Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s



O God of earth and altar,
bow down and hear our cry;
our earthly rulers falter,
our people drift and die;
the walls of gold entomb us,
the swords of scorn divide;
take not thy thunder from us
but take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
from lies of tongue and pen,
from all the easy speeches
that comfort cruel men,
from sale and profanation
of honour and the sword,
from sleep and from damnation
deliver us, good Lord!

( G. K. Chesterton )

HOLY OF HOLIES by G. K. Chesterton

"Elder father, though thine eyes
shine with hoary mysteries,
can thou tell what in the heart
of a cowslip blossom lies?

"Smaller than all lives that be,
secret as the deepest sea,
stands a little house of seeds
like an elfin’s granary.

"Speller of the stones and weeds,
skilled in nature’s crafts and creeds,
tell me what is in the heart
of the smallest of the seeds."

"God Almighty, and with him
cherubim and seraphim,
filling all eternity -
Adonai Elohim."

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

G. K. Chesterton: prince of paradox

Today is a good day to remember Gilbert Keith Chesterton, English writer, poet, philosopher, lay theologian, Christian apologist. He was eccentric, whimsical, absent-minded, yet a prolific writer. He created the Father Brown detective mysteries. Two of his most serious works were “Orthodoxy” and “The Everlasting Man.” People often called him the “prince of paradox” which Chesterton described as “truth standing on its head to gain attention.”

As a young man, Chesterton had been fascinated with spiritualism and the occult, but his faith grew stronger over the years, as he devoted himself to the defence of what he called “orthodoxy,” which was for him, among other things, an acknowledgement of the mystery and paradox of Christian faith in an age of increasing skepticism.

Chesterton converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism, and was a passionate defender of the Christian faith. He was in part responsible for C. S. Lewis’s own conversion to Christianity. Chesterton died on the fourteenth of June in 1936.

Quotes. Chesterton was at his best with short quotes and one liners. Here are a few:

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

“The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.”

“Christendom has had a series of revolutions and in each one of them Christianity has died. Christianity has died many times and risen again; for it had a God who knew the way out of the grave.”

Scripture. In the "Book of Ecclesiastes," chapter nine, verses eleven and twelve we read:

"Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favour to the skilful; but time and chance happen to them all. For no one can anticipate the time of disaster. Like fish taken in a cruel net, and like birds caught in a snare, so mortals are snared at a time of calamity, when it suddenly falls upon them."


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for those who strive to make understandable the things of God which are beyond understanding.

... for those who give blood to save the lives of others. DETAILS

... for the people of the Falkland Islands who celebrate Liberation Day today.

... for those killed or injured in the fire that engulfed the twenty-four storey Grenfell Tower, North Kensington, London overnight; for those who are missing and those who await news about relatives and friends; for the safety of the fire fighters looking for survivors and all whose work will involve them entering the unstable and dangerous building. DETAILS

... for those who are missing following the collapse of a seven-storey building in an eastern suburb of the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Monday night. 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.


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 "Orthodoxy" by G. K. Chesterton:

The evil of the pessimist is, then, not that he chastises gods and men, but that he does not love what he chastises; he has not a primary and supernatural loyalty to things. What is the evil of the man commonly called an optimist? Obviously, it is felt that the optimist, wishing to defend the honour of this world, will defend the indefensible. He is the jingo of the universe; he will say, "My cosmos, right or wrong." He will be less inclined to the reform of things; more inclined to a sort of front-bench official answer to all attacks, soothing every one with assurances. He will not wash the world, but whitewash the world.


O God of earth and altar, you gave G. K. Chesterton a ready tongue and pen, and inspired him to use them in your service: mercifully grant that we may be inspired to witness cheerfully to the hope that is in us; through Jesus Christ our saviour, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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


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