Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s



May our Lord God support us all the day long till the shades lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in his mercy may he give us a safe lodging and a holy rest and peace at the last. Amen.

( John Henry Newman )


Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise;
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all his ways!

O loving wisdom of our God!
When all was sin and shame,
a second Adam to the fight
and to the rescue came.

O wisest love! that flesh and blood,
which did in Adam fail,
should strive afresh against the foe,
should strive, and should prevail;

and that the highest gift of grace
should flesh and blood refine:
God's presence and his very self,
and essence all-divine.

O generous love! that he who smote
in man for ma the foe,
the double agony in Man
for man should undergo.

And in the garden secretly,
and on the cross on high,
should teach his brethren, and inspire
to suffer and to die.

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise;
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all his ways!

( John Henry Newman )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

John Henry Newman: crossing the Tiber with help from old friends

Today Saint Laika’s remembers one of the most enigmatic, influential figures in nineteenth century church history. John Henry Cardinal Newman was born in London in 1801. He had a conventional upbringing in an ordinary Church of England home, where the emphasis was on the Bible rather than dogmas or sacraments. In March 1816 his father, a banker, suffered a financial disaster when his bank failed. Newman, alone at school and in shock at the sudden reversal of his family’s fortunes, fell ill, and, in the midst of the illness had a conversion experience to evangelical Calvinism.

In due course he was ordained a priest in the Church of England in 1825. In 1827 he suffered a nervous breakdown brought on by overwork, his family’s continuing financial distress, and then in 1828 compounded by the sudden death of his sister, Mary. During his “long vacation” as he later called it, he began to read the Church Fathers, those shapers of Christian thought in the early centuries of the Christian movement. As he continued his reading, his ideas began to shift from evangelicalism to a more Anglo-Catholic perspective.

Although he still struggled with the Roman Catholicism of his day, he began to see that the Reformation standard of “Sola Scriptura” (Bible alone) was not the standard of the early church. He began to see both the need for and importance of tradition in the life of the church. He became the man in the middle. And he used his intellect to try to move the Church of England’s self-understanding into a more Catholic direction.

He and others formed what came to be called “the Oxford Movement,” which remained faithful to the Church of England, while presenting the case for turning it in a more Catholic direction. He himself wrote a series of tracts to make the case. All the while Newman was being drawn more and more to the Roman Catholic Church. In 1845 he renounced his Anglican orders and was received into the Roman Church. He travelled to Rome, was ordained into the Roman Catholic priesthood, became a member of the Congregation of the Oratory. He then returned to England and established a house of the Oratory in Maryvale near Birmingham, where he continued to write and live until his death in 1890. Though not a bishop, Pope Leo XIII, made him a cardinal in 1877.

Newman has continued to have a tremendous influence on the Christian Church ever since. For the Roman Catholic Church in Britain, his conversion secured great prestige and the dissipation of many prejudices. Within it, his influence was mainly in the direction of a broader spirit and of a recognition of the important part played by development both in doctrine and in church government.

Scripture. In the "Song of Solomon," chapter three, verses one and two, we read:

"Upon my bed at night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he gave no answer.

"‘I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares. I will seek him whom my soul loves.’

"I sought him, but found him not."


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that the different denominations within the Christian Church may come to understand and respect each other and that there may be unity between them as they walk their different paths.

... for Anglo-Catholics.

... for albinos who are persecuted and in danger of being killed for their body parts. DETAILS

... for the people of South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen who are facing famine and for the success of those working to minimise the suffering.

... 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.


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.


From the sermon by Benedict XVI preached at the beatification of John Henry Newman:

Cardinal Newman’s motto, "Cor ad cor loquitur," or “Heart speaks unto heart”, gives us an insight into his understanding of the Christian life as a call to holiness, experienced as the profound desire of the human heart to enter into intimate communion with the heart of God. He reminds us that faithfulness to prayer gradually transforms us into the divine likeness.

As he wrote in one of his many fine sermons, “a habit of prayer, the practice of turning to God and the unseen world in every season, in every place, in every emergency (prayer, I say) has what may be called a natural effect in spiritualising and elevating the soul. A man is no longer what he was before; gradually he has imbibed a new set of ideas, and become imbued with fresh principles.”

Today’s Gospel tells us that no one can be the servant of two masters and Blessed John Henry’s teaching on prayer explains how the faithful Christian is definitively taken into the service of the one true master, who alone has a claim to our unconditional devotion. Newman helps us to understand what this means for our daily lives: he tells us that our divine master has assigned a specific task to each one of us, a “definite service”, committed uniquely to every single person:

“I have my mission”, he wrote, “I am a link in a chain, a bond of connexion between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do his work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place. if I do but keep his commandments and serve him in my calling”


God of all wisdom, we thank you for John Henry Newman, whose eloquence bore witness that your church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, and who made his own life a pilgrimage towards your truth. Grant that, inspired by his words and example, we may ever follow where your son, Jesus Christ leads; 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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