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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE TWENTIETH OF SEPTEMBER, 2017
* John Coleridge Patteson *

OPENING PRAYERS

We beseech you, O Lord, remember all for good; have mercy upon all, O God. Remember every soul who, being in any affliction, trouble, or agony, stands in need of your mercy and help, all who are in necessity or distress; all who love or hate us.

You, O Lord, are the helper of the helpless; the hope of the hopeless; the saviour of them who are tossed with tempests; the haven of them who sail; be you all to all.

Your glorious majesty, O Lord our God, be upon us; prosper the work of our hands; oh, prosper our handy-work.

Lord, be within me to strengthen me; without me to keep me; above me to protect me; beneath me to uphold me; before me to direct me; behind me to keep me from straying; round about me to defend me.

Blessed be you, O Lord, our Father, for ever and ever. Amen.

( Lancelet Andrewes )

CANTICLE

Go sound the Gospel trumpet
beyond the rolling sea,
from chains of sin and darkness
to set the captive free.

Go bear the joyful tidings
that first, on Judah’s plain,
awoke the wondering shepherds
to praise Messiah’s name;
exalt the king of glory
who left his throne on high,
and came to earth a ransom
for guilty man to die.

Go in your master’s vineyard
and labour heart and hand;
the word of life eternal
proclaim to every land:
the sweet and precious promise
to all who will believe;
free grace and full salvation
for all who will receive.

Go tell the broken spirit
that vainly sighs for rest,
there is a home in glory,
a home for ever blest;
go bring the lost to Jesus,
his tender love to share;
go forth to every nation:
immortal souls are there.

Go sound the Gospel trumpet
beyond the rolling sea,
from chains of sin and darkness
to set the captive free.

( Fanny Crosby )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

John Coleridge Patteson:
from Oxford to the South Pacific

John Coleridge Patteson was born in London in 1827. He attended Balliol College, Oxford, and graduated in 1849. In 1852, after a tour of Europe and a study of languages, he became a fellow of Merton College, Oxford. In 1855, he heard Bishop George Selwyn of New Zealand call for volunteers to go the South Pacific to preach the gospel. He went there, and founded a school for the education of native Christian workers. He was adept at languages and learned twenty-three of the languages spoken in the Polynesian and Melanesian Islands of the South Pacific. In 1861 he was consecrated Bishop of Melanesia.

The slave-trade was technically illegal in the South Pacific at that time, but the laws were only laxly enforced and in fact slave-raiding was a flourishing business. Patteson was actively engaged in the effort to stamp it out. However, injured men do not always distinguish friends from foes. After slave-raiders had attacked the island of Nakapu, in the Santa Cruz group, Patteson and several companions visited the area. They were assumed to be connected with the raiders and Patteson's body was floated back to his ship with five hatchet wounds in the chest, one for each native who had been killed in the earlier raid.

The death of Bishop Patteson caused an uproar back in England and stimulated the government there to take firm measures to stamp out slavery and the slave trade in its Pacific territories. It was also the seed of the strong and vigorous church in Melanesia today.

Patteson and his companions died on the twentieth of September, 1871.

Scripture. In the seventh chapter of "Acts," verses fifty-eight to sixty, we read.

"Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

"While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’

"Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’

"When he had said this, he died."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that we may have the courage to go where God sends us.

... for missionaries, at home and abroad.

... for an end to all forms of slavery.

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

... for those killed, injured or made homeless by a strong earthquake that has struck central Mexico; for those who are missing, for all affected by the quake. DETAILS

... for the people of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rica and all whose lands have been battered by Hurricane Maria. 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 "Bishop Patteson: as the Natives Saw Him" by Edward Wogale:

Formerly, when I was little, I lived in my heathen land, and I used to see Bishop Patteson coming frequently to us, but I thought that he came to us without a reason and I did not think that he would take me away by and bye, but he took me, and I lived with him when I was still a boy.

Listen: he taught me altogether about this good teaching that I have received, about baptism, about confirmation, about the holy sacrament and about prayer. And about prayer he said thus: If I pray I should pray for myself, and for all my brethren, and for him also, and that I should pray daily. And I think that he taught me thoroughly and truly about these things.

And I saw myself that there was a heart very good indeed within him, a generous heart full of love and pity, When he was still weak, because he had been ill, he did not consider that at all, but still gave all his energy to teaching us, ready for our going to the lands to the north.

Now on that voyage in which he died, I went together with him to Mota, and I saw that he gave very much of his heart to teaching the Mota people during that visit: for in the morning and in the evening he was always talking to them about this good teaching, and if he saw anyone on the road walking or sitting down anywhere he would speak to him about this teaching. And he urged very strongly, also, us who went together with him, that we should give all our energies, together with him, to proclaiming this teaching to them; and the Mota people loved him very much. During that time that he lived at Mota he baptised men, adults, and children also. When they were counted there were two hundred and ninety-seven who then received for themselves baptism at that time. And his clothes, he distributed them all to those who had received baptism, and he gave also his handkerchief to them.

And when we rowed ashore to the islands to the north, he used to do like this: If it was a good landing, we put him ashore with the crowd; but if it was at a land where they did not know him well, he would ask for the boat to float at a distance from the shore, and he alone would remain amongst the crowd. But if the landing-place was bad, he would swim ashore to the people, and the boat would float on the sea. Then, when he had remained with them for a time, he would make presents of many things to them, and then swim back again to the boat. He did like this always in all his voyages.

The Bishop was good indeed; he did not live apart from us, but he was always friends with us, and we lived always in his house with him. And he did not despise at all anyone amongst us, but he kept us thoroughly with him. And he said that he did not wish us to be shy with him, or to be afraid of him. Not this, but if anyone wished to speak to him about anything, that he should speak out, and not fear him. Yes, indeed, there was a very humble disposition (or nature) with him, and he said daily to us thus: That we should not pride ourselves; but if we humbled ourselves that would be good.

And, again, he was very patient with us. He did not do anything to make one fear him, but he spoke quietly always about anything that was right for that one: whether it was ordering him, or forbidding him, he did it quietly: and truly it was always right.

CLOSING PRAYER

God of all tribes and peoples and tongues, who called your servant John Coleridge Patteson to witness in life and death to the gospel of Christ amongst the peoples of Melanesia, grant us to hear your call to service and to respond trustfully and joyfully to Jesus Christ our redeemer, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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

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I Am Mad, Not Stupid

I notice people are, again, starting to share posts on Facebook claiming that Donald Trump is mad. I wish they would stop it. It really pisses me off when people equate ignorance, arrogance and bad behaviour with mental health problems. Nastiness and stupidity are not illnesses. If they were the world would not have enough hospitals to treat half of one percent of the sufferers.

Daily Prayer At Sant Laika’s

TUESDAY THE NINETEENTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2017

OPENING PRAYERS

Fire of the Spirit,
life of the lives of creatures,
spiral of sanctity,
bond of all natures,
glow of charity,
lights of clarity,
taste of sweetness to sinners,
be with us and hear us.

Composer of all things,
light of all the risen,
key of salvation,
release from the dark prison,
hope of all unions,
scope of chastities,
joy in the glory,
strong honour,
be with us and hear us. Amen.

( Hildegard of Bingen )

CANTICLE

And so his garments
were washed and cleansed
from greatest suffering.

O power within eternity:
all things you held
in order in your heart,
and through your Word
were all created
according to your will.
And then your very Word
was clothed within
that form of flesh
from Adam born.

How great the Saviour’s goodness is,
for he has freed all things
by his own incarnation,
which divinity breathed forth
unchained by any sin.

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.

And so his garments
were washed and cleansed
by greatest suffering

( Hildegard of Bingen )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Hildegard of Bingen,
a hidden treasure come to light
(transferred from Sunday)

Hildegard of Bingen, has been called by some the greatest woman of the Middle Ages. She was a phenomenon by the standards of any century.

First, and above all, she was devoted to Jesus Christ, becoming a nun at the age of eighteen. As her leadership skills became evident she became the abbess of that community. When her community grew to the point of needing new quarters she moved the nuns to Bingen and supervised the building of a new monastery for them.

She was a mystic and a visionary and she devoted many years to writing her visions down, interpreting them, and commenting on their significance. She corresponded with popes and high churchmen. She travelled through Germany and other parts of Europe preaching to the people.

Her use of parable and metaphor, of symbols, visual imagery and non-verbal means to communicate makes her work reach out effectively to people of our own day. She wrote and spoke extensively about social justice, about freeing the downtrodden, about the duty of seeing to it that every human being, made in the image of God, has the opportunity to develop and use the talents that God has given them and to realise their God-given potential. This strikes a chord today.

She wrote seventy-two songs including a play set to music. Musical notation had only shortly before developed to the point where her music was written down in a way that we can read today. She wrote at least two books of medical and pharmaceutical advice. She authored a commentary on the Gospels, and another on the Athanasian Creed.

She died in the year 1179.

For many years her work was forgotten but in recent times she has had a marvellous resurgence. Pope Benedict XVI named her a doctor of the Church.

Scripture. In the third chapter of "Colossians," at verses sixteen and seventeen, we read:

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom and, with gratitude in your hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that we may use our skills to enable others to glimpse the mysteries of the Holy Trinity.

... that women may be unhampered in living out their God-given vocations within all the Church.

... for mystics, hymn writers and composers of sacred music.

... for the people of Saint Kitts and Nevis, who celebrate their national day today.

... for the people of Dominica whose island has been devastated by Hurricane Maria and for all living in the path of the storm. 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 "Hildegard of Bingen: a Saint for Our Times" by Matthew Fox:

Hildegard advises us, "Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars. Gaze at the beauty of earth's greenings. Now, think. What delight God gives to humankind with all these things. Who gives all these shining, wonderful gifts, if not God?"

Shining and wonderful, luminous and fiery, and filled with doxa (the Greek word for "glory" or "radiance," used at special times in the scriptures) are these gifts of sun, moon, stars, and green things that flourish on the earth. They evoke in us delight. Joy is attached. Pleasure is among us. Enchantment surrounds us. The moon speaks to us. The sun blesses us with warmth, nurture, and food (as plants and animals absorb or 'eat' sunlight and thereby flourish via photosynthesis). Delight indeed! Tasty things come home to our intimate breakfast and dinner tables. Many shining, wonderful, delicious gifts. Pay attention, and by so doing learn to praise.

Hildegard celebrates the glory (the radiance, or living light) that's in all beings.

"There is no creation that does not have a radiance," she says. "Be it greenness or seed, blossom or beauty, it could not be creation without it."

All creation contains radiance or "glory." All beauty contains the same. We are struck with beauty and radiance many times every day. Hildegard is echoing the prophet Isaiah's awareness that "all of creation contains the glory of God" (Is 6.3). She tastes and breathes this glory.

