THURSDAY THE EIGHTH OF JUNE, 2017
* Thomas Ken *
O heavenly guide of our devotion and our love by teaching us to pray, you have shown us that prayer is our treasury where all blessings are kept, our armoury where all our strength and weapons are stored, the only great preservative and the very vital heat of divine love. Give me grace to call on you at all times by diligent prayer.
Lord, I know my devotion has daily many unavoidable and necessary interruptions and I cannot always be actually praying, all I can do is to beg of your love, to keep my heart always in an habitual disposition to devotion, and in mindfulness of your divine presence.
O my God, as your infinite love is ever-streaming in blessings on me; let my soul be ever breathing love to you.
( Thomas Ken )
All praise to you, in light arrayed,
who light your dwelling-place has made;
a boundless ocean of bright beams
from your all-glorious Godhead streams.
The sun in its meridian height
is very darkness in your sight!
Our souls, O lighten and inflame
with thought and love of your great name!
Shine on us, Lord, new life impart;
fresh ardours kindle in our heart,
one ray of your all-quickening light
breaks through the thickest clouds of night.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise him all creatures here below,
Praise him above, you heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
( Thomas Ken )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Thomas Ken: conscience, integrity and changing times
The course of the Reformation in England was a bit like a pendulum, swinging back and forth.
Thomas Ken was a bishop in the Church of England in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century, at a time when King James II (Stuart) came to power as king of England, with decidedly Roman Catholic leanings. Thomas Ken was bishop of Bath and Wells, and in 1688 when James issued his so called “Declaration of Indulgence,” which would have reversed the consistent plan of conformity to the Church of England, seven bishops refused to publish it. Thomas Ken was among them. On the eighth of June, 1688 he and the others were imprisoned in the tower of London.
Parliament would have none of this openness toward Roman Catholicism either and they invited William of Orange to take over the country and rule as king. This was known as the “Glorious Revolution.”
Of course, this cleared the way for Thomas Ken and the other bishops to be freed. But Thomas then found himself in another crisis. As bishop he had sworn on oath to be loyal to James II. Now he was being asked to renege on his oath of loyalty to James in order to take a new oath to support William. He felt in conscience that he could not take that oath as long as James was alive. He and other bishops and clergy who refused to take the new oath were called the “non juring” clergy. They were not imprisoned, but he lost his bishopric at Bath and Wells, and lived, more or less, in retirement.
Thomas Ken was also a gifted poet and hymn-writer. He authored the ubiquitous “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow,” “Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun,” and “All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night, “ among others.
Quote: “Teach me to live, that I may dread the grave as little as my bed. Teach me to die, so that I may rise glorious at the awesome day.”
Scripture. In “The Letter to the Philippians,” chapter four, verses six to eight 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.
… for peace in the world.
… that God may help us to remain true to our word and to keep our promises that we may be known for our integrity.
… for hymn writers.
… for those who were on board the Burmese military plane that went missing, wreckage from which has been found in the Andaman Sea. DETAILS
… for the victims of abusive police behaviour and uncaring, patriarchal legal systems. 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 “The Practice of Divine Love” by Thomas Ken:
As for you who have families, I beseech you to instil into your children and servants their duty, both by your teaching, and your example. In good earnest, it is less cruel and unnatural to deny them bread for their mortal bodies, than saving knowledge for their immortal souls.
You that are fathers or mothers, I exhort you to tread in the steps of Abraham, the father of the faithful, and the friend of God, and like him, to command your children and households to keep the way of the Lord.
You that are mothers or mistresses, I exhort you to imitate that unfeigned faith which dwelt in young Timothy’s grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice, who taught him from a child to know the holy scriptures, which were able to make him wise to salvation; and like them, to bring up your children and servants “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
I passionately exhort and beseech you all of either sex, never to cease your conscientious zeal for their instruction, till ye bring them to confirmation; to renew their baptismal vow; to make open profession of their Christianity; to discharge their godfathers and godmothers; to receive the solemn benediction of the bishop; to share in the public intercessions of the Church, and to partake
of all the graces of God’s Holy Spirit, implored on their behalf; that God, who has begun a good work in them, may perfect it till the day of Christ.
Almighty God, who gave to your servant Thomas Ken grace and courage to bear witness to the truth before rulers and kings: Give us strength also that, following his example, we may constantly defend what is right, boldly reprove what is evil, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. 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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