Of Course, I Could be Wrong

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE TWENTY-FIFTH OF MAY, 2018
* The Venerable Bede *

OPENING PRAYER

O Christ, our morning star, splendour of light eternal, shining with the glory of the rainbow, come and waken us from the greyness of our apathy, and renew in us your gift of hope. Amen.

( Bede )

CANTICLE

Come, Holy Spirit, like a dove descending,
rest now upon us while we meet to pray;
show us the Saviour, all his love revealing,
lead us to him, the life, the truth, the way.

Come, Holy Spirit, every cloud dispelling,
fill us with gladness, through the Master’s name;
bring to our memory words that he has spoken,
then shall our tongues his wondrous grace proclaim.

Come, Holy Spirit, sent from God the Father;
our friend and teacher, comforter and guide;
our thoughts directing, keep us close to Jesus,
and in our hearts forevermore abide.

( Fanny Crosby )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

The Venerable Bede: historian of the early English church

At Saint Laika’s, the twenty-fifth of May is the day to remember the Venerable Bede.

It’s hard to underestimate the importance of Bede to the English speaking church. He lived in the early eighth century at the monastery of Jarrow.

He wrote: “There, spending all the remaining time of my life, I wholly applied myself to the study of scripture and amidst the observance of regular discipline, and the daily care of singing in the church, I always took delight in learning, teaching, and writing.”

Bede wrote many commentaries on the Bible, giving us insight into the way Bible passages were interpreted at that time. But Bede is most famous for his book, "The Ecclesiastical History of England." It tells of the development of the Anglo-Saxon culture and the triumph of the Christian faith in England.

Bede was an exemplary monk, a faithful Christian, and a devoted scholar. He died in the year 735. He received the title “Venerable” more than a century after his death. Legend tells that a monk was charged with writing the inscription for his tomb. The monk decided on a couplet, but was stuck for one word.

The monk wrote: "Hac sunt in fossa Bedae _________ossa" (This grave contains the ________Bede’s remains).

The next morning he went to the scriptorium and found the blank filled in with the word, "Venerabilis." This was attributed to an angel, and the title stuck.

Scripture. In "Psalm Forty-Eight," verses nine and ten we read:

We ponder your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple. Your name, O God, like your praise, reaches to the ends of the earth.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for Christian scholars.

... for historians.

... for the people of Argentina, Jordan and Lebanon who are celebrating their national day today.

... for those injured when a homemade bomb exploded at a restaurant in the Canadian city of Mississauga. DETAILS

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From a commentary of the "Letter of James" by the Venerable Bede:

You should not think you are doing something great by believing that God is one, for the demons also do this, nor do they believe only in God the Father but also in God the Son.

So it is Luke says, "The demons also went out from many shouting and saying, 'That you are the Son of God;" and rebuking them, he did not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was Christ." (Lk. 4:41)

And they do not only believe, they also tremble.

So the legion who were besieging the man; cried out to him in a beseeching voice, “What is there between me and you, Jesus, Son of the most high God? I earnestly entreat you by God, do not torment me.” (Mk. 5:7)

Therefore, those who do not believe that there is a God, or believe and do not fear, must be judged slower-witted and more shameless than the demons. But it is no great thing to believe there is a God and tremble if one does not also believe in him, that is, if love for him be not held in the heart. For it one thing to believe him, another to believe that he exists, another to believe in him. (credere illi, credere illum, credere in illum)

To believe him is to believe that the things he speaks are true; to believe that he exists is to believe that he is God; to believe in him is to love him. Many, even the wicked, are able to believe the things he speaks are true; they believe that they are true and do not wish to make them their own because they are too lazy to do anything about them. Even the demons believe, however, that he is God. But they alone know how to believe in God who love God, who are Christians not only in name but also in action and life, because without love faith is empty; with love, it is the faith of a Christian, without love the faith of a demon.

Therefore, anyone who does not wish to believe that Christ is God still does not imitate the demons. He believes that Christ is but hates Christ, he makes a confession of faith out of fear of punishment not out of love of a crown. For they too were afraid of being punished.

Accordingly, when blessed Peter, confessing the Lord, said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," (Mt. 16:16) he appears to utter by his mouth almost the same words as the demons; but their confession, because it was uttered with hatred for Christ, was rightly condemned, his, because it came forth from inward love, was rewarded.

CLOSING PRAYER

Heavenly Father, you called your servant Bede to devote his life to your service as a biblical scholar and historian, a faithful monk and priest. Grant that as he laboured to make you known in his generation, we may strive, in our various ways, to make you known today in all the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE TWENTY-FOURTH OF MAY, 2018
* John and Charles Wesley *

OPENING PRAYER

Now, to God the Father, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved; to God the Son, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to God the Holy Spirit, who sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts, be all love and all glory in time and to all eternity. Amen.

( John Wesley )

CANTICLE

Come Holy Spirit, our hearts inspire, let us your influence prove;
source of the old prophetic fire, fountain of life and love.

Come, Holy Spirit, for, moved by thee, your prophets wrote and spoke:
unlock the truth, yourself the key, unseal the sacred book.

Expand your wings, celestial dove, brood over our nature's night;
on our disordered spirits move, and let there now be light.

God, through himself, we then shall know, if you within us shine;
and sound, with all your saints below, the depths of love divine.

( Charles Wesley )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

John and Charles Wesley: bringing Christ to the working class

Today is the day Saint Laika’s remembers John and Charles Wesley, who renewed the church in the eighteenth century and founded the movement known as Methodism.

They were raised in a very devout family, the fifteenth and eighteenth children of Samuel and Susanna Wesley. They were educated at Christ Church College, Oxford. They both were priests in the Church of England.

At Oxford they belonged to “The Holy Club,” a group which sought deeper spiritual lives, centred on frequent communion and fasting twice a week. The term “Methodist” was first a derogatory term but later came to characterise their movement.

Following a brief stay in North America, the brothers returned to England. Through contact with the Moravians, both John and Charles had an experience of inner conversion, and they began to set up Methodist societies across the country. They tried, at first, to work within the Church of England, to revive what they considered its apathetic spirit. But they were marginalised by the Church, and so started to preach in towns and countryside, which led to John Wesley’s famous saying: “I look upon all the world as my parish.”

While John preached, Charles wrote hymns and since they were meeting in halls, not churches, the use of the piano for hymn-singing and the informal giving of testimony led to the involvement of the poor and working class people.

Wesley insisted that God’s prevenient grace could come upon us, to enable our souls more fully to cooperate with the action of God in us and in the world.

The Church of England could never really contain their movement and toward the end of his life, John Wesley himself began to ordain Methodist ministers for work in America and in Scotland. After his death, the Methodists became a separate church and continues to exist throughout the world today.

Quote. “In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the 'Epistle to the Romans.' About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for my salvation; and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”

Scripture: In the forty-ninth chapter of "Isaiah," at verse six, God says:

"It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the continuing work of the Methodist churches around the world.

... for all who work and minister to alcoholics, drug addicts, and others who are hard to love.

... for preachers and composers of worship songs.

... that the Church may treat working class people with respect and include them fully within its life and governance.

... for people who live with schizophrenia and those who care for them. DETAILS

Pray for the people of Eritrea who are celebrating their national day today.

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From "Sermon Nine: The Spirit of Bondage and of Adoption" by John Wesley:

"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Liberty, not only from guilt and fear but from sin, from that heaviest of all yokes, that basest of all bondage. His labour is not now in vain. The snare is broken, and he is delivered. He not only strives but likewise prevails; he not only lights but conquers also. “Henceforth he does not serve sin.” "He is dead unto sin and alive unto God.” “Sin does not now reign.” even “in his mortal body," nor does he “obey it in the desires thereof." He does not “ yield his members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but as instruments of righteousness unto God.” For “being now made free from sin, he becomes the servant of righteousness.”

Thus, “having peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ,” “rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God," and having power over all sin, over every evil desire, and temper, and word, and work, he is a living witness of the “glorious liberty of the sons of God;" all of whom, being partakers of like precious faith, bear record with one voice, “We have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, 'Abba, Father!'”

It is this Spirit which continually “works in them, both to will and to do of his good pleasure." It is he that sheds the love of God abroad in their hearts and the love of all mankind; thereby purifying their hearts from the love of the world, from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. It is by him they are delivered from anger and pride, from all vile and inordinate affections. In consequence, they are delivered from evil words and works, from all unholiness of conversation; doing no evil to any child of man, and being zealous of all good works.

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord God, who inspired your servants John and Charles Wesley with burning zeal for the sanctification of souls, and endowed them with eloquence in speech and song: kindle in your Church, we entreat you, such fervour, that those whose faith has cooled may be warmed, and those who have not known Christ may turn to him and be saved; 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

WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-THIRD OF MAY, 2018

OPENING PRAYER

Lord Jesus, as God's Spirit came down and rested upon you, may the same Spirit rest on us, bestowing her sevenfold gifts. First, grant us the gift of understanding, by which your precepts may enlighten our minds. Second, grant us counsel, by which we may follow in your footsteps on the path of righteousness. Third, grant us courage, by which we may ward off the enemy's attacks. Fourth, grant us knowledge, by which we can distinguish good from evil. Fifth, grant us piety, by which we may acquire compassionate hearts. Sixth, grant us fear, by which we may draw back from evil and submit to what is good. Seventh, grant us wisdom, that we may taste fully the life-giving sweetness of your love. Amen.