Wisdom speaks to Hildegard: "I, the fiery life of divine wisdom, I ignite the beauty of the plains, I sparkle the waters, I burn in the sun, and the moon, and the stars. With wisdom I order all rightly. Above all, I determine truth."

There's a fiery life to wisdom, one that ignites, sparkles, burns, and keeps things in order. Even truth itself is full of this radiance and fire. Hildegard is deeply sensitive to this 'living light,' which so often appears in her visions and speaks to her in the first person.

When Hildegard was seventy-seven years old, she wrote the following description of her experiences:

"From my childhood days, when my limbs, nerves, and veins were not yet strong, the gift of this vision brought joy to my soul; and this has remained true up to this very time when I am a woman of more than seventy years. The light which I see is not bound by space. It is much, much more light-filled than a cloud that carries the sun in itself. There is nothing in it to recognise of height, length, or breadth. It was described to me as the 'shadow of the living light.' And just as the sun, the moon, and the stars are reflected in water, so writings, talks, powers, and certain actions of people are illuminated for me in this light. It is in this light that I sometimes see, though not often, another light that I call 'the living light.' When and how I see this, I cannot say. But as long as I see this 'living light' all sadness and anxiety are taken away from me. The result is that I feel like a simple young girl and not like an old lady."

Words like "radiance," "numinosity," "glory" and "doxa" are synonyms for the Cosmic Christ, the image of God present and shining in all beings. This is like the Buddha Nature, which is also said to be present in all things, heightening our sense of reverence and respect. This teaching is about recovering a sense of the sacredness of all things. The Cosmic Christ is the Logos, or Word, that we have seen dwells in all things not passively but actively, urging them on to their rich fecundity and generativity, to the implementation of their greening powers.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, by whose grace your servant Hildegard, kindled with the fire of your love, became a burning and shining light in your Church: grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline and walk before you as children of 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.

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE EIGHTEENTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2017
* Dag Hammarskjöld *

OPENING PRAYERS

Almighty God, who has caused the light of eternal life to shine upon the world, we beseech you that our hearts may be so kindled with heavenly desires, and your love so shed abroad in us by your Holy Spirit, that we may continually seek the things which are above; and, abiding in purity of heart and mind, may at length attain unto your everlasting kingdom, there to dwell in the glorious light of your presence, world without end. Amen.

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN part five (abridged)

O deal with your servant according to your faithful love.

Your word is a lantern to my feet
and a light upon my path.
I have sworn and will fulfil it,
to keep your righteous judgements.

I am troubled above measure;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word.
My soul is ever in my hand,
yet I do not forget your law.

Your testimonies have I claimed
as my heritage for ever;
for they are the very joy of my heart.
I have applied my heart
to fulfil your statutes:
always, even to the end.

You are my hiding place and my shield
and my hope is in your word.
Sustain me according to your promise,
that I may live,
and let me not be disappointed in my hope.
Hold me up and I shall be saved,
and my delight shall be ever in your statutes.

I have done what is just and right;
O give me not over to my oppressors.
Stand surety for your servant's good;
let not the proud oppress me.

My eyes fail with watching for your salvation
and for your righteous promise.
O deal with your servant
according to your faithful love
and teach me your statutes.
I am your servant;
O grant me understanding,
that I may know your testimonies.

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 deal with your servant according to your faithful love.

O God, save us from ourselves,
from double standards
and divided hearts,
and give us light and life
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Dag Hammarskjöld, on the road to holiness

Dag Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author. The second secretary-general of the United Nations, he served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash on this day in 1961. At the age of forty-seven years, two hundred and fifty-five days, Hammarskjöld is the youngest to have held the post. He is one of just three people to be awarded a posthumous Nobel Prize. Hammarskjöld is the only U.N. secretary-general to die in office; his death occurred en route to cease-fire negotiations. American president John F. Kennedy called Hammarskjöld "the greatest statesman of our century".

Hammarskjöld began his term by establishing his own secretariat of four thousand administrators and setting up regulations that defined their responsibilities. He was also actively engaged in smaller projects relating to the UN working environment. For example, he planned and supervised in every detail the creation of a "meditation room" in the UN headquarters. This is a place dedicated to silence where people can withdraw into themselves, regardless of their faith, creed, or religion.

During his term, Hammarskjöld tried to smooth relations between Israel and the Arab states. Other highlights include a 1955 visit to China to negotiate release of fifteen captured US pilots who had served in the Korean War, the 1956 establishment of the United Nations Emergency Force, and his intervention in the 1956 Suez Crisis. He is given credit by some historians for allowing participation of the Vatican within the United Nations that year. In 1960 he made four trips to the Congo in an attempt to defuse tensions there.

He was a man of deep inner spirituality, familiar with medieval mystics, yet steeped in political activism. After his untimely death, he left behind a book of notes called “Markings.” It was described by one theologian as "the noblest self-disclosure of spiritual struggle and triumph, perhaps the greatest testament of personal faith written in the heat of professional life and amidst the most exacting responsibilities for world peace and order."

Quotes:

"In our age, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action."

“God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.”

Scripture. In "Psalm Ninety-Four," in verses fourteen and fifteen, we read:

"For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage; for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright of heart will follow it.”

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that we may allow our faith to inform our actions and for the desire to turn our dysfunctional world into the perfect kingdom of God.

... for all who work for the United Nations.

... for clean drinking water for everybody and for those working to make this happen. DETAILS

... for those who live in the path of Hurricane Maria DETAILS and for those killed or injured by powerful storm in western Romania. DETAILS

... for the welfare of all animals in transit. 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 "Markings" by Dag Hammarskjöld:

When you have reached the point where you no longer expect a response, you will at last be able to give in such a way that the other is able to receive, and be grateful. When Love has matured and, through a dissolution of the self into light, become a radiance, then shall the Lover be liberated from dependence upon the Beloved, and the Beloved also be made perfect by being liberated from the Lover.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, kindle within the hearts of the leaders of this world a yearning for peace with justice as you did within your servant Dag Hammarskjöld and, following his good example, ever guide our feet into the way of peace; through the same 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.

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE FIFTEENTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2017
* Cyprian of Carthage / James Chisholm *

OPENING PRAYERS

We give you thanks, almighty God, for the bread of the body that perishes and we beseech you to give us that bread by which man’s higher life is fed, that we, laying hold of the life that never dies, may thereby be made fit for the troubles and burdens of this life and look forward with joy to the higher and better life. So may we live in constant childlike trust in you as to believe, though we behold it not, that the end of all things is divine and to catch the music to which this world is set by you. Lead us from the lower life to the better life that little things may lose their power to vex us and in the midst of the troubles of this life we may have the peace of God that passes all understanding. Of your loving-kindness and tender mercy hear us, through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN part four (abridged)

Give me life, O Lord, according to your word.

My soul is pining for your salvation;
I have hoped in your word.
My eyes fail with watching for your word,
while I say, "O when will you comfort me?"

I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,
yet I do not forget your statutes.
Give me life according to your loving-kindness;
so shall I keep the testimonies of your mouth.

O Lord, your word is everlasting;
it ever stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness also remains
from one generation to another;
you have established the earth and it abides.

So also your judgements stand firm this day,
for all things are your servants.
If your law had not been my delight,
I should have perished in my trouble.

I will never forget your commandments,
for by them you have given me life.
I am yours, O save me!
For I have sought your commandments.

Lord, how I love your law!
All the day long it is my study.
I have not turned aside from your judgements,
for you have been my teacher.

How sweet are your words on my tongue!
They are sweeter than honey to my mouth.
Through your commandments I get understanding;
therefore I hate all lying ways.

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.

Give me life, O Lord, according to your word.

Lord Christ,
as we sit at your feet,
teach us your living way;
for you are our Word and Wisdom,
one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Cyprian of Carthage and James Chisholm:
bearers of the mercy of God

Today Saint Laika’s spans the centuries by remembering a bishop from the third century and a priest of the nineteenth century.

Cyprian was born around 200 AD in North Africa of pagan parents. He was a prominent trial lawyer and teacher of rhetoric. Around 246 he became a Christian and in 248 was chosen bishop of Carthage. A year later the Roman emperor, Decius, began a severe persecution of the Church. Many, out of fear, renounced their faith in Christ in order to preserve their lives. After the persecution had died down, a controversy arose over these lapsed Christians who now wanted back into the church. Cyprian held that they ought to be received back into full communion after a suitable interval of penance. In this he was opposed by Novatian, who would not receive them back at all, and who broke communion with the rest of the Church over this issue, forming a dissident group particularly strong in Rome and Antioch. Cyprian, who held the same position as the Bishop of Rome on the treatment of the lapsed, wrote urging the Christians of Rome to stand with their bishop.

During the reign of the Emperor Valerian, Carthage suffered a severe plague epidemic. Cyprian organised a program of medical relief and nursing of the sick, available to all residents, but this did not prevent the masses from being convinced that the epidemic resulted from the wrath of the gods at the spread of Christianity. Another persecution arose, and Cyprian was arrested, tried, and finally beheaded on the fourteenth of September 258.

James Chisholm was the rector of Saint John's Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, Virginia, in the early 1850's, when a terrible plague of yellow fever struck the city. In a book written in 1856 entitled “The Great Pestilence in Virginia,” Chisholm was described this way: “He was always at the bedside of the suffering, and there by the fresh-made grave. He cared not just for their physical health but was steadfast in preparing his flock for death, pointing the sinner to the cross of Christ. He carried food and drink to the needy; he was at the hospital whispering peace to the penitent and departing soul. Finally he also succumbed and the fever struck and killed him as well.” He died on this day in 1855.

Two servants of God, separated by the centuries, yet equally dispensing the mercy of God to those they served.

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

"We do not live to ourselves and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that we may have the courage and confidence to confess our belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ even when our faith may elicit ridicule or persecution from those who do not believe.

... for those who expose themselves to danger whilst giving aid to people in need.

... for doctors, nurses and for hospital chaplains; for all who tend to the sick.

... on this the International Day of Democracy that all people in all the nations may be allowed to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems, and to participate in all aspects of life. We pray for an end to all dictatorships and the oppressive institutions that support them. DETAILS

... for the people of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua who celebrate their national day today.

... for those who were injured or traumatised when a terrorist's bomb exploded aboard a packed London Underground train at Parsons Green Underground station, near Fulham, southwest London during rush hour. DETAILS

... for the people of Japan and an end to North Korea's belligerency; that the international community may find and agree to a peaceful and effective way to stop the sabre rattling in the region.

... for all who were abused whilst in the care of religious institutions.

