TUESDAY THE TWENTY-EIGHTH OF AUGUST, 2018
* Moses the Black *
Lord of the loving heart, may mine be loving too. Lord of the gentle hands, may mine be gentle too. Lord of the willing feet, may mine be willing too. So may I grow more like you in all I say and do. Amen.
( Phyllis Garlick )
You who his temple throng, Jehovah’s praise prolong, new anthems sing;
you saints with joy declare, your maker’s loving care
and let the children there joy in their king.
O let his name employ your every note of joy, his praises speak;
he looks with loving face upon his chosen race
and will with every grace adorn the meek.
You saints your joy proclaim and glory in the name of God above;
and when the daylight dies, ere sleep shall close your eyes,
let praise to God arise for all his love.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Today Saint Laika’s remembers Moses the Black (also known as Moses the Ethiopian), a fourth-century gang-banger turned monk. After losing his civil service job under suspicion of theft and attempted murder, Moses joined up with a gang of bandits. On one occasion, he was hiding out from the local authorities, and he took shelter with a group of Monks in the Egyptian desert. He was impressed with their dedication. The sense of peace and contentment he experienced was palpable and so he left his criminal past behind and joined their community.
Over time he became known as a contemplative. Once he was asked to be part of a group of monks assigned to evaluate the faults of a brother monk and mete out a proper penance. He arrived carrying a leaky jug of water on his shoulder.
He said: “My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another."
They decided instead to forgive the erring monk.
Over time Moses became the leader of a group of desert hermits, He was ordained in order to minister to their spiritual needs.
In about 405 AD, at an advanced age, he was advised that an armed contingent of Berbers was advancing on their enclosure. The brothers wanted to defend themselves, but he ordered them to retreat. He and seven others remained behind and greeted the invaders with open arms, but all eight were martyred by the bandits.
Scripture: In "Psalm Eighty-Six," verses eleven to thirteen, we read:
Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name for ever. For great is your steadfast love towards me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
... for peace in the world.
... that God may draw us into his peace.
... that we may desire the forgiveness of our own sins rather than the punishment of the sins of others.
... for the remnant of the church of Christ in North Africa; that it may be free from persecution and one day enjoy the universal return of the Christian faith to its ancestral home.
... for pacifists and all who are committed to non-violence.
... for the safety of those who are travelling.
... for those undergoing surgery today.
... for children living in disgusting conditions in refugee camps. DETAILS
... for homeless drug addicts and alcoholics.
... for those who have been killed or injured in road traffic accidents recently.
... 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 "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis:
Our warped natures, the devils who tempt us and all the contemporary propaganda for lust, combine to make us feel that the desires we are resisting are so "natural," so "healthy," and so reasonable, that it is almost perverse and abnormal to resist them. Poster after poster, film after film, novel after novel, associate the idea of sexual indulgence with the ideas of health, normality, youth, frankness, and good humour. Now this association is a lie. Like all powerful lies, it is based on a truth, the truth that sex in itself (apart from the excesses and obsessions that have grown around it) is "normal" and "healthy" and all the rest of it. The lie consists in the suggestion that any sexual act to which you are tempted at the moment is also healthy and normal. Now this, on any conceivable view, and quite apart from Christianity, must be nonsense. Surrender to all our desires obviously leads to impotence, disease, jealousies, lies, concealment and everything that is the reverse of health, good humour and frankness.
God of transforming power and transfiguring mercy: listen to the prayers of all who, like Moses the Black, cry to you, seeking a more perfect knowledge and love of you. Draw them and all of us from unbelief to faith and from violence into your peace, through the cross of Jesus our saviour; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of 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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