suspected gas explosion on Merseyside, England. DETAILS
… 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.
From “Surrender to God,” a sermon by John Henry Newman:
Our Lord’s temptation in the wilderness began, you will observe, with an attempt on the part of the evil one to make him break his fast improperly. It began, but it did not end there. It was but the first of three temptations, and the other two were more addressed to his mind, not his bodily wants. One was to throw himself down from the pinnacle, the other the offer of all the kingdoms of the world. They were more subtle temptations. By a subtle temptation or a subtle sin, I mean one which it is very difficult to find out. Everyone knows what it is to break the ten commandments, the first, the second, the third, and so on. When a thing is directly commanded, and the devil tempts us directly to break it, this is not a subtle temptation, but a broad and gross temptation. But there are a great many things wrong which are not so obviously wrong. They are wrong as leading to what is wrong or the consequence of what is wrong, or they are wrong because they are the very same thing as what is forbidden, but dressed up and looking differently. The human mind is very deceitful; when a thing is forbidden, a man does not like directly to do it, but he goes to work if he can to get at the forbidden end in some way. It is like a man who has to make for some place. First he attempts to go straight to it, but finds the way blocked up; then he goes round about it. At first you would not think he is going in the right direction; he sets off perhaps at a right angle, but he just makes one little bend, then another, till at length he gets to his point. Or still more it is like a sailing vessel at sea with the wind contrary, but tacking first this way, and then that, the mariners contrive at length to get to their destination. This then is a subtle sin, when it at first seems not to be a sin, but comes round to the same point as an open direct sin.
To take some examples. If the devil tempted one to go out into the highway and rob, this would be an open, bold temptation. But if he tempted one to do something unfair in the course of business, which was to one’s neighbour’s hurt and to one’s own advantage, it would be a more subtle temptation. The man would still take what was his neighbour’s but his conscience would not be so much shocked. So equivocation is a more subtle sin than direct lying. In like manner a person who does not intoxicate himself, may eat too much. Gluttony is a more subtle sin than drunkenness, because it does not show so much. And again, sins of the soul are more subtle sins than sins of the body. Infidelity is a more subtle sin than licentiousness.
Even in our blessed Lord’s case the Tempter began by addressing himself to his bodily wants. He had fasted forty days, and afterwards was hungered. So the devil tempted him to eat. But when he did not consent, then he went on to more subtle temptations. He tempted him to spiritual pride, and he tempted him by ambition for power. Many a man would shrink from intemperance, of being proud of his spiritual attainments; that is, he would confess such things were wrong, but he would not see that he was guilty of them.
In darkness and in light,
in trouble and in joy,
help us, heavenly Father,
to trust your love,
to serve your purpose,
and to praise your name;
through Jesus Christ our 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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