( Bonaventure )

CANTICLE

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord; be all your graces now outpoured
on each believer’s mind and heart; your fervent love to them impart.
Lord, by the brightness of your light, you in the faith do men unite
of every land and every tongue; this to you praise, O Lord, our God, be sung.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Oh holy light, guide divine, do cause the word of life to shine!
Teach us to know our God aright and call him "Father" with delight.
From every error keep us free; let none but Christ our master be,
that we in living faith abide; in him, our Lord, with all our might confide.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Oh holy fire, comfort true, grant us the will your work to do
and in your service to abide; let trials turn us not aside.
Lord, by your power prepare each heart and to our weakness strength impart,
that bravely here we may contend, through life and death to you, our Lord, ascend.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

( Martin Luther )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Trail of Tears

One of the hardest realities to reconcile with the myth of America as “the land of the free, the home of the brave,” was the passage of the "Indian Removal Act" of 1830. It passed by one vote and allowed President Andrew Jackson to implement the removal of several tribes of native peoples from the Eastern US to lands further west, without regard to the feelings, traditions, or sacred space of these people.

The Choctaw were the first to go, followed by the Seminole, the Creek, and the Chickasaw.

On this day in 1838 the forced removal of the Cherokee tribe began from Georgia to what would later become Oklahoma. The tribes suffered from exposure, starvation, and disease. It is estimated that over four thousand Cherokee people died along the way. Hence the name “Trail of Tears.”

The struggle to live faithfully to Christ is difficult in every generation. It is of vital importance that we remember such atrocities as this, so that we can be more careful about stumbling into others. The illegal immigrants of today are but the latest to be dehumanised by people in power. And they will surely not be the last.

Scripture. In the twenty-first chapter of "Revelation," at the fourth verse we read:

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for all victims of greed and thirst for power.

... for the First Peoples of the US and other nations

... that we may delivered from hypocrisy.

... for shop workers facing redundancy due to changes in how goods are bought and sold.

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From "Miracles" by C. S. Lewis:

I mean by this "everythingism" the belief that "everything," or "the whole show," must be self-existent, must be more important than every particular thing and must contain all particular things in such a way that they cannot be really very different from one another; that they must be not merely "at one," but one. Thus the everythingist, if he starts from God, becomes a pantheist; there must be nothing that is not God. If he starts from nature he becomes a naturalist; there must be nothing that is not nature. He thinks that everything is in the long run "merely" a precursor or a development or a relic or an instance or a disguise, of everything else.

This philosophy I believe to be profoundly untrue. One of the moderns has said that reality is "incorrigibly plural." I think he is right. All things come from One. All things are related, related in different and complicated ways. But all things are not one. The word "everything" should mean simply the total (a total to be reached, if we knew enough, by enumeration) of all the things that exist at a given moment. It must not be given a mental capital letter; must not (under the influence of picture thinking) be turned into a sort of pool in which particular things sink or even a cake in which they are the currants. Real things are sharp and knobbly and complicated and different.

Everythingism is congenial to our minds because it is the natural philosophy of a totalitarian, mass-producing, conscripted age. That is why we must be perpetually on our guard against it.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, Great Spirit, many tears were shed by your people when they were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands and sacred spaces. We turn to you, who wipe away all tears, and we look with hope toward a future when the native peoples of our lands and those who have come after them, may live together in peace with justice, mercy, and compassion as the hallmarks of our life together; 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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Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

There is now no difference between the inhouse journalistic style of the "Guardian" and that of the "Daily Mail." They are both just as sensationalist and nasty. They could be distinguished in a blind test only by the political shade of the knee-jerk, on-message platitudes they respectively discharge in response to the triggers that they gleefully respond indignantly to over and over again, ad nauseum.

We have become what we hate.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE TWENTY-SECOND OF MAY, 2018

OPENING PRAYER

We ask for your forgiveness, Lord, when we forget the power that lies within, and trust instead upon our human strength. Remind us of that glorious day when your Spirit transformed the lives of those who hid in fear, into people of power. Renew these hearts which have grown cold with flames of fire, as on that Pentecost, that we might be the people that you desire. Amen.

CANTICLE

Come, dearest Lord, descend and dwell by faith and love in every breast;
then shall we know, and taste, and feel the joys that cannot be expressed.

Come, fill our hearts with inward strength, make our expanded souls possess
and learn the height, and breadth, and length of your unmeasurable grace.

Now to the God whose power can do more than our thoughts or wishes know,
be everlasting honours done by all the Church, through Christ his son.

( Isaac Watts )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

East Timor: religious persecution in Asia

On the twentieth of May, 2002, the nation of East Timor was born, the first new nation of the twenty-first century. However, independence came at a horrific price. When Portugal abandoned them in 1975, this small country was invaded by Indonesia who attempted to annex them. Decades of strife followed as Indonesian military systematically murdered or starved somewhere between one hundred and two hundred thousand East Timorese.

Mounting world-wide pressure, coupled with the resignation of Indonesian president, Suharto, made room for the United Nations to begin an assistance program leading to East Timorese independence.

Since 2002, East Timor has continued to struggle. Poverty is rampant as is political corruption. UN peacekeepers helped maintain control from 2006 to 2012.

What makes this situation even more tragic is that East Timor, like the Philippines, is a predominantly Christian nation. Much of the brutality with Indonesia was tinged with religious persecution.

Scripture. In the "Book of Lamentations," chapter one, verse sixteen, we read:

For these things I weep; my eyes flow with tears; for a comforter is far from me, one to revive my courage; my children are desolate, for the enemy has prevailed.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the people of East Timor.

... for all who are trapped in desperate poverty.

... for an end to the systematic destruction of peoples by their enemies.

... that human beings will stop destroying the creatures we share the earth with, before it is too late. DETAILS

... for the people of Martinique and Yemen who are celebrating their national day today.

... for those who have been sexually abused by priests or members of the clergy; for an end to the concealment of abuse by officials in the churches; that the guilty be brought to public account so that their victims may find some peace of mind as they move on with their lives. DETAILS

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From "Miracles" by C. S. Lewis:

It is therefore inaccurate to define a miracle as something that breaks the laws of Nature. It doesn’t. If I knock out my pipe I alter the position of a great many atoms: in the long run, and to an infinitesimal degree, of all the atoms there are. Nature digests or assimilates this event with perfect ease and harmonises it in a twinkling with all other events. It is one more bit of raw material for the laws to apply to, and they apply. I have simply thrown one event into the general cataract of events and it finds itself at home there and conforms to all other events. If God annihilates or creates or deflects a unit of matter He has created a new situation at that point. Immediately all Nature domiciles this new situation, makes it at home in her realm, adapts all other events to it. It finds itself conforming to all the laws. If God creates a miraculous spermatozoon in the body of a virgin, it does not proceed to break any laws. The laws at once take it over. Nature is ready. Pregnancy follows, according to all the normal laws, and nine months later a child is born. We see every day that physical nature is not in the least incommoded by the daily inrush of events from biological nature or from psychological nature. If events ever come from beyond Nature altogether, she will be no more incommoded by them. Be sure she will rush to the point where she is invaded, as the defensive forces rush to a cut in our finger, and there hasten to accommodate the newcomer. The moment it enters her realm it obeys all her laws. Miraculous wine will intoxicate, miraculous conception will lead to pregnancy, inspired books will suffer all the ordinary processes of textual corruption, miraculous bread will be digested. The divine art of miracle is not an art of suspending the pattern to which events conform but of feeding new events into that pattern.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon your people to keep them steadfast in your Word. Protect and comfort your people in times of trial. Receive the suffering and the lives of the Christians of East Timor, and lead them into all life, through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.

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

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE TWENTY-FIRST OF MAY, 2018
* Godric of Finchale *

OPENING PRAYER

Spirit of life, fill our emptiness with your fullness.
Spirit of power, stir our hearts afresh.
Spirit of love, touch us, and through us, our neighbour
Spirit of creativity, enable and empower the gifts you have given
Spirit of eternity, draw us ever deeper into your Kingdom. Amen.

CANTICLE

Above the starry spheres, to where he was before,
Christ had gone up, the Father’s gift upon the Church to pour.

At length had fully come, on mystic circle borne
of seven times seven revolving days, the Pentecostal morn.

When, as the apostles knelt at the third hour in prayer,
a sudden rushing sound proclaimed that God himself was there.

Forthwith a tongue of fire is seen on every brow,
each heart receives the Father’s light, the Word’s enkindling glow.

The Holy Ghost on all is mightily outpoured,
who straight in diverse tongues declare the wonders of the Lord.

While strangers of all climes flock round from far and near,
and their own tongue, wherever born, all with amazement hear.

But Judah, faithless still, denies the hand divine;
and, mocking, jeers the saints of Christ as full of new made wine.

Till Peter, in the midst, by Joel’s ancient word,
rebukes their unbelief, and wins three thousand to the Lord.

The Father and the Son and Spirit we adore,
O may the Spirit’s gifts be poured on us forevermore.

( attributed to Ambrose of Milan )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Godric of Finchale: single-hearted lover of God

Today, Saint Laika’s remembers with affection Godric of Finchale, a medieval English hermit, lover of animals, wise guide to archbishops and popes.

Godric was born at Walpole in Norfolk (England) around the year 1065. He was a peddler of some sort, a traveling salesman, indeed, whose wanderings led him to sea for a period of around sixteen years, during which time he became a part-owner of a number of vessels, one of which he went on to captain.