... for the Nigerian "Chibok girls" still held captive by Boko Haram Islamists. 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 treatise on the Lord's Prayer by Cyprian of Carthage:

Before all things, the teacher of peace and master of unity did not wish prayer to be offered individually and privately as one would pray only for himself when he prays. We do not say: "My Father, who art in heaven," nor "Give me this day my bread," nor does each one ask that only his debt be forgiven him and that he be led not into temptation and that he be delivered from evil for himself alone. Our prayer is public and common, and when we pray, we pray not for one but for the whole people, because we, the whole people, are one. God, the teacher of prayer and concord, who taught unity, thus wished one to pray for all, just as he himself bore all in one.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, you gave to your servants Cyprian and James boldness to confess the name of our saviour Jesus Christ to others and courage to be stewards of your mercy to the sick and suffering up to their final hours. Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us and to suffer gladly for the sake of our lord Jesus Christ 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

THURSDAY THE FOURTEENTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2017
* Holy Cross Day *

OPENING PRAYERS

Lord, by your cross and resurrection, you have set us free.
You are the saviour of the world. Amen.

God forbid that I should glory,
save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

CANTICLE

O cross of Christ, immortal tree
on which our saviour died,
the world is sheltered by your arms
that bore the crucified.

From bitter death and barren wood
the tree of life is made;
its branches bear unfailing fruit
and leaves that never fade.

O faithful cross, you stand unmoved
while ages run their course;
foundation of the universe,
creation’s minding force.

Give glory to the risen Christ
and to his cross give praise,
the sign of God's unfailing love,
the hope of all our days.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Holy Cross Day: the beautiful, terrible cross

Today Saint Laika’s celebrates "Holy Cross Day," sometimes known as "The Triumph of the Cross."

The story that has come down to us from history and legend is that Constantine, the first Roman emperor to profess Jesus Christ as lord, sent his mother Helena to Israel in the first decades of the fourth century, to discover the places that would have been sacred to the Christian people. It was there that she was supposed to have found preserved the true cross of Jesus, on the site which today houses the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The church was dedicated and opened for service on the fourteenth of September, 335 AD. Over time, the feast commemorating this day came to be seen as a counterpoint to Good Friday. It gave Christians a time to celebrate the triumph of the cross as a sign of God’s victory.

Malcolm Boyd had the occasion to write the following as a reflection on the cross. It comes from his book, “Are You Running with Me Jesus?”

"They've made the cross you hung on so pretty, Jesus.
I know the real cross wasn't pretty at all.
But I guess I understand why they want to make copies of it
out of fine woods and even semiprecious stones,
because you hung on it.
Yet doesn't this romanticise your death, Lord,
and give it a kind of gloss it didn't have?
Your death was bloody and dirty and very real.
Can't we face it that way, Jesus?
And can't we face the fact that you were a real man,
living a human life, as well as God?"

Scripture: In the sixth chapter of "Galatians" at the fourteenth verse, we read:

"May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the executed and for all who are now on death row; for an end to capital punishment throughout the world; for an end to killing; for the end of death.

... for the victims of torture and for an end to the practice of torture.

... for the students and teachers who were killed or injured in a fire at a Islamic tahfiz school in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur. DETAILS

... for the eight residents of a Florida nursing home that was left without power for days after Hurricane Irma, who have died and for all elderly or infirm victims of the storm. 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 Imitation of Christ" by Thomas à Kempis:

Those who hear the word of the cross and follow it willingly now, need not fear that they will hear of eternal damnation on the day of judgment. This sign of the cross will be in the heavens when the Lord comes to judge. Then all the servants of the cross, who during life made themselves one with the crucified, will draw near with great trust to Christ, the judge.

Why, then, do you fear to take up the cross when through it you can win a kingdom? In the cross is salvation, in the cross is life, in the cross is protection from enemies, in the cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness, in the cross is strength of mind, in the cross is joy of spirit, in the cross is highest virtue, in the cross is perfect holiness. There is no salvation of soul nor hope of everlasting life but in the cross.

Take up your cross, therefore, and follow Jesus, and you shall enter eternal life. He himself opened the way before you in carrying his cross, and upon it he died for you, that you, too, might take up your cross and long to die upon it. If you die with him, you shall also live with him, and if you share his suffering, you shall also share his glory.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, who by the passion of your blessed son made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life and peace: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your son our saviour Jesus Christ; 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.

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE THIRTEENTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2017
* John Chrysostom *

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you and you have promised through your well-beloved son that when two or three are gathered together in his name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

( John Chrysostom )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN part three (abridged)

I know, O Lord, that your judgements are right.

You only are my portion, O Lord;
I have promised to keep your words.
I entreat you with all my heart,
be merciful to me according to your promise.

I have considered my ways
and turned my feet back to your testimonies.
I made haste and did not delay
to keep your commandments.

Though the cords of the wicked entangle me,
I do not forget your law.
I am a companion of all those who fear you,
those who keep your commandments.

The earth, O Lord, is full of your faithful love;
instruct me in your statutes.
O teach me true understanding and knowledge,
for I have trusted in your commandments.

Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I keep your word.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
that I may learn your statutes.

Let your faithful love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant.
Let your tender mercies come to me, that I may live,
for your law is my delight.

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.

I know, O Lord, that your judgements are right.

God our comforter,
send your Holy Spirit
to reveal your hidden mercy
even in our failures and troubles;
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

John Chrysostom,
golden words from a golden mouth

Today Saint Laika’s remembers one of the Church’s greatest preachers and teachers, John Chrysostom, who began his ministry as a preacher in Antioch, and was raised to become the Patriarch of Constantinople.

John was widely known for his excellent sermons. The word “Chrysostom” is not a last name but a honorific. It means “Golden-Mouth.” While others were stressing allegorical meanings for the scriptures, he preferred to preach on the plain sense of the scripture and applied them in practical ways to daily living. He often preached against the abuse of power by those who held authority in government. Against his will, he was brought from Antioch to Constantinople, for the Empress wanted to have the great preacher in her entourage. Unfortunately, John was as resolute in his preaching against government corruption in Constantinople as he was in Antioch, so the Empress quickly turned against him and he was banished into exile. He died in exile on this date in the year 407AD.

John left a significant amount of writing behind him: homilies, commentary on the scriptures, works of theology. His ongoing influence in the life of the Eastern Church is the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, an order of service that has been used throughout the centuries.

Quote: "Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and his love for us. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved."

Scripture: In "Psalm Forty-Nine, verses one to three, we read:

"Hear this, all you peoples; give ear, all inhabitants of the world, both low and high, rich and poor together. My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that we may understand more fully the word of God and apply what we learn in our everyday lives.

... for preachers and liturgists.

... for the inhabitants of the Florida Keys and all whose homes have been destroyed or badly damaged by Hurricane Irma.

... 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 sermon by John Chrysostom:

Helping a person in need is good in itself. But the degree of goodness is hugely affected by the attitude with which it is done. If you show resentment because you are helping the person out of a reluctant sense of duty, then the person may receive your help but may feel awkward and embarrassed. This is because he will feel beholden to you. If, on the other hand, you help the person in a spirit of joy, then the help will be received joyfully. The person will feel neither demeaned nor humiliated by your help, but rather will feel glad to have caused you pleasure by receiving your help. And joy is the appropriate attitude with which to help others because acts of generosity are a source of blessing to the giver as well as the receiver.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, who gave to your servant, John Chrysostom, grace eloquently to proclaim your righteousness, and fearlessly to suffer for the honour of your name: bless all preachers of your word with wisdom and skill, and bless all who minister in your name with compassion and mercy; 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

TUESDAY THE TWELFTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O God, our true Life, in whom and by whom all things live, you command us to seek you, and are ready to be found; you bid us knock, and open the door when we do so. To know you is life, to serve you is freedom, to enjoy you is a kingdom, to praise you is the joy and happiness of the soul. I praise, and bless, and adore you, I worship you, I glorify you, I give thanks to you for your great glory. I humbly beseech you to abide with me, to reign in me, to make this heart of mine a holy temple, a fit habitation for your divine majesty. O maker and preserver of all things, visible and invisible, keep, I beseech you, the work of your own hands, who trusts in your mercy alone for safety and protection. Guard me with the power of your grace, here and in all places, now and at all times, forevermore. Amen.

( Augustine of Hippo )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN part two (abridged)

My delight shall be in your commandments.

Teach me, O Lord,
the way of your statutes
and I shall keep it to the end.
Give me understanding
and I shall keep your law;
I shall keep it with my whole heart.
Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for therein is my delight.
Incline my heart to your testimonies
and not to unjust gain.
Turn away my eyes
lest they gaze on vanities;
O give me life in your ways.
Confirm to your servant your promise,
which stands for all who fear you.
Turn away the reproach which I dread,
because your judgements are good.
Behold, I long for your commandments;
in your righteousness give me life.

Let your faithful love
come unto me, O Lord,
even your salvation,
according to your promise.
Then shall I answer those who taunt me,
for my trust is in your word.
O take not the word of truth
utterly out of my mouth,
for my hope is in your judgements.
So shall I always keep your law;
I shall keep it for ever and ever.
I will walk at liberty,
because I study your commandments.
I will tell of your testimonies,
even before kings,
and will not be ashamed.
My delight shall be
in your commandments,
which I have greatly loved.
My hands will I lift up
to your commandments, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes.

Remember your word to your servant,
on which you have built my hope.
This is my comfort in my trouble,
that your promise gives me life.
The proud have derided me cruelly,
but I have not turned aside from your law.
I have remembered
your everlasting judgements, O Lord,
and have been comforted.
Your statutes have been
like songs to me
in the house of my pilgrimage.
I have thought on your name
in the night, O Lord,
and so have I kept your law.
These blessings have been mine,
for I have kept your commandments.

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.

My delight shall be in your commandments.

God of loving mercy,
in this place of our pilgrimage
turn your laws into songs,
that we may find your promises
fulfilled in Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Constance and her Companions,
Charles Fuge Lowder:
ministering to the sick
(transferred from Sunday)

In 1867, Bishop Charles Quintard of Tennessee was attempting to rebuild his diocese after the Civil War. He arranged for sisters from the Community of Saint Mary, an order of Anglican nuns, to come to Memphis and start a home for war orphans and a school.

In 1872, the sisters came, and just as their work was underway, Memphis was devastated by an attack of the yellow fever. The sisters, under the leadership of Sister Constance, turned their headquarters into a hospital and ministered courageously to the victims of the fever. In the end there were over two thousand casualties.

