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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE ELEVENTH OF DECEMBER 2017

OPENING PRAYER

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.. Amen

( Thomas Merton )

CANTICLE

Almighty One! I bend in dust before you;
even so veiled cherubs bend;
in calm and still devotion I adore you,
all-wise, all-present friend!
You to the earth its emerald robes have given,
or curtained it in snow;
and the bright sun, and the soft moon in heaven,
before your presence bow.

You power sublime! whose throne is firmly seated
on stars and glowing suns;
0, could I praise you, could my soul, elated,
waft you seraphic tones,
had I the lyres of angels, could I bring you
an offering worthy of you,
in what bright notes of glory would I sing to you,
blest notes of ecstasy!

Eternity! Eternity! how solemn,
how terrible the sound!
Here, leaning on thy promises, a column
of strength, may I be found,
0, let my heart be ever yours, while beating.
As when it will cease to beat!
Be you my portion, till that awful meeting
when I my God shall greet!

( John Bowring )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Karl Barth and Thomas Merton:
the wideness of God’s mercy

(transferred from Sunday)

Today Saint Laika’s remembers two Christians from the twentieth century who testify to the wideness of God’s mercy and the many rooms in our Father’s house.

Karl Barth was born in 1886. He became a pastor in the Swiss Reformed Church and many consider him the greatest Protestant theologian of the twentieth century.

The two world wars had a profound effect on his theology. He challenged what he considered to be the too cozy relationship between faith and culture. His commentary on "Romans," published in 1918, argued that the God who is revealed in the cross of Jesus challenges and overthrows any attempt to ally God with human cultures, achievements, or possessions.

He later became a leader in the Confessing Church movement which opposed Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. He was the author of the "Barmen Declaration" in 1934, the foundational document of the Confessing Church. He personally mailed it to Hitler. He had to relinquish his teaching position in Germany, because he refused to take a loyalty oath to Hitler, so back in Switzerland he worked on a thirteen volume theological system called “Church Dogmatics.”

Even in the days before Vatican II, Pope Pius XII declared Barth to be the greatest Christian theologian since Thomas Aquinas. He died on the tenth of December, 1968.

Thomas Merton was among the most influential Roman Catholic writers of the twentieth century. His writings cover a broad range of subject matter: spirituality and the contemplative life, prayer and religious biography. He was also deeply interested in issues of social justice and Christian responsibility. He did not shy away from controversy and addressed race relations, economic injustice, war, violence and the nuclear arms race. Though he had been baptised into the Church of England, Merton underwent a powerful conversion experience in 1938 which led him to the Roman Catholic Church. He entered the Trappist monastery in Bardstown, Kentucky in 1941 where, even from the monastery cloister, he gained a world-wide reputation as a writer.

Toward the end of his life, he was actively exploring the relationship between Christian monasticism and Buddhist monasticism. It was on a trip to Thailand, that he was accidentally electrocuted also on the tenth of December, 1968.

Scripture. In the second chapter of "Colossians," at verses six and seven we read:

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that Protestants and Roman Catholics may be united by their love for God.

... for theologians and spiritual writers.

... that we may learn to be still in the presence of God without losing touch with the world God created.

... for the wellbeing of the mountainous regions of our world; for those who live on mountains; for those who care for mountains; for the safety of all who work or pursue their sports and hobbies on mountains. DETAILS

... for those who are living with Huntington's disease, those who live with the knowledge that they may well develop the disease, those who mourn the loss of somebody who has died from the disease and the success of those searching to find a cure for the disease. 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, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "Dogmatics in Outline" by Karl Barth:

The nativity mystery “conceived from the Holy Spirit and born from the Virgin Mary”, means, that God became human, truly human out of his own grace. The miracle of the existence of Jesus , his “climbing down of God” is: Holy Spirit and Virgin Mary! Here is a human being, the Virgin Mary, and as he comes from God, Jesus comes also from this human being. Born of the Virgin Mary means a human origin for God. Jesus Christ is not only truly God, he is human like every one of us. He is human without limitation. He is not only similar to us, he is like us.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, we praise you for the gifts of grace you have revealed in the lives of Karl Barth and Thomas Merton. Encouraged by their example, grant that we may persevere in the course set before us until that day, when we can rejoice with them, and with all your saints in light; 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

CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE EIGHTH OF DECEMBER 2017

OPENING PRAYER

Our Lord and our God, our merciful Father in Heaven, we entreat you with childlike hearts, give us in this world whatever is really good and happy for us in soul and body, according to your holy will and pleasure. May we live as Christians, endure with patience, and at last die in peace and hope, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen

( Johann Quirsfeld )

CANTICLE

Lord of all being, throned afar,
thy glory flames from sun and star;
centre and soul of every sphere,
yet to each loving heart how near.

Sun of our life, thy quickening ray
sheds on our path the glow of day;
star of our hope, thy softened light
cheers the long watches of the night.

Our midnight is thy smile withdrawn;
our noontide is thy gracious dawn;
our rainbow arch, thy mercy’s sign;
all, save the clouds of sin, are thine.

Lord of all life, below, above,
whose light is truth, whose warmth is love,
before thy ever blazing throne
we ask no lustre of our own.

Grant us thy truth to make us free,
and kindling hearts that burn for thee,
till all thy living altars claim
one holy light, one heavenly flame.

( Oliver Wendell Holmes )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Narcisa de Jesús: Ecuadoran mystic and servant of the poor

It is difficult for those of us who spend our days in the midst of the world and the daily interactions we take for granted, to understand the call to mysticism. Today Narcisa de Jesús confronts us with exactly that challenge.

Narcisa was born in Nobol, Ecuador in 1832, the sixth of nine children. Her parents worked hard and were landowners with the means to provide well for their children. Narcisa’s mother died when Narcisa was only six years old. Helped by an older sister, Narcisa learned to read, write, sing, play the guitar, sew, weave, embroider and cook. She had great qualities, with a particular bent for music. Her father died when she was nineteen. Already she had received the call of the Lord on her life. She moved to Guayaquil and began a ministry to the poor and sick, and a particular ministry to care for abandoned children. It was during this time that she practiced intense personal devotion to Jesus. Withdrawing from the public for periods of time when she would pray and spend time in the presence of the Lord. During this time she also took on work as a seamstress to provide financial support for her brothers and sisters. In 1868 she moved to Lima, Peru and lived as a lay member of the Dominican Convent there. She existed on bread and water and the reception of Holy Communion. She was frequently found in states of ecstasy. Towards the end of 1869, Narcisa developed high fevers for which medical remedies could do little. She died on the eighth of December, 1869.

The folk piety of the people among whom she lived immediately declared her sanctity. In Peru, Guayaquil, and Nobol, she was venerated as a saint. The Dominican nuns with who she had been living, preserved her remains in their chapel. In 1955 her nearly incorruptible remains were transferred back to Nobol, Ecuador. She was declared a saint of the Catholic Church in 2008.

Scripture. In "Psalm Sixteen," verse eleven, we read:

You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for Christian mystics; that we, in our own way, may glimpse the divine and be encouraged by that encounter to serve God more fully in our everyday lives.

... for those living in the path of the California wildfires and those fighting the flames.

... for peace on the streets of Jerusalem and throughout Palestine.

... for young people suffering from eating disorders.

... 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, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "Becoming Wise" by Krista Tippett:

Spiritual humility is not about getting small, not about debasing oneself, but about approaching everything and everyone else with a readiness to see goodness and to be surprised. This is the humility of a child, which Jesus lauded. It is the humility of the scientist and the mystic. It has a lightness of step, not a heaviness of heart. That lightness is the surest litmus test I know for recognising wisdom when you see it in the world or feel its stirrings in yourself. The questions that can lead us are already alive in our midst, waiting to be summoned and made real. It is a joy to name them. It is a gift to plant them in our senses, our bodies, the places we inhabit, the part of the world we can see and touch and help to heal. It is a relief to claim our love of each other and take that on as an adventure, a calling. It is a pleasure to wonder at the mystery we are and find delight in the vastness of reality that is embedded in our beings. It is a privilege to hold something robust and resilient called hope, which has the power to shift the world on its axis.

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord God, you gave the holy virgin Narcisa de Jesús gift upon gift from heaven. Grant, we pray, that, imitating her virtues on earth, we may delight with her in the joys of eternity, 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

CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

City Of Culture Wars

There should be no rejoicing over the announcement that Coventry is to be the UK "city of culture" in 2021. The result of this state sanctioned favouritism will be that the Midland city will receive a disproportionate wodge of Art Council money at the expense of cash-starved provincial art projects elsewhere. The whole thing is a smokescreen to hide the fact that, although everyone in the UK pays towards the arts through their taxes and by buying lottery tickets, London organisations get most of the money.

"Since 1995, the City of Westminster’s contribution to the arts lottery has been £14.5m. It has received from the lottery £408m. That’s £393.5m more than it put in. County Durham’s contribution in the same period was £34m; it received £12m. That means County Durham has contributed £22m to the arts outside its region."
( "The Guardian" 8th. November 2014 )

Basically, rich people in London who probably never play the lottery are getting their art paid for by poor lottery playing northerners who cannot afford to access art in their own region and who certainly cannot afford to travel to London to enjoy it. By bigging up the city of culture thing, the London based Art Council lovies and their friends in government hope to distract people outside of the capital from dwelling on the unfair distribution of cultural resources in the UK.

Saint Laika Advent Appeal Update

Wow! We are only two days into this year's appeal but, thanks to Jonathan, James, Penny, Hugh, Kathleen and Michelle, the total raised stands at an amazing TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE POUNDS ($328.00). We are well on the way to achieving our target of one thousand pounds.

Now is the time of year when the big bills start arriving at Saint Laika's HQ at exactly the same time that I have to find the money for Mrs MP's Christmas present and a little bit of festive cheer for the two of us and our canine friends. For example, I have just paid out nearly one hundred pounds for web hosting and the renewal of domain names so that Saint Laika's can continue for another year.

The donations I receive from the friends of Saint Laika's are my only source of income and the work I do at Saint Laika's is my only priestly vocation. In order to keep my head above water and my ministry available to all free of charge I have to run two appeals every year; one in the summer and one in December.

Advent is a time of preparation and Christmas is a time for giving. Personally I cannot think of a better way that you could prepare for Christmas than practicing your giving by sending a donation (no matter how large) in to the 2017 Saint Laika Advent Appeal.

One more thing, if Attila the Hun was alive today he would not be contributing a single solidus to the appeal and, surely, you do not want to be like him.

Please click on the PayPal widget below to make your donation.

You do not need your own PayPal account in order to donate.





Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE SEVENTH OF DECEMBER 2017
* Ambrose of Milan *

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord, who has mercy upon all, take away from me my sins and mercifully kindle in me the fire of your Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore you, a heart to delight in you, to follow and enjoy you, for Christ's sake. Amen

( Ambrose of Milan )

CANTICLE

O come, Redeemer of mankind, appear,
you with full hearts the virgin born we greet;
let every age with rapt amazement hear
that wondrous birth which for our God is meet.

Not by the will of man, or mortal seed,
but by the Spirit’s breathed mysterious grace
the Word of God became our flesh indeed
and grew a tender plant of human race.

Lo! Mary’s virgin womb its burden bears;
nor less abides her virgin purity;
in the King’s glory see our nature shares;
here in his temple God vouchsafes to be.

From his bright chamber, virtue’s holy shrine
the royal bridegroom cometh to the day;
of twofold substance, human and divine,
as giant swift, rejoicing on his way.

Forth from his father to the world he goes,
back to the Father’s face his way regains,
far down to souls beneath his glory shows,
again at God’s right hand victorious reigns.

With the eternal Father equal, you,
girt with our flesh do triumph evermore,
strengthening our feeble bodies here below
with endless grace from your own living store.

How does your lowly manger radiant shine
on the sweet breath of night new splendour grows;
so may our spirits glow with faith divine,
where no dark cloud of sin shall interpose.

All praise and glory to the Father be,
all praise and glory to his only son,
all praise and glory, Holy Ghost, to you,
both now, and while eternal ages run.

( Ambrose of Milan )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Ambrose

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Ambrose of Milan, fourth century bishop, teacher, and theologian . Ambrose lived during the time when the struggle between the Arians and the Orthodox raged across the Roman Empire.

Ambrose was the son of a Roman governor in Gaul, and in 373 he himself was governor in Upper Italy. Though brought up in a Christian family, Ambrose had not been baptised.