Godric’s maritime exploits brought him to the island of Lindisfarne off the Northumbrian coast, and here he became acquainted with tales of Saint Cuthbert, Lindisfarne’s greatest saint. Godric’s life was transformed by his encounter with Cuthbert and he experienced a profound conversion.

Godric came to live in Finchale near Durham, on the banks of the River Wear,, creating a hermitage dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. Godric’s biographers recorded that he lived an ascetic life on this site for fifty years, living and sleeping outside and rejecting expensive cloth and plentiful food. It is said that he slept on the ground with only stones and branches as his furniture.

Godric’s last years were marred by extreme sickness, perhaps a result of his difficult life-style. For almost a decade before his death on the twenty-first of May, 1170, he was confined to his bed and cared for by monks of Durham.

Four songs by Saint Godric have come down to us. They are the oldest songs in English for which the original musical settings survive. The first song he said was taught to him by the Virgin Mary herself, in a vision.

He lived to the amazing age of one hundred and five.

Scripture. In the first chapter of "Job," at verses twenty and twenty-one, we read:

Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshipped. 

He said, "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."

 

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for all who find God in solitary ways.

... for all who love and care for animals.

... for songwriters, in particular for those who employ their talents to bring people closer to God.

... for the people of Montenegro who are celebrating their national day today.

... for those who have been infected, or are in danger of being infected, with Nipah virus, in the south Indian state of Kerala, especially those who have died and those who are presently hospitalised; for those treating the poorly, in particular the nurse who has died from the illness; that the outbreak will be contained and ended. DETAILS

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From "A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers" by Henry David Thoreau:

As the truest society approaches always nearer to solitude, so the most excellent speech finally falls into Silence. Silence is audible to all men, at all times, and in all places. She is when we hear inwardly, sound when we hear outwardly. Creation has not displaced her, but is her visible framework and foil. All sounds are her servants, and purveyors, proclaiming not only that their mistress is, but is a rare mistress, and earnestly to be sought after. They are so far akin to Silence, that they are but bubbles on her surface, which straightway burst, an evidence of the strength and prolificness of the under-current; a faint utterance of Silence, and then only agreeable to our auditory nerves when they contrast themselves with and relieve the former. In proportion as they do this, and are heighteners and intensifiers of the Silence, they are harmony and purest melody.

Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment; that background which the painter may not daub, be he master or bungler, and which, however awkward a figure we may have made in the foreground, remains ever our inviolable asylum, where no indignity can assail, no personality disturb us.

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord our God, you accepted the single-hearted devotion of your servant Godric, who loved and served you alone. Give us also the desire to love you and serve you, and lead us through our lives to everlasting life with you; through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.

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

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Another Day, Another Shooting

It is definite that the ease of access to firearms in the United States facilitates school shootings and experience elsewhere indicates that if gun ownership in the United States became difficult, rare and restricted to sporting guns only then the number of school shootings would reduce drastically and may even stop altogether. Therefore, it would be a very good idea for the American people to vote in draconian gun control measures.

However, the primary cause of all these massacres is not gun ownership or facination with guns. It will be something else, something in the very fabric of American society, and although I do not know what this something else is I am certain that it will take more than a change of law or even the constitution to remove it from American society. It will probably require a cultural change of the magnitude that has not been seen since the Russian Revolution.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE EIGHTEENTH OF MAY, 2018

OPENING PRAYER

O King of Glory, Lord of Hosts, ho did ascend in triumph above all the heavens, leave us not orphans, but send upon us the Spirit of Truth promised by the Father. Alleluia! Amen.

CANTICLE

O love, how deep, how broad, how high, how passing thought and fantasy,
that God, the Son of God, should take our mortal form for mortals’ sake!

He sent no angel to our race, of higher or of lower place,
but wore the robe of human frame and he himself to this world came.

For us baptised, for us he bore his holy fast, and hungered sore;
for us temptations sharp he knew, for us the tempter overthrew.

For us to wicked men betrayed, scourged, mocked, in crown of thorns arrayed,
he bore the shameful cross and death; for us at length gave up his breath.

For us he rose from death again, for us he went on high to reign,
for us he sent his Spirit here to guide, to strengthen, and to cheer.

All glory to our Lord and God for love so deep, so high, so broad;
the Trinity whom we adore forever and forevermore.

( attributed to Thomas á Kempis )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Dirk Willems: loving your enemy when they do not love you back

Dirk Willems grew up in the Netherlands in the tumultuous sixteenth century time of reformation and protest. He followed the Anabaptist tradition.

He had been imprisoned for his faith and managed to escape from prison, with guards in hot pursuit. He could have made his escape but one of his pursuers fell through the thin ice of a frozen pond and was in danger of drowning. Willems turned around and rescued the guard. He was recaptured, and burned at the stake on the sixteenth of May, 1569.

The charges against him were preserved:

“Whereas, Dirk Willems, born at Asperen, at present a prisoner, has, without torture and iron bonds (or otherwise) before the bailiff and us judges, confessed that at the age of fifteen, eighteen or twenty years, he was rebaptised in Rotterdam, at the house of one Pieter Willems, and that he, further, in Asperen, at his house, at divers hours, harboured and admitted secret conventicles and prohibited doctrines, and that he also has permitted several persons to be rebaptised in his aforesaid house; all of which is contrary to our holy Christian faith, and to the decrees of his royal majesty, and ought not to be tolerated, but severely punished, for an example to others; therefore, we the aforesaid judges, having, with mature deliberation of council, examined and considered all that was to be considered in this matter, have condemned and do condemn by these presents in the name; and in the behalf, of his royal majesty, as Count of Holland, the aforesaid Dirk Willems, prisoner, persisting obstinately in his opinion, that he shall be executed with fire, until death ensues; and declare all his property confiscated, for the benefit of his royal majesty. So done this sixteenth of May, in presence of the judges.”

Scripture: In the sixth chapter of "Luke," at verses twenty-seven to thirty-one, we read:

But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the courage to live the teachings of Jesus in our daily life.

... for the reconciliation of enemies.

... for our enemies.

... for the success of the thousands of volunteers, community members, health professionals, supporters and scientists who are working together to find a safe and effective AIDS vaccine; for the continued commitment of the governments, institutions and individuals who are funding the work. DETAILS

... for people who work in museums. DETAILS

... for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, that their future together will be happy; for all who are involved in making their wedding tomorrow a memorable, blessed and safe occasion; that the love of God will permeate the ceremony and be made known to all who witness it; for all couples who are getting married this coming weekend.

... for men who suffer from postnatal depression. DETAILS

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From "Miracles" by C. S. Lewis:

To say that Christ’s passage to a new "nature" could involve no upwards movement, or no movement at all, within the "nature" he was leaving, is very arbitrary. Where there is passage, there is departure; and departure is an event in the region from which the traveller is departing. All this, even on the assumption that the ascending Christ is in a three-dimensional space. If it is not that kind of body, and space is not that kind of space, then we are even less qualified to say what the spectators of this entirely new event might or might not see or feel as if they had seen.

There is, of course, no question of a human body as we know it existing in interstellar space as we know it. The Ascension belongs to a new nature. We are discussing only what the "joint" between the old nature and the new, the precise moment of transition, would look like. But what really worries us is the conviction that, whatever we say, the "New Testament" writers meant something quite different. We feel sure that they thought they had seen their master setting off on a journey for a local "Heaven" where God sat in a throne and where there was another throne waiting for him. And I believe that in a sense that is just what they did think. And I believe that, for this reason, whatever they had actually seen (sense perception, almost by hypothesis, would be confused at such a moment) they would almost certainly have remembered it as a vertical movement. What we must not say is that they "mistook" local "heavens" and celestial throne-rooms and the like for the "spiritual" heaven of union with God and supreme power and beatitude.

Heaven can mean:

(1) The unconditioned divine life beyond all worlds.

(2) Blessed participation in that life by a created spirit.

(3) The whole nature or system of conditions in which redeemed human spirits, still remaining human, can enjoy such participation fully and for ever. This is the heaven Christ goes to "prepare" for us.

(4) The physical heaven, the sky, the space in which Earth moves.

What enables us to distinguish these senses and hold them clearly apart is not any special spiritual purity but the fact that we are the heirs to centuries of logical analysis: not that we are sons to Abraham but that we are sons to Aristotle. We are not to suppose that the writers of the "New Testament" mistook heaven in sense four or three for heaven in sense two or one. You cannot mistake a half sovereign for a sixpence until you know the English system of coinage; that is, until you know the difference between them. In their idea of heaven all these meanings were latent, ready to be brought out by later analysis. They never thought merely of the blue sky or merely of a "spiritual" heaven. When they looked up at the blue sky they never doubted that there, whence light and heat and the precious rain descended, was the home of God: but on the other hand, when they thought of one ascending to that Heaven they never doubted he was "ascending" in what we should call a "spiritual" sense.

The fact that Galilean shepherds could not distinguish what they saw at the Ascension from that kind of ascent which, by its very nature, could never be seen at all, does not prove on the one hand that they were unspiritual, nor on the other that they saw nothing. A man who really believes that "Heaven" is in the sky may well, in his heart, have a far truer and more spiritual conception of it than many a modern logician who could expose that fallacy with a few strokes of his pen. For he who does the will of the Father shall know the doctrine. Irrelevant material splendours in such a man’s idea of the vision of God will do no harm, for they are not there for their own sakes. Purity from such images in a merely theoretical Christian’s idea will do no good if they have been banished only by logical criticism.

