Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s



O God, mercifully grant unto us that the fire of your love may burn up in us all things that displease you and make us meet for your heavenly kingdom. Amen.

( "Roman Breviary" )


Years are coming, speed them onward, when the sword shall gather rust,
and the helmet, lance and falchion, sleep in silent dust.

Earth has heard too long of battle, heard the trumpet’s voice too long;
but another age advances, seers foretold in song.

Years are coming when, forever, war’s dread banner shall be furled,
and the angel peace be welcomed, regent of the world!

Hail with song that glorious era, when the sword shall gather rust,
and the helmet, lance and falchion, sleep in silent dust.

( Adin Ballou, 1803-1890 )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Mother Esther: “Thinking out a better way”
(transferred from Sunday, the ninth of September)

Saint Laika’s travels to Australia today to remember the Anglican nun who founded the Community of the Holy Name: a sisterhood committed to live and work among the poor.

Mother Esther was born in England in 1858 and in 1884 was received as a novice into the Community of Saint Mary the Virgin. Shortly thereafter she suffered a serious fall and, with a recovery time of several months looming before her, she travelled to Australia to recover in a “warmer” climate.

Melbourne, Australia, was a big city with grand buildings, built with the discovery of gold; but behind the grand buildings was poverty, disease and death. Having decided to stay in Australia, she went to work for the Church of England’s “The Mission to the Streets and Lanes of Melbourne”. This little story will give you the flavour of the times:

A midnight visit by the sisters to a gospel hall was certainly an education. Sister Christina reported, "It was the weirdest kind of place, women off the street coming in nearly always drunk, or stupid with opium. They were given strong coffee and something to eat and every now and then a voice called out 'Will a Sister lead in a word of prayer?’ Then we all sang hymns and someone got up and asked ‘Who will sign the pledge?’ As they left Sister Esther said ‘We must think out a better way than that.’" And a better way they did.

The Community of the Holy Name grew out of her desire to found a religious order who would both work and live among the poor. The sisters would be up at five o'clock in the morning to get to the markets to buy meat and vegetables, which they would bring back to feed the hungry and the poor. As the community grew in numbers and in respect, they branched out, founding hospitals to provide the poor with care and orphanages to take care of abandoned or orphaned children.

Her constant theme was that all work was to be done solely for the love of Jesus and that we need not worry about the future, because, she would say, “The future is in the hands of God, who loves us.”

She died in 1931.

Scripture. In the fifty-eighth chapter of "Isaiah," in verses six to eight, we read:

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn.


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the destitute.

... for those who care for the poor.

... for the children of parents who have separated.

... for those living in the path of Hurricane Florence. DETAILS

... for those who hate their jobs; for those who fear to go into work.

... for those killed (at least sixty-eight persons) and those injured, by a suicide bomber in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan yesterday. 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.


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 "On Forgiveness" by C. S. Lewis:

We say a great many things in church (and out of church too) without thinking of what we are saying.

For instance, we say in the Creed “I believe in the forgiveness of sins.”

I had been saying it for several years before I asked myself why it was in the Creed. At first sight, it seems hardly worth putting in.

“If one is a Christian,” I thought, “of course one believes in the forgiveness of sins. It goes without saying.”

But the people who compiled the Creed apparently thought that this was a part of our belief which we needed to be reminded of every time we went to church and I have begun to see that, as far as I am concerned, they were right. To believe in the forgiveness of sins is not nearly so easy as I thought. Real belief in it is the sort of thing that very easily slips away if we don’t keep on polishing it up. We believe that God forgives us our sins; but also that he will not do so unless we forgive other people their sins against us. There is no doubt about the second part of this statement. It is in the Lord’s Prayer; was emphatically stated by our Lord. If you don’t forgive you will not be forgiven. No part of his teaching is clearer and there are no exceptions to it. He doesn’t say that we are to forgive other people’s sins provided they are not too frightful, or provided there are extenuating circumstances or anything of that sort. We are to forgive them all, however spiteful, however mean, however often they are repeated. If we don’t, we shall be forgiven none of our own.


Almighty God, we call to mind your servant, Mother Esther, and remember her work among the homeless, destitute and the sick of Australia. Following her example help us to heal those who are broken in body, mind or spirit, to turn their sorrows into 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.


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