He became involved in the election of a bishop for Milan only as mediator between the battling factions of Arians and orthodox Christians. The Arian position that Christ was not God, had been roundly defeated earlier at the Council of Nicea. But Arians continued to press for their view throughout most of the fourth century. For a time it seemed the more popular Christian position. Strong leaders like Ambrose were key to establishing the faith of the Nicene Creed. He was ordained bishop on the seventh of December, 373.

Ambrose was also a skilful hymnodist. He introduced antiphonal chanting to enrich the liturgy, and wrote straightforward, practical discourses to educate his people in such matters of doctrine as baptism, the Trinity, the Eucharist, and the person of Christ. His persuasive preaching was an important factor in the conversion of Augustine of Hippo.

Ambrose also stood up to the Roman Emperor Theodosius whom he forced to do public penance for the slaughter of several thousand citizens of Salonika. He wrote and taught about the sacraments of baptism and holy communion. He had strong devotion to Mary, the mother of the Lord. He was also very generous to the poor, and taught his flock that it was their obligation to see that the least of Christ’s brothers and sisters be provided for.

Scripture. In "Psalm Twenty-Seven," verses seven to nine, we read:

Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!

"Come," my heart says, "seek his face!"

Your face, LORD, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for bee keepers, candlemakers, chandlers, domestic animals, schoolchildren, students, the people of Milan and all who claim Ambrose as their patron.

... for the safety of those travelling in airplanes; for pilots and cabin staff. DETAILS

... for those who who have been evacuated from their homes because of wildfires in California; for the safety of those fighting to control the fires.

... for all facing redundancy from work.

... 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, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "Concerning Repentance (Book Two)" by Ambrose of Milan :

Let us, then, mourn for a time, that we may rejoice for eternity. Let us fear the Lord, let us anticipate him with the confession of our sins, let us correct our backslidings and amend our faults, lest of us too it be said: “Woe is me, my soul, for the godly man is perished from the earth, and there is none amongst men to correct them."

Why do you fear to confess your sins to our good Lord?

“Set them forth," he says, “that thou mayest be justified.”

The rewards of justification are set before him who is still guilty of sin, for he is justified who voluntarily confesses his own sin; and lastly, “the just man is his own accuser in the beginning of his speaking.”

The Lord knows all things, but he waits for your words, not that he may punish, but that he may pardon. It is not his will that the devil should triumph over you and accuse you when you conceal your sins. Be beforehand with your accuser: if you accuse yourself, you will fear no accuser; if you report yourself, though you were dead you shall live.

CLOSING PRAYER

God, you gave your servant Ambrose grace eloquently to proclaim your righteousness in the great congregation and fearlessly to bear reproach for the honour of your name: mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellence in preaching and faithfulness in ministering your word, that your people may be partakers with them of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, 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

CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE SIXTH OF DECEMBER 2017
* Nicholas of Myra *

OPENING PRAYER

Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to seek reward,
except that of knowing that I do your will. Amen.

( Ignatius of Loyola )

CANTICLE

Let us lift our joyful voices in sweet well-timed harmony;
sing of Nicholas the blessed and his works of clemency.

As a child, he studied closely God's good word and holy ways.
Called by God to be a bishop; serving through his final days.

To the poor, the sick, the orphans, works of mercy he did show;
miracles of God's great goodness and his love for all to know.

Money needed for a ransom of three maidens, bound and sold;
retribution paid he for them, with three rings of bishop's gold.

Praying on a ship most ancient, tossed about the raging sea;
calm became the swelling waters; God looked down and heard his plea.

Nicholas your works remembered, as we all rejoice this day;
guide us through the stormy tempest, help us not to lose our way.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Nicholas of Myra: thank goodness for hagiography

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Nicholas of Myra, the fourth century bishop, whom the world knows as Santa Claus.

Very little is known about the life of Nicholas, except that he suffered torture and imprisonment during the persecution under the emperor Diocletian. It is likely that he was one of the bishops attending the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325, where he opposed the Arian heresy, and confessed Christ as God.

He was honoured as a saint in Constantinople in the sixth century by the Emperor Justinian. His veneration became immensely popular in the West after the supposed removal of his body to Bari, Italy, in the late eleventh century.

Nicholas is famed as the traditional patron of seafarers and sailors, and, more especially, of children. As a bearer of gifts to children, his name was brought to America by the Dutch colonists in New York, from whom he is popularly known as Santa Claus.

Saint Nicholas is a prime example of the role hagiography plays in the life of the Church. Hagiography is an art form in which the stories told about an established saint, the legends or narratives are sifted and brought together in a kind of holy (from the Greek hagios) biography. The Hagiography surrounding Nicholas tells us this about him: Nicholas’ parents died when he was a young man, leaving him well off and he determined to devote his inheritance to works of charity. An opportunity soon arose. A citizen of Patara had lost all his money, and had moreover to support three daughters who could not find husbands because of their poverty; so the wretched man was going to give them over to prostitution. This came to the ears of Nicholas, who thereupon took a bag of gold and, under cover of darkness threw it in at the open window of the man's house. Here was a dowry for the eldest girl and she was soon duly married. At intervals Nicholas did the same for the second and third; at the last time the father was on the watch, recognised his benefactor and overwhelmed him with his gratitude. This was the seed of the legend of Nicholas as the bringer of gifts to children, which turned him over time into the beloved figure he is today.

Scripture. In the first letter of Saint John, chapter four, verses nine to eleven, we read:

God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that we may be inclined to generosity.

... for the children of the world.

... for prostitutes, in particular those who have been forced, duped or sold into the sex trade.

... for sailors, merchants, repentant thieves, brewers, pawnbrokers, students and all people, congregations and institutions that claim Nicholas as their patron.

... for bishops and other church leaders; that they might practice what they preach and be imitators of Christ.

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

... for those injured when two trains collided near the German city of Düsseldorf last night DETAILS; for all who have been involved in accidents recently; for the safety of those who are travelling.

... for refugees from conflict; in particular the one point seven million who have been forced to flee their homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo this year. DETAILS

... for the homeless people of the United States of America. DETAILS

... for those trapped in perpetual debt.

... for peace in the Middle East as Donald Trump's proposed actions regarding the status of Jerusalem threaten to bring increased instability to the region.

... for the five people who died whilst decorating a civic Christmas tree in El Carmen Frontera, Guatemala 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, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From a treatise on "The Gospel of John" by Augustine of Hippo:

When the Lord asks Peter if he loves him, he is asking something he already knows. Yet he does not ask only once, but a second and third time. Each time Peter’s answer is the same: "You know I love you." Each time the Lord gives him the same command: "Tend my sheep."

Peter had denied Christ three times, and to counter this he must profess his faith three times. Otherwise his tongue would seem quicker to serve fear than love, and the threat of death would seem to have made him more eloquent than did the presence of life. If denying the shepherd was proof of fear, then the task of love is to tend his flock.

When those who are tending Christ’s flock wish that the sheep were theirs rather than his, they stand convicted of loving themselves, not Christ. And the Lord’s words are a repeated admonition to them and to all who, as Paul writes sadly, are seeking their own ends, not Christ’s.

"Do you love me? Tend my sheep."

Surely this means: “If you love me, your thoughts must focus on taking care of my sheep, not taking care of yourself. You must tend them as mine, not as yours; seek in them my glory, not yours; my sovereign rights, not yours; my gain, not yours. Otherwise you will find yourself among those who belong to the ‘times of peril’, those who are guilty of self-love and the other sins that go with that beginning of evils.”

So the shepherds of Christ’s flock must never indulge in self-love; if they do they will be tending the sheep not as Christ’s but as their own. And of all vices this is the one that the shepherds must guard against most earnestly: seeking their own purposes instead of Christ’s, furthering their own desires by means of those persons for whom Christ shed his blood.

The love of Christ ought to reach such a spiritual pitch in his shepherds that it overcomes the natural fear of death which makes us shrink from the thought of dying even though we desire to live with Christ. However distressful death may be, the strength of love ought to master the distress. I mean the love we have for Christ who, although he is our life, consented to suffer death for our sake.

Consider this: if death held little or no distress for us, the glory of martyrdom would be less. But if the Good Shepherd, who laid down his life for his sheep, has made so many of those same sheep martyrs and witnesses for him, then how much more ought Christ’s shepherds to fight for the truth even to death and to shed their blood in opposing sin? After all, the Lord has entrusted them with tending his flock and with teaching and guiding his lambs.

With his passion for their example, Christ’s shepherds are most certainly bound to cling to the pattern of his suffering, since even the lambs have so often followed that pattern of the chief shepherd in whose one flock the shepherds themselves are lambs. For the Good Shepherd who suffered for all mankind has made all mankind his lambs, since in order to suffer for them all he made himself a lamb.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, in your love you gave your servant Nicholas of Myra a perpetual name for deeds of kindness both on land and sea: grant, we pray, that your people may never cease to work for the happiness of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor, and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; 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

CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

The Saint Laika Advent Appeal 2017

Now is the time of year when the big bills start arriving at Saint Laika's HQ at exactly the same time that I have to find the money for Mrs MP's Christmas present and a little bit of festive cheer for the two of us and our canine friends. For example, I have just paid out nearly one hundred pounds for web hosting and the renewal of domain names so that Saint Laika's can continue for another year.

The donations I receive from the friends of Saint Laika's are my only source of income and the work I do at Saint Laika's is my only priestly vocation. In order to keep my head above water and my ministry available to all free of charge I have to run two appeals every year; one in the summer and one in December. As usual I am hoping to raise one thousand English pounds (approx. one thousand, three hundred and forty six American dollars). We have never managed to quite achieve this target but you never know, with the pound weak against the dollar at the moment, this might be the year we do so.

Advent is a time of preparation and Christmas is a time for giving. Personally I cannot think of a better way that you could prepare for Christmas than practicing your giving by sending a donation (no matter how large) in to the 2017 Saint Laika Advent Appeal.

One more thing, Vladimir Putin will not be contributing a kopek to the appeal and, surely, you do not want to be like him.

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE FIFTH OF DECEMBER 2017
* Nelson Mandela *

OPENING PRAYER

O God, all holy one, you are our mother and our father and we are your children. Open our eyes and our hearts so that we may be able to discern your work in the universe and be able to see your features in every one of your children. May we learn that there are many paths but all lead to you. Help us to know that you have created us for family, for togetherness, for peace, for gentleness, for compassion, for caring, for sharing.

May we know that you want us to care for one another as those who know that they are sisters and brothers, members of the same family, your family, the human family. Help us to beat our swords into ploughshares and our spears into pruning hooks, so that we may be able to live in peace and harmony, wiping away the tears from the eyes of those who are less fortunate than ourselves. And may we know war no more, as we strive to be what you want us to be: your children. Amen.

( Desmond Tutu )

CANTICLE

Oh people, you shall not drown in your tears
but tears shall bathe your wounds.

Oh people, you shall not die from hunger
but hunger shall feed your souls.

Oh people, you are not weak in your suffering
but strong and brave with knowing.

Oh people, if you have known struggle,
only then are you capable of loving.

Oh people, be aware of the love you have.

Let not your tears submerge it,
let not your hunger eat it,
let not your suffering destroy it;
oh people, bitterness does not replace a grain of love;
let us be awake in our love.

( Noorie Cassim )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Nelson Mandela: teaching people to love

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who died on this day in 2013.

It is somewhat intimidating to try to say something meaningful in a short devotion. I suppose at the bottom of it all there was Mandela’s willingness to suffer for his beliefs and his willingness to forgive those who caused his suffering, so that his beliefs could take root and grow.

Apartheid was a system of racial segregation in South Africa enforced through legislation by the National Party (NP) governments, the ruling party from 1948 to 1994, under which the rights, associations, and movements of the majority black inhabitants were curtailed by the minority white government. From 1960 to 1983, three and a half million non-white South Africans were removed from their homes, and forced into segregated neighbourhoods, in one of the largest mass removals in modern history. The government segregated education, medical care, beaches and other public services, and provided black people with services that were often inferior to those of white people.