It is not an accident that simple-minded people, however spiritual, should blend the ideas of God and Heaven and the blue sky. It is a fact, not a fiction, that light and life-giving heat do come down from the sky to Earth. The analogy of the sky’s role to begetting and of the Earth’s role to bearing is sound as far as it goes. The huge dome of the sky is of all things sensuously perceived the most like infinity. And when God made space and worlds that move in space, and clothed our world with air, and gave us such eyes and such imaginations as those we have, he knew what the sky would mean to us. And since nothing in his work is accidental, if he knew, he intended. We cannot be certain that this was not indeed one of the chief purposes for which nature was created; still less that it was not one of the chief reasons why the withdrawal was allowed to affect human senses as a movement upwards. (A disappearance into the Earth would beget a wholly different religion.) The ancients in letting the spiritual symbolism of the sky flow straight into their minds without stopping to discover by analysis that it was a symbol, were not entirely mistaken. In one way they were perhaps less mistaken than we.

CLOSING PRAYER

Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women who have given their lives in witness to your truth and love; inspire us with the example of Dirk Willems, and give us courage to bear witness with our lives to your son’s resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE SEVENTEENTH OF MAY, 2018

OPENING PRAYER

Father in heaven, our minds were prepared for the coming of your kingdom when you took Christ beyond our sight so that we might seek him in glory. May we follow where he has led and find our hope in his glory, for he is Lord forever. Amen,

( New Saint Joseph Sunday Missal )

CANTICLE

See, the Lord ascends in triumph, conquering king in royal state
riding on the clouds, his chariot to his heavenly palace gate.
Hark! The choirs of angel voices joyful alleluias sing
and the portals high are lifted to receive their heavenly king.

Who is this that comes in glory with the trump of jubilee?
Lord of battles, God of armies, he has gained the victory.
He who on the cross did suffer, he who from the grave arose,
he has vanquished sin and Satan; he by death has spoiled his foes.

While he lifts his hands in blessing he is parted from his friends;
while their eager eyes behold him, he upon the clouds ascends.
He who walked with God and pleased him, preaching truth and doom to come,
he, our Enoch, is translated to his everlasting home.

Now our heavenly Aaron enters with his blood within the veil;
Joshua now is come to Canaan and the kings before him quail.
Now He plants the tribes of Israel in their promised resting place,
now our great Elijah offers double portion of his grace.

He has raised our human nature on the clouds to God's right hand;
there we sit in heavenly places, there with him in glory stand.
Jesus reigns, adored by angels; man with God is on the throne;
by our mighty Lord's ascension we by faith behold our own.

( Christopher Wordsworth )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Mary McLeod Bethune: educator and civil rights leader

Mary McLeod Bethune was an American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian and civil rights activist. She is best known for starting a school for African-American girls in Daytona Beach, Florida. This later evolved into the co-educational Bethune–Cookman University.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her a national advisor on what was known as his “Black Cabinet.” She was known as "The First Lady of The Struggle" because of her commitment to gain better lives for African Americans.

Faith was a very important part of her life from her earliest days. Her first education was at the Trinity Mission School run by the Presbyterian Church. Her parents were born into slavery, she was the fifteenth or seventeen children. She had at first wanted to be a missionary in Africa, but later turned her thoughts to the education of African American girls. The Presbyterian Church persuaded her to move to Florida, where she ran a mission school. This was in 1899.

In October 1904, she moved to Daytona Beach, Florida and opened the Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls. In the beginning she struggled to find financial support.

Later on, reflecting back on that time she wrote: “I considered cash money as the smallest part of my resources. I had faith in a loving God, faith in myself, and a desire to serve.”

The Presbyterian Church, and local black churches in Daytona got her through the early years.

Besides her efforts in education, she was a dynamo in the civil rights area. She was involved in the National Association of Coloured Women and as early as 1917 was registering African Americans for voting. She took on the Ku Klux Klan in Florida in the 1920s and went on to establish a national headquarters for the NACW in Washington, DC, a first for any organisation of African Americans.

After working on the presidential campaign for Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, she was invited to become a member of his Black Cabinet. She advised him on concerns of black people and helped share Roosevelt's message and achievements with blacks, who had historically been Republican voters since the Civil War.

On the eighteenth of May, 1955, Bethune died of a heart attack. Her death was followed by editorial tributes from across the country.

The New York Times noted she was, "one of the most potent factors in the growth of interracial goodwill in America."

The Washington Post said: "So great were her dynamism and force that it was almost impossible to resist her. Not only her own people, but all America has been enriched and ennobled by her courageous, ebullient spirit."

Scripture. In the fourth chapter of "Philippians" at verses twelve and thirteen, we read:

I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for black people in the United States of America.

... for an end to homophobia and transphobia. DETAILS

... for the people of Norway who are celebrating their national day today.

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From "The Weight of Glory" by C. S. Lewis:

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations: these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit; immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn: We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously; no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner; no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat; the glorifier and the glorified, Glory himself, is truly hidden.

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord our God, we thank you for the gifts of grace given to your servant, Mary McLeod Bethune, particularly for the clarity of her vision and the freshness of her thought. Help us, like her, to serve you with single-hearted devotion, in the church and in public life; through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.

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

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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Mental Health Awareness Week Continued

I used to care. I really did. I cared about every injustice I came across. I cared about every oppressed group and I campaigned loudly on their behalf. I believed that if we chipped away at injustice one cause at a time, then eventually there would be no more injustice. Eventually, I thought, it would be my turn; all the groups I had supported would get around to supporting the mentally ill in their campaign to be included fully in society and not remain the victims of unpunished bigotry and prejudice.

Then one day, shortly after a breakthrough in the fight for gay equality, it dawned on me. Nobody was ever going to take to the streets to protest against the injustices the mentally ill have to endure on a daily basis. We are just not cool enough and anyway, beneath the surface pretence most people, including the most vocally inclusive, believe that the mentally ill are an embarrassment and should be shut away from sane society. Furthermore, it has become obvious to me that as soon as most people get what they want they stop being concerned about injustice, especially injustice affecting those without the kudos of trendiness. In fact, people will be unjust to others if they think it will further the campaign for justice for themselves.

Of course, a better person than myself would not care about what was in it for them. Such a person would carry on fighting for gay people and transgender people and black people and women and war children and migrants even though there was no chance whatsoever that gay people, transgender people, black people, women, children and migrants or anyone else would ever return the favour. But I am not capable of such altruism. This is why I advocate that we do not split our fight for justice into individual campaigns. We need to campaign for justice for all who are oppressed at the same time. We should not accept freedom for one group if there is not freedom for all. Mostly, we should stop pitting one oppressed group against another as that is exactly what the oppressers want us to do because they know it is the thing that we do that harms us most.

I am too old now to ever recieve restitution. Things move far too slowly and, in respect of the mentally ill, they have hardly even begun. I have given in. What a fucking waste it has all been.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE SIXTEENTH OF MAY, 2018
* Caroline Chisholm *

OPENING PRAYER

Grant, we beseech you, almighty God, that we who believe your only-begotten son, our redeemer, to have ascended into heaven, may ourselves dwell, at the last, amid heavenly things. Amen.

( Roman Missal, sixth to eighth century, altered )

CANTICLE

Christ the Lord ascends to reign, Christ has broken every chain;
hear the angel voices cry, singing evermore on high: Alleluia!

Christ, who bore all pain and loss, comfortless upon the cross,
lives in glory now on high, pleads for us and hears our cry: Alleluia!

Christ, our paschal lamb indeed, all your ransomed people feed;
take our sin and guilt away; let us sing by night and day: Alleluia!

Christ now bids us tell abroad how the lost may be restored,
how the penitent forgiven, how we all may enter heaven: Alleluia!

( Michael Wiesse )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Caroline Chisholm: giving immigrants a voice

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Caroline Chisholm.

When Caroline was a child, in the early 1800’s, her father, a wealthy, landed gentleman, brought into their home a poor, maimed soldier. He instructed his family that they were obliged to care for this man who had fought for them. This experience made a deep impression on Caroline, and she dedicated her life to helping others.

In 1832 the East India Company posted her husband to India, and Caroline saw the bleak living conditions the wives and daughters of British soldiers had to face. She started a school for them and greatly improved their standard of living.

Life next took her to Australia, to Sydney, where she worked tirelessly on finding work opportunities for female immigrants. Later she expanded her work to cover entire families. It is estimated that during her time there, she helped over fourteen thousand immigrants to find employment and homes.

Back in England, she organised a group of wealthy people to provide loans for folks migrating to Australia. She got Parliament to pass laws for better shipboard condition for passengers.

She died at age sixty-eight in 1877. The Church of England also remembers her today.

Scripture. In the fifty-eighth chapter of "Isaiah," at verses six and seven we read:

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

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for immigrants and those who assist them.

... for all who live in poverty and struggle to better their conditions.

... for Thomas Markle and all undergoing surgery in the near future. DETAILS

... for those who are unhappy at work.

... for poorly pets.

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From "Miracles" by C. S. Lewis:

There are, I allow, certain respects in which the risen Christ resembles the ghost of popular tradition. Like a ghost he appears and disappears: locked doors are no obstacle to him. On the other hand he himself vigorously asserts that he is corporeal (Luke 24: 39– 40) and eats broiled fish.

