THURSDAY THE NINTH OF NOVEMBER 2017
* Margery Kempe, Walter Hilton and Richard Rolle *
Lord Jesus, the more worthwhile our love for you, all the more pressing does it become. Reason cannot hold it in check, fear does not make it tremble, wise judgement does not temper it.
I ask you, Lord Jesus, to develop in me an immeasurable urge towards you, an affection that is unbounded, longing that is unrestrained, fervour that throws discretion to the winds. Amen.
( Richard Rolle )
A New Song
I know not the song of thy praises,
till you teach it, my God, to me;
till I hear the still voice of thy Spirit,
who speaketh for ever of thee;
till I hear the celestial singing,
and learn the new song of thy grace,
and then I shall tell forth the marvels
I learnt in thy secret place.
Thy marvels, not mine, far surpassing
all thoughts of my heart they must be;
I can but declare the glad tidings,
as thou hast declared them to me.
( Richard Rolle )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Margery Kempe, Walter Hilton, Richard Rolle: mystics
Throughout the centuries, the Christian church has largely been a public community of the followers of Jesus, living in the world, engaging the world, shaping and being shaped by the events and circumstances of history, politics and social interaction.
But also throughout the centuries there have been those few who have followed Christ on a journey through the inner life of the soul and spirit: monks, hermits, anchoresses, mystics. Through the witness of their lives and the writings they left behind they gave witness to the life of prayer which led them to deeper experiences of almighty God.
Today Saint Laika’s celebrates the lives of three medieval mystics.
Margery Kempe left an autobiographical account of her life and her travels to places of pilgrimage, in particular to the Holy Land, to Assisi and to Santiago de Compostela. She writes of the visions she had of conversations with Jesus, Mary, and other saints. She received holy communion every week and ordered her days around prayer and the recitation of the rosary. She died sometime after 1438.
She was influenced by the writings of the other two mystics remembered today.
Richard Rolle was an English hermit, bible translator and mystic. His best known work was called “The Fire of Love” in which he described a movement toward God in four stages: as an open door, heat, song, and sweetness. His meditation was widely read. He died in 1349.
Walter Hilton was an Augustinian monk and mystic who lived in Nottinghamshire. His most widely read work was called “The Ladder of Perfection.” It was a spiritual journey toward the heavenly Jerusalem which was a journey of “contemplation in perfect love of God” in which one gradually draws away from the things of the world, to yearn more earnestly for the things of the Spirit, and for Jesus himself.
It’s hard to overestimate the mystical themes of the Middle Ages in relation to pilgrimages, the veneration of relics, the intercession of the saints and the building of churches and cathedrals. It gave men and women a grasp on the hope of heaven after life on earth was done.
Scripture. In "Psalm Sixty-Three, verses one to three, we read:
O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
... for peace in the world.
... that as well as encountering God in the world around us, the people we meet and in our everyday lives, we meet God also within ourselves as we come into God's presence through contemplation and prayer; that we may be led into a deeper and more fulfilling life of prayer.
... for the people of Cambodia who celebrate their national day today; for an end to the terrible human rights abuses in their country.
... for the people of Yemen who are facing famine; that the blockade on aid to their country may be lifted.
... 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 "Ego Dormio" by Richard Rolle:
I’ll give you one piece of advice: don’t neglect his name, “Jesus.” Meditate on it in your heart night and day as your personal and precious treasure. Love it more than your life. Root it in your mind. Love Jesus, because he made you and bought you at a very high price. Give your heart to him, because it is the debt you owe him.
Therefore devote your love to this name “Jesus,” which means “salvation.” No evil thing can have any living-space in that heart where “Jesus” is faithfully kept in mind, because it chases out devils and destroys temptations and turns out all wrongful anxieties and defects, and purifies the mind. Whoever really loves it is full of God’s grace and full of virtues, receives spiritual strength in this life; and when such people die, they are adopted into the order of angels above, to behold in unending joy him whom they have loved.
Gracious God, we give you thanks for the lives and work of Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton and Margery Kempe, hermits and mystics who, passing through the cloud of unknowing, beheld your glory. Help us, after their examples, to see you more clearly and love you more dearly, in the name of Jesus Christ our saviour; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever 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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