THURSDAY THE THIRD OF MAY, 2018
Good and gracious God, our most glorious creator, as we greet the signs in nature around us of Spring once again regaling us in bloom, in the songs of returning birds and fields soon to be planted, we give you praise for an even greater sign of new life: the resurrection of your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that we especially celebrate at this time.
The sadness and despair of his death has given way to the bright promise of immortality. For the Resurrection is our guarantee that justice will triumph over treason, light will overcome darkness, and love will conquer death.
As we celebrate, we also dare to ask for your grace that we may live the promise given to us, by imitating the life of Jesus in reaching out to the poor, the marginalised and the least among us, as we strive to be a neighbour to all those we meet, We praise you in this Easter season. Change our lives, change our hearts to be messengers of Easter joy and hope. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord forever. Amen.
( Larry Snyder )
Far be sorrow, tears and sighing!
Waves are calming, storms are dying,
Moses has overpassed the sea,
Israel’s captive hosts are free;
life by death slew death and saved us,
in his blood the Lamb has saved us,
clothing us with victory.
Jesus Christ from death has risen.
Lo, his Godhead bursts the prison,
while his manhood passes free,
vanquishing our misery.
Rise we free from condemnation;
through our God’s humiliation,
ours is now the victory.
Vain the foe’s despair and madness.
See the dayspring of our gladness!
Slaves no more of Satan we;
children, by the Son, set free;
rise, for life with death has striven,
all the snares of hell are riven;
rise and claim the victory.
( Anonymous, thirteenth century )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Catherine of Siena: saint or madwoman
( transferred from Sunday )
In the short space of thirty-three years, Catherine of Siena experienced a mystical marriage to Jesus Christ, was given the stigmata (the wounds of Jesus appeared in her hands, feet, and side), and dictated a book full of mystic visions and revelations. On the other hand, she was known to be a person of sound judgment and insight, and there exists a collection of letters written to her by popes, kings, scholars, people from all walks of life. She was influential in getting Pope Gregory XI to move the papacy back to Rome from Avignon. On top of all that, she was a nurse, who looked after people with leprosy and advanced cancer, with compassion and skill.
The intensity of her life caused controversy in Siena. Was she a saint or a madwoman. The range of her activity from the ecstatic, intensely personal visions, to her passionate response to people in need of care, was more than most could manage. A bishop was enlisted to be her spiritual director. Eventually she won the support of her Dominican sisters and the people of Siena.
She died on this day in 1380 AD.
Quote: "He will provide the way and the means, such as you could never have imagined. Leave it all to him, let go of yourself, lose yourself on the Cross, and you will find yourself entirely."
Scripture. In "Psalm Thirty-Six", verses seven to nine, we read:
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
... for peace in the world.
... for people who stretch our imaginations toward God.
... that we may for be filled with the fire of God; that we may be enthusiastic in our faith.
... that newspapers and journals throughout the world may be free to print the truth, however inconvenient to some that may be. DETAILS
... for journalists and reporters who risk their freedom, wellbeing and even their lives, bringing the powerful to account and challenging the oppressor.
... for the people of Poland who celebrate their national day today.
... for those who died in the dust storms that hit the northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. DETAILS
... for the German nurse working for the International Committee of the Red Cross who has been kidnapped in Somalia's capital Mogadishu. DETAILS
... for those killed or injured during a terrorist attack on Libya's electoral commission headquarters by the Islamic State group; for all victims of terrorism. DETAILS
... for those who have died recently 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 in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
From a letter from Catherine of Siena to Monna Agnese:
But note, that there are two sources of impatience. There is a common kind of impatience, felt by ordinary men in the world, which befalls them on account of the inordinate love they have for themselves and for temporal things, which they love apart from God; so that to have them they do not mind losing their soul, and putting it into the hands of the devils. This is beyond help unless a man recognises himself how he has wronged God and cuts down that tree of pride with the sword of true humility, which produces charity in the soul. For there is a tree of love, whose pith is patience and goodwill toward one's neighbour. For, just as impatience shows more clearly than any other sin that the soul is deprived of God (because it is at once evident that since the pith is there, the tree of pride must be there) so patience shows better and more perfectly than any other virtue, that God is in the soul by grace. Patience, I say, deep within the tree of love, that for love of its creator disdains the world, and loves insults whencesoever they come.
I was saying that anger and impatience were of two kinds, one general and one special. We have spoken of the common kind. Now I talk of the more particular, of the impatience of those who have already despised the world, and who wish to be servants of Christ crucified in their own way, that is, in so far as they shall find joy and consolation in him. This is because spiritual self-will is not dead in them. Therefore they imperiously demand from God that he should give them consolations and tribulations in their own way, and not in his; and so they become impatient when they get the contrary of what their spiritual self-will wants. This is a little offshoot from pride, sprouting from real pride, as a tree sends out a little tree by its side, which looks separated from it, but nevertheless, it gets the substance from which it springs from the same tree. So is self-will in the soul which chooses to serve God in its own way and when that way fails it suffers, and its suffering makes it impatient, and it is unendurable to itself, and takes no pleasure in serving God or its neighbour. Nay, if anyone came to it for comfort or help it would give him nothing but reproaches, and would not know how to be tolerant of his need. All this results from the sensitive spiritual self-will that grows from the tree of pride which was cut down, but not uprooted. It is cut down when the soul uplifts its desire above the world and fastens it on God, but has fastened there imperfectly. The root of pride was left, and therefore it sent up an offshoot by its side and shows itself in spiritual things. So, if it misses consolations from God, and its mind stays dry and sterile, it at once becomes disturbed and depressed, and, under colour of virtue (because it thinks itself deprived of God) it begins to complain, and lays down the law to God. But were it truly humble and had true hate and knowledge of itself, it would deem itself unworthy of the visitation of God to its soul and worthy of the pain that it suffers, in being deprived, not of God's grace in the soul, but of its consolations. It suffers, then, because it has to work in its chains. Yes, spiritual self-will suffers under the delusion that it is wronging God, while the trouble is really with its own lower nature.
Power of the eternal Father, help me. Wisdom of the Son, enlighten the eye of my understanding. Tender mercy of the Holy Spirit, unite my heart to yourself. Eternal God restore health to the sick and life to the dead. Give us a voice, your own voice, to cry out to you for mercy for the world. You, light, give us light. You, wisdom, give us wisdom. You, supreme strength, give us strength. Amen.
( Catherine of Siena )
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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