Confronted by this dehumanising system, Mandela fought against it in both non-violent and violent ways. He was a leader in the Defiance Campaign against Unjust Laws sponsored by the African National Congress in 1952. Working as a lawyer he was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities. In 1962, he was arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state, and sentenced to life imprisonment. He served twenty seven years of that sentence. From prison he became a symbol for the anti-apartheid struggle. The world took notice and South Africa became increasingly isolated. An international campaign lobbied for his release, which was granted in 1990 amid escalating civil strife. Mandela joined negotiations with Nationalist President F. W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994. In those elections he became South Africa’s first black president. Under his leadership a new constitution was promulgated. He established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to heal the wounds of racism.

He introduced measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty, and expand healthcare services. He declined to run for a second term. He retired and became an elder statesman, focusing on charitable work in combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Quote: “People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate, then they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Scripture. In the fifth chapter of "Matthew," verses forty-six to forty-eight, we read:

For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the people of South Africa; that the ideals of Nelson Mandela may always remain embedded in their land.

... for an end to all forms of apartheid wherever they may be found in the world today.

... on this, World Soil Day, for the earth of the earth; that humans may be good stewards of the soil, caring for it and not abusing it.

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

... for the people of southern California who are in the path of fast moving wildfires. DETAILS

... for the national parks and areas of outstanding beauty or interest in the world, in particular for those in the United States of America under threat at this time.

... 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, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "Long Walk to Freedom" by Nelson Mandela:

It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.

When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that that is not the case. The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to castoff one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.

I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.

CLOSING PRAYER

Eternal God, when we are confronted by systemic evil, racial hatred, and injustice, inspire us to action through the life of your servant Nelson Mandela, who was willing to give his own life for the betterment of his people. Strengthen us by the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, 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.

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE FOURTH OF DECEMBER 2017
* John of Damascus *

OPENING PRAYER

Lead me to pastures, Lord, and graze there with me. Do not let my heart lean either to the right or to the left, but let your good Spirit guide me along the straight path. Whatever I do, let it be in accordance with your will, now until the end. Amen.

( John of Damascus )

CANTICLE

Unto God be glory, peace to men be given,
this his will who dwelleth in the heights of Heaven.

Bethlehem rejoices, hark the voices clear,
singing in the starlight nearer and more near.

Heaven can not contain him, nor the bounds of earth,
yet, O glorious mystery! Virgin gives him birth.

Now the light ariseth in the darkened skies,
now the proud are humbled and the lowly rise.

Unto God be glory, peace to men be given,
this his will who dwelleth in the heights of Heaven.

( John of Damascus )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

John of Damascus: worshipping God through icons

Today Saint Laika’s remembers John of Damascus, generally regarded as the last of the ancient Church “fathers.”

He was born John Monsour, into a wealthy Arab-Christian family of Damascus. Like his father, he held a position high in the court of the caliph. About 725 he resigned his office and became a monk at the monastery of Mar Saba near Bethlehem, where he became a priest. In this secluded place at the relatively advanced age of fifty-one, John's lasting legacy began to unfold. It began when Emperor Leo III, in 726, outlawed the veneration of icons. This was partly influenced by Islam which, like Judaism, had strict prohibitions against the representation of the divine in artistic form.

In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, representations of God, Jesus, angels, and saints, are venerated during worship. These icons are highly stylised, and the paintings are thought of as a window through which the worshipper is looking into Heaven. At one point in the service, the minister takes a censer and goes to each icon in turn, bows and swings the censer at the icon. He then does the same thing to the congregation (ideally, if time permits, to each worshipper separately) as a sign that every Christian is an icon, made in the image and likeness of God. This is what Leo III outlawed in 726. In history this period has been known as the “Iconoclast” controversy. John of Damascus defended the use of icons in worship based on the incarnation of Jesus Christ: when God became human, he sanctified matter and made it holy. Through the veneration of icons, we are not worshipping the material world, we are worshipping the God who sanctified the material world when he entered it as Jesus Christ.

John is also known as a hymn-writer. Two of his hymns are sung in English at Easter ("Come ye faithful, raise the strain" and "The Day of Resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad!"). Many more are sung in the Eastern Church. His major writing is "The Fount of Knowledge," of which the third part, "The Orthodox Faith," is a summary of Christian doctrine as expounded by the Greek Fathers. He died on this day in 749AD.

Quote: "I do not worship matter, I worship the God of matter, who became matter for my sake.”

Scripture. In the first chapter of Colossians, at verses fifteen to seventeen we read:

Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers: all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the remnant of the Church in Syria.

... for the safety and freedom of Christians living in predominantly Muslim lands.

... for iconographers and all artists who, through their work, create a window for us to gaze on the divine.

... for the people of Honduras; for an end to the civil unrest in the country following the recent election.

... 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, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "An Exact Exposition Of The Orthodox Faith" by John of Damascus:

Now, it seems that of all the names given to God the more proper is that of "He Who Is" as when in conversing with Moses on the mountain he says: "Say to the children
of Israel: He Who Is hath sent me." For, like some limitless and boundless sea of essence, he contains all being in himself.

The second name of God is "o qeos," derived from "qeein" (to run), because he courses through all things, or from "aiqein" (to burn): For God is a fire consuming all evils: or from "qeasqai," because he is all-seeing: for nothing can escape him, and over all he keeps watch. For he saw all things before they were, holding them timelessly in his thoughts; and each one conformably to his voluntary anti timeless thought, which constitutes predetermination and image and pattern, comes into existence at the predetermined time.

The first name then conveys the notion of his existence and of the nature of his existence: while the second contains the idea of energy. Further, the terms "without beginning," "incorruptible," "unbegotten," as also "uncreate," "incorporeal," "unseen," and so forth, explain what he is not: that is to say, they tell us that his being had no beginning, that he is not corruptible, nor created, nor corporeal, nor visible. Again, goodness and justice and piety and such like names belong to the nature, but do not explain his actual essence. Finally, "lord" and "king" and names of that class indicate a relationship with their contrasts: for the name "lord" has reference to those over whom the lord rules, and the name "king" to those under kingly authority, and the name "creator" to the creatures, and the name "shepherd" to the sheep he tends.

CLOSING PRAYER

Confirm our minds, O Lord, in the mysteries of the true faith, set forth with power by your servant John of Damascus; that we, with him, confessing Jesus to be true God and true man, and singing the praises of the risen Lord, may, by the power of the resurrection, attain to 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.

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE FIRST OF DECEMBER 2017
* Nicholas Ferrar *

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, take my lips, and speak through them; take my mind, and think through it; take my heart, and set it on fire. Amen.

( William Hay Hunter Aitken )

CANTICLE

From "The Song of the Obedient (Cur Mundus Militat)"
translation ascribed to Nicholas Ferrar:

Why doth this world contend for glorious vanity?
Whose wealth so subject is to mutability?
As earthly vessels fail through their fragility:
so standeth worldly force unsure and slippery.

Characters raised in ice think rather permanent,
then earthly vanities wasting incontinent.
Shadowed with virtue pure, but false in recompense;
at no time yielding us true trust and confidence.

To men more credit give, who want fidelity,
then trust in worldly wealth, whose end is misery.
Falsehood is fond delight, pleasure is franticness,
desired vanities of fleeting fickleness.

Where now is Solomon, sometime in royalty;
or Samson with his great invincibility;
or gentle Jonathan, so praised for friendliness,
or fairest Absalom, so rare in comeliness?

Where now is Caesar gone, highest in authority,
or Dives with his fare and sumptuosity?
Tell now where Tully is, clearest in eloquence;
or Aristotle fled with his intelligence?

O silly vermin's food, O mass of dustiness,
O dew, O vanity, whence is thy loftiness?
To-morrow for to live thou hast no certainty;
do good therefore to all whilst thou hast liberty.

This worldly glory great how short a feast it is,
and like a shadow here, lo, how it vanishes,
taking rewards away of long continuance,
and leads us in the way of erring ignorance.

This earthly glory most which here is magnified,
in scripture termed is as grass that withered.
And as the lightest leaf the wind away doth blow,
so light is life of man for death to overthrow.

Think that which thou mayst lose is not thine certainly.
This world will take again her gifts of vanity.
Think, then, on heaven above, thereon thy mind address,
contemn all worldly wealth for endless blessedness.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Nicholas Ferrar: deacon, spiritual explorer

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Nicholas Ferrar, the founder of one of the most remarkable experiments in Christian community living in the history of Anglicanism. An English academic, courtier and businessman, he gave up his successful careers, was ordained a deacon and retreated with his extended family to the manor of Little Gidding in Huntingdonshire, where they lived in community.

Nicholas Ferrar was born in London on the twenty-second of February 1593.

His family was wealthy, having gotten involved in the London Virginia Company, which oversaw the commerce and trade with the Virginia Colony in North America. He had an aptitude for learning. He was brought up in a devout Anglican home.

After college, at what was then Clare Hall in Cambridge, Nicholas travelled to Europe, taking a position as a courtier to Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia. When he left her service he continued to travel for a while before returning to England in 1618. He set to work as one of the directors of the Virginia Colony, but when the Company was forced to dissolve in 1624, Nicholas made a life-changing decision.

At the age of thirty-three, Nicholas abandoned his successful political and commercial career to move to found a community of prayer. He bought the deserted manor and village of Little Gidding in Huntingdonshire, a few miles off the Great North Road, with the support of his mother, Mary Ferrar, and his brother John.

Mary Ferrar and the extended family and household (about thirty to forty people) moved into the manor house, and Nicholas became the leader and spiritual director of the community. In 1626 he was ordained a deacon in the Church of England.

In contemporary Anglican life, religious communities are fairly common, but this was two hundred years before the Oxford Movement would attempt to restore pre-reformation practices to the English Church. The offices of morning and evening prayer are two of the greatest contributions of the Anglican Church to the English Language and Ferrar’s community prayed them each day. Someone from the family was engaged in prayer continuously, and so the entire "Book of Psalms" was prayed in the course of each day.
They fasted with great rigour and, in other ways, embraced voluntary poverty, so that they might have as much money as possible for the relief of the poor. They also looked after the health and education of the local children.

Ferrar died on the fourth of December, 1645.

Civil unrest in England brought the Puritans to power. The king was killed and Oliver Cromwell ruled as regent. Unfortunately, the Puritans broke up the community shortly after Ferrar’s death and their experiment in Anglican community came to an end.

Scripture. In the "Letter to Galatians," chapter six, verses nine and ten we read:

So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for those who pray and that we may be drawn to pray more often and more fervently.

... for the retreat house and church at Little Gidding and all those committed to keeping the memory and example of Nicholas Ferrar alive.

... on this World AIDS Day, for the success of those working to find a cure for the disease; for those who have died as a result of contracting AIDS and all those who are living with the illness.

... for the people of the Central African Republic and the people of Romania, who celebrate their national day today.

... for the people of Zimbabwe as it becomes apparent that they have swapped one corrupt and violent dictator for another.

... for those facing redundancy from work.

... for those killed or injured when gunmen, disguised in burkas, stormed the Agriculture Training Institute in the Pakistani city of Peshawar this morning. 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

"For Nicholas Ferrar" by Malcolm Guite

You died the hour you used to rise for prayer.
In that rich hush beneath all other sounds,
you rose at one and took the midnight air
rising and falling on the wings and rounds
of psalms and silence. The December stars
shine clear above the Giddings, promised light
for those who dwell in darkness. Morning stirs
the household. From the folds of sleep, the late
risers wake to find you gone, and pray
through pain and grief to bless your journey home;
those last glad steps in the right good old way
up to the door where Love will bid you welcome.
Love draws us too, towards your grave and haven
we greet you at the very gate of Heaven.

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord God, make us so reflect your perfect love; that, with your deacon Nicholas Ferrar and his household, we may rule ourselves according to your word, and serve you with our whole heart; 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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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE THIRTIETH OF NOVEMBER 2017
* Andrew *

OPENING PRAYER

O God, the father of the forsaken, the help of the weak, the supplier of the needy, who hast diffused and proportioned your gifts to body and soul, in such sort that all may acknowledge and perform the joyous duty of mutual service; who teaches us that love towards the human race is the bond of perfectness, and the imitation of your blessed self; open our eyes and touch our hearts, that we may see and do, both for this world and for that which is to come, the things which belong unto our peace. Strengthen me in the work I have undertaken; give me counsel and wisdom, perseverance, faith and zeal, and in your own good time, and according to your pleasure, prosper the issue. Pour into me a spirit of humility let nothing be done but in devout obedience to your will, thankfulness for your unspeakable mercies, and love to your adorable son Christ Jesus. Amen.