By 1874 they had gotten their school up and running, with a complement of eighty students. Things were going well for them, when in 1878 Memphis was struck again with s virulent form of the yellow fever. Thousands fled Memphis, but the sisters stayed to minister to the victims. By August half the population of Memphis had fled, casualties from the fever were mounting at seventy dead per day. By September the death toll was up to eighty per day, and the nuns started to succumb to the fever. Many of them, together with other clergy and lay helpers died serving the sick of Memphis. Sister Constance died on the ninth of September. She was only thirty-three years old. Her dying words were inscribed on the high altar of the Memphis Cathedral: “Alleluia! Hosanna!”

Saint Laika’s also remembers Charles Fuge Lowder, an Anglican priest, very active in urban ministry, and the Oxford Movement. In February 1855, he and five other priests founded The Society of the Holy Cross. In 1860 an epidemic of cholera broke out in the London docks area where his church was located. The tireless efforts of himself and his mission priests and sisters, won them enduring respect and admiration. He died on the ninth of September, 1880.

Scripture. In "Second Corinthians," chapter one, at verses three and four, we read:

“Blessed be the god and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and the god of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.”

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for confidence in God, so strong that we would sacrifice all, even our own lives, in the commission of the commandments of God.

... for the eradication of the epidemics that sweep through our world and the will to relieve the poverty that makes them virulent.

... for the people of Cape Verde who celebrate their national day today.

... for those living in lands devastated by Hurricane Irma and for those working to get aid to them.

... for an end to nuclear escalation.

... 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 "Practical Religion" by J. C. Ryle:

A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit. He sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed-up in one thing and that one thing is to please God. Whether he lives or whether he dies; whether he has health or whether he has sickness; whether he is rich or whether he is poor; whether he pleases man or whether he gives offence; whether he is thought wise or whether he is thought foolish; whether he gets blame or whether he gets praise; whether he gets honour or whether he gets shame; for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all. He burns for one thing and that one thing is to please God and to advance God's glory. If he is consumed in the very burning he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn and if consumed in burning he has but done the work for which God appointed him. Such a one will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannot preach and work and give money he will cry and sigh and pray. Yes, if he is only a pauper, on a perpetual bed of sickness, he will make the wheels of sin around him drive heavily by continually interceding against it. If he cannot fight in the valley with Joshua then he will do the prayer-work of Moses, Aaron, and Hur, on the hill. (Exodus 17:9-13.) If he is cut off from working himself he will give the Lord no rest until help is raised up from another quarter and the work is done. This is what I mean when I speak of "zeal" in religion.

CLOSING PRAYER

Compassionate God, we give you thanks for the heroic witness of Constance and her companions and Charles Lowder and his companions who, in times of plague and pestilence, were steadfast in their care for the sick, without regard for their own lives. Inspire in us a similar love and commitment to those in need; for the sake of your dear son, 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 ELEVENTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2017
Mychal Judge and the Saints and Martyrs of 9/11 

OPENING PRAYER

Loving God, welcome into your arms the victims of violence and terrorism. Comfort their families and all who grieve for them. Help us in our fear and uncertainty and bless us with the knowledge that we are secure in your love. Strengthen all those who work for peace and may the peace that the world cannot give reign in our hearts. Amen.

LITANY OF LAMENTATION

For those who are suffering.
For those who are injured.
For families that are separated.

For firemen, police,
emergency medical workers
and all public officials.
For those who serve in the armed forces.
For those who answer the call
to comfort and give aid.
For those who provide support
through their prayers.

For those who are dying.
For those who died
while saving the lives of others.
For those who have died from acts of terrorism
or natural disasters around the world.
For all who lost their lives.

For those who survived.
For the children who have been orphaned.
For the men and women
who have lost their spouses.
For all who mourn and those who comfort them.

For peace in our city and in our world.
For unity among faiths.
For a greater appreciation
and love of all humanity.

For patience and perseverance.
For calm in the midst of fear.
For forgiveness and the grace
to overcome adversity.

For generosity of spirit.
For hope in times of despair.
For light in the darkness.

Gracious and Loving God,
you are our comforter and our hope.
Hear your people's prayers
as they come before you.
Strengthen us in this time of need.
Inspire us to acts of charity and generosity
and give us hope of a brighter future.
We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

( Joseph P. Shadle )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Mychal Judge and the saints and martyrs of 9/11

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Father Mychal Judge, together with all the saints and martyrs of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York City, the attack on the Pentagon and the passengers on United Airlines flight 93 who crashed their plane in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania rather than let terrorists use it to strike Washington, D.C.

Mychal Judge was a Franciscan priest, and chaplain to the New York Fire Department. In addition to his service to the NYFD, Judge was also well known for ministering to the homeless, the hungry, recovering alcoholics, people with AIDS, the sick, injured, and grieving, immigrants, gays and lesbians and those alienated by the Church and society.

Upon learning that the World Trade Centre had been hit by the first of two jetliners on the eleventh of September, Judge rushed to the site, administered the last rites to some bodies lying on the streets, and continued offering aid and prayers for the rescuers, the injured and the dead.

Father Judge was killed when the South Tower collapsed and he was struck in the head. He was designated as "Victim 0001" and recognised as the first official victim of the attacks, because his was the first body to be recovered and taken to the medical examiner.

The heroic and selfless actions of so many firefighters and other first responders have taken their toll over the years. Many died on that terrible day, of course, but for many others their lives were shortened and complicated by lung disease, cancer, and other slower acting forces. Some were simply innocents, others heroes. All of them rest in God’s hands now.

The world has become a darker place in the ensuing years. Terrorism has changed our perceptions of the world, war has proved to be a hollow response. As we struggle forward, it is good to remember Mychal Judge and the many others, who did not count the cost to themselves of the service they gave to others.

Scripture. In the second chapter of "Joel," at the third verse, we read:

"Fire devours in front of them, and behind them a flame burns. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, but after them a desolate wilderness."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for an end to terrorism and the ungodly fanaticism that leads to it.

... for an end to the injustices and abuses that drive people to seek revenge and violent solutions to their suffering.

... for the victims of the storms currently afflicting parts of our planet and for those who are now working to bring aid and comfort to them.

... for the Muslim Rohingya people of Myanmar and for an end to their persecution by the state and the Buddhist majority; for the safety and welfare of those of them who are now refugees fleeing for their lives from their homes and homeland. DETAILS

... for Lee Ming-che and all Chinese human rights activists. 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 "Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002" by Salman Rushdie:

The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings. Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women's rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. There are tyrants, not Muslims.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that we should now define ourselves not only by what we are for but by what we are against. I would reverse that proposition, because in the present instance what we are against is a no brainer. Suicidist assassins ram wide-bodied aircraft into the World Trade Centre and Pentagon and kill thousands of people: um, I'm against that. But what are we for? What will we risk our lives to defend? Can we unanimously concur that all the items in the preceding list (yes, even the short skirts and the dancing) are worth dying for?

The fundamentalist believes that we believe in nothing. In his world-view, he has his absolute certainties, while we are sunk in sybaritic indulgences. To prove him wrong, we must first know that he is wrong. We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world's resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love. These will be our weapons. Not by making war but by the unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them.

How to defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorised. Don't let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.

CLOSING PRAYER

Merciful God, you teach us in your holy word that you do not willingly afflict or grieve your children. As we remember all who died in the tragedy we call "9/11," remember us in mercy, strengthen us in patience, and comfort us with the memory of your goodness; 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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MadGang Roots

MadGang matriarch, Mrs MP's ancestors were miners up until her father's generation. In the second half of the nineteenth century they moved from the copper mining village of Mary Tavy in Devonshire north to the haematite mining town of Millom in what is now the county of Cumbria.

One of Mrs MP's forebears, a great uncle, somehow managed to gain the education needed to become a schoolteacher and, after a few years working in Millom, he accepted the post of headmaster at the board school in Coniston.

We visited Coniston to find out if any of the places in which he lived or worked still exist and, fortunately, both the school he worked in and his house have survived the years, although the school is a domestic residence now. We also met a local resident who, although he was too young to have known Mrs MP's great uncle personally, had known people who had been his pupils. By the sounds of things, he was not liked by those in his charge. The most civil thing that was said about him was that he had been a "hard taskmaster." I can verify that this is a family trait that has come down the years to manifest itself, big time, in Mrs MP, my wife.

The MadGang In Eskdale

For the first fell walk of our Lakeland vacation we parked our car at Dalegarth Station, the inland terminus of the fifteen inch, minimum gauge Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. After partaking of refreshment purchased from the station cafe (including a rather delicious ginger shortbread) we walked through the village of Boot and then up the southern flank of Eskdale Moor as far as the lodge at Burnmoor Tarn. We returned on the path that traverses the top of Eskdale Moor, passed Boat How to the stone circles at Brat's Hill. From there, a knee joint straining descent down a steep, stoney path took us back to the old mill at Boot and the short walk along the road back to the carpark.

A Walk Around Ravenglass With The MadGang

The MadGang spent our late Summer vacation at the Camping and Caravan Club site at Ravenglass on the Cumbrian coast. The day after we arrived we left the car parked up and went for a stroll from the campsite. We walked from the village south along the Cumbria Coastal Way on the northern bank of the River Esk. Then we braved an encounter with a gang of young bullocks as we crossed the fields skirting Newtown Knott to visit the ruins of an ancient bath house which is all that remains of the second century Roman fort and naval base which may have been called Glannoventa. We finished our walk back on the beach at Ravenglass where our canine members got to cool themselves down in the estuary waters.

Tiny Jesus Turns Up In American Woman’s Womb

A US couple says they can see Jesus Christ watching over their child in a pregnancy ultrasound. The Pennsylvania pair said a man dressed in a robe with a crown of thorns is looking at their baby from the far left of the image.

I have checked the photograph carefully and can confirm that it has not been tampered with in any way. It is definitely Jesus.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE TWENTY-FOURTH OF AUGUST, 2017
* Bartholomew *

OPENING PRAYER

O Jesus, wisdom of the Father, grant me wisdom, that I may, at all times, think, speak and do before you that which is good in your sight. And save me from evil thoughts, words and deeds. Have mercy upon your creatures, and upon me, great sinner that I am. Amen.

( Armenian prayer )

CANTICLE

The Lord has anointed me
and sent me to bring
good news to the oppressed.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me
because he has anointed me.

He has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour,
to comfort all who mourn,
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit,
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
For as the earth puts forth her blossom,
and as seeds in the garden spring up,
so shall the Lord God make righteousness and praise
blossom before all the nations.

You shall be called priests of the Lord;
they shall speak of you as ministers of our 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.

The Lord has anointed me
and sent me to bring
good news to the oppressed.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Bartholomew, the apostle who disappeared

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles, according to the lists provided in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. He is not listed by John, who refers instead to “Nathanael, of Cana in Galilee.” These need not be different people, for Bartholomew comes from the word “Bar-Tolmei” which means “son of the furrows”. Perhaps, son of farmers.

