FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH OF JULY, 2018
Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from your ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against your holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done and we have done those things which we ought not to have done and there is no health in us. But you, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent according to your promises declared unto humankind in Jesus Christ our Lord and grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
You humble souls, approach your God with songs of sacred praise,
for he is good, immensely good, and kind are all his ways.
All nature owns his guardian care, in him we live and move;
but nobler benefits declare the wonders of his love.
He gave his son, his only son, to ransom rebel worms;
it is here he makes his goodness known in its diviner forms.
To this dear refuge, Lord, we come; it is here our hope relies;
a safe defence, a peaceful home, when storms of trouble rise.
Your eye beholds, with kind regard, the souls who trust in you;
their humble hope you will reward, with bliss divinely free.
Great God, to your almighty love, what honours shall we raise?
Not all the raptured songs above could render equal praise.
( Anne Steele, 1716-1778 )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Teresa of the Andes: the vibrant faith of a young woman
On the thirteenth of July, 1900, Juana Fernández Solar was born into a pious Roman Catholic family in Santiago, Chile. Her family was wealthy, which meant that Juana could receive an excellent education. As a child and young teenager she liked singing and dancing but also liked croquet and tennis; she was also an able swimmer and could play the piano. But her main interest was her faith and she was always drawn to religion. Her view of the world was tempered by a series of financial ups and downs that her father endured. Her older brother, fell away from the faith for a time and declared himself an atheist. Nevertheless she persisted in her belief and devotion. She was influenced by the autobiography of Saint Theresa of Liseiux which she read as a young girl. It led to her desire to become a Carmelite nun.
In September 1917 she sent a letter to the prioress of the Discalced Carmelite convent close to her home expressing her desire to enter the order. On the seventh of May, 1919, she entered the novitiate of the Discalced Carmelites in Los Andes at which time she was given the new religious name of "Teresa of Jesus"; she received the habit on the following fourteenth of October. Soon after that she contracted typhus and it was to prove the disease that took her life, when she was just short of twenty years old.
She died on the twelfth of April, 1920, shortly after Easter.
After her death, the story of her devotion to Jesus began to spread. Many people, especially young people, found meaning in her practice of the Christian faith, which inspired them to stay in the church and to step up their own practice of Christianity. Over one hundred thousand pilgrims a year began to visit her grave.
When Pope John Paul formally declared her a saint of the Church in 1993, he summed up her short life this way:
“Externally this is all there is to this young girl from Santiago, Chile. It is all rather disconcerting and a great question arises in us, ‘What was accomplished?’ The answer to such a question is equally disconcerting: living, believing, loving.”
Scripture. In the sixth chapter of John’s gospel at verses twenty-eight and twenty-nine we read:
Then they said to Jesus, "What must we do to perform the works of God?’"
Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
... for peace in the world.
... for young Christians, that they may find meaning in their faith to sustain them during their years of growing up.
... that we may live, believe and love.
... for the people of Montenegro who celebrate their national day today. DETAILS
... for workers who have not been paid what they are owed.
... for those killed or injured in an explosion at a chemical plant in an industrial park in China's Sichuan province; for all who have suffered due to an accident at work recently. DETAILS
... for children and young people who are forced into marriage against their will. DETAILS
... for the victims of knife crime; for all the young people who have been killed or seriously injured in gang violence in the UK this year.
... 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.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
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 "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis:
And now we begin to see what it is that the "New Testament" is always talking about. It talks about Christians "being born again"; it talks about them "putting on Christ"; about Christ "being formed in us"; about our coming to "have the mind of Christ".
Put right out of your head the idea that these are only fancy ways of saying that Christians are to read what Christ said and try to carry it out, as a man may read what Plato or Marx said and try to carry it out. They mean something much more than that. They mean that a real person, Christ, here and now, in that very room where you are saying your prayers, is doing things to you. It is not a question of a good man who died two thousand years ago. It is a living man, still as much a man as you and still as much God as he was when he created the world, really coming and interfering with your very self; killing the old natural self in you and replacing it with the kind of self he has. At first, only for moments. Then for longer periods. Finally, if all goes well, turning you permanently into a different sort of thing; into a new little Christ, a being which, in its own small way, has the same kind of life as God; which shares in his power, joy, knowledge and eternity.
Lord God, you have surrounded us with so great a cloud of witnesses. You blessed Teresa of the Andes with an extraordinary love and devotion to your son. Inspired by her love and devotion, may we run the race that is set before us, and come, with all your saints, to the fullness of your glory; 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.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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