It is at this point that the modern reader becomes uncomfortable. He becomes more uncomfortable still at the words, "Don’t touch me; I have not yet gone up to the Father" (John 20: 17). For voices and apparitions we are, in some measure, prepared. But what is this that must not be touched? What is all this about going up to the Father? Is he not already with the Father in the only sense that matters? What can "going up" be except a metaphor for that? And if so, why has he not yet gone?

These discomforts arise because the story the apostles actually had to tell begins at this point to conflict with the story we expect and are determined beforehand to read into their narrative. We expect them to tell of a risen life which is purely spiritual in the negative sense of that word: that is, we use the word "spiritual" to mean not what it is but what it is not. We mean a life without space, without history, without environment, with no sensuous elements in it. We also, in our heart of hearts, tend to slur over the risen manhood of Jesus, to conceive him, after death, simply returning into deity, so that the Resurrection would be no more than the reversal or undoing of the Incarnation. That being so, all references to the risen body make us uneasy: they raise awkward questions.

It is at this point that awe and trembling fall upon us as we read the records. If the story is false, it is at least a much stranger story than we expected, something for which philosophical religion, psychical research and popular superstition have all alike failed to prepare us. If the story is true, then a wholly new mode of being has arisen in the universe. The body which lives in that new mode is like, and yet unlike, the body his friends knew before the execution. It is differently related to space and probably to time, but by no means cut off from all relation to them. It can perform the animal act of eating. It is so related to matter, as we know it, that it can be touched, though at first it had better not be touched. It has also a history before it which is in view from the first moment of the Resurrection; it is presently going to become different or go somewhere else. That is why the story of the Ascension cannot be separated from that of the Resurrection.

All the accounts suggest that the appearances of the risen body came to an end; some describe an abrupt end about six weeks after the death. And they describe this abrupt end in a way which presents greater difficulties to the modern mind than any other part of scripture. For here, surely, we get the implication of all those primitive crudities to which I have said that Christians are not committed: the vertical ascent like a balloon, the local heaven, the decorated chair to the right of the Father’s throne.

"He was caught up into the sky (ouranos)," says Saint Mark’s gospel, "and sat down at the right hand of God."

"He was lifted up," says the author of "Acts," "and a cloud cut him off from their sight."

The records represent Christ as passing after death (as no man had passed before) neither into a purely, that is, negatively, spiritual mode of existence nor into a natural life such as we know, but into a life which has its own, new nature. It represents him as withdrawing six weeks later, into some different mode of existence.

It says (he says) that he goes "to prepare a place for us."

This presumably means that he is about to create that whole new nature which will provide the environment or conditions for his glorified humanity and, in him, for ours. The picture is not what we expected; though whether it is less or more probable and philosophical on that account is another question. It is not the picture of an escape from any and every kind of nature into some unconditioned and utterly transcendent life. It is the picture of a new human nature and a new nature in general, being brought into existence.

We must, indeed, believe the risen body to be extremely different from the mortal body: but the existence, in that new state, of anything that could in any sense be described as "body" at all, involves some sort of spatial relations and in the long run a whole new universe. That is the picture, not of unmaking but of remaking. The old field of space, time, matter, and the senses is to be weeded, dug, and sown for a new crop. We may be tired of that old field: God is not.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, though divided by geography, nationality, and political systems, all the mortal race are your children. We thank you for raising up among us Caroline Chisholm, who had such a passion for work with immigrants, easing their passages and bettering their conditions. Teach us to regard with dignity all human beings, and help us understand we are all migrating to that kingdom where you live and reign, with your son and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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Not Really A Colour Of Skin Thing

I think referring to the oppression of black people in the USA as "white supremacy" is a very dangerous thing to do as it perpetuates the "them and us" thinking that is at the heart of the problem and reinforces prejudice in those who feel assaulted by such terminology. Colour is an accidental part of the problem. It is more to do with the same thinking that gives rise to the caste system in Hinduism. Remember, slavery in the USA arose initialy from the need of aristocrats exiled from England to Virginia, following the execution of Charles I, to replace the feudal serfs they left behind. Also bear in mind that the enslavement of European people in the Ottoman Empire was just as big an obscenity as the enslavement of African people in the Americas. In other words, it is the down to the age old tendency of the powerful (whoever they are in any particular situation) to oppress the relatively powerless and, in doing so, coming to view those they are oppressing as inferior to the point of not being fully human. That powerless white people in the United States buy into this thinking is probably still down to their fear of becomming the powerless again (they are the descendants of European peasantry). Therefore, we should be bringing people together in the language we use rather than using language that reinforces division, even if the divisive language appears, on the surface, to be an accurate description of "where we are today."

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE FIFTEENTH OF MAY, 2018

OPENING PRAYER

God our father, make us joyful in the ascension of your son, Jesus Christ. May we follow him into the new creation, for his ascension is our glory and our hope. We ask this through our lord, Jesus Christ, your son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

( "New Saint Joseph Sunday Missal" )

CANTICLE

Look, you saints, the sight is glorious: see the man of sorrows now;
from the fight returned victorious, every knee to him shall bow.
Crown him! Crown him! Crowns become the victor's brow.

Crown the saviour, angels, crown him; rich the trophies Jesus brings;
in the seat of power enthrone him, while the vault of heaven rings:
Crown him! Crown him! Crown the saviour king of kings!

Sinners in derision crowned him, mocking thus the saviour's claim;
saints and angels crowd around him, sing his title, praise his name.
Crown him! Crown him! Spread abroad the victor's fame!

Hark, those bursts of acclamation! Hark, those loud triumphant chords!
Jesus takes the highest station; O what joy the sight affords!
Crown him! Crown him! King of kings, and lord of lords!

( Thomas Kelly )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Isidore the Farm Labourer, lover of the poor

Saints that date back to the middle ages are often bishops or popes, missionaries, or monks. One singular exception to this rule, is Saint Isidore, a Spanish farm worker who was known for his piety, his love for the poor and his treatment of animals.

He was born in Madrid in 1070 AD and spent his entire adult life as a farm labourer for a wealthy landowner. He married and, together with his wife, had one son who died in his teen years.

In the morning before going to work, Isidore would usually attend Mass at one of the churches in Madrid. His devotion to Christ was so intense that it spawned several miracle stories about him.

One such story told of two angels who ploughed alongside Isidore, one on the left and the other on the right, so that his work was the work of three men.

A more fanciful story involved his love for animals. It seems he was carrying a sack of corn to be ground at the local mill. It was a bitterly cold day and he came across a flock of pigeons searching in vain for food. He spilled out half his sack of corn for them, and took the remaining corn to the mill. When it was ground, it produced double the amount of expected flour.

Isidore's wife, Maria, always kept a pot of stew on the fireplace in their humble home as Isidore would often bring home anyone who was hungry. One day he brought home more hungry people than usual. After she served many of them, Maria told him that there simply was no more stew in the pot. He insisted that she check the pot again, and she was able to spoon out enough stew to feed them all.

Saint Isidore is widely venerated as the patron saint of farmers, peasants, day labourers and agriculture in general. In the midst of all the sainted ecclesiastics, his sanctity testifies to the dignity of human labour and that ordinary life can lead to holiness just as well as life in the church.

He died on this day in 1230 AD.

Scripture. In the ninth chapter of "Luke," at verse sixty-two, we read:

Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for farmers and all agricultural workers; for day labourers.

... for workers who are exploited by employers and gang masters; for their freedom from oppression.

... for families. DETAILS

... for the victims of Donald Trump's decision to move the United States' embassy in Israel from Tehran to Jerusalem.

... for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and all who have been unjustly imprisoned by despotic regimes. DETAILS

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From "Miracles" by C. S. Lewis:

The Resurrection was not regarded simply or chiefly as evidence for the immortality of the soul. It is, of course, often so regarded today: I have heard a man maintain that "the importance of the Resurrection is that it proves survival." Such a view cannot at any point be reconciled with the language of the "New Testament." On such a view Christ would simply have done what all men do when they die: the only novelty would have been that in his case we were allowed to see it happening. But there is not in scripture the faintest suggestion that the Resurrection was new evidence for something that had in fact been always happening. The "New Testament" writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the "first fruits," the "pioneer of life." He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because he has done so. This is the beginning of the New Creation: a new chapter in cosmic history has opened.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, we thank you for the deep faith and daily labour of Isidore, your faithful servant. Bless all who farm the fields and help us all to work toward the elimination of hunger in our world today; through Jesus Christ, your son, our saviour and lord. Amen.

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

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE FOURTEENTH OF MAY, 2018

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord Jesus, I adore you, son of Mary, my saviour and my brother, for you are God. I follow you in my thoughts, O first-fruits of our race, as I hope one day by your grace to follow you in my person into heavenly glory. In the meantime, do not let me neglect the earthly task that you have given me. Let me labour diligently all my life with a greater appreciation for the present. May I true human fulfilment in this life and divine fulfilment when I ascend to you at the completion of my work. Amen.

( "New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book" altered )

CANTICLE

A hymn of glory let us sing, new songs throughout the world shall ring;
Christ, by a road before untrod, ascends up to the throne of God.

The holy apostolic band upon the Mount of Olives stand
and with his followers, they see Jesus’ resplendent majesty.

To whom the angels drawing nigh, "Why stand and gaze upon the sky?"
"This is the Saviour," thus they say. "This is his noble triumph day.

Again you shall behold him so, as you have today seen him go
in glorious pomp ascending high, up to the portals of the sky.