Like much of what we know about the apostles, information about Bartholomew is sketchy and the subject of legends. Some refer to his missionary activity in India, while other sources place the focus of his work in Armenia. He does play a large part in the heritage of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

One legend claims that he was flayed and crucified in Armenia. He is most often portrayed in art this way: carrying a knife and holding his own skin. An apocryphal gospel bearing his name purports to tell of Christ’s descent to the dead, and his freeing of the souls held in the grip of death.

Take comfort in the fact that someone so close to Jesus has faded completely into legend, so much so that the real flesh and blood apostle is unknown. Most disciples do not become famous in the service of God. Let Bartholomew be a sort of “everyman” apostle, to represent all that we do to bring forth the kingdom of God.

Scripture. In the "Gospel of John," chapter thirteen, verses sixteen and seventeen, we read.

"Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that we may increase the fame of Jesus without seeking fame for ourselves.

... for an end to the cult of celebrity that has become a false religion in our times; that all people will come to value their own worth as children of God.

... for members of the Armenian Apostolic Church and all who claim Bartholomew as their patron.

... for those suffering from diseases of the nervous system.

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

... for students receiving examination results, in particular those who are disappointed in the grades they achieved.

... for those killed or injured by Typhoon Hato and for all who have lost their homes or businesses to the storm. 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 homily by John Chrysostom on the "First Letter to the Corinthians":

It was clear through unlearned men that the cross was persuasive, in fact, it persuaded the whole world. Their discourse was not of unimportant matters but of God and true religion, of the gospel way of life and future judgement, yet it turned plain, uneducated men into philosophers. How the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and his weakness stronger than men!

In what way is it stronger? It made its way throughout the world and overcame all men; countless men sought to eradicate the very name of the Crucified, but that name flourished and grew ever mightier. Its enemies lost out and perished; the living who waged a war on a dead man proved helpless. Therefore, when a Greek tells me I am dead, he shows only that he is foolish indeed, for I, whom he thinks a fool, turn out to be wiser than those reputed wise. So too, in calling me weak, he but shows that he is weaker still. For the good deeds which tax-collectors and fishermen were able to accomplish by God’s grace, the philosophers, the rulers, the countless multitudes cannot even imagine.

Paul had this in mind when he said: "The weakness of God is stronger than men."

That the preaching of these men was indeed divine is brought home to us in the same way. For how otherwise could twelve uneducated men, who lived on lakes and rivers and wastelands, get the idea for such an immense enterprise? How could men who perhaps had never been in a city or a public square think of setting out to do battle with the whole world? That they were fearful, timid men, the evangelist makes clear; he did not reject the fact or try to hide their weaknesses. Indeed he turned these into a proof of the truth. What did he say of them? That when Christ was arrested, the others fled, despite all the miracles they had seen, while he who was leader of the others denied him!

How then account for the fact that these men, who in Christ’s lifetime did not stand up to the attacks by the Jews, set forth to do battle with the whole world once Christ was dead if, as you claim, Christ did not rise and speak to them and rouse their courage?

Did they perhaps say to themselves: “What is this? He could not save himself but he will protect us? He did not help himself when he was alive, but now that he is dead he will extend a helping hand to us? In his lifetime he brought no nation under his banner, but by uttering his name we will win over the whole world?”

Would it not be wholly irrational even to think such thoughts, much less to act upon them?

It is evident, then, that if they had not seen him risen and had proof of his power, they would not have risked so much.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, you gave to your apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and courageously to preach your word. Grant that we, with all your church, may proclaim to the ends of the earth, the good news of your love, revealed to us in 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

WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-THIRD OF AUGUST, 2017
* Martin de Porres, Rose of Lima and Turibius of Mogrovejo *

OPENING PRAYER

O God our lord, the stay of all them that put their trust in you, wherever you lead we would go, for your ways are perfect wisdom and love. Even when we walk through the dark valley, your light can shine into our hearts and guide us safely through the night of sorrow. Be our friend and we need ask no more in heaven or earth; for you are the comfort of all who trust in you, the help and defence of all who hope in you. O Lord, we would be yours; let us never fall away from you. We would accept all things without murmuring from your hand, for whatever you do is right. Blend our wills with yours and then we need fear no evil nor death itself, for all things must work together for our good. Lord, keep us in your love and truth, comfort us with your light and guide us by your Holy Spirit. Amen.

( S. Weiss )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN part one (abridged)

Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes.

Blessed are those whose way is pure,
who walk in the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies
and seek him with their whole heart,
those who do no wickedness,
but walk in his ways.

You, O Lord, have charged
that we should diligently keep your commandments.
O that my ways were made so direct
that I might keep your statutes.
Then should I not be put to shame,
because I have regard for all your commandments.

I will thank you with an unfeigned heart,
when I have learned your righteous judgements.
I will keep your statutes;
O forsake me not utterly.

With my whole heart have I sought you;
O let me not go astray from your commandments.
Your words have I hidden within my heart,
that I should not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord;
O teach me your statutes.

With my lips have I been telling
of all the judgements of your mouth.
I have taken greater delight
in the way of your testimonies
than in all manner of riches.

I will meditate on your commandments
and contemplate your ways.
My delight shall be in your statutes
and I will not forget your word.

O do good to your servant that I may live,
and so shall I keep your word.
Open my eyes, that I may see
the wonders of your law.

I am a stranger upon earth;
hide not your commandments from me.
My soul is consumed at all times
with fervent longing for your judgements.

Turn from me shame and rebuke,
for I have kept your testimonies.
For your testimonies are my delight;
they are my faithful counsellors.

My soul cleaves to the dust;
O give me life according to your word.
My soul melts away in tears of sorrow;
raise me up according to your word.
Take from me the way of falsehood;
be gracious to me through your law.

I have chosen the way of truth
and your judgements have I laid before me.
I hold fast to your testimonies;
O Lord, let me not be put to shame.
I will run the way of your commandments,
when you have set my heart at liberty.

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.

Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes.

Faithful God,
let your word be the treasure of our hearts,
that we may delight in your truth
and walk in the glorious liberty of your
Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Martin de Porres, Rose of Lima, and Turibius of Mogrovejo

Today Saint Laika’s celebrates three Christians who were instrumental in rooting the Christian faith in South America. It’s easy from our vantage point today to denigrate the Christianising of South America, especially as its excesses were horrible: the conquest of free peoples by the military might of Europe, the colonialism, which tried to impose Western European values on native peoples and even the politicisation of South America when Spanish born Pope Alexander VI drew a line of demarcation which left Brazil in Portuguese hands and the rest of the continent with the Spanish.

Nevertheless, sincere Christians, like the three we celebrate today, deeply rooted in their own faith, provided caring and compassionate ministry to the peoples among whom they lived.

The earliest of the three, Turibius of Mogrovejo, who died in 1606, was a Spaniard, who became Archbishop of Lima, Peru. He began his mission work by travelling to Lima on foot, baptising and teaching the natives. He built roads, schoolhouses and chapels, many hospitals and convents, and at Lima, in 1591, founded the first seminary in the Western hemisphere.

Next comes Martin De Porres, who died in 1639. He was born in Lima, Peru and lived his entire life there. He was a Dominican brother who was noted for tireless work on behalf of the poor, establishing an orphanage and a children's hospital. He was also remembered for his spiritual practices of fasting and prayer.

Last of all is Rose of Lima, who died in 1617. She helped the sick and hungry around her community. She would bring them to her home and take care of them. She later became a Dominican nun.

Scripture. In the "Book of Sirach," chapter seven, verses thirty-two to thirty-five we read:

"Stretch out your hand to the poor, so that your blessing may be complete. Give graciously to all the living; do not withhold kindness even from the dead. Do not avoid those who weep, but mourn with those who mourn. Do not hesitate to visit the sick, because for such deeds you will be loved."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the Christians of South America, that they may make the good news of Jesus Christ known through both their actions and their words.

... that the whole world may come to know and love its saviour, Jesus Christ, but through gentle means not by force, pressure or bribery.

... on the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, for the end of slavery and a healing of the pain, division and inequality that is the legacy of the trade and which still causes much suffering and injustice throughout the world. DETAILS

... for those affected by flooding in Northern Ireland and all suffering from the effects of inclement weather. DETAILS

... for victims of identity theft.

... 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 "Do You Hear the Cry of the Poor? Liberation Theology Today," an interview with Professor Michael Lee posted on the "U.S.Catholic" website, March 2010:

I think liberation theology's understanding of Jesus is part of a wider 20th-century appreciation of the historical Jesus and his ministry. The primary theme of Jesus' preaching was the kingdom of God. It wasn't a purely otherworldly kind of preaching. It wasn't passively accepting the society as it was. Jesus was angry at some religious people. Jesus healed those who were ostracised in his society. I think liberation theology picks up on this. My salvation isn't just spiritual, and salvation isn't strictly otherworldly. It begins in this world.

Liberation theology also asks some questions about Jesus: Does it not matter where and when he lived? Could it have happened any time, any place?

It does matter. Our faith is an incarnational faith. It means we take history seriously. Jesus lived in a particular society, and he had a certain place in that society. He reached out to certain social classes as well, especially those who were rejected. I think that provides a model for where the church should be, where Christians should be.

CLOSING PRAYER

Merciful God, you sent your gospel to the people of South America through the lives and witness of your servants Turibius, Martin and Rose. Help us to follow their example in bringing fearlessly the comfort of your grace to all downtrodden and outcast people that your Church may be renewed with songs of salvation and praise; 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

TUESDAY THE TWENTY-SECOND OF AUGUST, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

Thee, God, I come from, to thee go,
all day long I like fountain flow
from thy hand out, swayed about
mote-like in thy mighty glow.

What I know of thee I bless,
as acknowledging thy stress
on my being and as seeing
something of thy holiness.

Once I turned from thee and hid,
bound on what thou hadst forbid;
sow the wind I would; I sinned:
I repent of what I did.

Bad I am, but yet thy child.
Father, be thou reconciled.
Spare thou me, since I see
with thy might that thou art mild.

I have life before me still
and thy purpose to fulfil;
yea a debt to pay thee yet:
help me, sir, and so I will.

But thou bidst, and just thou art,
me show mercy from my heart
towards my brother, every other
man my mate and counterpart.

( Gerard Manley Hopkins )

CANTICLE

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
it gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
and all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
and wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
there lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
and though the last lights off the black West went
oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs
because the Holy Ghost over the bent
world broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

( Gerard Manley Hopkins )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Gerard Manley Hopkins:
sweet melancholy

Gerard Manley Hopkins, born in 1844, was an English Jesuit priest and poet, who, like others of his time, began life as an Anglican and came under the influence of the Oxford Movement whilst studying at Oxford University.

