TUESDAY THE TWENTY-FOURTH OF JULY, 2018
* Thomas à Kempis *
Grant, most sweet and loving Jesus, that I may seek my repose in You above every creature; above all health and beauty; above every honour and glory; every power and dignity; above all knowledge and cleverness, all riches and arts, all joy and gladness; above all fame and praise, all sweetness and consolation; above every hope and promise, every merit and desire; above all the gifts and favours that you can give or pour down upon me; above all the joy and exultation that the mind can receive and feel; and finally, above the angels and archangels and all the heavenly host; above all things visible and invisible; and may I seek my repose in you above everything that is not you, my God. For you, O Lord my God, are above all things the best. You alone are most high, you alone most powerful. You alone are most sufficient and most satisfying, you alone most sweet and consoling. You alone are most beautiful and loving, you alone most noble and glorious above all things. In you is every perfection that has been or ever will be. Therefore, whatever you give me besides yourself, whatever you reveal to me concerning yourself, and whatever you promise, is too small and insufficient when I do not see and fully enjoy you alone. For my heart cannot rest or be fully content until, rising above all gifts and every created thing, it rests in you. Amen.
( Thomas à Kempis )
Light’s abode, celestial Salem, vision whence true peace doth spring,
brighter than the heart can fancy, mansion of the highest king;
O how glorious are the praises which of thee the prophets sing!
There for ever and for ever “Alleluia” is outpoured,
for unending and unbroken is the feast day of the Lord;
all is pure and all is holy that within thy walls is stored.
There no cloud nor passing vapour dims the brightness of the air;
endless noonday, glorious noonday, from the sun of suns is there;
there no night brings rest from labour, for unknown are toil and care.
O how glorious and resplendent, fragile body, shall you be,
when endued with so much beauty, full of health, and strong, and free,
full of vigour, full of pleasure that shall last eternally!
Now with gladness, now with courage, bear the burden on you laid,
that hereafter these your labours may with endless gifts be paid,
and in everlasting glory, you with brightness be arrayed.
Laud and honour to the Father, laud and honour to the Son,
laud and honour to the Spirit, ever three, and ever one,
consubstantial, co-eternal, while unending ages run.
( Thomas à Kempis )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Thomas à Kempis: God’s little hammer
Today Saint Laika’s remembers Thomas à Kempis, priest, monk and spiritual writer.
The one hundred years between the mid-fourteenth and mid-fifteenth century was a time of spiritual creativity across Europe. The Great Western Schism (1378-1414) caused upheavals in the Christian Church of the West and set many on the path of Bible study, spiritual exercises and prayer. Jan Hus led such a movement in Bohemia; Bridget of Sweden founded the Brigittines in Sweden and from the Netherlands to Germany, the Brethren of the Common Life were taking root, practising a simple piety, centred on prayer, worship, good works and communal life. They started many religious schools and attracted some of the most famous characters of the times, including Nicholas of Cusa, Erasmus and even Martin Luther.
Thomas Haemerken (“little hammer”) was born in Kempen, Germany in 1380. At the age of twelve, he began to attend school under the tutelage of the Brethren of the Common Life. At the age of twenty-six, he entered the Monastery of Mount Saint Agnes in the Netherlands, eventually becoming a priest. He was best known as a copyist and spiritual writer. In 1441 he compiled his most famous work “The Imitation of Christ.” Thanks to his care as compiler and editor, the “Imitation” became and has remained, after the Bible, the most widely read book in the world.
“Without the Way, there is no going, without the Truth, there is no knowing, without the Life, there is no living.”
“At the Day of Judgment we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done.”
“For man proposes, but God disposes.”
Scripture: In the book of “Ecclesiastes,” the ninth chapter, verses seventeen and eighteen, we read.
The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouting of a ruler among fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one bungler destroys much good.
… for peace in the world.
… for Christian women and men living in community together.
… for writers of works of spiritual encouragement and that their words may lead to us striving harder to become more like Christ.
… for those who have died, for those who have been injured and for those who have lost their homes as a result of wildfires in the Attica region around Athens in Greece. DETAILS
… for the people of Nicaragua, especially those who have been killed or injured during recent protests in the country; for peace and democracy to become a longlasting reality in the nation. DETAILS
… for those killed or injured after a dam under construction collapsed in south-east Laos; for those who are missing. 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 “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas à Kempis:
Vain is the man who puts his trust in men, in created things.
Do not be ashamed to serve others for the love of Jesus Christ and to seem poor in this world. Do not be self-sufficient but place your trust in God. Do what lies in your power and God will aid your good will. Put no trust in your own learning nor in the cunning of any man, but rather in the grace of God Who helps the humble and humbles the proud.
If you have wealth, do not glory in it, nor in friends because they are powerful, but in God Who gives all things and Who desires above all to give Himself. Do not boast of personal stature or of physical beauty, qualities which are marred and destroyed by a little sickness. Do not take pride in your talent or ability, lest you displease God to Whom belongs all the natural gifts that you have.
Do not think yourself better than others lest, perhaps, you be accounted worse before God Who knows what is in man. Do not take pride in your good deeds, for God’s judgments differ from those of men and what pleases them often displeases Him. If there is good in you, see more good in others, so that you may remain humble. It does no harm to esteem yourself less than anyone else, but 11 it is very harmful to think yourself better than even one. The humble live in continuous peace, while in the hearts of the proud are envy and frequent anger.
Almighty God, you have nourished and strengthened your Church by the writings of your servantThomas à Kempis: Grant that we may learn from him to be conformed to Christ in all things; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 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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