O grant us thitherward to tend and with unwearied hearts ascend
unto your kingdom’s throne, where thou, as is our faith, are seated now.

Be you our joy and strong defence, who are our future recompense;
so shall the light that springs from thee be ours through all eternity,

O risen Christ, ascended Lord, all praise to thee let earth accord,
who are, while endless ages run, with Father and with Spirit one.

( Bede )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Frances Perkins: architect of a new deal
(transferred from Sunday)

Frances Perkins was a woman of outstanding accomplishments, in her personal life, for the cause of women and in the life of the United States.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics in 1902 and a master’s degree in political science in 1910.

She was a teacher and advocate for workers’ rights. The Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in 1911 in which one hundred and forty-six people died catapulted Frances into the foreground of government service. Working for the state of New York she helped draft legislation to improve working conditions, insisted that exit doors in workplaces be unlocked, shortened working hours and established a minimum wage.

President Franklin Roosevelt brought her to Washington where she served as the nation’s first female cabinet minister. She was Secretary of Labour. She was largely responsible for drafting legislation to enact President Roosevelt’s "New Deal." She was the architect of the social security programme.

Following her retirement from government service in 1952, she remained active as a teacher and lecturer at Cornell University. She died on the fourteenth of May, 1965.

During her years of public service, Frances Perkins depended upon her faith, her life of prayer and the guidance of her church for the support she needed to assist the United States and its leadership to face the enormous problems of the time. During her time as Secretary of Labour, she would take time away from her duties on a monthly basis and make a retreat with the All Saints’ Sisters of the Poor in nearby Catonsville, Maryland.

Quote: “A healthy discontent keeps us alert to the changing needs of our time."

Scripture. In "Psalm Thirty-Seven," verses twenty-seven and twenty-eight we read:

Depart from evil, and do good; so you shall abide for ever. For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his faithful ones.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that all workers may be provided with safe working conditions, fair wages and a healthy balance between work and leisure.

... for the success of those who devote their lives to the welfare of working people.

... for the people of Paraguay who are celebrating their national day today.

... for those killed or injured when police opened fire on Palestinians protesting against the opening of an American embassy in Jerusalem. DETAILS

... for those whose lives are threatened by the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and for the success of those working to prevent it turning into an epidemic. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured during a suicide bombing at a police headquarters in the Indonesian city of Surabaya. DETAILS

... for those killed, injured or made homeless in the fierce dust storms that have been raging in India since Sunday and for those still threatened by them. DETAILS

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From "Miracles" by C. S. Lewis:

When modern writers talk of the Resurrection they usually mean one particular moment, the discovery of the empty tomb and the appearance of Jesus a few yards away from it. The story of that moment is what Christian apologists now chiefly try to support and sceptics chiefly try to impugn. But this almost exclusive concentration on the first five minutes or so of the Resurrection would have astonished the earliest Christian teachers. In claiming to have seen the Resurrection they were not necessarily claiming to have seen that. Some of them had, some of them had not. It had no more importance than any of the other appearances of the risen Jesus apart from the poetic and dramatic importance which the beginnings of things must always have. What they were claiming was that they had all, at one time or another, met Jesus during the six or seven weeks that followed his death. Sometimes they seem to have been alone when they did so, but on one occasion twelve of them saw him together and on another occasion about five hundred of them. Saint Paul says that the majority of the five hundred were still alive when he wrote the "First Letter to the Corinthians," i.e. in about 55 AD. The "Resurrection" to which they bore witness was, in fact, not the action of rising from the dead but the state of having risen; a state, as they held, attested by intermittent meetings during a limited period (except for the special, and in some ways different, meeting vouchsafed to Saint Paul). This termination of the period is important, for there is no possibility of isolating the doctrine of the Resurrection from that of the Ascension.

CLOSING PRAYER

Loving God, we bless your name for Frances Perkins, who lived out her belief that the special vocation of the laity is to conduct the secular affairs of society that all may be maintained in health and decency. Help us, following her example, to contend tirelessly for justice and for the protection of all in need, that we may be faithful followers of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

FRIDAY THE FOURTH OF MAY, 2018

OPENING PRAYER

God, give us eyes to see the beauty of the Spring and to behold your majesty in every living thing. May we see in lacy leaves and every budding flower the hand that rules the universe with gentleness and power. May this Easter grandeur that Spring lavishly imparts awaken faded flowers of faith lying dormant in our hearts and give us ears to hear, dear God, the Springtime song of birds, with messages more meaningful than man’s often empty words, telling harried human beings who are lost in dark despair, "Be like us and do not worry for God has you in his care." Amen.

( Helen Steiner Ricer )

CANTICLE

He dies, the friend of sinners dies!
Lo! Salem’s daughters weep around;
a solemn darkness veils the skies,
a sudden trembling shakes the ground.

Come, saints, and drop a tear or two
for him who groaned beneath your load:
he shed a thousand drops for you,
a thousand drops of richer blood.

Here’s love and grief beyond degree:
the Lord of Glory dies for men.
But lo! what sudden joys we see,
Jesus, the dead, revives again.

The rising God forsakes the tomb;
the tomb in vain forbids his rise;
cherubic legions guard him home
and shout him welcome to the skies.

Break off your fears, you saints, and tell
how high your great deliverer reigns;
sing how he spoiled the hosts of hell
and led the monster death in chains.

Say, "Live forever, wondrous King,
born to redeem, and strong to save!"
Then ask the monster, "Where’s your sting?"
and, "Where’s your victory, boasting grave?"

( Isaac Watts )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Haymarket Riot, 1886: history continues to repeat itself

The past three years has seen urban violence springing up across the United States, coalescing in a movement called “Black Lives Matter.” Rioting was particularly severe in Baltimore, and this year several new incidents of violence and discrimination against black men and women were added to an already long list.

The Haymarket Riot was the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labour demonstration on Tuesday the fourth of May, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers the previous day by the police. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they acted to disperse the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded.

There is always a constituency and an issue. In 1886 the constituency was German, Eastern European and Irish working people. The issue was an eight-hour work day.

Eight anarchists were ultimately put on trial. Four were hanged, one committed suicide, and three were sentenced to life in prison. Already by 1893 public opinion was turning in favour of the workers. A century later Haymarket Square was designated a Chicago landmark, and a public sculpture was dedicated there in 2004.

To read an account of the Haymarket Riot now is to find oneself eerily in the grip of history repeating itself. Particularly chilling is the way the newspapers in 1886 played up the violence of the workers, when, in effect, the violence was committed by a few, after the many had cleared the square. Today’s media have already come under fire for overplaying the violence in Baltimore and other cities at the expense of frustrated citizens who are simply seeking justice.

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

Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord, "In all the squares there shall be wailing; and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! alas!’

"They shall call the farmers to mourning, and those skilled in lamentation, to wailing; in all the vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through the midst of you," says the LORD.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for an end to police brutality and all state-sanctioned violence against the people of the nations.

... for firefighters and all who risk their lives to rescue those threatened by fire and minimise the damage caused by fire. DETAILS

... for the inhabitants of the town of Pahoa on Hawaii’s Big Island, who have been ordered to evacuate their homes after the eruption of the Kilauea volcano caused lava to flow in residential areas; for all whose lives and property are threatened by the eruption of this volcano. DETAILS

... for the Guyanese fishermen who were massacred by pirates off the coast of Suriname last week. DETAILS

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From "Miracles" by C. S. Lewis:

In the earliest days of Christianity an ‘apostle’ was first and foremost a man who claimed to be an eyewitness of the Resurrection. Only a few days after the Crucifixion when two candidates were nominated for the vacancy created by the treachery of Judas, their qualification was that they had known Jesus personally both before and after his death and could offer first-hand evidence of the Resurrection in addressing the outer world.

A few days later Saint Peter, preaching the first Christian sermon, makes the same claim: "God raised Jesus, of which we all (we Christians) are witnesses."

In the "First Letter to the Corinthians," Saint Paul bases his claim to apostleship on the same ground: "Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen the Lord Jesus?"

As this qualification suggests, to preach Christianity meant primarily to preach the Resurrection. The Resurrection is the central theme in every Christian sermon reported in the "Acts of the Apostles." The Resurrection, and its consequences, were the "gospel" or good news which the Christians brought: what we call the ‘gospels’, the narratives of our Lord’s life and death, were composed later for the benefit of those who had already accepted the gospel. They were in no sense the basis of Christianity: they were written for those already converted. The miracle of the Resurrection, and the theology of that miracle, comes first: the biography comes later as a comment on it.

The first fact in the history of Christendom is a number of people who say they have seen the Resurrection. If they had died without making anyone else believe this "gospel" no gospels would ever have been written.

CLOSING PRAYER

Holy God, in the midst of conflict and division you turn our mind to thoughts of peace. Your Spirit changes our hearts; enemies begin to speak to one another, and those who have been at odds seek the way of peace together. In all our times of need, help us to find solutions to the problems that beset us; through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.

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

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE THIRD OF MAY, 2018

OPENING PRAYER

Good and gracious God, our most glorious creator, as we greet the signs in nature around us of Spring once again regaling us in bloom, in the songs of returning birds and fields soon to be planted, we give you praise for an even greater sign of new life: the resurrection of your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that we especially celebrate at this time.

The sadness and despair of his death has given way to the bright promise of immortality. For the Resurrection is our guarantee that justice will triumph over treason, light will overcome darkness, and love will conquer death.

