Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE TWENTIETH OF JULY, 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O most glorious God, relieve my spirit with your graciousness; take from me all tediousness of spirit, and give me a hope that shall not fail, a desire of holiness not to be satisfied till it possesses a charity that will always increase; that I may turn all things into religion, doing all to your glory; that, when you call me from this deliciousness of employment, I may pass into the employments of saints and angels; whose work it is, with eternal joy and thanksgiving, to sing praises unto your mercies. Amen.

( Jeremy Taylor )

PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND SIX ( abridged )

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious,
for his steadfast love endures for ever.

Some went astray in desert wastes
and found no path to a city to dwell in.
Hungry and thirsty,
their soul was fainting within them.
So they cried to the Lord in their trouble
and he delivered them from their distress.
He set their feet on the right way
till they came to a city to dwell in.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness
and the wonders he does for his children.
For he satisfies the longing soul
and fills the hungry soul with good.

Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
bound fast in misery and iron,
for they had rebelled against the words of God
and despised the counsel of the Most High.
So he bowed down their heart with heaviness;
they stumbled and there was none to help them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness
and out of the shadow of death,
and broke their bonds asunder.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness
and the wonders he does for his children.
For he has broken the doors of bronze
and breaks the bars of iron in pieces.

Some were foolish and took a rebellious way,
and were plagued because of their wrongdoing.
Their soul abhorred all manner of food
and drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent forth his word and healed them,
and saved them from destruction.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness
and the wonders he does for his children.
Let them offer him sacrifices of thanksgiving
and tell of his acts with shouts of joy.

Those who go down to the sea in ships
and ply their trade in great waters,
these have seen the works of the Lord
and his wonders in the deep.
For at his word the stormy wind arose
and lifted up the waves of the sea.
They were carried up to the heavens
and down again to the deep;
their soul melted away in their peril.
They reeled and staggered like a drunkard
and were at their wits' end.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
He made the storm be still
and the waves of the sea were calmed.
Then were they glad because they were at rest,
and he brought them to the haven they desired.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness
and the wonders he does for his children.
Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people
and praise him in the council of the elders.

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 give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious,
for his steadfast love endures for ever.

O living Christ,
rescue us from foolish passion
and still the storms of our self-will;
and, as you are our anchor in this life,
so bring us to the haven you have prepared for us;
for your mercy's sake. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Macrina: holding her own against her famous siblings

Today is a good day to tell the story of Macrina, eldest child of Basil the Elder and his wife, Emmelia, older sister of Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory of Nyssa.

She was betrothed at the age of twelve, as was the custom of the day, but when her intended died, she determined to devote her life to prayer and contemplation and to works of charity. After the death of her father, she and her mother formed a community of women who shared her goals. She often brought poor and hungry women home to be fed, clothed, nursed, or otherwise taken care of, and many eventually joined the community, as did many women of means.

After the death of their parents, Macrina was chiefly responsible for the upbringing of her ten younger brothers. When they wanted to brag about their intellectual accomplishments, she deflated them with affectionate but pointed jibes. Three of her brothers became bishops, and two of them, Basil and Gregory, were leading contenders for the faith of Nicea against the Arians.

Her brother Gregory, wrote her story in a “Life of Macrina.” He records his last visit with her, and her farewell speech and her prayers and teachings about the resurrection.

Macrina prayed this prayer shortly before she died:

"O you who have power on earth to forgive sins, forgive me, that I may be refreshed and may be found before you when I put off my body, without defilement on my soul. But may my soul be received into your hands spotless and undefiled, as an offering before you."

Macrina serves well as an example of the way the women in families pass on the faith, and nurture and care for not only the physical needs but the spiritual needs of their families.

Scripture. In "Second Timothy," chapter one, verse five, Paul tells Timothy:

“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice, and now, I am sure, lives in you.”

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for all women among the clergy, sisters under vows, cloistered nuns, anchoresses, female spiritual directors, and all women who work to show forth the kingdom of God.

... for the female members of our families who nurtured our faith when we were young and who taught us right from wrong.

... for the people of Colombia who celebrate their declaration of independence today.

... for people with dementia.

... for victims of violent crime.

... for the people of Venezuela as a general strike today and proposed demonstrations at the weekend rack up the tension in their country. DETAILS

... for bullied children and young adults; for young victims of racial abuse.

... 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 "Life of Saint Macrina" by Gregory of Nyssa:

When the cares of bringing up a family and the anxieties of their education and settling in life had come to an end, and the property, a frequent cause of worldliness, had been for the most part divided among the children, then, the life of the virgin became her mother's guide and led her on to this philosophic and spiritual manner of life. And weaning her from all accustomed luxuries, Macrina drew her on to adopt her own standard of humility. She induced her to live on a footing of equality with the staff of maids, so as to share with them in the same food, the same kind of bed, and in all the necessaries of life, without any regard to differences of rank. Such was the manner of their life, so great the height of their philosophy, and so holy their conduct day and night, as to make verbal description inadequate. For just as souls freed from the body by death are saved from the cares of this life, so was their life far removed from all earthly follies and ordered with a view of imitating the angelic life. For no anger or jealousy, no hatred or pride, was observed in their midst, nor anything else of this nature, since they had cast away all vain desires for honour and glory, all vanity, arrogance and the like. Continence was their luxury, and obscurity their glory. Poverty, and the casting away of all material superfluities like dust from their bodies, was their wealth. In fact, of all the things after which men eagerly pursue in this life, there were none with which they could not easily dispense. Nothing was left but the care of divine things and the unceasing round of prayer and endless hymnody, co-extensive with time itself, practised by night and day. So that to them this meant work, and work so called was rest. What human words could make you realise such a life as this, a life on the borderline between human and spiritual nature? For that nature should be free from human weaknesses is more than can be expected from mankind. But these women fell short of the angelic and immaterial nature only in so far as they appeared in bodily form, and were contained within a human frame, and were dependent upon the organs of sense. Perhaps some might even dare to say that the difference was not to their disadvantage. Since living in the body and yet after the likeness of the immaterial beings, they were not bowed down by the weight of the body, but their life was exalted to the skies and they walked on high in company with the powers of heaven.

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord of eternity, creator of all things, in your son, Jesus Christ, you open for us the way to resurrection that we may enjoy your bountiful goodness:
may we press onwards in faith to your boundless love and ever wonder at the miracle of your presence among us; through Jesus Christ your son, our lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for 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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