Modern biographies of Hopkins will tell you he struggled to come to terms with his homosexuality, and found the Jesuit order to provide a structure in which he could remain celibate. He is also said to have struggled with what today we would call bipolar disorder. In Hopkins’ day it manifested itself as an acute melancholy. Following his ordination to the priesthood, the Jesuits had him teach classical literature in England, and later in Ireland.

What makes Hopkins noteworthy, however, is his poetry. Out of the whirlwind of his passions and melancholy, he established himself as a daring innovator in the world of poetry. He wrote in what he called sprung rhythm. His language is striking, his religious faith inspired him, and at his early death in 1889 at age forty-four, he left a legacy of work that established him as a major literary figure in English poetry.

His dying words were: "I am so happy, I am so happy. I loved my life."

You can see many of his innovations in this poem, offered for your daily devotion today. It is entitled “Pied Beauty” and was written in 1877:

Glory be to God for dappled things -
for skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
for rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
and all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
with swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
he fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
praise him.

Scripture. In "Psalm Ninety-Six," verses eleven and twelve, we read:

"Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for all who struggle to find their place in the world.

... for poets, painters, sculptors and musicians who reveal through their works, a bit of the glory of God.

... for those killed or injured in the Ischia earthquake; for those still missing and those now homeless. 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 "Creativity" by Matthew Fox:

Creativity has an answer. We are told by those who have studied the processes of nature that creativity happens at the border between chaos and order. Chaos is a prelude to creativity. We need to learn, as every artist needs to learn, to live with chaos and indeed to dance with it as we listen to it and attempt some ordering. Artists wrestle with chaos, take it apart, deconstruct and reconstruct from it. Accept the challenge to convert chaos into some kind of order, respecting the timing of it all, not pushing beyond what is possible.
Combining holy patience with holy impatience, that is the role of the artist. It is each of our roles as we launch the twenty-first century because we are all called to be artists in our own way. We were all artists as children. We need to study the chaos around us in order to turn it into something beautiful. Something sustainable. Something that remains".”

CLOSING PRAYER

Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love, teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe, for all things speak of you. Awaken our praise and thankfulness for every being that you have made. Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is. Amen.

( Pope Francis )

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-FIRST OF AUGUST, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

High and holy God, give me this day a word of truth to silence the lies that would devour my soul and kind encouragements to strengthen me when I fall. Gracious one, I come quietly to your door needing to receive from your hands the nourishment that gives life. Amen and amen.

( Bernard of Clairvaux )

CANTICLE

O Jesus, King most wonderful;
you conqueror renowned;
you sweetness most ineffable,
in whom all joys are found!

When once you do visit the heart,
then truth begins to shine,
then earthly vanities depart,
then kindles love divine.

O Jesus, light of all below;
you fount of living fire,
surpassing all the joys we know,
and all we can desire.

Jesus, may all confess your name,
your wondrous love adore;
and, seeking you, themselves inflame
to seek you more and more.

You may our tongues for ever bless,
you may we love alone,
and ever in our lives express
the image of your own.

Abide with us, and let your light
shine, Lord, on every heart;
dispel the darkness of our night,
and joy to all impart.

Jesus, our love and joy, to you,
the Father's only son,
all might, and praise, and glory be,
while endless ages run.

( Bernard of Clairvaux )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Bernard of Clairvaux, terrible, yet tender in his love for Christ

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux was a man driven to passionate action by his faith and love for Christ. This had both a tender side and a terrible side. As such Bernard is a worthy subject for our attention, because he helps us to see the interior struggle of many Christians, wrestling both with God’s grace and mercy, and with human nature and sin.

Bernard was a Benedictine monk, but left the Benedictines with a number of other monks to found a new, stricter order of monks, known as Cistercians. They established themselves at the monastery of Clairvaux, France in 1115. He instituted such a harsh regimen during the monastery’s first year, that the monks became discouraged and threatened to leave. He softened his rule and the monastery took root and grew. He wrote treatises and letters on virtually every controversy that affected the Church in the twelfth century. He took on Peter Abelard and vigorously disputed with him the place of reason in Christian doctrine (he favoured less reason, more mysticism). He wrote to the Pope a treatise warning of the temptations to which wielders of spiritual power were subjected.

In his preaching he encouraged the Church to rise up and suppress the French heretics known as Cathars. Many individuals were subjected to intimidation and torture, and many innocent people were killed in the name of Christ and the Church. On the other hand he was a vociferous defender of the Jews, at a time in Europe, when many advocated their destruction. He personally confronted those called for the slaughter of Jews, and the forcefulness of his preaching quelled the movement. To this day many Jews in the Rhineland honour Bernard as a “righteous gentile.”

He was most tender in his devotion to Christ, and has left us the texts of several hymns that are still in use by the Christian Church. Perhaps the most famous of these is “Jesu dulcis memoria,” here in a translation by Edward Caswall:

“Jesus, the very thought of you fills us with sweet delight;
but sweeter far your face to view and rest within your light.
No voice can sing, no heart can frame, nor can the mind recall
a sweeter sound than your blest name, O saviour of us all.”

By the time of his death, on the twentieth of August, 1153, his Cistercian order had spread to sixty monasteries.

Scripture. In the fifteenth chapter of "John," at verse nine and ten we read:

"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for monks.

... for preachers.

... for an end to the punishing of people for their religious beliefs.

... that we may receive the strength of purpose to seek God through prayer and living a simple life.

... 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 "On Loving God"by 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 (I Tim. 1.5). 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, ‘O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is gracious’ (Ps. 118.1). Such a man would praise God, not because God is goodness, but because God has been good to him.

One type of person praises God because God is mighty, another because God is gracious, yet another solely because God 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 (I Cor. 13.5).

Wherefore I take this saying, ‘The law of the Lord is an undefiled law, converting the soul’ (Ps. 19.7) 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 (James 1.14). 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, by whose grace your servant Bernard of Clairvaux, kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and walk before you as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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

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Free From Debt

I was not expecting to be sacked by a bishop of the Church of England back in May 2010. I had assumed that, as long as I followed the rules, I would have a job until I retired. What I had not realised was that suffering from clinical depression was against the rules. So, I was not prepared for my sudden descent into poverty; like most people I had debts (credit card and an overdraft); nothing huge but enough to have debt collectors bugging me for repayment for the last seven years. It's not nice dreading the postman's call and being scared to answer the phone.

However, all that is now over. Today I paid off the last of my debts and it's a great feeling.

I will never get credit again and I am stuck with a bank account that allows me to do nothing but spend the cash that is in it, but I am, actually happy about that. Not being able to borrow money is a foolproof way of never getting into debt. The system may think it is punishing me. I think they are helping me to be a better Christian (and, honestly, I need all the help I can get).

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE EIGHTEENTH OF AUGUST, 2017
* Alberto Hurtado *

OPENING PRAYER

Strengthen me, O God, by the grace of your Holy Spirit. Grant me inner strength so that I might empty my heart of all useless care and anguish. O Lord, grant me heavenly wisdom, that I may learn above all things to seek and to find you, above all things to relish and to love you, and to think of all other things as being, what indeed they are, at the disposal of your wisdom. Amen.

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN ( abridged )

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his mercy endures for ever.

The Lord is at my side; I will not fear;
what can flesh do to me?
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to put any confidence in flesh.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to put any confidence in princes.

The Lord is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.
Joyful shouts of salvation
sound from the tents of the righteous:
"The right hand of the Lord does mighty deeds;
the right hand of the Lord raises up;
the right hand of the Lord does mighty deeds."

I shall not die, but live
and declare the works of the Lord.
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter and give thanks to the Lord.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have become my salvation.

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord's doing,
and it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it.

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.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his mercy endures for ever.

Saving God,
open the gates of righteousness,
that your pilgrim people may enter
and be built into a living temple
on the cornerstone of our salvation,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Alberto Hurtado: Chile’s tireless advocate for the poor

Today we tell the story of Alberto Hurtado, a Jesuit priest and founder of Chile’s “Home of Christ” movement to provide for the children of the poor.

Alberto’s father died when Alberto was only four years old. And he and his mother were forced to live with and be shuffled around to other members of his family.

Thanks to a scholarship, he began to study with the Jesuits in Santiago. As he grew older he continued with them and was awarded a degree in law. Afterwards, he became a Jesuit. He earned further doctorates in pedagogy and psychology. He began his career as a college professor and priest in 1935. But his concern for the poorest of the poor was never far from him. He began to involve his college students in teaching catechism to the poor. By 1940 he had been appointed executive director of "Catholic Action Youth Movement."

Wealthy Catholic conservatives were angered by the progressive labour teachings of the Catholic Church, and Hurtado ran afoul of them by exposing the unequal pastoral care given to Chile’s poor. They accused him of being a communist.

He began to construct a series of shelters called “Hogar de Christo” (Home of Christ), where children in need of food and shelter were taken in. It was said that he used to drive an old green pick-up truck through the streets of Santiago at night, looking for people in trouble and in need of help. He was a person of tremendous personal charisma, and because of that, he attracted many supporters and collaborators in his work. Soon Hogar de Christo had spread throughout Chile. It is estimated that between 1945 and 1951 more than eight hundred and fifty thousand children received some help from the movement.

In 1947 he began a new chapter in his work: that of the trade unions. He founded the "Chilean Trade Union Association." Following the teachings of the Catholic Church on work and workers rights, he trained people to install Christian values in the trade unions of Chile. He published numerous books, articles, and periodicals on labour issues. Always, at heart, a priest, he counselled many, heard confessions, and led many people to a deeper relationship with Christ.

He died of pancreatic cancer on this day in 1952 and became a saint in the Roman Catholic Church in 2005.

Quote: “I hold that every poor man, every vagrant, every beggar is Christ carrying his cross. And as Christ, we must love and help him. We must treat him as a brother, a human being like ourselves.”

Scripture. In the second chapter of "James" at the fifth verse we read:

"Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?"

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the poor and those who care for them.

... for an end to poverty throughout the world.

... for trade unionists and all who campaign for the fair payment of workers and for their welfare.

... for the people of Barcelona and Cambrils; for those who were killed or injured when motor vehicles were driven into crowds of pedestrians in their towns by terrorists.

... 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 Foundation of our Love of Neighbour"by Alberto Hurtado:

A Christian without an intense concern to love, is like a farmer unconcerned about the earth, a sailor uninterested in the sea, a musician who is careless about harmony. Yes, Christianity is the religion of love, as one poet put it, and as Christ had already told us: "The first commandment of the Law is to love the Lord thy God with your whole heart, with your whole mind, with all your strength;" and then added immediately, "And the second is like to this, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself for the love of God." (cf. Mt 22, 37-39).