As we celebrate, we also dare to ask for your grace that we may live the promise given to us, by imitating the life of Jesus in reaching out to the poor, the marginalised and the least among us, as we strive to be a neighbour to all those we meet, We praise you in this Easter season. Change our lives, change our hearts to be messengers of Easter joy and hope. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord forever. Amen.

( Larry Snyder )

CANTICLE

Far be sorrow, tears and sighing!
Waves are calming, storms are dying,
Moses has overpassed the sea,
Israel’s captive hosts are free;
life by death slew death and saved us,
in his blood the Lamb has saved us,
clothing us with victory.

Jesus Christ from death has risen.
Lo, his Godhead bursts the prison,
while his manhood passes free,
vanquishing our misery.
Rise we free from condemnation;
through our God’s humiliation,
ours is now the victory.

Vain the foe’s despair and madness.
See the dayspring of our gladness!
Slaves no more of Satan we;
children, by the Son, set free;
rise, for life with death has striven,
all the snares of hell are riven;
rise and claim the victory.

( Anonymous, thirteenth century )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Catherine of Siena: saint or madwoman
( transferred from Sunday )

In the short space of thirty-three years, Catherine of Siena experienced a mystical marriage to Jesus Christ, was given the stigmata (the wounds of Jesus appeared in her hands, feet, and side), and dictated a book full of mystic visions and revelations. On the other hand, she was known to be a person of sound judgment and insight, and there exists a collection of letters written to her by popes, kings, scholars, people from all walks of life. She was influential in getting Pope Gregory XI to move the papacy back to Rome from Avignon. On top of all that, she was a nurse, who looked after people with leprosy and advanced cancer, with compassion and skill.

The intensity of her life caused controversy in Siena. Was she a saint or a madwoman. The range of her activity from the ecstatic, intensely personal visions, to her passionate response to people in need of care, was more than most could manage. A bishop was enlisted to be her spiritual director. Eventually she won the support of her Dominican sisters and the people of Siena.

She died on this day in 1380 AD.

Quote: "He will provide the way and the means, such as you could never have imagined. Leave it all to him, let go of yourself, lose yourself on the Cross, and you will find yourself entirely."

Scripture. In "Psalm Thirty-Six", verses seven to nine, we read:

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for people who stretch our imaginations toward God.

... that we may for be filled with the fire of God; that we may be enthusiastic in our faith.

... that newspapers and journals throughout the world may be free to print the truth, however inconvenient to some that may be. DETAILS

... for journalists and reporters who risk their freedom, wellbeing and even their lives, bringing the powerful to account and challenging the oppressor.

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

... for those who died in the dust storms that hit the northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. DETAILS

... for the German nurse working for the International Committee of the Red Cross who has been kidnapped in Somalia's capital Mogadishu. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured during a terrorist attack on Libya's electoral commission headquarters by the Islamic State group; for all victims of terrorism. DETAILS

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From a letter from Catherine of Siena to Monna Agnese:

But note, that there are two sources of impatience. There is a common kind of impatience, felt by ordinary men in the world, which befalls them on account of the inordinate love they have for themselves and for temporal things, which they love apart from God; so that to have them they do not mind losing their soul, and putting it into the hands of the devils. This is beyond help unless a man recognises himself how he has wronged God and cuts down that tree of pride with the sword of true humility, which produces charity in the soul. For there is a tree of love, whose pith is patience and goodwill toward one's neighbour. For, just as impatience shows more clearly than any other sin that the soul is deprived of God (because it is at once evident that since the pith is there, the tree of pride must be there) so patience shows better and more perfectly than any other virtue, that God is in the soul by grace. Patience, I say, deep within the tree of love, that for love of its creator disdains the world, and loves insults whencesoever they come.

I was saying that anger and impatience were of two kinds, one general and one special. We have spoken of the common kind. Now I talk of the more particular, of the impatience of those who have already despised the world, and who wish to be servants of Christ crucified in their own way, that is, in so far as they shall find joy and consolation in him. This is because spiritual self-will is not dead in them. Therefore they imperiously demand from God that he should give them consolations and tribulations in their own way, and not in his; and so they become impatient when they get the contrary of what their spiritual self-will wants. This is a little offshoot from pride, sprouting from real pride, as a tree sends out a little tree by its side, which looks separated from it, but nevertheless, it gets the substance from which it springs from the same tree. So is self-will in the soul which chooses to serve God in its own way and when that way fails it suffers, and its suffering makes it impatient, and it is unendurable to itself, and takes no pleasure in serving God or its neighbour. Nay, if anyone came to it for comfort or help it would give him nothing but reproaches, and would not know how to be tolerant of his need. All this results from the sensitive spiritual self-will that grows from the tree of pride which was cut down, but not uprooted. It is cut down when the soul uplifts its desire above the world and fastens it on God, but has fastened there imperfectly. The root of pride was left, and therefore it sent up an offshoot by its side and shows itself in spiritual things. So, if it misses consolations from God, and its mind stays dry and sterile, it at once becomes disturbed and depressed, and, under colour of virtue (because it thinks itself deprived of God) it begins to complain, and lays down the law to God. But were it truly humble and had true hate and knowledge of itself, it would deem itself unworthy of the visitation of God to its soul and worthy of the pain that it suffers, in being deprived, not of God's grace in the soul, but of its consolations. It suffers, then, because it has to work in its chains. Yes, spiritual self-will suffers under the delusion that it is wronging God, while the trouble is really with its own lower nature.

CLOSING PRAYER

Power of the eternal Father, help me. Wisdom of the Son, enlighten the eye of my understanding. Tender mercy of the Holy Spirit, unite my heart to yourself. Eternal God restore health to the sick and life to the dead. Give us a voice, your own voice, to cry out to you for mercy for the world. You, light, give us light. You, wisdom, give us wisdom. You, supreme strength, give us strength. Amen.

( Catherine of Siena )

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

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Don’t Blame Me, Blame Shel

A local charity realised that it had never received a donation from the city's most successful lawyer. So a volunteer went to his lavish office to pay him a visit.

She opened the meeting by saying, "Our research shows that even though your annual income is over two million dollars, you don't give a penny to charity. Wouldn't you like to give something back to your community by making a donation to our good cause?"

The lawyer thinks for a minute and says, "First, did your research also show you that my mother is dying after a long, painful illness and she has huge medical bills that are far beyond her ability to pay?"

Embarrassed, the rep from the charity mumbles, "Uh, no, I didn't know that."

"Secondly," says the lawyer, "did it show that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair and is unable to support his wife and six children?"

The stricken charity worker begins to stammer an apology but is cut off again.

"Thirdly, did your research also show you that my sister's husband died in a dreadful car accident, leaving her penniless with a mortgage and three children, one of whom is disabled and another that has learning disabilities requiring an array of private tutors?"

The humiliated rep, completely beaten, says, "I'm so sorry. I had no idea."

And the lawyer says, "So if I didn't give any money to them, what makes you think I'd give any to you?"

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika

WEDNESDAY THE SECOND OF MAY, 2018
* Athanasius *

OPENING PRAYER

Lord God our Father, through our saviour, Jesus Christ, you have assured your children of eternal life and in baptism have made us one with him: deliver us from the death of sin and raise us to new life in your love, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

CANTICLE

Glory be and majesty, and praise forevermore,
to you, our king and conqueror, to you our mighty Prince of Power.

The risen, living Christ let every heart adore,
to him all praise and glory be!
The Christ of yesterday, today and evermore,
the everlasting Lord is he.

He lives, the risen Christ, he lives no more to die,
he lives eternally to reign!
When all the saints redeemed, and angel hosts on high
shall swell the hallelujah strain.

Exalt the risen Christ, exalt the living king,
exalt the Lord Immanuel!
While sweetly in our hearts the Easter carols ring,
oh, let him there supremely dwell.

Glory be and majesty, and praise forevermore,
to you, our king and conqueror, to you our mighty Prince of Power.

( Salathial C. Kirk )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Athanasius: who gave as good as he got

At Saint Laika’s today we remember Athanasius of Alexandria.

The fourth century saw the newly tolerated Christian Church at war with itself over the question of Jesus’ divinity.

“Was there a time when he was not?” people were asking regarding Jesus.

Arius, a priest in Alexandria, said yes. Jesus was created by God. Jesus was not God.

Jesus was no creature, Athanasius, Arius’ bishop , proclaimed. He was begotten by God and was, in fact, God.

Now at Saint Laika’s we might expect sympathy for Arius, an uppity priest run afoul of his bishop’s authority, but, in this case, the fight was on. Arius defended himself at the famous Council of Nicea in 325, but Athanasius had the better hand, at the time. By the time the Council of Constantinople in 381 finally resolved the question in favour of Athanasius, he had been dead eight years, and had spent over seventeen years exiled from Alexandria because his passion for Christ’s divinity got him in hot water over and over with emperors and government officials.

Quote: “A marvellous and mighty paradox has thus occurred, for the death which they thought to inflict on Christ as dishonour and disgrace has become the glorious monument to death's defeat.”

Scripture. In the second chapter of "Titus," at verses eleven to thirteen, we read:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and saviour, Jesus Christ.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for theologians, who try to articulate in words what has been experienced in faith.

... for peace in the church.