( Antony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury )

CANTICLE

Great Saint Andrew friend of Jesus,
lover of his glorious cross,
quickly at the master's bidding,
called from ease to pain and loss.

Sweet Saint Andrew, Simon's brother,
like him started life anew,
gladly spread the holy gospel
which from word of God he drew.

Blessed Saint Andrew, noble herald,
true apostle, martyr bold,
who, by deeds his words confirming,
sealed with blood the truth he told.

Never was a crown more glorious,
never prize to heart so dear,
as to him the cross of Jesus
when its promised joys drew near.

To the Father, Son, and Spirit,
fount of sanctity and love,
give we glory, now and over,
with the saints who reign above.

( Frederick Oakley )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Saint Andrew: “the Peter before Peter”

Today, Saint Laika’s remembers Andrew the apostle, brother of Saint Peter.

Andrew, according to John’s gospel, was the one to bring his brother Simon Peter to Jesus, leading Saint John Chrysostom to call Andrew “the Peter before Peter.” In fact John had a warm regard for Andrew. Not only did he bring his brother to Jesus, but in "John," chapter six, he was the one to bring the lad with the five barley loaves and two fish to Jesus, and in "John," chapter twelve, together with Philip, he is the one who brings the Greeks to see Jesus.

His brother Peter went on to become the leader of the Twelve, and Andrew seems to fade into the background. In the fourth century, when the Emperor Constantine moved the capitol of the empire to Constantinople, the patriarch there dedicated the patriarchate to Saint Andrew. Several centuries after his death, relics of Saint Andrew were brought to Scotland to a place once known as Fife, but now known as Saint Andrews.

The Western Church has always kept his festival near the beginning of Advent. He makes a wonderful complement to the other great Advent saint, John the Baptist. Andrew was John’s disciple first, before he met Jesus. Perhaps Andrew started the movement of disciples away from John to Jesus, leading John to comment in "John," chapter three, “He must increase, I must decrease.”

In any case, there’s much to be gained from Andrew. His desire to lead others to Jesus is a virtue we all can cultivate. Saint Laika’s exists out of a desire to introduce to Jesus, people who might not otherwise get the opportunity. And Andrew’s self-effacing humility is again something for us to remember in our own spiritual efforts: It’s not about me. May my actions point to Christ.

Scripture: In the tenth chapter of "Romans," at verses fourteen and fifteen we read:

But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent?

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for evangelists, in particular those who risk their lives proclaiming the good news of the cross of Jesus Christ.

... for fishermen and singers; for the people of Barbados, Romania, Russia, Scotland and Ukraine and all places and institutions that claim Saint Andrew as their their patron.

... that the governments of North Korea and the U.S.A. stop their belligerent war-mongering.

... 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "Confessions" by Augustine of Hippo:

But you, “chosen generation, you weak things of the world," who have forsaken all things that you might “follow the Lord," go after him, and “confound the things which are mighty;” go after him, you beautiful feet, and shine in the firmament, that the heavens may declare his glory, dividing between the light of the perfect, though not as of the angels, and the darkness of the little, though not despised ones. Shine over all the earth, and let the day, lightened by the sun, utter to the day the word of wisdom; and let night, shining by the moon, announce to the night the word of knowledge. The moon and the stars shine for the night, but the night obscures them not, since they illumine it in its degree.

For behold God (as it were) saying, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven.”

There came suddenly a sound from heaven, as it had been the rushing of a mighty wind, and there appeared cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And there were made lights in the firmament of heaven, having the word of life.

Run to and fro everywhere, you holy fires, you beautiful fires; for you are the light of the world, nor are you put under a bushel. He to whom you cleave is exalted, and has exalted you. Run to and fro, and be known to all nations.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, who gave such grace to your apostle Andrew that he readily obeyed the call of your son Jesus Christ, and brought his brother with him: give unto us, who are called by your Word, grace to follow him without delay, and to bring those near to us into his gracious presence; 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.

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Don’t Blame Me, Blame MadDad!

Tom was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business. He knew that he would inherit a fortune once his sickly father died.

Tom wanted two things out of life: to learn how to invest his inheritance and to find a wife to share his fortune.

One evening at an investment meeting, he spotted the most attractive woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away.

"I may look like just an ordinary man," he said to her, "but in just a few years my father will die and I'll inherit twenty million dollars."

Impressed, the woman obtained his business card.

Two weeks later, she became his stepmother.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-NINTH OF NOVEMBER 2017
* Dorothy Day *

OPENING PRAYER

O you who are love and who sees all the suffering, injustice and misery which reign in this world, have pity, we implore you, on the work of your hands. Look mercifully upon the poor, the oppressed and all who are heavy laden with error, labour and sorrow. Fill our hearts with deep compassion for those who suffer, and hasten the coming of your kingdom of justice and truth. Amen.

( Eugene Bresier )

CANTICLE

Eternal Power, whose high abode
becomes the grandeur of a God:
infinite lengths beyond the bounds
where stars revolve their little rounds:

Thee while the first archangel sings,
he hides his face behind his wings:
and ranks of shining thrones around
fall worshipping, and spread the ground.

Lord, what shall earth and ashes do?
We would adore our maker too;
from sin and dust to thee we cry,
the great, the holy and the high.

Earth, from afar, hath heard thy fame,
and worms have learned to lisp thy name;
but oh the glories of thy mind
leave all our soaring thoughts behind.

God is in heaven, and men below:
be short our tunes; our words be few:
a solemn reverence checks our songs,
and praise sits silent on our tongues.

( Isaac Watts )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Dorothy Day: demanding justice, practicing mercy

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Dorothy Day, a Roman Catholic radical, social activist and founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, who died on this day in 1980.

Dorothy was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1897, third in a family of five children. Her father was a sports writer. He moved the family to San Francisco when Dorothy was six, where he had landed a job with a newspaper. Her father lost his job when his newspaper’s plant was destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Dorothy remembered how she and her mother would help the homeless victims of the earthquake. Up to this time she had no real interest in religion.

The family moved to Chicago and there she became interested in Christianity. Her family joined an Episcopal church. She was baptised and confirmed there. She loved the liturgies of the Church and began to read the "Bible." She became radicalised during her time at the University of Illinois. She joined the Socialist Party and renounced “organised religion” for its failure to take care of the poor. She moved to New York City and got her first journalism job working for a socialist paper where she came into contact with all kinds of socialist, communists and union organisers, During these days of social activism she lived a bohemian lifestyle that she later described as dissolute and wasted.

The turning point in her life came in 1932 when she met Peter Maurin, a French activist with a deeply held religious faith. He exposed Dorothy to Roman Catholicism and showed her how the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church were strongly supportive of working people. This was in the midst of the Great Depression when America’s economic life was in a state of chaos.

The Communist Party had produced a daily newspaper called “The Daily Worker,” which promoted, among other things, atheism. On the first of May, 1933, Day and Maurin began to publish “The Catholic Worker.” This was the birth of the Catholic Worker Movement which continues to this day. Catholic Worker Houses, which today number over two hundred, all over the world, combine political action on behalf of workers and the working poor, with ministries of mercy such as feeding, clothing, and sheltering the poor and homeless. As Dorothy’s Roman Catholic faith deepened, she could as easily be found on a picket line as in a church for daily Mass. She was an ardent pacifist and in her later years was active in the Peace Movement.

The Roman Catholic Church opened the cause for her canonisation in 2012.

Scripture. In the fifth chapter of "The Letter of James," verses four to six, we read.

Listen! The wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts on a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the working people of the world, in particular those who are exploited by their employers; for those who campaign for workers' rights.

... for the Palestinian people. 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "Loaves and Fishes" by Dorothy Day:

But daily, hourly, to give up our own possessions, and especially to subordinate our own impulses and wishes to others, these are hard, hard things; and I don't think they ever get any easier.

You can strip yourself, you can be stripped, but still you will reach out like an octopus to seek your own comfort, your untroubled time, your ease, your refreshment. It may mean books or music, the gratification of the inner senses, or it may mean food and drink, coffee and cigarettes. The one kind of giving up is no easier than the other.

*****

The act and spirit of giving are the best counter to the evil forces in the world today, and giving liberates the individual not only spiritually but materially. For, in a world enslaved through instalment buying and mortgages, the only way to live in any true security is to live so close to the bottom that when you fall you do not have far to drop, you do not have much to lose.

And in a world of hates and fears, we can look to Peter Maurin's words for the liberation that love brings: "Voluntary poverty is the answer. We cannot see our brother in need without stripping ourselves. It is the only way we have of showing our love."

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, look with mercy upon the multitudes of our day who bear the indignities of injustice everywhere. Raise up leaders in our own day, as you raised up Dorothy Day, to work for justice and to teach us all to hunger and thirst for it; 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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Don’t Blame Me, Blame Jim!

Larry Lobster and Sam Clam where best friends. They did everything together. The only difference between them is that Larry was the nicest Lobster ever and Sam, well lets just say he was not so good.

Larry and Sam did so much together that they even died together. Larry went to heaven and Sam went to hell.

Larry was doing well in heaven and one day Saint Peter came up to him and said, "Larry, you know you are the nicest lobster we ever had up here. Everyone likes you but you seem to be a bit depressed. Tell me what is bothering you, maybe I can help."

Larry said, "Well, don't get me wrong Pete, I like it up here and everything, but I really miss my good friend Sam Clam. We used to do everything together and I really miss him a lot."

Saint Peter looked at Larry with pity and said to him, "I tell you what, I can arrange it so that you can go down to hell tomorrow and visit Sam all day. How would that sound?"

This made Larry very happy and he got up bright and early the next morning and grabbed his wings, his harp, and his halo and got in the elevator to hell. When the doors opened he was met by Sam. The hugged each other and they were off. You see in Hell Sam owned a disco. They spent the day there together and had a great time. At the end of the day Larry and Sam went back to the elevator together said their goodbyes and Larry got back in the elevator and went up to heaven. He stepped off the elevator and was greeted by Saint Peter who blocked the doorway to heaven.

He looked at Larry and said, "Larry Lobster, didn't you forget something?"

Larry looked around and said, "No, I don't think so I have my halo and my wings."

Saint Peter looked at him and said, "Yes, but what about your harp?"

Larry gasped and said, "Oh, no! I Left My Harp in Sam Clam's Disco."

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE TWENTY-EIGHTH OF NOVEMBER 2017
* Kamehameha and Emma *

OPENING PRAYER

Bless and sanctify my soul with your heavenly blessings, that it may become your holy habitation, and let nothing be found in this temple of your divinity, which shall offend the eyes of your majesty. According to the greatness of your goodness and multitude of your mercies, look upon me, and hear the prayer of your poor servant. Protect and keep my soul, amidst so many dangers of this life, and, by your grace accompanying me, direct it along the way of peace, to its home of everlasting brightness. Amen.

( Thomas à Kempis )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Alleluia.
O praise God in his holiness;
praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;
praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the trumpet;
praise him upon the harp and lyre.
Praise him with timbrel and dances;
praise him upon the strings and pipe.
Praise him with ringing cymbals;
praise him upon the clashing cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Alleluia.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

God of life and love, whose son was victorious over sin and death, make us alive with his life, that the whole world may resound with your praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Kamehameha and Emma:
bringing Hawaii into the Church of Jesus

Today Saint Laika’s remembers King Kamehameha IV and his wife, Queen Emma, who were chiefly responsible for introducing the Hawaiian peoples to Christianity, particularly through the efforts of the Church of England. King Kamehameha himself translated the "Book of Common Prayer" into Hawaiian and saw to its distribution among the islanders.

Hawaii was a noble kingdom long before its discovery by western explorers. In its mythology, the Hawaiian kings and queens were descended from the ancient gods. Once discovered by the west, however, they came more steadily under western trade, exploitation, and culture.

Such was the case with Kamehameha IV and his wife, Emma. When he was a young man, before he was king, Kamehameha traveled through Europe, Great Britain and the United States. The American population living on the islands was a concern for Kamehameha. He was somewhat soured in the United States because of the overt racism he experienced on many occasions, because of his dark skin. When he became king, he favoured the British, and arranged to have a bishop consecrated who would establish the Church of England in Hawaii. He and Emma were determined to rule as a Christian king and queen.

