Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE EIGHTH OF DECEMBER, 2016

OPENING PRAYER

Love translated in the Lord ]esus,
give us that love.
Love in our thinking,
love in our speaking,
love in all that we do;
love to our dear ones,
love to our friends,
love to our neighbours.
Love to those we find difficult,
love in joy, love in sorrow.
Awaken within us that love which comes from you.
Raise us up to walk the path of love in your company,
today, tomorrow and always. Amen.

CANTICLE

Ye heavens, oh haste your dews to shed,
ye clouds, rain gladness on our head,
thou earth, behold the time of grace,
and blossom forth in righteousness!

O living Sun, with joy break forth,
and pierce the gloomy clefts of earth;
behold, the mountains melt away
like wax beneath thine ardent ray!

O life-dew of the churches, come,
and bid this arid desert bloom!
The sorrows of thy people see,
and take our human flesh on thee.

Refresh the parched and drooping mind,
the broken limb in mercy bind,
us sinners from our guilt release,
and fill us with thy heavenly peace.

O wonder! night no more is night!
Comes then at last the longed-for light?
Ah yes, thou Jesus, O true Sun,
in whom are God and man made one!

( Johann Campanus )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Narcisa de Jesús: Ecuadoran mystic and servant of the poor

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

Narcisa was born in Nobol, Ecuador in 1832, the sixth of nine children. Her parents worked hard and were landowners with the means to provide well for their children. Narcisa’s mother died when Narcisa was only six years old. Helped by an older sister, Narcisa learnt to read, write, sing, play the guitar, sew , weave, embroider and cook. She had great qualities, with a particular bent for music.

Her father died when she was nineteen. Already she had received the call of the Lord on her life. She moved to Guayaquil and began a ministry to the poor and sick, and a particular ministry to care for abandoned children. It was during this time that she practice intense personal devotion to Jesus, withdrawing from the public for periods of time when she would pray and spend time in the presence of the Lord. During this time she also took on work as a seamstress to provide financial support for her brothers and sisters.

In 1868 she moved to Lima, Peru and lived as a lay member of the Dominican convent there. She existed on bread and water and the reception of holy communion. She was frequently found in states of ecstasy. Towards the end of 1869, Narcisa developed high fevers for which medical remedies could do little. She died on the eighth of December, 1869.

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

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

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

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for mystics.

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

... for giraffes and all species of animal that face extinction; for the human race, that it might start to care for the whole of creation rather than just itself. DETAILS

... for those killed when a passenger plane crashed in the north of Pakistan. DETAILS

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

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

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

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

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

READING

From "Stars and Angels" by Michael Stancliffe:

Elijah came to Horeb where he found faith and courage in the Lord.

And where did he find the Lord?

Not, we are told, in the roaring of the wind, nor in the commotion and convulsion of the earthquake, nor in the terrible power of the fire, but in a still, small voice. He had reached the still point at the centre.

Eight centuries later God himself came down from heaven and through taking flesh entered the revolving stream of change and decay and lived in the midst of giddy twisting humans. And one of his most telling characteristics was his stillness. In Jesus, busy and giddy and demented people found peace and repose.

"Come unto me all that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you," he invited them.

So Mary came and sat at his feet and was still, and busy Martha was urged to do likewise. Lunatics were found sitting at his feet, composed and in their right minds. And the words that he spoke were neither clever chat nor idle gossip, neither vulgar boasting nor loud opinion, such words as he spoke were recognised as words of love, of truth, and of no ordinary power and authority. Experienced boatmen panicked around him, but Jesus had merely to say to the elements, "Peace, be still," and there was a great calm. Even when the wildest cyclone of human sin and demonic evil broke upon him, his stillness remained.

Cross-examined by men bent upon his destruction, he held his peace. Nailed to the cross, he remained unmoved while men made circles round him and taunted him to prove his divinity by coming down from the cross. Being the person he was, he stayed where he was, at the still centre and, as many of those who have not called themselves Christians have recognised since, he mastered that scene on the green hill and was not mastered by it. For the still centre is the source of all life and power and might.

"Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46: 10) we are commanded, as the winds and waves of the Sea of
Galilee were commanded. We are to be still because, by that means, we may come closest to God, to the core and centre of all things. We are to be still because, by that means, we may sit at his feet, clothed and in our right minds and able to hear the still small voice. We are to be still because, by that means, we may be delivered from dizziness and business and may find both the peace that passes understanding and the source of all power and might.

"Be still and know that I am God."

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord God, you gave the holy Virgin Narcisa de Jesús gift upon gift from heaven. Grant, we pray, that, imitating her virtues on earth, we may delight with her in the joys of eternity, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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