In this love for our brothers that the Master commands of us, he himself went before us. We were created out of love and when we had fallen into sin, the Son of God became man to make us sons of God (what some even now consider supreme foolishness). In the Incarnation the Word united himself mystically with all human nature.

It is necessary then to accept the Incarnation with all its consequences, by extending the gift of our love not only to Jesus Christ but also to his mystical body. And this is a basic point in Christianity: to forsake the least of our brothers is to forsake Christ himself; to alleviate any one of them is to alleviate Christ, in person. When you wound one of my members you wound me; in the same way, to touch a man is to touch Christ himself. For this reason Christ told us that all the good and all the evil we might do to the least of men, we do to him.

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ, you stumble through our streets in the person of the poor, the hungry, and the sick. Thank you for raising up among us Alberto Hurtado, your servant, who taught us to see you and to come to your aid. Help us to persevere in this work until that day when we will see you in your glory. Amen.

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

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On Charlottesville

The two most common responses to hatred are hating back and puffing oneself up with self-righteousness. Both increase the original hatred and corrupt the minds of those who were originally the good guys. The righteous response is almost impossible for most people, including myself, and can be extremely costly. It is the response advocated and practiced by Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus Christ among (just a few) others.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE SIXTEENTH OF AUGUST, 2017
* Brother Roger of Taizé *

OPENING PRAYER

Prince of Peace, we often find ourselves in the wilderness, discouraged, afraid and tired. Give us the grace and the courage to pursue your kingdom, to bring those who are isolated and oppressed into the light, to bring peace to the nations, and to those we meet. Amen.

PSALM

O sing a new song to the Lord,
sing to the Lord all the earth.
O sing to the Lord, bless his name.

Proclaim God’s help day by day,
tell among the nations his glory
and his wonders among all the peoples.

It was the Lord who made the heavens.
His are majesty and honour and power
and splendour in his holy place.

Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad,
let the sea and all within it thunder praise,
let the land and all it bears rejoice,
all the trees of the wood shout for joy
at the presence of the Lord who comes.

( from Psalm Ninety-Six )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Brother Roger of Taizé: ecumenical pilgrim

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Roger Louis Schütz-Marsauche, better known to the world as Brother Roger of Taizé.

From 1937 to 1940, Brother Roger studied reformed theology in Strasbourg and Lausanne, where he was a leader in the Swiss Student Christian Movement, part of the World Student Christian Federation. He also struggled with tuberculosis during this time.

At the onset of World War II, he felt called to serve those suffering from the war, so he came to Taizé, a small town in unoccupied France and bought an empty house, from which he and his sister ministered to any and all who would come. He helped many Jews as well as Christians to flee from the Nazis. He kept this up for over two years before receiving word that his life was in danger from the gestapo.

In 1944, he returned to Taizé to found the Community, initially a small semi-monastic community of men living together in poverty and obedience, open to all Christians. As their unique approach to spirituality and worship began to spread, they began to attract young people from all over Europe who were searching for meaning in the post war and post-nuclear weapon era. They would come to participate in the life of the Community, to listen and to worship. In the 1960’s and onward, members of the Community were often sent out to lead meetings all over the world.

Brother Roger always kept a low profile while the Community was gaining fame. His goal remained the reconciliation of all Churches into Christ. His focus was on Christian youth. During a Taizé gathering in Paris in 1995, he spoke to more than one hundred thousand young people who were sitting on the floor of an exhibition hall.

“We have come here to search,” he said, “or to go on searching through silence and prayer, to get in touch with our inner life. Christ always said, Do not worry, give yourself.”

Brother Roger was stabbed to death during the evening prayer service in Taizé on the sixteenth of August, 2005, by a young Romanian woman who was later deemed mentally ill. In a highly unusual move, the funeral of this Protestant monk was presided over by a Catholic cardinal, Walter Kasper, the president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who celebrated the Mass with four priest-brothers of Taizé concelebrating.

In his homily he said, "Yes, the springtime of ecumenism has flowered on the hill of Taizé’.”

Scripture. In the "Letter to the Romans," chapter twelve, verses one and two we read:

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect."

INTERCESSIONS

For peace in the world and the liberation of all people, Lord, we pray.

That the leaders of the churches may tirelessly seek visible unity among Christians, Lord, we pray.

For honesty in political life, for justice in society, Lord, we pray.

For those who toil to earn their daily bread, Lord, we pray,

For those without work or resources, Lord, we pray.

For those with no family or home, Lord, we pray.

For those who suffer from loneliness or abandonment, Lord, we pray.

For those who are oppressed or maligned, Lord, we pray.

For those who work with the poor, with foreigners and with the excluded, Lord, we pray.

Living God, however poor our prayer is, we search for you with confidence. And your love carves out a way forward through our hesitations and even through our doubts. Amen.

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 "Brother Roger of Taizé: Taizé Writings":

The peace of your heart makes life beautiful for those around you.

Being wracked with worry has never been a way of living the Gospel. Founding your faith on torment would mean building a house on sand (Mt 7:26—27).

At every moment, do you hear these words of Jesus the Christ: “Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. Let your hearts cease to be troubled and afraid.” (Jn 14:27)

This deep-seated peace provides the lightness needed to set out once again, when failure or discouragements weigh on your shoulders.

And sheer wonder comes alive, along with a breath of poetry, a simplicity of life and, for those able to understand it, a mystical vision of the human person.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, we praise you for Brother Roger of Taizé, whom you called to renew the life of your church. Inspired by his example, and guided by your Spirit, may we call the church to its tasks in our own day, and proclaim your reign of love; 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

TUESDAY THE FIFTEENTH OF AUGUST, 2017
* MARY, MOTHER OF JESUS *

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty and everlasting God,
who stooped to raise fallen humanity
through the child-bearing of blessed Mary:
grant that we, who have seen your glory
revealed in our human nature
and your love made perfect in our weakness,
may daily be renewed in your image
and conformed to the pattern of your son,
Jesus Christ our lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

CANTICLE

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord:
unnumbered blessings, give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his word;
in God my saviour shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his name:
make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age the same;
his holy name, the Lord, the mighty one.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might:
powers and dominions lay their glory by;
proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word:
firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to children's children and for evermore.

( Timothy Dudley-Smith )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Dormition of the Theotokos

Mary, mother of Jesus has been a cause of disunity for western Christians. Some, it is said, make too much of her, believing and teaching as doctrine things never said of her in holy scripture. Others, it is said, make too little of her, ignoring her role in Jesus’ own life and ministry, and ignoring her role in the Church’s life and worship.

We express this feast in the language of the Orthodox Christians, who celebrate her dormition, her falling asleep. In the Bible “falling asleep” is often used as a metaphor for death. But it is a hopeful metaphor, for a “falling asleep” presumes a “waking up.” And for followers of Jesus, that means eternal life.

Also the Orthodox, on this feast day, call attention to her greatest work, that of being the God-bearer, the one who brings God into the world. This was proclaimed in the ancient church at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD.

Martin Luther famously wrote this about the title Theotokos: “Men have crowned all her glory into a single word, calling her the Mother of God."

As a servant of the Word, Mary gladly obeyed God and did what was asked of her. In this she becomes an example for us to follow. So that, having served God faithfully in our lives, we may glorify him in our deaths and share eternal life with Mary and all the saints. We are called to be “God-bearers” too, bringing God into the world by our faith.

The first centuries of the Church tell us nothing about Mary. We last see her in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost. We know not how long she lived, what she did, or how she ended her days. But, in celebrating her dormition, let us make her hope, our hope. And let us, with all God’s saints, look forward with expectation to the eternal life that awaits us.

Scripture. In the "Second Timothy," chapter four, verses six to eight, we read:

"As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

INTERCESSIONS

As we pray to God,
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we say with Mary:
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

Your prophet of old foretold a day
when a virgin would conceive
and bear a son who would be called God-with-us.
Help us to look forward to your deliverance
and to seek the fullness of your kingdom.
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

Your angel declared to Mary that she was to be
the mother of the Saviour.
Help every Christian person to be open to your word
and obedient to your will.
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

Mary rejoiced with Elizabeth and sang your praise,
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord."
Help us to live joyful lives that sing your praise.
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

Mary bore a son of David’s line,
a king whose reign would never end.
Bless the nations of the world
with Christ’s gift of peace.
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

The child Jesus grew in wisdom and stature
in the home of Mary and Joseph.
Strengthen our homes and families,
and keep under your protection
all those whom we love.
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

At the foot of the cross of Christ
stood his mother,
and from the cross she received
his lifeless body in her arms.
Give comfort and healing to all who suffer
and all who watch the suffering
of those they love.
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

The apostle John saw a vision
of a woman in heaven,
robed with the sun.
Bring us with all those who have died
in the faith of Christ
to share the joy of heaven
with Mary and all the saints.
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

Almighty and everlasting God,
your handmaid Mary magnified your name
and rejoiced in your saving love:
trusting in that same love,
we ask all these our prayers
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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 "First Letter of Cyril of Alexandria to Nestorius:

And thus is he said, albeit he have his being before the ages and be begotten of the Father, to be born after the flesh too, of a woman; not as though his divine nature received the beginning of being in the holy virgin, nor yet as though a second birth were needed on its own account, along with that of the Father. For it were alike idle and foolish to say that he who is before every age and co-eternal with the Father, needs a second beginning of being. But since for us and for our salvation, the Word having united the human nature to himself personally, proceeded forth of a woman, He is therefore said to have been born in the flesh. For not mere man was first born of the holy virgin, and then the Word of God came down upon him, but united from the very womb, he is said to have undergone birth in the flesh, as making his own the birth of his own flesh.

Thus shall we confess one Christ and lord; not as if co-worshipping a man with the Word but as worshipping one and the same, because not alien to the Word is his body with which he sits with the father, not as though two sons sit with the father but one in union with his own flesh. But if we reject the personal union as either impossible or as uncomely, we fall into saying, two sons; for we must needs sever and say that the one is man by himself, honoured with the title of son; by himself again, the Word of God, having of nature both the name and fact of sonship.

We must not therefore sever into two sons, the one lord Jesus Christ, for it will nothing aid the right utterance of the faith so to do, even though one should allege unity of persons, for the scripture has not said that the Word united to himself the person of a man, but that he has been made flesh. And the Word's being made flesh is nought else than that he partook of flesh and blood in like way with ourselves and made our body his own and proceeded man of a woman, not casting away the being God and his generation of God the Father, but even while in assumption of flesh remaining what he was.