His wife and himself were earnest in their devotion to both the material and the spiritual welfare of their people. They instituted quality programs of education and health care for their people. Their only son died in 1863, and the King died, apparently of grief, on the thirtieth of November 1864. The Queen devoted the remainder of her life to charitable endeavours. Queen's Hospital, the largest civilian hospital in Hawaii, is largely her doing. She died in 1885.

After Kamehameha died there was a brief resurgence of the ancient Hawaiian religion. Some of the islanders believed that the King had died at such a young age for turning aside from the old gods. But the Church had been securely established and remained a force for good. In 1894 Hawaii abandoned its rule by kings and declared itself a republic.

Scripture. In the twenty-first chapter of "Proverbs," verses one to three, we read;

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. All deeds are right in the sight of the doer, but the LORD weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for Christian monarchs.

... for the people of Hawaii.

... for the people of Albania and the people of Mauritania, who celebrate their national day today.

... for engaged couples.

... for the people of Kenya; for peace in their land following the reelection of Uhuru Kenyatta as president.

... for children who are bullied and teased because of their physical appearance.

... for women suffering from postnatal depression, stress or anxiety.

... 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "Making Wishes" by Richelle E. Goodrich:

The sign of a good leader is easy to recognise, though it is hardly ever seen. For the greatest leaders are those who share as equals in the trials and struggles, the demands and expectations, the hills and trenches, the laws and punishments placed upon the backs of those governed. A great leader is motivated not by power but by compassion. Therefore he can do nothing but make himself a servant to those whom he rules. Such a leader is unequivocally respected, and loved for loving.

CLOSING PRAYER

O Lord our God, you raised up Kamehameha and Emma to be rulers in Hawaii, and inspired and enabled them to be diligent in good works for the welfare of their people and the good of your Church: receive our thanks for their witness to the gospel; and grant that we, with them, may attain to the crown of glory that never fades away; 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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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE TWENTY-SEVENTH OF NOVEMBER 2017

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, open my heart for your love, keep your love in me, prepare me by your love for greater fullness of your love, until I have reached the fullest measure of love, which you, in your eternal love, has willed for me. Make me, in thought, word, and deed, to love you, and thank you and praise you, and praising you to love you more, and know you more, how worthy you are of all love and praise, until I am made fit, with all your saints and angels, to love you and praise you everlastingly; and breathe out my soul to you in loving you and praising you for all your boundless, undeserved love to me, your poor sinner; yet, though a sinner, yours, O God my God. Amen.

( E. B. Pusey )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-EIGHT
(abridged)

O praise the name of the Lord.

Alleluia.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you stars of light.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,
and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for he commanded and they were created.
He made them fast for ever and ever;
he gave them a law which shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps;
fire and hail, snow and mist,
tempestuous wind, fulfilling his word;
mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars;
wild beasts and all cattle,
creeping things and birds on the wing;
kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the world;
young men and women,
old and young together;
let them praise the name of the Lord.
For his name only is exalted,
his splendour above earth and heaven.
Alleluia.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

O praise the name of the Lord.

O glorious God, your whole creation sings your marvellous work; may heaven’s praise so echo in our hearts that we may be good stewards of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Eberhard and Emmy Arnold:
founders of The Bruderhof

Eberhard Arnold was born into a family with serious religious conviction. His father was a doctor of theology and philosophy and his paternal grandfather was a pastor and missionary in the Evangelical State Church of Prussia. At the age of sixteen, Eberhard experienced an inner change of disposition. After completing his education he became aligned with the Salvation Army doing youth work and evangelism. In 1908 he left the state church, and in 1909 married Emmy von Hollander. He was a much sought after speaker and editor of “The Furrow," the publication of the Christian Student Movement. He became interested in the early Anabaptist movements during the Reformation, with their emphasis on the Sermon on the Mount as the basis of ethical living. At age thirty-seven, he abandoned middle-class life. It was then, in 1920, that he founded a community, together with his wife and children and several other adults and children, where the Sermon on the Mount could be lived out in daily interaction. This became the origin of what Arnold called “The Bruderhof” (place of brothers).

He learned that in America there were still communities of Hutterites, which had been founded along similar lines. He travelled to America and spent the year of 1930 visiting their communities and learning of their ways. Back in Germany, he was disturbed by the growing Nazi movement and the way the state churches failed to sound an alarm. In November 1933, the Bruderhof community was raided by the Gestapo, who searched for arms and anti-Nazi literature and closed the community's school. With their school age children safe in Switzerland, the Arnolds struggled to shepherd the Bruderhof to safety, eventually settling in Liechtenstein. During this time Arnold suffered a leg injury which would eventually lead to his death on the twenty-second of November, 1935.

Emmy Arnold survived her husband by forty-five years and saw the spread of the Bruderhof to many places around the world. She died in 1980 at the age of ninety-five. Today the Bruderhof have communities in United States, England, Germany, and Australia. They number over two thousand five hundred members.

Scripture. In the "Book of Acts," chapter four, verses thirty-two and thirty-three, we read:

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for members of the Bruderhof and other communities of Christians striving to live their lives after the radical example of the first church in Jerusalem.

... that we make take to heart the teaching of Christ in his sermon on the Mount and live our lives accordingly.

... for those living near to Mount Agung volcano in Bali. DETAILS

... for Pope Francis as he visits Myanmar; that his counselling may help bring about an end to the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in the land. DETAILS

... for civilians killed or injured during Russian air strikes in Syria. 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "Becoming True Men and Women" by Eberhard Arnold:

It has been said that we should become truly human and dedicate ourselves to all people. This true humanity is seen most clearly in Jesus Christ and his Sermon on the Mount. For this we must have the love that exists among children, for with them love rules without any special purpose.

If we can feel what it means to become truly human and to find the right attitude of serving all who suffer; if we can become united about what Jesus said and how he lived, and agree that his nature was clearly revealed in the Sermon on the Mount; if we can recognise that the childlike spirit of love is all we need—then we will know the spirit that leads to such a life, and we will feel very close to one another.

Blessed are those who have heart. Blessed are those who love, who build up unity everywhere. Blessed are those who stand with the poor; blessed are those who themselves are poor as beggars. Blessed are those who know themselves as beggars before the Spirit. Blessed are those who are so poor that they hunger and thirst. Blessed are those who feel this hunger and thirst for justice, for the justice of the heart, of love, for the establishment of peace in unity. For they are the people who carry the pain of the world on their hearts, who carry the suffering of the world in their innermost being. They do not think of themselves, for their whole heart is turned toward others.

Yet they are the people who are misunderstood and persecuted because they love justice and do not take part in injustice. This is why they are the salt of the earth. They do not take part in the injustice of mammon. They have no wealth, no savings account, nothing in the bank, nothing invested in houses or land; they have nowhere to go when need comes to them. Jesus tells us not to gather riches on this earth, but to gather the fortune found in love. Let your whole fortune be love, so that wherever you go hearts will open to you. You will be met with hatred because you bring justice, and you will be persecuted and hounded to death for not taking part in injustice. But you will be received with great love in huts which are open for you, and you will be taken in because you bring love.

This is your treasure and your wealth. It will free you of all care. You will be close to nature. You will live with the flowers and the birds, and you will not worry about your clothes or food. You will be one with the birds that find their food, and in harmony with the flowers that are clothed more beautifully than any vain men or women.

There is nothing greater than love. There is nothing more holy than love. There is nothing more true than love, nothing more real. So let us hand our lives over to love and seal the bond of love.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, make your church perfect in love and all good works and establish in it the faith delivered to the saints. Sanctify and unite your people in all the world, that one, holy Church may bear witness to you, the creator and redeemer of all; 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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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE TWENTY-FOURTH OF NOVEMBER 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord, creator of all things, be gracious, I entreat you, unto all your creatures. Give us all grace to serve you in our appointed place, rejoicing before you to your praise; each fulfilling the law under which you bring them, each glorifying you according to the special excellence you bestow. Amen.

( Christina G. Rossetti )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-SEVEN
(abridged and amended)

Great is our Lord and mighty in power.

Alleluia.
How good it is to make music for our God,
how joyful to honour him with praise.

The Lord builds up Jerusalem
and gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up all their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars
and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his wisdom is beyond all telling.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make music to our God upon the lyre;
who covers the heavens with clouds
and prepares rain for the earth;
who makes grass to grow upon the mountains
and green plants to serve our needs.
He gives the beasts their food
and the young ravens when they cry.
He sends forth his command to the earth
and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool
and scatters the hoarfrost like ashes.
He casts down his hailstones like morsels of bread;
who can endure his frost?
He sends forth his word and melts them;
he blows with his wind and the waters flow.

He takes no pleasure in the power of a horse,
no delight in human strength;
but the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their trust in his steadfast love.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Great is our Lord and mighty in power.

Compassionate God, as you know each star you have created, so you know the secrets of every heart; in your loving mercy bring to your table all who are fearful and broken, all who are wounded and needy, that our hungers may be satisfied in the city of your peace; through Christ who is our peace. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Miguel Augustin Pro: "Viva Cristo Rey!"

People of Mexico remember that on the twenty-third of November, 1927 Father Miguel Augustin Pro was executed without trial by the Mexican government under direct orders of the Mexican president.

To understand the circumstances of his death, you have to understand the Mexican Revolution, the largest rebellion in Mexican history. It was based on the peasants' demand for land. The Roman Catholic Church was cautious not to support the revolution, which threatened the property rights of many other Mexicans. The revolution ended with the signing of a new Mexican constitution in 1917. It was vehemently anti-Catholic, stripping priests of the right to vote, forbidding them to minister outside of the church building, forbidding them to wear clerical collars, and more. The administration of President Plutarco Elías Calles, who came to power in 1924, felt its revolutionary initiatives, such as those against private property and Roman Catholic schools, were being threatened by the Church. To destroy the Church's influence over the Mexican people, anti-clerical statutes of the constitution were strictly enforced beginning a ten year persecution of Catholics which resulted in the death of thousands.

Miguel entered the Jesuit order at age twenty in 1911. By 1914 conditions were so bad that the order’s seminary dissolved and he studied abroad, first in California, then in Spain. Then the Jesuits had him teach in Nicaragua for three years. He was ordained in 1925 and sent back to Mexico. Father Pro served a Church which was forced to go “underground.” He celebrated the eucharist clandestinely and ministered the other sacraments to small groups of Roman Catholics. He was kept under surveillance by the government.

At this same time a counter-revolution started up. The rebels called themselves Cristeros, invoking the name of Jesus Christ under the title of "Cristo Rey" or Christ the King. In November there was an attempted assassination of the former president, Alvaro Obregon. On the pretext that he was part of the plot, President Calles had Miguel Pro seized and executed without trial.

On the day of his execution, Miguel Pro blessed and forgave the firing squad, faced them without a blindfold, and cried out “Viva Christo Rey.”

Calles hoped the execution would strike fear into the hearts of the Cristeros, it had the opposite effect. The Cristeros became more animated and fought with renewed enthusiasm, many of them carrying the newspaper photo of Pro before the firing squad.

Scripture. In the "Book of Revelation," chapter six, verses nine and eleven, we read:

I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered for the word of God and for the testimony they had given. They were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number would be complete both of their fellow-servants and of their brothers and sisters, who were soon to be killed as they themselves had been killed.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for Christians persecuted by state authorities, particularly at this time for God's people in China.

... for the crew of the missing Argentinian submarine, now presumed dead.

... for the people of eastern Ghouta in Syria, who are under siege and facing shortages of food, fuel and medicine. 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "Epistle One (to Donatus)" by Cyprian of Carthage:

While I was still lying in darkness and gloomy night, wavering hither and thither, tossed about on the foam of this boastful age, and uncertain of my wandering steps, knowing nothing of my real life, and remote from truth and light, I used to regard it as a difficult matter, and especially as difficult in respect of my character at that time, that a man should be capable of being born again, a truth which the divine mercy had announced for my salvation, and that a man quickened to a new life in the laver of saving water should be able to put off what he had previously been; and, although retaining all his bodily structure, should be himself changed in heart and soul.

“How,” said I, “is such a conversion possible, that there should be a sudden and rapid divestment of all which, either innate in us has hardened in the corruption of our material nature, or acquired by us has become inveterate by long accustomed use? These things have become deeply and radically engrained within us. When does he learn thrift who has been used to liberal banquets and sumptuous feasts? And he who has been glittering in gold and purple, and has been celebrated for his costly attire, when does he reduce himself to ordinary and simple clothing? One who has felt the charm of civic honours shrinks from becoming a mere private and inglorious citizen. The man who is attended by crowds of clients, and dignified by the numerous association of an officious train, regards it as a punishment when he is alone. It is inevitable, as it ever has been, that the love of wine should entice, inflate pride , inflame anger, disquiet covetousness, stimulate cruelty, delight ambition, hasten lust to ruin, with allurements that will not let go their hold."

