Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* Margaret of Scotland *


I beseech you, my most gracious God, preserve me from the cares of this life, lest I should be too much entangled therein; also from the many necessities of the body, lest I should be ensnared by pleasure; and from whatsoever is an obstacle to the soul, lest, being broken with troubles, I should be overthrown. Give me strength to resist, patience to endure, and constancy to persevere. Amen.

( Thomas à Kempis )


Bring my soul out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name.

I cry aloud to the Lord;
to the Lord I make my supplication.
I pour out my complaint before him
and tell him of my trouble.

When my spirit faints within me,
you know my path;
in the way wherein I walk
have they laid a snare for me.
I look to my right hand,
and find no one who knows me;
I have no place to flee to,
and no one cares for my soul.

I cry out to you, O Lord, and say:
"You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.
Listen to my cry,
for I am brought very low;
save me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me.
Bring my soul out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name;
when you have dealt bountifully with me,
then shall the righteous gather around me."

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.

Bring my soul out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name.

God of compassion, you regard the forsaken and give hope to the crushed in spirit; hear those who cry to you in distress and bring your ransomed people to sing your glorious praise, now and for ever. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Margaret, Queen of Scotland

Margaret (born c. 1045) was the grand-daughter of Edmund Ironside, king of the English, but was probably born in exile in Hungary and brought to England in 1057. After the Norman Conquest in 1066, she sought refuge in Scotland, where about 1070 she married the king, Malcolm III. She and her husband rebuilt the monastery of Iona and founded the Benedictine abbey at Dunfermline. Margaret undertook to impose on the Scottish the ecclesiastical customs she had been accustomed to in England, customs that were also prevalent in France and Italy. But Margaret was not concerned only with ceremonial considerations. She encouraged the founding of schools, hospitals, and orphanages. She argued in favour of the practice of receiving holy communion frequently.

In addition to her zeal for church and people, Margaret was a conscientious wife and the mother of eight children. Malcolm, a strong-willed man, came to trust her judgment even in matters of state. She saw also to the spiritual welfare of her large household, providing servants with opportunity for regular worship and prayer.

Margaret was not as successful as she wished to be in creating greater unity in faith and works between her own native England and the Scots. She was unable, for example, to bring an end to the bloody warfare among the highland clans and after her death in 1093 there was a brief return to the earlier isolation of Scotland from England. Nevertheless, her work among the people and her reforms in the Church made her Scotland’s most beloved saint. She died on the sixteenth of November,1093 and was buried at Dunfermline Abbey.

In the "Book of Deuteronomy," chapter fifteen, in verses seven, eight and eleven, we read:

If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards your needy neighbour. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be.

Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, "Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbour in your land."


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the people of Scotland, those who die during childhood, large families, queens, widows and all who claim Margaret of Scotland as their patron.

... for those who have died in flash floods caused by heavy overnight rain in central Greece, and all who have suffered damage to their homes and property. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured by four suicide bombers in the north-eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri. 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 writings of Bernard of Clairvaux:

To love our neighbour’s welfare as much as our own: that is true and sincere charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. Whosoever loves his own prosperity only is proved thereby not to love good for its own sake, since he loves it on his own account. And so he cannot sing with the psalmist, "0 give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious." Such a man would praise God, not because he is goodness, but because he has been good to him: he could take to himself the reproach of the same writer, "So long as you do well unto him, he will speak good of you."

One praises God because he is mighty. another because he is gracious, yet another solely because he is essential goodness. The first is a slave and fears for himself; the second is greedy, desiring further benefits; but the third is a son who honours his father. He who fears, he who profits, are both concerned about self-interest. Only in the son is that charity which seeks not her own.

Wherefore I take this saying. "The law of the Lord is an undefiled law, converting the soul" to be of charity; because charity alone is able to turn the soul away from love of self and of the world to pure love of God. Neither fear nor self-interest can convert the soul. They may change the appearance, perhaps even the conduct, but never the object of supreme desire.

Sometimes a slave may do God's work; but because he does not toil voluntarily, he remains in bondage. So a mercenary may serve God, but because he puts a price on his service, he is enchained by his own greediness. For where there is self-interest there is isolation; and such isolation is like the dark corner of a room where dust and rust befoul. Fear is the motive which constrains the slave; greed binds the selfish man, by which he is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. But neither fear nor self-interest is undefiled, nor can they convert the soul. Only charity can convert the soul, freeing it from unworthy motives.


O God, who called your servant Margaret to an earthly throne that she might advance your heavenly kingdom, and gave her zeal for your church and love for your people: mercifully grant that we may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of your saints; though Jesus Christ our lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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


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