Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE TWENTY-THIRD OF JULY, 2018
* Bridget of Sweden *

OPENING PRAYER

0 most merciful Father, who does put away the sins of those who truly repent, we come before your throne in the name of Jesus Christ, that for his sake alone you will have compassion on us, and let not our sins be a cloud between you and us. Amen.

( John Colet )

CANTICLE

You ransomed sinners, hear, the prisoners of the Lord;
and wait till Christ appear according to his word.
Rejoice in hope; rejoice with me;
we shall from all our sins be free.

In God, we put our trust: if we our sins confess,
faithful he is, and just, from all unrighteousness
to cleanse us all, both you and me;
we shall from all our sins be free.

Surely in us, the hope of glory shall appear;
sinners, your heads lift up and see redemption near.
Again I say, "Rejoice with me;
we shall from all our sins be free."

The Word of God is sure and never can remove;
we shall in heart be pure and perfected in love.
Rejoice in hope; rejoice with me;
we shall from all our sins be free.

Then let us gladly bring our sacrifice of praise;
let us give thanks and sing and glory in his grace.
Rejoice in hope; rejoice with me;
we shall from all our sins be free.

( Charles Wesley, 1707-1788 )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Bridget of Sweden: mystic and visionary

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Saint Bridget (or Birgitta) of Sweden, who was born in the early years of the fourteenth century, into an influential family, whose father was the “lawspeaker” (governor) of the province of Upland. She married and raised a family and became known for her works of charity, particularly toward unwed mothers and their children. When she was in her early thirties, she was summoned to be a lady-in-waiting to the new queen of Sweden, Blanche of Namur. In 1341 she and her husband went on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

In 1344, shortly after their return, her husband died. After this, Bridget developed the idea of establishing the religious community which was to become the Order of the Most Holy Saviour, otherwise known as the Brigittines. One distinctive feature of the pre-Reformation houses of the order was that they were double monasteries, with both men and women forming a joint community, though with separate cloisters.

Bridget was a mystic and visionary, best known for her “Revelations” an account of her dreams of the crucified Christ and his mother.

She died on this date in 1373.

Scripture. In the seventh chapter of "The Book of Daniel," verses thirteen and fourteen, we read:

As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for Christian women and men living in community together.

... for single mothers and their children.

... for the people of Egypt who celebrate their national day today.

... for those who died and those who were injured when a gunman opened fire on a busy avenue in the Greektown district of Toronto, Canada. DETAILS

... for those in Japan and elsewhere in the world whose health is in danger because of excessively hot weather.

... for babies born prematurely and for their parents.

... for the victims of female genital mutilation and for an end to this barbaric and completely unnecessary cultural practice throughout the world. DETAILS

... for homeless families.

... for the fourteen people who died and those who were injured when a blast rocked Kabul airport. 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.

READING

From "The Prophecies and Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden":

The words of Christ to his bride about a false man, who is called an enemy of God, and about his hypocrisy and all his characteristics.

This man appears to the people to be a well-dressed, strong, and attractive man, who is brave in his Lord’s battle, but when his helmet is removed from his head, he is ugly and disgusting to look at and is useless for work. His brain is seen to be bare. His ears are on his forehead and his eyes are in his neck. His nose is dissevered and his cheeks are altogether sunken like those of a dead man. On the right side, his chin and half of his lips have all fallen off, so that nothing is left on the right side except his throat which is seen to be all uncovered. His chest is full of swarming worms and his arms are like two snakes. The most poisonous scorpion lives in his heart. His back is like burnt coal. His intestines are stinking and rotting like pus-filled, unclean flesh. His feet are dead and useless to walk with.

I will tell you what all this signifies. On the outside, he appears to people to be decorated with good habits, wisdom and bravery in the service and honor of me, but he is by no means like that. For if the helmet were removed from his head, that is, if it were shown to people how he really is spiritually in his soul, he would be uglier than all men. His brain is bare because his foolish customs and frivolity clearly demonstrate to good men that he is unworthy of such an honor. For if my wisdom pleased him, he would understand how much his honor is greater than others, thereby clothing himself in the most rigorous of conduct and divine virtues as compared to others.

The ears are on his forehead because, instead of having the humility due to his high dignity in being a light for others to teach them good things, he only wants to hear about his own praise and glory, thereby becoming so prideful that he only wants to be called great and good by everyone. He has eyes in his neck, because all his thoughts are turned to the present instead of the eternal. He thinks about how to please men and about the requirements for the needs of the flesh, but not about how he may please me and benefit souls. His nose is dissevered, since he has lost all rational discretion whereby he might see and distinguish between sin and virtue, between worldly honor and eternal honor, between worldly and eternal riches, between the short pleasures of the world and the eternal pleasures.

His cheeks are sunken, that is, all the veneration he should have for me, with the beauty of the virtues whereby he might please me, are entirely dead in the service of me: for he is ashamed to sin in front of men but not in front of me. One part of his cheekbone and lips has fallen off so that nothing remains except for his throat, for the imitation of my works and the preaching of my words, in addition to a divine and fervent prayer, have totally fallen off from him so that nothing remains in him except his gluttonous throat. But to imitate the wicked and to be involved in worldly affairs seems altogether healthy and beautiful to him.

His chest is full of worms, because in his chest, where the remembrance of my suffering and the thought and consideration of my deeds and commandments should be, there is only a care for the things of the world with the desire and greed of the world, which are like worms devouring his conscience so that he does not think of spiritual or divine things. In his heart, where I would wish to dwell and my love should be, there now sits the most evil scorpion with a stinging tail and an enticing face and tongue; because pleasing and reasonable words proceed from his mouth, but his heart is full of injustice and deceit, because he does not care if the church he is supervising gets destroyed, as long as he can fulfil his own will.

His arms are like two snakes because in his malice he reaches out his arms to the simple-minded and calls them to himself with simplicity, but, when he gets a suitable opportunity, he causes them to fall pitifully. Like a snake, he coils himself into a ring, because he hides his malice and unrighteousness so that barely anyone can understand his treacherous plans. He is like the most vile snake in my sight, for just as the snake is more detestable than any other animal, so is he more ugly in my sight than any other man, since he counts my justice as nothing and holds me to be as a man who is unwilling to judge righteously.

His back is like coal, but it should be like ivory since his deeds should be more mighty and pure than others in order to be able to better carry the weak through his patience and his example of a good life. But now he is like coal, because he is too impatient to endure a single word for my honour, unless he benefits from it. Yet he seems to be mighty to the world. Therefore, when he thinks he stands, he will fall, since he is as hideous and lifeless as coal before me and my saints.

His intestines stink because his thoughts and desires smell like rotting flesh before me with a stench that no one can tolerate. Neither can any of my saints tolerate him, but everyone turns his face away from him and demands a judgment over him. His feet are dead. His two feet are his two dispositions towards me, that is, his will to make amends for the sins he has done and his will to do good deeds. But these feet are altogether dead in him because all the marrow of love is consumed in him and nothing is left in him except the hardened bones. And in this way, he stands before me. However, as long as the soul is with the body, he can find my mercy.

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord God, you revealed the secrets of heaven to your servant Bridget, as she meditated on the suffering and death of your son. Encourage us to persevere in the course that is set before us, and help us also to be living signs of the gospel and, at the last, to share in your eternal joy; 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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