Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* Thomas à Kempis *


Grant me, most dear and loving Jesus, to rest in you above created things; above health and beauty, above all glory and honour; above all power and dignity, above all knowledge and skill; above all fame and praise, above all sweetness and consolation; above all hope and promise, above all merit and desire; above all gifts and favours that you can bestow and shower upon us; above all joy and jubilation that the mind can conceive and know; above angels and archangels and all the hosts of Heaven; above all things visible and invisible; and above everything that is not yourself, O my God. Amen.

( Thomas à Kempis )


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

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

For us he prayed; for us he taught;
for us his daily works he wrought:
by words and signs and actions thus
still seeking not himself, but us.

For us to evil power betrayed,
scourged, mocked, in purple robe arrayed,
he bore the shameful cross and death;
for us gave up his dying 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.

( Thomas à Kempis / translated into English by Benjamin Webb )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Thomas à Kempis: God’s little hammer

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Thomas à Kempis, priest, monk, and spiritual writer.

The one hundred years between the mid-fourteenth and mid-fifteenth century was a time of spiritual creativity across Europe. The "Great Western Schism" (1378-1414) caused upheavals in the Christian Church of the West, and set many on the path of Bible study, spiritual exercises, and prayer. Jan Hus led such a movement in Bohemia; Bridget of Sweden founded the Bridgettines in Sweden, and from the Netherlands to Germany, the Brethren of the Common Life were taking root, practicing a simple piety, centred on prayer, worship, good works, and communal life. They started many religious schools, and attracted some of the most famous characters of the times, including Nicholas of Cusa, Erasmus, and even Martin Luther.

Thomas Haemerken (little hammer) was born in Kempen, Germany in 1380. At the age of twelve he began to attend school under the tutelage of the Brethren of the Common Life. At the age of twenty-six he entered the monastery of Mount Saint Agnes in the Netherlands, eventually becoming a priest. He was best known as a copyist and spiritual writer. In 1441 he compiled his most famous work “The Imitation of Christ.” Thanks to his care as compiler and editor, the "Imitation" became and has remained, after the Bible, the most widely read book in the world.


"Without the Way, there is no going. Without the Truth, there is no knowing. Without the Life, there is no living."

"At the Day of Judgment we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done."

"For man proposes, but God disposes"

Scripture: In the "Book of Ecclesiastes," the ninth chapter, verses seventeen and eighteen, we read.

"The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouting of a ruler among fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one bungler destroys much good."


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that those of us who claim to love and follow Christ may become more Christlike.

... for writers of spiritual instruction.

... that a cure for HIV may be found. DETAILS

... for those who died and those who have been hospitalised due to being locked in a truck's trailer in San Antonio, USA, without access to air conditioning or water while outside temperatures hit thirty-eight degrees centigrade; for an end to people smuggling. DETAILS

... for the five people who were injured in an attack by a man armed with a chainsaw in the Swiss town of Schaffhausen; for all victims of criminal violence. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured when a car bomb exploded in the Afghan capital, Kabul; for all victims of terrorist violence. 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.


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 Imitation of Christ" by Thomas à Kempis:

It is truth which we must look for in holy writ, not cunning of words. All scripture ought to be read in the spirit in which it was written. We must rather seek for what is profitable in scripture, than for what ministers to subtlety in discourse. Therefore we ought to read books which are devotional and simple, as well as those which are deep and difficult. And let not the
weight of the writer be a stumbling-block to you, whether he be of little or much learning, but let the love of the pure truth draw you to read. Ask not who has said this or that, but look to what is said.

Men pass away, but the truth of the Lord endures for ever. Without respect of persons God speaks to us in diverse manners. Our own curiosity often hinders us in the reading of holy writings, when we seek to understand and discuss, where we should pass simply on. If you would profit by your reading, read humbly, simply, honestly, and not desiring to win a character for learning. Ask freely, and hear in silence the words of holy people; nor be displeased at the hard sayings of people older than you, for they are not uttered without cause.


Almighty God, you have nourished and strengthened your Church by the writings of your servant Thomas à Kempis: grant that we may learn from him to be conformed to Christ in all things; 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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