TUESDAY THE EIGHTEENTH OF APRIL, 2017
Come, O Lord, in much mercy, down into my soul, and take possession and dwell there. A homely mansion, I confess, for so glorious a majesty, but one that you are furnishing for the reception of you, by holy and fervent desires of your own inspiring. Enter then, and adorn, and make it such as you can inhabit, since it is the work of your hands. Give me your own self, without which, though you should give me all that ever you have made, yet could not my desires be satisfied. Let my soul ever seek you, and let me persist in seeking, till I have found, and am in full possession of you. Amen.
( Augustine of Hippo )
PSALM SEVENTY-ONE ( abridged )
O God, be not far from me.
In you, O Lord, do I seek refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;
incline your ear to me and save me.
Be for me a stronghold to which I may ever resort;
send out to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, •
from the grasp of the evildoer and the oppressor.
For you are my hope, O Lord God,
my confidence, even from my youth.
Upon you have I leaned from my birth,
when you drew me from my mother's womb;
my praise shall be always of you.
7I have become a portent to many,
but you are my refuge and my strength.
Let my mouth be full of your praise
and your glory all the day long.
O God, you have taught me since I was young,
and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
Forsake me not, O God,
when I am old and grey-headed,
till I make known your deeds to the next generation
and your power to all that are to come.
Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens;
in the great things you have done, who is like you, O God?
Therefore will I praise you upon the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will sing out as I play to you,
and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
My tongue also will tell of your righteousness
all the day long.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.
O God, be not far from me.
Faithful lord, living saviour,
in youth and old age,
from the womb to the grave,
may we know your protection
and proclaim your great salvation
to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Damien and Marianne: touching the lepers as Christ did
Last week, while we were celebrating Holy Week, Saint Laika’s remembered two special servants of Christ who undertook a ministry to lepers which offered dignity and care to them.
Joseph de Veuster was born in 1840 in Belgium, He took the religious name of Damien when he made his vows and he was sent to Hawaii to minister to the sick. As Father Damien began his ministry in Hawaii, leprosy was spreading rapidly throughout the Islands. In 1863, King Kamehameha V ordered those with leprosy to be sent to an isolated peninsula on the northern coast of the island of Molokai. There, those afﬂicted by the disease were left with no aid.
Damien was among the ﬁrst priests to arrive, and he remained there for the rest of his life, building houses, an orphanage, a church, and a hospital. He ate with those he served, worshipped with them, and invited them into his home. He eventually contracted leprosy, later known as Hansen’s disease, and died in 1889.
Like Father Damien, Marianne Cope felt called to serve God as a religious. She became a Sister of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York, in 1862, and in 1870 she began work as a nurse administrator at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, where she was criticised for accepting alcoholics and other undesirable patients. In 1883, she received a letter from a priest in Hawaii asking for help managing the hospitals and ministry to leprosy patients. She arrived in Honolulu in 1883 and immediately took over supervision of the Kaka’ako Branch Hospital, which served as a receiving centre for leprosy patients from all over the islands. She also opened a care centre for the healthy children of leprosy victims.
In 1884, she met Father Damien, and in 1886, she alone ministered to him when his illness made him unwelcome among church and government leaders. She continued her work with hospitals and sufferers of Hansen’s disease until her death in 1918.
The fact that Hansen’s disease is completely treatable today takes nothing away from their work or their sacrifice. When Jesus cleansed and even touched the untouchable lepers, he was setting an example. Thanks be to God for people like Damien and Marianne who followed Christ in this way.
Scripture. In the eleventh chapter of "Matthew," at verses four to six, we read:
"Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’"
... for peace in the world.
... for those suffering from Hansen’s disease and other disfiguring illnesses and for those who care for them and minister to them.
... for the ill, both physical and mental, who are shunned by society.
... for the cultural heritage of the world, that they may not be destroyed by deliberate vandalism or neglect, and for those who care for the monuments of our past. DETAILS
... for the people of Zimbabwe who are celebrating their national day today; for an end to political corruption and oppressive leadership in their land.
... for the people of Turkey following the suspension of true democracy in their land.
... for an end to military posturing by and because of North Korea.
... for the five people killed when a small aircraft crashed near a supermarket in Tires, just west of the Portuguese capital Lisbon. DETAILS
... for those killed when a huge rubbish dump collapsed in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo and for those who are still missing. 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.
From "The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus":
Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines. But, inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian cities, according as the lot of each of them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all others; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life. They are poor, yet make many rich; they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified. They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred.
God of compassion, we bless your name for the ministries of Damien and Marianne, who ministered to the lepers abandoned on Molokai in the Hawaiian Islands. Help us, following their examples, to be bold and loving in confronting the incurable plagues of our time, that your people may live in health and hope; through Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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