These were my frequent thoughts. For as I myself was held in bonds by the innumerable errors of my previous life, from which I did not believe that I could by possibility be delivered, so I was disposed to acquiesce in my clinging vices; and because I despaired of better things, I used to indulge my sins as if they were actually parts of me, and indigenous to me. But after that, by the help of the water of new birth, the stain of former years had been washed away, and a light from above, serene and pure, had been infused into my reconciled heart. After that, by the agency of the Spirit breathed from heaven, a second birth had restored me to a new man. Then, in a wondrous manner, doubtful things at once began to assure themselves to me, hidden things to be revealed, dark things to be enlightened, what before had seemed difficult began to suggest a means of accomplishment, what had been thought impossible, to be capable of being achieved; so that I was enabled to acknowledge that what previously, being born of the flesh, had been living in the practice of sins, was of the earth earthly, but had now begun to be of God, and
was animated by the Spirit of holiness.

CLOSING PRAYER

Gracious God, inspire us with the memory of Miguel Augustin Pro, whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross. Give us courage always to bear witness to your son’s victory over death and the grave, for he 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.

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Don’t Blame Me, Blame MadDad

A husband and wife who worked for the circus went to an adoption agency. The social workers there raised doubts about their suitability.

The couple then produced photos of their fifty foot motor home, which was clean and well maintained and equipped with a beautiful nursery and nicely set up with a Christmas tree and presents etc.

The social workers then raised concerns about the education a child would receive while in the couple's care.

"We've arranged for a full-time tutor who will teach the child all the usual subjects along with French, Mandarin, and computer skills," said the husband.

Then the social workers expressed concern about a child being raised in a circus environment.

"Our nanny will be a certified expert in paediatric care, welfare, and diet,” said the wife.

The social workers were finally satisfied.

They asked, "What age child are you hoping to adopt?”

"It doesn't really matter," replied the husband. "As long as the kid fits in the cannon."

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE TWENTY-THIRD OF NOVEMBER 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O God, who has taught us to do unto others as we would they should do unto us; give me grace to cleanse my heart and hands from all fraud and wrong, that I may hurt nobody by word or deed, but be true and just in all my dealings; that so, keeping innocency and taking heed unto the thing that is right, I may have peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

( "Pocket Manual of Prayers" 1860 )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-SIX

The Lord shall reign for ever.

Alleluia.
Praise the Lord, O my soul:
while I live will I praise the Lord;
as long as I have any being,
I will sing praises to my God.

Put not your trust in princes,
nor in any human power,
for there is no help in them.
When their breath goes forth,
they return to the earth;
on that day all their thoughts perish.

Happy are those who have
the God of Jacob for their help,
whose hope is in the Lord their God;
who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them;
who keeps his promise for ever;
who gives justice to those that suffer wrong
and bread to those who hunger.

The Lord looses those that are bound;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous;
the Lord watches over the stranger in the land;
he upholds the orphan and widow;
but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.

The Lord shall reign for ever,
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
Alleluia.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

The Lord shall reign for ever.

Lord of all, our breath and being come from you, yet our earthly end is dust; as you loose the bound and feed the hungry, so bring us in your mercy through the grave and gate of death to the feast of eternal life, where you reign for evermore. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Lazarus and the rich man

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.A.

Walter Brueggemann, in his book “The Threat of Life,” shares a sermon he once wrote on the story of Lazarus and the rich nan in the sixteenth chapter of Saint Luke’s gospel, verses nineteen to thirty-one. Some call it a parable of reversal. Lazarus has nothing here on earth, dies, and winds up in the bosom of Abraham. The rich man has everything here on earth, dies, and spends eternity in torment in Hades.

Brueggemann writes: “Well, at least for a while there is nothing in common between them. In an instant, however, they have everything in common. What they have in common overcomes all that was different between them. At the top of verse twenty-two, the poor man dies. You knew he would, quickly and unnoticed, perhaps of infection, or perhaps because of malnutrition, or perhaps simply of neglect. By the end of the same verse, one phrase later, the rich man dies. It is a moment of dreadful equity: alike for an instant. The rich and poor are very different in life, very alike in death.”

Brueggemann unwraps the parable for the reader in a clear and vivid way. He reminds us that the poor man died first, and comments that it was probably the only time in his life that he had been first. He surmises the rich man most likely assumed that he would be the one headed for the bosom of Abraham. He comments on the significance of the rich man’s asking for mercy.

“Remember,” he tells us, “that back before he died, the rich man had not asked for mercy, because he did not need it.”

At the end Brueggemann says: “This is a hard, demanding story. There is nothing her about what one must do, nothing about being liberal or conservative, nothing about ‘welfare’ or ‘the private sector,’ nothing about how to vote or spend or share or save. Jesus, this terrible storyteller, gives us a zinger. There is nothing to do with the story but to be haunted by it, haunted in this age and in the age to come, haunted at feast and in poverty, haunted through hope and amidst warning.”

Then Brueggemann gives the reader a zinger of his own, and I had to admit that, as many times as I had read this story, I hadn’t realised it quite this way.

Brueggemann concludes: “While you are haunted, consider this very odd fact. The poor man is remembered. We know his name, Lazarus, as does father Abraham. The rich man never had a name or an identity. He had only a social role that was temporary and did not last. He is forgotten, unnamed, and abandoned. No name, and no comfort, no future, no water. His future haunts our present.”

Something to think about if you are feasting sumptuously today.

Scripture. In "First Timothy," chapter six, at verse nine, we read:

But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the poor and for the rich; that their lives may be changed by knowing God in their earthly lives.

... for the native peoples of America.

... for those enduring inclement weather and floods.

... for the crew of the missing Argentinian submarine and for the success of those looking for them.

... 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From a homily by John Chrysostom on "The First Letter to the Thessalonians" chapters nineteen to twenty-two:

Have you suffered anything contrary to your wishes? Yet nothing like what that poor man suffers. You have lost an eye, but he both his. You have long laboured under disease but he has one that is incurable. You have lost your children, but he even the health of his own body. You have suffered a great loss, but you are not yet reduced to supplicate from others. Give thanks to God. You see them in the furnace of poverty, and begging indeed from all, but receiving from few. When you are weary of praying, and do not receive, consider how often you have heard a poor man calling upon you, and have not listened to him, and he has not been angry nor insulted you. And yet you indeed act thus from cruelty; but God from mercy even declines to hear. If therefore you, yourself from cruelty not hearing your fellow servant, expect not to be found fault with, do you find fault with the Lord, who out of mercy does not hear his servant? See you how great the inequality, how great the injustice?

CLOSING PRAYER

Merciful creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature. Make us always thankful for your loving providence and grant that we, remembering the account that we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your good gifts, 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

CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-SECOND OF NOVEMBER 2017
* C. S. Lewis *

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty God, grant us peace and establish your truth in us as you fill all things living with plenteousness. Remember every faithful soul in trial and comfort, if it be possible, every one in sorrow and distress.

O helper of the helpless, bring the wanderer home and give health to the sick and deliverance to the captive.

Sustain the aged, comfort the weak-hearted, set free those whose souls are bound in misery; remember all those that are in affliction, necessity and emergency, everywhere.

Let us dwell with you in peace, as children of light and, in your light, Lord, let us see the light.

Direct, O Lord, in peace, the close of our life. Gather us, when you will, into the abodes of your chosen; without shame or stain or sin. Amen.

( Rowland Williams )

CANTICLE

"The Apologist’s Evening Prayer"
by C. S. Lewis

From all my lame defeats and oh! much more;
from all the victories that I seemed to score;
from cleverness shot forth on thy behalf
at which, while angels weep, the audience laugh;
from all my proofs of thy divinity,
thou, who wouldst give no sign, deliver me.

Thoughts are but coins. Let me not trust, instead
of thee, their thin-worn image of thy head.
From all my thoughts, even from my thoughts of thee,
O thou fair Silence, fall, and set me free.
Lord of the narrow gate and the needle’s eye,
take from me all my trumpery lest I die.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

C. S. Lewis:
he gave in, and admitted that God was God

"Jack" Lewis was born in Belfast in 1898 and was given the name Clive Staples Lewis. His father was a solicitor and his mother was a clergyman’s daughter, who died when he was a child. As a boy, Jack spent his time with his brother or, more often, reading alone in an attic full of books. As an Oxford University academic he taught English at Magdalen College.

As he tells in his book “Surprised by Joy,” he came to believe in God in 1929. Belief in Jesus came in 1931. He was a bold and public defender of Christianity. In a series of radio broadcasts, now collectively known as “Mere Christianity,” he made theology interesting for ordinary people. His “Screwtape Letters” helped people come to terms with the reality of evil.

His works also include the famous “Chronicles of Narnia,” in which those who have been scared by the watchful dragons of religion can experience awe and joy in the presence of One who, in our world, is known by a different name. In 1956 Lewis married Joy Davidman, a recent convert to Christianity herself. Lewis died on November 22, 1963.

Quote: “You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up as a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon, or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God.”

Scripture. In the "Book of Proverbs," chapter twenty-three, verses fifteen to eighteen we read:

My child, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. My soul will rejoice when your lips speak what is right. Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always continue in the fear of the LORD. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for Christian apologists, writers of popular theology and authors of divine allegory.

... for the people of Lebanon, who celebrate their national day today.

... for the people of Zimbabwe; that their future may be more peaceful and prosperous than their past.

... 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "Letters to Malcolm" by C. S. Lewis:

I will not believe in the managerial God and his general laws. If there is providence at all, everything is providential and every providence is a special providence. It is an old and pious saying that Christ died not only for man but for each man, just as much as if each had been the only man there was. Can I not believe the same of this creative act which, as spread out in time, we call destiny or history? It is for the sake of each human soul. Each is
an end. Perhaps for each beast. Perhaps even each particle of matter; the night sky suggests that the inanimate also has for God some value we cannot imagine. His ways are not (not there, anyway) like ours.

If you ask why I believe all this, I can only reply that we are taught, both by precept and example, to pray, and that prayer would be meaningless in the sort of universe Pope pictured. One of the purposes for which God instituted prayer may have been to bear witness that the course of events is not governed like a state but created like a work of art to which every being makes its contribution and (in prayer) a conscious contribution, and in which every being is both an end and a means. And since I have momentarily considered prayer itself as a means let me hasten to add that it is also an end. The world was made partly that there might be prayer; partly that our prayers might be answered. But let’s have finished with “partly". The great work of art was made for the sake of all it does and is, down to the curve of every wave and the flight of every insect.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God of searing truth and surpassing beauty, we give you thanks for Clive Staples Lewis, whose sanctified imagination lights fires of faith in young and old alike. Surprise us also with your joy and draw us into that new and abundant life which is ours in Christ Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

There are the oppressed and there are the oppressors. The splitting of the oppressed into myriad special interest groups, each one insisting that they are more oppressed than all the others, has kept the oppressed oppressed far more efficiently than any act of tyranny the oppressors could come up.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE TWENTY-FIRST OF NOVEMBER 2017
* William Byrd, John Merbecke and Thomas Tallis *

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord, may your all-powerful grace make me as perfect
as you have commanded me to be. Amen.

( Thomas Wilson )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE (abridged )

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised.

I will exalt you, O God my king,
and bless your name for ever and ever.
Every day will I bless you
and praise your name for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised;
his greatness is beyond all searching out.

One generation shall praise your works to another
and declare your mighty acts.
They shall speak of the majesty of your glory,
and I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
They shall speak of the might of your marvellous acts,
and I will also tell of your greatness.
They shall pour forth the story of your abundant kindness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
long-suffering and of great goodness.
The Lord is loving to everyone
and his mercy is over all his creatures.

All your works praise you, O Lord,
and your faithful servants bless you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your mighty power,
to make known to all peoples your mighty acts
and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom;
your dominion endures throughout all ages.

The Lord is sure in all his words
and faithful in all his deeds.
The Lord upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all those who are bowed down.

The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open wide your hand
and fill all things living with plenty.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and loving in all his works.
The Lord is near to those who call upon him,
to all who call upon him faithfully.
He fulfils the desire of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.

