Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* Godric of Finchale *


Spirit of life, fill our emptiness with your fullness.
Spirit of power, stir our hearts afresh.
Spirit of love, touch us, and through us, our neighbour
Spirit of creativity, enable and empower the gifts you have given
Spirit of eternity, draw us ever deeper into your Kingdom. Amen.


Above the starry spheres, to where he was before,
Christ had gone up, the Father’s gift upon the Church to pour.

At length had fully come, on mystic circle borne
of seven times seven revolving days, the Pentecostal morn.

When, as the apostles knelt at the third hour in prayer,
a sudden rushing sound proclaimed that God himself was there.

Forthwith a tongue of fire is seen on every brow,
each heart receives the Father’s light, the Word’s enkindling glow.

The Holy Ghost on all is mightily outpoured,
who straight in diverse tongues declare the wonders of the Lord.

While strangers of all climes flock round from far and near,
and their own tongue, wherever born, all with amazement hear.

But Judah, faithless still, denies the hand divine;
and, mocking, jeers the saints of Christ as full of new made wine.

Till Peter, in the midst, by Joel’s ancient word,
rebukes their unbelief, and wins three thousand to the Lord.

The Father and the Son and Spirit we adore,
O may the Spirit’s gifts be poured on us forevermore.

( attributed to Ambrose of Milan )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Godric of Finchale: single-hearted lover of God

Today, Saint Laika’s remembers with affection Godric of Finchale, a medieval English hermit, lover of animals, wise guide to archbishops and popes.

Godric was born at Walpole in Norfolk (England) around the year 1065. He was a peddler of some sort, a traveling salesman, indeed, whose wanderings led him to sea for a period of around sixteen years, during which time he became a part-owner of a number of vessels, one of which he went on to captain.

Godric’s maritime exploits brought him to the island of Lindisfarne off the Northumbrian coast, and here he became acquainted with tales of Saint Cuthbert, Lindisfarne’s greatest saint. Godric’s life was transformed by his encounter with Cuthbert and he experienced a profound conversion.

Godric came to live in Finchale near Durham, on the banks of the River Wear,, creating a hermitage dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. Godric’s biographers recorded that he lived an ascetic life on this site for fifty years, living and sleeping outside and rejecting expensive cloth and plentiful food. It is said that he slept on the ground with only stones and branches as his furniture.

Godric’s last years were marred by extreme sickness, perhaps a result of his difficult life-style. For almost a decade before his death on the twenty-first of May, 1170, he was confined to his bed and cared for by monks of Durham.

Four songs by Saint Godric have come down to us. They are the oldest songs in English for which the original musical settings survive. The first song he said was taught to him by the Virgin Mary herself, in a vision.

He lived to the amazing age of one hundred and five.

Scripture. In the first chapter of "Job," at verses twenty and twenty-one, we read:

Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshipped. 

He said, "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."



We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for all who find God in solitary ways.

... for all who love and care for animals.

... for songwriters, in particular for those who employ their talents to bring people closer to God.

... for the people of Montenegro who are celebrating their national day today.

... for those who have been infected, or are in danger of being infected, with Nipah virus, in the south Indian state of Kerala, especially those who have died and those who are presently hospitalised; for those treating the poorly, in particular the nurse who has died from the illness; that the outbreak will be contained and ended. DETAILS

... for those who have died recently 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 in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.


From "A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers" by Henry David Thoreau:

As the truest society approaches always nearer to solitude, so the most excellent speech finally falls into Silence. Silence is audible to all men, at all times, and in all places. She is when we hear inwardly, sound when we hear outwardly. Creation has not displaced her, but is her visible framework and foil. All sounds are her servants, and purveyors, proclaiming not only that their mistress is, but is a rare mistress, and earnestly to be sought after. They are so far akin to Silence, that they are but bubbles on her surface, which straightway burst, an evidence of the strength and prolificness of the under-current; a faint utterance of Silence, and then only agreeable to our auditory nerves when they contrast themselves with and relieve the former. In proportion as they do this, and are heighteners and intensifiers of the Silence, they are harmony and purest melody.

Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment; that background which the painter may not daub, be he master or bungler, and which, however awkward a figure we may have made in the foreground, remains ever our inviolable asylum, where no indignity can assail, no personality disturb us.


Lord our God, you accepted the single-hearted devotion of your servant Godric, who loved and served you alone. Give us also the desire to love you and serve you, and lead us through our lives to everlasting life with you; through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.

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


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