Thus does the declaration of the exact faith everywhere set forth to us, thus shall we find that the holy Fathers thought, thus were they bold to call the holy virgin mother of God: not as though the nature of the Word or his Godhead took a beginning of being from the holy virgin, but in that the holy body souled with a reasonable soul was born of here, whereunto the Word united personally is said to have been born after the flesh.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, you have taken to yourself the blessed Mary, mother of your incarnate son. Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; 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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The Bishop Of Durham Is Sorry ( I Don’t Think )

I received a letter from the bishop of Durham this morning in response to my request to be removed from the authority of the Church of England bishops.

He says that he is sorry that I feel this is the course I have to take.

Why do bishops and their ilk talk such bullshit? He knows my story. He knows what I have been put through and he knows what I need to find peace and resolution. If he was in the slightest bit sorry for my decision he would offer me an alternative course of action or, at the very least, talk to me about it (he is, after all, my pastor). But no. He has not responded to any of my attempts to contact him and nor have his "senior" clergy. They have locked every gate I have tried to walk through and, basically, made it very obvious that they do not want me in their church.

Fair enough, they may even be right about me. But why then pretend to be sorry about it all?

Hypocrites and dissemblers, the lot of them!

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE FOURTEENTH OF AUGUST, 2017
* Jonathan Daniels *

OPENING PRAYER

O holy and ever-blessed Lord, teach us, we beseech you, to love one another, to exercise forbearance and forgiveness towards our enemies; to recompense no person evil for evil, but to be merciful even as you, our Father in Heaven, are merciful: that so we may continually follow after you in all our doings, and be more and more conformed to your image and likeness. Amen.

( New Church Book of Worship )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN

Alleluia.

O praise the Lord, all you nations;
praise him, all you peoples.
For great is his steadfast love towards us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever.
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.

Alleluia.

Gracious God,
we praise you for your faithfulness
and pray that every nation
may find your blessing
in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Jonathan Daniels: hid with Christ in God

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Jonathan Daniels, a seminary student from the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who was shot and killed in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 whilst working for the cause of equal rights for African-Americans. This is especially poignant as this remembrance comes after a weekend of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, perpetrated by white supremacists and others in the neo-Nazi movement.

Doctor Martin Luther King had issued a call for others to join him in Selma, Alabama, to march to the state capitol, on behalf of the civil rights movement.

Daniels tells in his own words what happened to him during evensong at the seminary: “I was singing the Magnificat with the special love and reverence I have always felt for Mary's glad song. Then it came. 'He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things.' I knew then that I must go to Selma. The Virgin's song was to grow more and more dear in the weeks ahead.”

He went to Selma, but realising how ineffective his own witness would be if he simply returned to Cambridge, he received permission to complete his semester off campus, and he stayed in Selma through the spring of 1965, returning to Cambridge only to take exams and turn in papers.

Jonathan devoted many of his Sundays in Selma to bringing small groups of black people, mostly high school students, to church with him in an effort to integrate the local Episcopal church. In August, he and others were arrested for picketing local businesses and spent six days in jail. Upon their release, they entered a local store, where a man met them with a loaded shotgun. He aimed his gun at one of the women in the group, and Jonathan pushed her out of the way and took the shotgun blast himself, which was fatal.

He had written: “I lost fear (of Selma) when I began to know in my bones and sinews that I had been truly baptised into the Lord's death and resurrection, that in the only sense that really matters I am already dead, and my life is hid with Christ in God."

Scripture. In the "Book of Proverbs," the fourth chapter from verse twenty-three to twenty-six, we read:

"Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forwards and your gaze be straight before you. Keep straight the path of your feet and all your ways will be sure.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for those who campaign, peacefully, for an end to racial inequality, race hatred and all claims of racial supremacy.

... for the people of Charlottesville, Virginia, in particular those who were killed or injured when a car was driven into a crowd of pedestrians on Saturday.

... for an end to racism and segregation within our churches and congregations.

... for the people of Pakistan who celebrate seventy years of independence today; that there may be a real and lasting peace between Pakistan and India and that their territorial arguments may be resolved.

... for those killed or injured when Islamist militants attacked a restaurant in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. DETAILS

... for an end to the cholera epidemic in Yemen that has, so far, resulted in the death of nearly two thousand people; for an end to the civil warfare in Yemen that is causing the spread of disease, hunger and thirst. DETAILS

... for the hundreds of people who have been killed and all who have been injured or made homeless by a mudslide that has occurred near Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown. 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 decree of the Holy and Grand Council, Constantinople, September, 1872:

The apostle Paul has commanded us to take heed unto ourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has made us overseers, to govern the Church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood; and has at the same time predicted that grievous wolves shall enter among us, not sparing the flock, and that of our own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them; and he has warned us to beware of such.

We have learned with astonishment and pain that such men have lately appeared among the Bulgarian people within the jurisdiction of the Holy Ecumenical Throne. They have dared to introduce into the Church the idea of phyletism, or the national church, which is of the temporal life, and have established, in contempt of the sacred canon, an unauthorised and unprecedented church assembly, based upon the principle of the difference of races.

Being inspired in accordance with our duty, by zeal for God and the wish to protect the pious Bulgarian people against the spread of this evil, we have met in the name of our saviour, Jesus Christ. Having first besought from the depths of our hearts the grace of the Father of light, and consulted the gospel of Christ, in which all treasures of wisdom are hidden, and having examined the principles of phyletism with reference to the precepts of the gospel and the temporal constitution of the Church of God, we have found it not only foreign, but in enmity to them, and have perceived that the unlawful acts committed by the aforesaid unauthorised phyletismal assembly, as they were severally recited to us, are one and all condemned.

Therefore, in view of the sacred canons, whose rulings are hereby confirmed in their whole compass; in view of the teachings of the apostles, through whom the Holy Spirit has spoken; in view of the decrees of the seven ecumenical councils, and of all the local councils; in view of the definitions of the fathers of the Church, we ordain as follows:

Art. 1. We censure, condemn, and declare contrary to the teachings of the gospel and the sacred canons of the holy fathers the doctrine of phyletism, or the difference of races and national diversity in the bosom of the Church of Christ.

Art. 2. We declare the adherents of phyletism, who have had the boldness to set up an unlawful, unprecedented Church assembly upon such a principle, to be foreign and absolutely schismatic to the only holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God we give you thanks for your faithful witness Jonathan Daniels, who, in the midst of injustice and violence, risked and gave his life for another; and we pray that we, following his example, may make no peace with oppression; through Jesus Christ the just one: 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

FRIDAY THE ELEVENTH OF AUGUST, 2017
* Clare of Assisi *

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty God, giver of life, grant unto us your life, that we may truly live; your love, that we may greatly rejoice; that we, knowing trouble, and acquainted with grief, may, through the goodly deliverance of faith and hope, come to the large joy of the peace that passes all understanding. Of your loving-kindness hear our supplications, we beseech you, through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

( George Dawson )

CANTICLE

Gaze upon the Lord of love,
gaze upon his face of grace;
gaze upon the living One
who holds you in close embrace.

Gaze upon the Lord of love,
gaze upon his coming poor
from the highest of the heavens
to our lowly earthly shore.

Look upon his loving way,
look upon his open heart,
look upon his sacred cross,
from death’s dust to bring new start.

If you learn from suffering,
if you open to life’s pain,
and allow your heart to weep,
then with him you’ll always reign.

Gaze upon the Lord’s dear cross,
the wounds of each day’s love,
gaze on his life, and know the
splendours of God’s heaven above.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Clare of Assisi: following the good road

It’s difficult to characterise the times that produced such holiness in people like Clare of Assisi. The quality of church life was spiritually impoverished. There were “bishops of bling” all over western Europe. The gap was wide indeed between the way of life spoken of in the "Book of Acts" and the lifestyle of twelfth century clergy. There was corruption everywhere. Such times produced a reaction among Christian people. Movements of reform were created, and some, like the Waldensians and the Cathars, could not be contained within the institutional church. Others, like the Franciscans, got a toehold in the church, and were tolerated, and later flourished.

Francis of Assisi espoused radical poverty. In the year 1212, Francis preached a sermon on “Lady Poverty” which made a strong impression on eighteen year old Clare Offreduccio, daughter of a wealthy family in Assisi. She approached Francis and begged to become a member of his order. Francis placed her in a convent of Benedictine nuns nearby. Her parents were horrified when they heard what she had done.

They brought her back home by force; but one night, in a gesture both tactical and symbolic, she slipped out of her house through "the door of the dead" (a small side door that was traditionally opened only to carry out a corpse) and returned to the house of the Franciscans.


Within a short time, other women had joined her. They were housed at a dwelling next to the Church of San Damiano in Assisi. They were called “the Poor Ladies of San Damiano.” Their practices were severe. They begged for their food and served the poor and neglected. Eventually they came to be known as “the Poor Clares.” That is still their name and heritage today.

In 1253 her final illness began. She received visitors daily. Even the Pope came to see her. She gave one consistent message to them: embrace holy poverty.

She told them: “Go forth in peace, you have followed the good road.”

She died on this day in 1253.

Scripture: In the "First Letter of Peter," the fourth chapter, verses one and two, we read:

"Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), so as to live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for members of the Order of Saint Clare.

... for those who become poor in order to serve the poor.

... for those who suffer from ailments of the eye.

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

... for those killed or injured when a coach crashed into the wall of a tunnel whilst traveling from Chengdu to Luoyang in China. DETAILS

... for the migrants who have drowned after being forced off boats by smugglers near the coast of Yemen. 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

Clare of Assisi's letter to Ermentrude:

I know that you, dearest sister, have fled the filth of the world, with the help of God's grace; for which I rejoice and give thanks with you and again rejoice that you tread the paths of virtue strenuously with your daughters. Be faithful, dearest, to him to whom you are promised until death, and you will be crowned by him with the laurel of life.

This labour of ours is brief, but the reward is eternal; let the noises of the fleeting world and its shadow not confound you; let the empty spectres of the deceiving world not drive you mad; shut your ears to the whispers of hell and, strong, break down its attempts against you; willingly bear adverse evils and let provident goods not puff you up; for the one requires faith, the other demands it; what you promised God, faithfully render, and he will repay you.

Dearest, look on heaven that invites us, and bear the cross and follow Christ who preceded us; indeed, after various and many tribulations we shall enter through him into his glory.

Love with your whole heart God and Jesus, his son, crucified for our sins, and never let his memory escape your mind; make yourself mediate continually on the mysteries of the cross and the anguish of the mother standing beneath the cross. Pray and be always vigilant and the work that you began well, finish and the ministry you assumed, fulfil in holy poverty and sincere humility.

Do not fear, daughter, God is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works, he will pour out his blessing on you and your daughters and he will be your helper and your best consoler; he is our redeemer and our eternal reward.

Let us pray God for each other, for in bearing each other's burden of charity we shall fulfil the law of Christ.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, through his poverty of your son, Jesus Christ, deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we, inspired by the devotion of your servant Clare, may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through the same 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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