WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-FIFTH OF OCTOBER, 2017
* Henri Perrin *
O Lord God, our governor, we beseech you, of your mercy, that we may have the heavenly vision, and behold things as they seem unto you, that the turmoil of this world may be seen by us to be bringing forth the sweet peace of the eternal years, and that in all the troubles and sorrows of our own hearts we may behold good, and so, with quiet mind and inward peace, careless of outward storm, we may do the duty of life which brings to us a quiet heart, ever trusting in you. We give you thanks for all your mercy. We beseech your forgiveness of all our sins. We pray your guidance in all things, your presence in the hour of death, your glory in the life to come. Of your mercy hear us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
( George Dawson )
PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FOUR
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Come, bless the Lord,
all you servants of the Lord,
you that by night stand
in the house of the Lord.
Lift up your hands
towards the sanctuary
and bless the Lord.
The Lord who made heaven and earth
give you blessing out of Zion.
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.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Guard all your household, Lord, through the dark night of faith, and purify the hearts of those who wait on you, until your kingdom dawns with the rising of your son, Christ, the morning star. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Henri Perrin, worker priest, outside the ecclesiastical ghetto
In Paris in the 1940’s, several Roman Catholic priests asked their bishop to allow them to start a new ministry to the working class of Paris which had been long estranged from the church. They applied for jobs in the factories of Paris and worked alongside the men and women they hoped to serve. They did not broadcast their identity as priests, but built their relationships from the ground up, as co-workers. Henri Perrin was one of the founders of the movement.
Peter Collins wrote of it this way, "They began to see that the absence of the poor from the Church signalled not simply a gulf to be filled by 'bringing them back', but a radical rethinking of the whole mission of the Church.”
During World War II French workers were conscripted by the government to do factory work in Germany. Perrin and others volunteered to accompany them. It was out of this experience that the worker priest movement was born.
After the war, in 1947, their bishop gave them his blessing and the experiment began. Perrin found work in a plastics factory. When his priestly identity was discovered, his coworkers gave him a level of respect and friendship he claimed he had never received as a parish priest.
Though the French bishops were enthusiastic, their enthusiasm was not matched in Rome where the church bureaucrats were afraid to get the Church too mixed up with French communists. They ordered the worker priest movement to disband in 1954. This threw Henri Perrin into a real crisis.
“It is impossible that I should return to the ghetto,” he wrote to a friend.
His choices were bleak. Before he could reach a conclusion, he was tragically killed in a motorbike accident on the twenty-fifth of October, 1954 at age forty.
Quote: “With us, or without us, or in spite of us, God will fill that gulf, if only we don’t put too many spokes in the wheel."
( Henri Perrin )
Scripture. In "The Second Letter to the Thessalonians," chapter three, at verses seven and eight we read:
For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and labor we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you.
... for peace in the world.
... for workers.
... for industrial chaplains.
... that we may demonstrate the love of God in the way we behave in our places of work.
... that the people of God may break free from the ghettoes we have constructed for ourselves and take the good news of Jesus Christ out into the whole world.
... for the dissolution of all powers and dominions within the institutions of the Church, except for the power and dominion of Jesus Christ, our lord.
... for the people of Slovenia who celebrate their national day today.
... 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 Pope Francis' address to the Italian Christian Workers’ Associations, twenty-third of May, 2015:
True freedom of labour means that man, in continuing the work of the Creator, helps the world rediscover its purpose: to be the work of God who, in the work performed, incarnates and extends the image of his presence in Creation and in human history. Too often, however, labour is subject to oppression on different levels: of one person over another; of new organisations of slavery which oppose the poorest; in particular, man women and children are subject to an economy which forces them to work in degrading conditions that contradict the beauty and harmony of Creation. We must ensure that labour is not an instrument of alienation, but of hope and new life. In other words, that there is freedom of labour.
Almighty God, your son Jesus Christ hallowed human labour by working with his hands in a carpenter's shop in Nazareth. May your church value and respect the hard work of men and women, especially those whose work is dangerous or burdensome. Continue to send us renewers of the Church such as Henri Perrin, so that your grace may find a home in the places where your people toil. Through 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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