... for those killed or injured in suicide bomb blasts in the north-east Nigerian town of Mubi. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured when gunmen armed with grenades attacked the Notre-Dame de Fatima church in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, during mass yesterday. DETAILS

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From "On The Incarnation of the Word" by Athanasius of Alexandria:

For what profit to the creatures if they knew not their maker or how could they be rational without knowing the Word (and reason) of the Father, in whom they received their very being? For there would be nothing to distinguish them even from brute creatures if they had knowledge of nothing but earthly things. Nay, why did God make them at all, if he did not wish to be known by them?

Whence, lest this should be so, being good, he gives them a share in his own image, our Lord Jesus Christ, and makes them after his own image and after his likeness: so that by such grace perceiving the image, that is, the Word of the Father, they may be able through him to get an idea of the Father, and knowing their maker, live the happy and truly blessed life.

But men once more in their perversity having set at nought, in spite of all this, the grace given them, so wholly rejected God, and so darkened their soul, as not merely to forget their idea of God, but also to fashion for themselves one invention after another. For not only did they crave idols for themselves, instead of the truth, and honour things that were not before the living God, “and serve the creature rather than the Creator,” but, worst of all, they transferred the honour of God even to stocks and stones and to every material object and to men, and went even further than this. So far indeed did their impiety go, that they proceeded to worship devils, and proclaimed them as gods, fulfilling their own lusts. For they performed, as was said above, offerings of brute animals, and sacrifices of men, as was meet for them, binding themselves down all the faster under their maddening inspirations. For this reason it was also that magic arts were taught among them, and oracles in divers places led men astray, and all men ascribed the influences of their birth and existence to the stars and to all the heavenly bodies, having no thought of anything beyond what was visible.

And, in a word, everything was full of irreligion and lawlessness, and God alone, and his Word, was unknown, albeit he had not hidden himself out of men’s sight, nor given the knowledge of himself in one way only; but had, on the contrary, unfolded it to them in many forms and by many ways.

CLOSING PRAYER

Uphold your Church, O God of truth, as you upheld your servant, Athanasius, to maintain and proclaim boldly the divinity of Jesus against all opposition, trusting solely in the grace of your eternal Word, who took upon himself our humanity that we might share his divinity; 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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Spring Has Sprung

From "May Day" by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

For thou, O Spring! can renovate
all that high God did first create.
Be still his arm and architect,
rebuild the ruin, mend defect;
chemist to vamp old worlds with new,
coat sea and sky with heavenlier blue,
new-tint the plumage of the birds
and slough decay from grazing herds,
sweep ruins from the scarped mountain,
cleanse the torrent at the fountain,
purge alpine air by towns defiled,
bring to fair mother fairer child,
not less renew the heart and brain,
scatter the sloth, wash out the stain,
make the aged eye sun-clear,
to parting soul bring grandeur near.
Under gentle types, my Spring
masks the might of Nature's king,
an energy that searches thorough
from Chaos to the dawning morrow;
into all our human plight,
the soul's pilgrimage and flight;
in city or in solitude,
step by step, lifts bad to good,
without halting, without rest,
lifting better up to best;
planting seeds of knowledge pure,
through earth to ripen, through heaven endure.

Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE FIRST OF MAY, 2018
* Philip and James *

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty Father, you have given your only son to die for our sins and to rise again for our justification: grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth; through the merits 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

Ere yet the dawn has filled the skies, behold, my saviour Christ arise;
he chases from us sin and night and brings us joy and life and light.

You are stronger than death and hell! Where is the foe you can not quell,
what heavy stone you can not roll from off the prisoned, anguished soul?

If Jesus lives, can I be sad? I know he loves me, and am glad;
though all the world were dead to me, enough, O Christ, if I have thee!

He feeds me, comforts and defends and when I die his angel sends
to bear me whither he is gone, for of his own he loses none.

Strong champion! For this comfort, see, the whole world brings her thanks to thee;
and once we, too, shall raise above more sweet and loud the song of love.

( Johann Heermann )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Philip and James: the Apostolic odd couple

The first of May has been kept as the feast day of Saint Philip and Saint James since 561AD when on that date the supposed remains of the two saints were interred in the Church of the Apostles in Rome.

Other than the fact that they were listed as two of the twelve apostles, they had very little to do with each other. Philip is the Hebrew follower of Jesus with a Greek name. James is called “the Less,” which could mean either younger or shorter than the other apostle James “the Great.” He is taken to be James, son of Alphaeus, not James, son of Zebedee, or James, the “brother of the Lord.” There’s not much to go on other than apocryphal legends or gnostic scriptures.

Perhaps it is a good lesson in humility to know that even two of the twelve Apostles failed to make a dent in history. After all how many of us will even be remembered a hundred years from now for our faith or service to Christ. We are always told that it is not us but God’s grace working in us that makes the things we do in God’s name pleasing to God. Let Philip and James represent for us the solid work of generations of followers which has made it possible for us to believe today.

Scripture. In the "Second Letter to the Corinthians," chapter four, at verses five and six, we read:

For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for those whose work for Christ is done in quiet ways; for those who are rarely thanked for what they do, but who nonetheless, do it faithfully.

... for hatters, pastry chefs and all people and institutions that claim Saint Philip as their patron.

... for pharmacists and all people and institutions that claim Saint James the Less as their patron.

... for the dying.

... for working people. DETAILS

... for people living with asthma. DETAILS

... for a good Summer leading to a good harvest.

... for those who have been sexually abused by members of the clergy.

 

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis:

Here is another thing that used to puzzle me. Is it not frightfully unfair that this new life should be confined to people who have heard of Christ and been able to believe in him?

But the truth is God has not told us what his arrangements about the other people are. We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know him can be saved through him.

But in the meantime, if you are worried about the people outside, the most unreasonable thing you can do is to remain outside yourself. Christians are Christ’s body, the organism through which he works. Every addition to that body enables him to do more. If you want to help those outside you must add your own little cell to the body of Christ who alone can help them. Cutting off a man’s fingers would be an odd way of getting him to do more work.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God who gave to your apostles Philip and James grace and strength to bear witness to the truth; grant that we, being mindful of their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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Daily Prayer A Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE THIRTIETH OF APRIL, 2018
* Marie de l’Incarnation *

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

CANTICLE

Hail the victor! He has conquered, death is fettered, he is free;
resurrection after dying, Easter after Calvary!

Over the holy city slumbering night her sable wings yet spread,
but the hours their slow march numbering, see the life among the dead.
Seraph hands turned back the portal, opened the dark and rock-bound grave,
and the victor robed immortal, stood revealed the world to save.

From the hill of death and anguish, may we to the garden turn;
there we see the sufferer languish, here Jehovah’s power we learn.
There the sun in darkness hiding, veiled her face before that sight;
now as king of Heaven abiding, dwells he as its sun and light.

Now no more are thorns his crowning, glory sits upon his brow,
and reviling stripes and frowning, perish in his triumph now.
Death the king he has subjected, Satan lies beneath his heel,
over them see the cross erected, love’s eternal bond and seal.

Hail the victor! He has conquered, death is fettered, he is free;
resurrection after dying, Easter after Calvary!

( Marian Froelich )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Marie de l’Incarnation: émigré and missionary

Today on the Saint Laika’s calendar we remember Marie de l’Incarnation.

Born in France in 1599, Marie Guyart was already widowed with one son by the age of nineteen. She entered the Ursuline Convent in 1631, leaving her sister and brother-in-law to raise her son. While in the convent she sensed a call from God to go to Canada to witness to the faith.

In August 1639 she landed in Quebec City, which, at the time consisted of no more than a half-dozen homes. By 1642 she had established the first school there. And both the transplanted French and the First Peoples of Canada sent their children to be educated.

Marie mastered the languages of the first peoples and wrote dictionaries in both the Algonquin and Iroquois languages. She also wrote a catechism in the Iroquois language and kept a detailed record of the history of the colony.

Her ministry and dedication is representative of the dedication of religious women who were willing to sacrifice all that was familiar to them in the culture of Europe, to reach out to the first peoples in the name of Christ.

Marie is considered to be one of the founders of Canada, and her statue stands outside the Quebec Parliament building. In 2008 the National Film Board of Canada recounted her story in a film entitled "The Madwoman of God." Pope Francis added her to the official list of Roman Catholic saints on the second of April, 2014.

Scripture. In the forty-third chapter of "Isaiah," in the eighteenth and nineteenth verse we find:

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the first peoples of Canada.

... for teachers and missionaries.

... for jazz musicians. DETAILS

... for those who died or were injured in two bombings in the Afghan capital Kabul; for the journalists hurt or killed in the attack. DETAILS

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From "Learning in War-Time," a sermon by C. S. Lewis:

I reject at once an idea which lingers in the mind of some modern people that cultural activities are in their own right spiritual and meritorious— as though scholars and poets were intrinsically more pleasing to God than scavengers and bootblacks. I think it was Matthew Arnold who first used the English word spiritual in the sense of the German geistlich, and so inaugurated this most dangerous and most anti-Christian error. Let us clear it forever from our minds. The work of a Beethoven and the work of a charwoman become spiritual on precisely the same condition, that of being offered to God, of being done humbly “as to the Lord.” This does not, of course, mean that it is for anyone a mere toss-up whether he should sweep rooms or compose symphonies. A mole must dig to the glory of God and a cock must crow. We are members of one body, but differentiated members, each with his own vocation.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty and ever-living God, we thank you for your servant Marie de l’Incarnation, whom you called to Canada to preach the gospel to the first peoples. Raise up among us evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your Church may always preach the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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