WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-SECOND OF AUGUST, 2018
Make us ever eager, Lord, to share the good things that we have. Grant us such a measure of your Spirit that we may find more joy in giving than getting. Make us ready to give cheerfully without grudging, secretly without praise and in sincerity without looking for gratitude, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
( John Hunter, 1849-1917 )
You trembling souls dismiss your fears, be mercy all your theme;
mercy, which like a river flows in one continued stream.
Fear not the powers of earth and hell: God will these powers restrain;
his mighty arm their rage repel and make their efforts vain.
Fear not the want of outward good: he will for his provide;
grant them supplies of daily food and give them Heaven beside.
Fear not, that he will ever forsake or leave his work undone:
he is faithful to his promises and faithful to his son.
Fear not the terrors of the grave, nor death’s tremendous sting:
he will from endless wrath preserve, to endless glory bring.
You in his wisdom, power, and grace, may confidently trust:
his wisdom guides, his power protects, his grace rewards the just.
( Benjamin Beddome, 1717-1795 )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Gerard Manley Hopkins: sweet melancholy
Gerard Manley Hopkins (born 1844) was an English Jesuit priest and poet, who, like others of his time, began life as an Anglican and came under the influence of the Oxford Movement whilst studying at Oxford University.
Contemporary biographies of Hopkins will tell you he struggled to come to terms with his homosexuality and found that the Jesuit order provided a structure in which he could remain celibate. He is also said to have struggled with what today we would call bipolar disorder. In Hopkins’ day, it manifested itself as an acute melancholy.
Following his ordination to the priesthood, the Jesuits had him teach classical literature in England, and later in Ireland.
What makes Hopkins noteworthy, however, is his poetry. Out of the whirlwind of his passions and melancholy, he established himself as a daring innovator in the world of poetry. He wrote in what he called sprung rhythm. His language is striking, his religious faith inspired him, and at his early death in 1889 at age forty-four, he left a legacy or work that established him as a major literary figure in English poetry.
His dying words were: “I am so happy, I am so happy. I loved my life.”
You can see many of his innovations in this poem, offered for your daily devotion today. It is entitled “Pied Beauty” and was written in 1877.
Glory be to God for dappled things,
for skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
for rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
landscape plotted and pieced, fold, fallow, and plough;
and all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
with swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
he fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Scripture. In “Psalm Ninety-Six,” verses eleven and twelve, we read:
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord.
… for peace in the world.
… for all who struggle to find their place in the world.
… for all poets, painters, sculptors, and musicians who reveal a glimpse of God’s glory through their work.
… for converts, that they may feel at home.
… for the end of corruption in business and politics.
… 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 Letters of G. M. Hopkins to Robert Bridges,” (Letter xcix):
Christ’s life and character are such as appeal to all the world’s admiration, but there is one insight Saint Paul gives of it which is very secret and seems to me more touching and constraining than anything else: This mind he says; was in Christ Jesus (he means as man: being in the form of God) that is, finding, as in the first instant of his incarnation he did, his human nature informed by the godhead, he thought it nevertheless no snatching-matter for him to be equal with God, but annihilated himself, taking the form of a servant; that is, he could not but see that he was, God, but he would see it as if he did not see it, and be it as if he were not instead of snatching at once at what all the time was his, or was himself, he emptied or exhausted himself so far as that was possible, of godhead and behaved only as God’s slave, as his creature, as man, which also he was, and then being in the guise of man humbled himself to death, the death of the cross. It is this holding of himself back, and not snatching at the truest and highest good, the good that was his right, nay his possession from a past eternity in his other nature, his own being and self, which seems to me the root of all his holiness and the imitation of this the root of all other moral good in other men.
May I become at all times, both now and forever a protector for those without protection, a guide for those who have lost their way, a ship for those with oceans to cross, a bridge for those with rivers to cross, a sanctuary for those in danger, a lamp for those without light, a place of refuge for those who lack shelter and a servant to all in need. Amen.
( Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama )
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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