My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised.

King of the universe, you show the bright glory of your reign in acts of mercy and enduring love; raise the spirits of the downcast and restore those who have fallen away, that we may sing for ever of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

William Byrd, John Merbecke and Thomas Tallis

Today Saint Laika’s remembers three outstanding musicians of the English Reformation period. Church musicians in England during this time had to be masters of tact and discretion. Chronicled in such works as Eamon Duffy’s “The Stripping of the Altars”,” the political winds blew some days toward Protestant religion and other day toward the Roman Catholic religion.

John Merbecke was born in 1505. As a young man he was a chorister at Saint George’s Chapel, Windsor, and from 1541 until near the time of his death in 1585, he served as chapel organist.

While only a small handful of works by Merbecke have survived, the most notable is "The Booke of Common Praier Noted 1550," composed to accompany the 1549 "Book of Common Prayer." The appearance of the 1552 "Prayer Book" made it obsolete, but in modern times, Merbecke’s musical setting has been recovered and widely used as a setting for the Anglican liturgy.

Thomas Tallis was born near the beginning of the sixteenth century. After a succession of appointments as a church musician, he spent most of his vocation as musician to the Chapels Royal under four successive monarchs, both Roman Catholic and Protestant. He himself remained Roman Catholic, but had the political savvy to survive the shifts in ecclesial loyalties and the inspiration and genius to respond to the changing needs of the Church of England. He is regarded as the father of English Church music since the Reformation.

William Byrd, most likely born in Lincolnshire in 1543, was appointed organist and choirmaster of Lincoln Cathedral in 1563 and served until he joined Tallis at the Chapels Royal in 1572. Like Tallis, he was a lifelong Roman Catholic but was successful in winning the support for his music among Anglicans of Puritan tendencies, though not without occasional difficulties. His liturgical compositions cover a variety of musical forms: mass settings, motets, graduals, psalm settings, English anthems, and occasional music for the great feasts of the church. Byrd composed both sacred and secular music. Four hundred and seventy of his compositions survived him.

Tallis and Byrd collaborated on a number of projects and together held the crown patent for the printing of music and lined music paper for twenty-one years.

Scripture. In "Psalm Forty-Seven," verses five to seven, we read:

God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our king, sing praises. For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for composers of liturgical music.

... that the various denominations of the Church may be united through the singing of praises to God.

... for those killed or injured by a suicide bomber in the town of Mubi, Nigeria, whilst they were attending morning prayer. DETAILS

... for the prominent Chinese human rights lawyer, Jiang Tianyong, who has been jailed for two years, and all victims of China's repressive, authoritarian government. DETAILS

... for those who have died 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From the writings of Clement of Alexandria:

King David the harpist urged us toward the truth and away from idols. So far was he from singing the praises of daemons that they were put to flight by him with the true music; and when Saul was possessed, David healed him merely by playing the harp. The Lord fashioned man a beautiful, breathing instrument, after his own image and assuredly Jesus Christ himself is an all-harmonious instrument of God, melodious and holy, the wisdom that is above this world, the heavenly Word.

He who sprang from David and yet was before him, the Word of God, scorned those lifeless instruments of lyre and cithara. By the power of the Holy Spirit he arranged in harmonious order this great world, yes, and the little world of man too, body and soul together; and on the many-voiced instruments of the universe he makes music to God, and sings to the human instrument. "For you are my harp and my pipe and my temple."

CLOSING PRAYER

O God most glorious: we give you thanks for John Merbecke, Thomas Tallis and for William Byrd, whose music has enriched the praise that your people offer you here on earth. Through their music may we come to fresh awareness of your beauty and grace; through Jesus Christ our lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

Peter Perrett

Peter Perrett, formerly the lead singer of the Only Ones, the group which released the greatest single of all time, "Another Girl, Another Planet," defies science, medicine and logic by being still alive. What is even more amazing is that he has, completely out of the blue, released one of the best albums of the year. This is the title track from it.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE TWENTIETH OF NOVEMBER 2017
* Priscilla Lydia Sellon *

OPENING PRAYER

O God, fountain of truth and the giver of spiritual knowledge, who leads us from year to year in unchanging love, we bless you that when by sight we can not gaze upon your glory, by faith we can know you and lay hold on that truth which gives light to the soul. Especially we thank you for him in whom the true light shines on every man that comes into the world. And we ask from the treasures of your grace for a more childlike trust, a more faithful spirit, a more loyal will. May our obedience open to us all spiritual knowledge. May the truth of our own lives lead us into communion with your spirit of truth. May we be transformed into the likeness of Christ, and so, renew your image on the earth and hasten the coming of that kingdom of truth and liberty and love. Amen.

( Henry W. Foote )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FOUR ( abridged )

Happy are the people
who have the Lord for their God.

Blessed be the Lord my rock,
who teaches my hands for war
and my fingers for battle;
my steadfast help and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield in whom I trust.

O Lord, what are mortals
that you should consider them;
mere human beings,
that you should take thought for them?
They are like a breath of wind;
their days pass away like a shadow.

Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down;
touch the mountains and they shall smoke.
Cast down your lightnings and scatter them;
shoot out your arrows and let thunder roar.
Reach down your hand from on high;
deliver me and take me out of the great waters,
from the hand of foreign enemies,
whose mouth speaks wickedness
and their right hand is the hand of falsehood.

O God, I will sing to you a new song;
I will play to you on a ten-stringed harp,
you that give salvation to kings
and have delivered David your servant.

Save me from the peril of the sword
and deliver me from the hand of foreign enemies,
so that our sons in their youth
may be like well-nurtured plants,
and our daughters like pillars
carved for the corners of the temple;
our barns be filled with all manner of store;
our flocks bearing thousands,
and ten thousands in our fields;
our cattle be heavy with young:
may there be no miscarriage or untimely birth,
no cry of distress in our streets.

Happy are the people
whose blessing this is.
Happy are the people
who have the Lord for their God.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Happy are the people
who have the Lord for their God.

God our deliverer, stir our weak wills, revive our weary spirits and give us the courage to strive for the freedom of all your children, to the praise of your glorious name. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Priscilla Lydia Sellon,
“no ordinary woman”

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Priscilla Lydia Sellon, who is credited with establishing the first organisation of religious sisters in the Church of England. They served the poor and sick, orphans and victims of cholera.

It is hard for us to understand the controversy she stirred up over the issue of religious sisterhood. These were the days when the Tractarian (Oxford) Movement was in full throttle. This was the beginnings of the high church movement in the Church of England when several prominent clergy argued for a revival of catholic practices that had been abandoned in the years following the Reformation. Many feared that there would be an attempt to restore the authority of the Roman Catholic Church in England again. One of the leaders of the Oxford Movement, John Henry Newman, left the Church of England in 1845 and was received into the Roman Catholic Church.

It was in 1848 that Priscilla Lydia Sellon decided to set to work in Plymouth, Devonport, and Stonehouse. Soon other women joined her, and they established themselves as a community and took to wearing simple black dresses adorned with a black wooden cross. They called themselves “The Society of the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Trinity.”

In 1849 there was an outbreak of cholera. The vicar of the parish most heavily affected sought, out of kindness, to prevent their work.

She told him straight out, “We are no ordinary women.”

Their work commenced.

Several clergy and lay leaders did the English Church a real disservice by starting a pamphlet war and vilifying the sisters. Sellon refused to engage them, saying she had more important work to do.

The order of sisters spread to many industrial centres in England. One group of sisters journeyed to Hawaii where they opened a centre there. Sellon’s sisters served in the Crimean War under Florence Nightingale. They distinguished themselves for heroic service in London during the cholera outbreaks in 1866 and 1871.

Sellon’s own health declined and she was for many years a paralytic living, what she called, “a life of calm.” She died on this day in 1876.

Scripture. In "The Second Letter to the Corinthians," chapter four, verses eight to eleven, we read:

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for members of female religious orders, in particular for those pursuing their vocation within the Anglican denomination of the Church.

... for peace and understanding between the various traditions of the Church.

... on Transgender Remembrance Day, for those members of the transgender community who have been murdered over the years due to the widespread hatred of transgender people and for an end to all violence and prejudice against transgender people and their full inclusion within society.

... for the people of Zimbabwe, for peace on their streets and for the resignation of the tyrant, Robert Mugabe; that his rule will not be replaced by more of the same.

... for those who have survived cancer but who now live in debilitating fear of its return and those who still suffer mentally due to the trauma of being diagnosed with cancer. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured in a stampede in the town of Sidi Boulaalam, Morocco, while food aid was being distributed. DETAILS

... for those who were sexually abused as children within the Jehovah's Witnesses cult. DETAILS

... for the LGBT people of Turkey, in particular those living in Ankara where all gay festivals, screenings, forums and exhibitions have been banned. DETAILS

... for those who have died 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From Sisters of Mercy in the Church of England," published in London in 1850 by Joseph Masters:

When almighty God raises up in his church the spirit and power of self-devotedness for Christ's sake, and the sake of those souls for whom Christ died, it is a source of deep thankfulness to every Christian heart. For the spirit and power of self-devotion are gifts of God, talents committed to our charge, bringing with them their burden of responsibility both to individuals and the Church.

True it is that this spirit must be possessed in a lesser or greater degree by every disciple of him, who leaving us an example that we should tread in his steps, said "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily."

But it pleaseth him who when he led captivity captive gave gifts unto men for the perfecting of the saints and for the edifying of the Body of Christ, to cause diversities of gifts but the same Spirit; and as to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; so is the power of self-devotion given in larger measure unto others, to be used, as all the rest, in the service of God, to the furtherance of his glory, and the, salvation of men.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, your son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world. Inspired by the life and work of Priscilla Lydia Sellon, lead us to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help; through the same Jesus Christ, your son, 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

CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE SEVENTEENTH OF NOVEMBER 2017

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty God, and most merciful Father, give us, we beseech you, that grace that we may duly examine the inmost of our hearts, and our most secret thoughts, how we stand before you; and that we may henceforward never be drawn to do any thing that may dishonour your name: but may persevere in all good purposes, and in your holy service, until our lives’ end; and grant that we may now this present day, seeing it is as good as nothing that we have done hitherto, perfectly begin to walk before you, as becomes those that are called to an inheritance of light in Christ. Amen.

( "Hickes' Devotions" )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-THREE ( abridged )

Show me, O Lord,
the way that I should walk in.

Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and in your faithfulness
give ear to my supplications;
answer me in your righteousness.
Enter not into judgement
with your servant,
for in your sight
shall no one living be justified.

The enemy has pursued me,
crushing my life to the ground,
making me sit in darkness
like those long dead.
My spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is desolate.

I remember the time past;
I muse upon all your deeds;
I consider the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul gasps for you
like a thirsty land.

O Lord, make haste to answer me;
my spirit fails me;
hide not your face from me
lest I be like those
who go down to the Pit.

Let me hear of your loving-kindness
in the morning,
for in you I put my trust;
show me the way I should walk in,
for I lift up my soul to you.

Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies,
for I flee to you for refuge.
Teach me to do what pleases you,
for you are my God;
let your kindly spirit lead me
on a level path.
Revive me, O Lord,
for your name’s sake;
for your righteousness’ sake,
bring me out of trouble.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Show me, O Lord,
the way that I should walk in.

Jesus, our companion, when we are driven to despair, help us, through the friends and strangers we encounter on our path, to know you as our refuge, our way, our truth and our life. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Hugh of Lincoln,
bending the rhinoceros to his will

King Henry II of England had to pay for his sins. When four of his knights overheard him wish that he would be rid of his meddlesome archbishop, Thomas Becket, they thought to put a smile on the king’s face by hacking the archbishop to death before the altar at Canterbury cathedral. This was on the twenty-ninth of December, 1170.

If news of Becket’s death brought any pleasure to the king it was short-lived. The brutality of Becket’s martyrdom unleashed a firestorm across Europe. Becket was canonised by the Pope less than three years after his death. Henry was forced to do public penance for his sins.

In an attempt to show the sincerity of his atonement, King Henry decided to endow the establishment of a new monastic house in England, to be the home on English soil of the strictest order of monks in Europe, the Carthusians. This brought Henry face to face with Hugh of Avalon, the procurator of the order’s motherhouse in France, the Grande Chartreuse. Hugh was to be the abbot of this new foundation. He came to England in 1176.

Hugh was in Henry’s face almost immediately. No compensation had been paid to those who would have to lose their lands and property to make room for the monastery. Hugh refused to take office until these persons had been paid "to the last penny." He intervened again on behalf of the builders, whose pay was not forthcoming. This might have been risky, in light of Thomas Becket’s fate, but Henry was impressed by Hugh’s frankness and candour.

Hugh reportedly told Henry, “I do not despair of you. I know how much your many occupations interfere with the health of your soul.”

They formed a strong bond. After Hugh’s death, his biographer noted that “of all men only Hugh could bend that rhinoceros to his will.”

Hugh dared to oppose the king, particularly in the matter of keeping bishoprics vacant in order that their revenues might fall to the king's treasury. One of the worst examples was Lincoln, which, except for a few months, had been without a bishop for eighteen years. Hugh was elected to the post in 1186, and his monastic superiors ordered him to accept. Hugh entered into his new responsibility with fervour, appointing clergy to parishes, defending the poor, protecting Jews when Christians rose up against them.

After Henry’s death, Hugh maintained a good relationship with King Richard the Lionhearted and King John.

In 1200 the king sent him on an embassy to France. His mission was a success, but he took ill and returned to England to die on the sixteenth of November, 1200.

Scripture. In the second chapter of "Titus," at verses seven and eight we read:

Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured; then any opponent will be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us.

Postscript: Hugh's primary emblem is a white swan, in reference to the story of the swan of Stow which had a deep and lasting friendship with the saint, even guarding him while he slept. The swan would follow him about, and was his constant companion while he was at Lincoln. Hugh loved all the animals in the monastery gardens, especially a wild swan that would eat from his hand and follow him about and yet the swan would attack anyone else who came near Hugh.
( Wikipedia )

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the bishops of the Church of England; that they may stop being business men and women and become true shepherds of the flock, caring for the clergy and being an example of holy living for the people of the parishes in their care.

... that we may always be scrupulously fair in all matters of finance and property.

... for sick children, sick people, shoemakers, swans, the congregations of churches dedicated to Saint Hugh of Lincoln and all who regard him as their patron.

... for the students of the world. DETAILS

... for the Orang Rimba people of Indonesia, who are being forced from their homes to make way for palm oil plantations and pressured into converting to Islam. DETAILS

... or those who are bullied and for an end to the culture of bullying in schools, colleges and universities throughout the world.

... for those who have died 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "The Message of Pope John Paul II for the Ninth Centenary of Saint Bruno's Death":

At the heart of the desert, where men are tried and their faith purified, the Father leads them on a path of dispossession which questions all logic of having, being successful and finding fleeting happiness.

Guigo the Carthusian would always encourage those desiring to follow Saint Bruno’s ideal to " follow the example of the poor man Christ, in order to share in his riches "

This dispossession passes through a thorough break with the world, which does not mean contempt for the world but a fresh orientation of one's whole life in a tireless search for the unique good.

"You have seduced me, Lord, and I have let myself be seduced." (Jer. 20,7)

The Church is fortunate to have at its disposition the Carthusian witness of total alertness to the Spirit and a life entirely surrendered to Christ!

CLOSING PRAYER

Holy God, you blessed Hugh, bishop of Lincoln, with wise and cheerful boldness for the proclamation of your word to rich and poor alike: grant that all who minister in your name may serve with diligence, discipline and humility, fearing nothing but the loss of you and drawing all to you 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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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE SIXTEENTH OF NOVEMBER 2017
* Margaret of Scotland *

OPENING PRAYER

I beseech you, my most gracious God, preserve me from the cares of this life, lest I should be too much entangled therein; also from the many necessities of the body, lest I should be ensnared by pleasure; and from whatsoever is an obstacle to the soul, lest, being broken with troubles, I should be overthrown. Give me strength to resist, patience to endure, and constancy to persevere. Amen.

( Thomas à Kempis )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-TWO

Bring my soul out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name.

I cry aloud to the Lord;
to the Lord I make my supplication.
I pour out my complaint before him
and tell him of my trouble.

When my spirit faints within me,
you know my path;
in the way wherein I walk
have they laid a snare for me.
I look to my right hand,
and find no one who knows me;
I have no place to flee to,
and no one cares for my soul.

I cry out to you, O Lord, and say:
"You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.
Listen to my cry,
for I am brought very low;
save me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me.
Bring my soul out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name;
when you have dealt bountifully with me,
then shall the righteous gather around me."

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Bring my soul out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name.

God of compassion, you regard the forsaken and give hope to the crushed in spirit; hear those who cry to you in distress and bring your ransomed people to sing your glorious praise, now and for ever. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Margaret, Queen of Scotland

Margaret (born c. 1045) was the grand-daughter of Edmund Ironside, king of the English, but was probably born in exile in Hungary and brought to England in 1057. After the Norman Conquest in 1066, she sought refuge in Scotland, where about 1070 she married the king, Malcolm III. She and her husband rebuilt the monastery of Iona and founded the Benedictine abbey at Dunfermline. Margaret undertook to impose on the Scottish the ecclesiastical customs she had been accustomed to in England, customs that were also prevalent in France and Italy. But Margaret was not concerned only with ceremonial considerations. She encouraged the founding of schools, hospitals, and orphanages. She argued in favour of the practice of receiving holy communion frequently.

In addition to her zeal for church and people, Margaret was a conscientious wife and the mother of eight children. Malcolm, a strong-willed man, came to trust her judgment even in matters of state. She saw also to the spiritual welfare of her large household, providing servants with opportunity for regular worship and prayer.

Margaret was not as successful as she wished to be in creating greater unity in faith and works between her own native England and the Scots. She was unable, for example, to bring an end to the bloody warfare among the highland clans and after her death in 1093 there was a brief return to the earlier isolation of Scotland from England. Nevertheless, her work among the people and her reforms in the Church made her Scotland’s most beloved saint. She died on the sixteenth of November,1093 and was buried at Dunfermline Abbey.

In the "Book of Deuteronomy," chapter fifteen, in verses seven, eight and eleven, we read:

If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards your needy neighbour. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be.

Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, "Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbour in your land."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the people of Scotland, those who die during childhood, large families, queens, widows and all who claim Margaret of Scotland as their patron.

... for those who have died in flash floods caused by heavy overnight rain in central Greece, and all who have suffered damage to their homes and property. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured by four suicide bombers in the north-eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri. DETAILS

... for those who have died 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From the writings of Bernard of Clairvaux:

To love our neighbour’s welfare as much as our own: that is true and sincere charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. Whosoever loves his own prosperity only is proved thereby not to love good for its own sake, since he loves it on his own account. And so he cannot sing with the psalmist, "0 give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious." Such a man would praise God, not because he is goodness, but because he has been good to him: he could take to himself the reproach of the same writer, "So long as you do well unto him, he will speak good of you."

One praises God because he is mighty. another because he is gracious, yet another solely because he is essential goodness. The first is a slave and fears for himself; the second is greedy, desiring further benefits; but the third is a son who honours his father. He who fears, he who profits, are both concerned about self-interest. Only in the son is that charity which seeks not her own.

Wherefore I take this saying. "The law of the Lord is an undefiled law, converting the soul" to be of charity; because charity alone is able to turn the soul away from love of self and of the world to pure love of God. Neither fear nor self-interest can convert the soul. They may change the appearance, perhaps even the conduct, but never the object of supreme desire.

Sometimes a slave may do God's work; but because he does not toil voluntarily, he remains in bondage. So a mercenary may serve God, but because he puts a price on his service, he is enchained by his own greediness. For where there is self-interest there is isolation; and such isolation is like the dark corner of a room where dust and rust befoul. Fear is the motive which constrains the slave; greed binds the selfish man, by which he is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. But neither fear nor self-interest is undefiled, nor can they convert the soul. Only charity can convert the soul, freeing it from unworthy motives.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, who called your servant Margaret to an earthly throne that she might advance your heavenly kingdom, and gave her zeal for your church and love for your people: mercifully grant that we may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of your saints; though Jesus Christ our lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE FIFTEENTH OF NOVEMBER 2017
* Francis Asbury *

OPENING PRAYER

May the Lord direct me how to act, so as to keep myself always in the love of God. Amen.

( Francis Asbury )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-ONE

Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord.

O Lord, I call to you;
come to me quickly;
hear my voice when I cry to you.
Let my prayer rise before you as incense,
the lifting up of my hands
as the evening sacrifice.

Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord,
and guard the door of my lips;
let not my heart incline to any evil thing;
let me not be occupied
in wickedness with evildoers,
nor taste the pleasures of their table.

My eyes are turned to you, Lord God;
in you I take refuge;
do not leave me defenceless.
Protect me from the snare
which they have laid for me
and from the traps of the evildoers.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord.

Lord God, our protector and guide, who made us knowing both good and evil, help us to desire all that is good, that the offering of our lives may be acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Francis Asbury:
not destined for Canterbury

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Francis Asbury, first bishop of the Methodist Church in the United States.

In 1784, the same year that Samuel Seabury sought consecration as the first Anglican bishop in the United States, John Wesley, founder of Methodism, broke with the Church of England, and began to ordain clergy to go to America as preachers and administrators of the sacraments. Francis Asbury was his choice to be sent as superintendent, to organise what would become the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. He could hardly have chosen a better person.

Asbury was born to very devout parents in 1745. It is said that his mother wanted him to become the archbishop of Canterbury, and so would read him the "Bible," sing him hymns, and pray over him.

In 1767 he was appointed a traveling preacher by John Wesley. In 1771 he volunteered to go to America and when the War of Independence broke out was the only Methodist preacher in America.

After the war, Asbury, together with Thomas Coke, began to organise the Methodist Church. Like Wesley himself, Asbury preached in myriad places: courthouses, public houses, tobacco houses, fields, public squares, wherever a crowd assembled to hear him. For the remainder of his life he rode an average of six thousand miles each year, preaching virtually every day and conducting meetings and conferences.

One of Asbury’s typical prayers, which he prayed regularly went like this: “Lord, we are in your hands and in your work. You know what is best of us and for your work; whether plenty or poverty. The hearts of all are in your hands. If it is best for us and for your church that we should be cramped and straitened, let the people’s hands and hearts be closed: if it is better for us; for the church, and more to your glory that we should abound in the comforts of life; do you dispose the hearts of those we serve to give accordingly: and may we learn to be content whether we abound, or suffer need.”

Under his direction, the church grew from one thousand two hundred to two hundred and fourteen thousand members and seven hundred ordained preachers.

His health began to fail in 1814 and he finally died in 1816.

Scripture. In the seventeenth chapter of "Saint John’s Gospel," at the sixth verse we read:

"I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for members of the Methodist churches throughout the world, in particular those who live in the United States of America.

... for travelling preachers.

... for the wellbeing and release of all writers imprisoned for what they have written. DETAILS

... for those who live with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. DETAILS

... for the people of Palestine who celebrate the signing of their declaration of independence in 1988 today. DETAILS

... for the people of Zimbabwe following the military takeover of their country. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured when a gunman fired into an elementary school in Rancho Tehama, California, yesterday. DETAILS

... for those who have died 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From a letter from Francis Asbury to Ezekiel Cooper, dated the twenty-fourth of December, 1788:

My dear Brother:

I wish you to be blessed with health to do your duty. If possible visit from house to house, and that regularly once a fortnight for no other purpose than to speak to each in the family about their souls, that they may be ready for your help. Appoint preaching every other night, if able visit the classes every other week. Take some one of the poor Negroes and also the children. Remember the sick. The pastoral charge is very great. Whether our circle is large or small we may find work.

I wish something might be done to revive the work in town and keep it in motion; these people I know, I feel, will settle on their lees. Sermons ought to be short and pointed in town, briefly explanatory and then to press the people to conviction, repentance, faith and holiness.

I am sure the whole method of preaching will be changed as we come near the golden age. So shall we speak not so much by system but by life and application in the heart, little illustration and great fervency in the spark of life.

We have cold weather but we may have warm hearts, faith to head to mountains of sin and rivers of ice.

I am in much love thine

F. Asbury

CLOSING PRAYER

Holy God, you so inspired Francis Asbury with evangelical zeal that his faithful proclamation of the gospel caused a great awakening among those who heard him: inspire us to share your good news in our own day and lead many to Jesus Christ, in whom is eternal life and peace; 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.

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