Heading for England’s Nazareth.

This morning, a group from Eastbourne will be heading north, to Walsingham ready for the Ordinariate Pilgrimage on Saturday. A historic day, it is also a chance of us to gather and meet up with other Ordinariate members, not easy when our part of the Catholic Church is non-geographical.

Walsingham is a key part of our mission and for most groups this continues years of links to England’s Nazareth. For those of us who originated from Christ Church C of E parish, links with St Agnes, where we now meet were begun via the annual joint pilgrimage to Walsingham. This was started many years ago by the-then-vicar of Christ Church, Rev Phillip Fordham. Friendship with many of the St Agnes congregation began at the Christ Church Walsingham cell.

For us as a family, the annual trip to the Anglican Shrine for the Family Pilgrimage in November formed an important part of our children’s spiritual life. For me, coming from an Evangelical background, these visits helped me make sense of the transition to being Anglo-Catholic. Now travelling to Walsingham feels like coming home. It is so well-known and so loved. Over the last couple of years the Ordinariate pilgrimage in June continues that sense of home-coming, meeting familiar faces in a familiar place and sharing our Anglican Patrimony together. It is just a shame the fudge shop has closed!

Called to be Holy: Novena Day 9 (23 May)

The Office

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Psalm 139 (138)

O Lord, you search me and you know me,
you know my resting and my rising,
you discern my purpose from afar.
You mark when I walk or lie down,
all my ways lie open to you.

Before ever a word is on my tongue
you know it, O Lord, through and through.
Behind and before you besiege me,
your hand ever laid upon me.
Too wonderful for me this knowledge,
too high, beyond my reach.

O where can I go from your spirit,
or where can I flee from your face?
If I climb the heavens, you are there.
If I lie in the grave, you are there.

If I take the wings of the dawn
and dwell at the sea’s furthest end,
even there your hand would lead me,
your right hand would hold me fast.

If I say: “Let the darkness hide me
and the light around me be night,”
even darkness is not dark for you
and the night is as clear as the day.

For it was you who created my being,
knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank you for the wonder of my being,
for the wonders of all your creation.

Already you knew my soul
my body held no secret from you
when I was being fashioned in secret
and moulded in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw all my actions,
they were all of them written in your book;
every one of my days was decreed
before one of them came into being.

To me, how mysterious your thoughts,
the sum of them not to be numbered!
If I count them, they are more than the sand;
to finish, I must be eternal, like you.

O God, that you would slay the wicked!
Men of blood, keep far away from me!
With deceit they rebel against you
and set your designs at naught.

Do I not hate those who hate you,
abhor those who rise against you?
I hate them with a perfect hate
and they are foes to me.

O search me, God, and know my heart.
O test me and know my thoughts.
See that I follow not the wrong path
and lead me in the path of life eternal.

Grail Psalter

Reading of the Day

Oh, the simplicity of St Paul’s words: ‘take heed to thyself’. See yourself as you really are, as a creature made by God in his own image: ‘thy hands have made me and fashioned me’, ‘I will thank thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’ Recover the realisation that from God you come, to God you belong, and to God you go. Take heed to the meaning of the self before its Creator… Know yourself with your idols and your failures exposed in the presence of a creator who made you for himself, and who sees below the idols and the failures your longing for him. And likewise in the years which follow, take heed to thyself again, deliberately, regularly. It will not be easy. Not only will the round of ceaseless business in Church and Parish hinder you, but (and here is the more subtle danger) the devout practices of prayer and office and penitence can themselves be twisted into a sort of busyness which can hide you from yourself in an aroma of professional piety. So the need is for spaces of quietness in which you see yourself as you are, in the presence of the Creator who made you… Take heed to thyself, that self which can deceive unless it is revealed in naked simplicity before its God.

Michael Ramsey: Ordination Charge, from Durham Essays and Addresses, 1956, SPCK London

Silent reflection

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 them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Collect of the Day in the Novena

O God our Creator,
from whom we come and to whom we belong,
give us spaces of quietness where we may stand in your presence
in simplicity of heart.
You know our longing for you;
grant us also a longing for the unity of your Church,
that as you have made us in your image
we may grow into your likeness
in love for all those within the Body of your Son
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect for the Novena

O God, who taught the hearts of your faithful people
by the sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit;
Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things,
and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of that same Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Conclusion

May the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

Called to be Holy: Novena Day 8 (22 May)

The Office

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Psalm 42 (41)

Like the deer that yearns
for running streams,
so my soul is yearning
for you, my God.

My soul is thirsting for God,
the God of my life;
when can I enter and see
the face of God?

My tears have become my bread,
by night, by day,
as I hear it said all the day long:
“Where is your God?”

These things will I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I would lead the rejoicing crowd
into the house of God,
amid cries of gladness and thanksgiving,
the throng wild with joy.

Why are you cast down, my soul,
why groan within me?
Hope in God; I will praise him still,
my saviour and my God.

My soul is cast down within me
as I think of you,
from the country of Jordan and Mount Hermon,
from the Hill of Mizar.

Deep is calling on deep,
in the roar of waters;
your torrents and all your waves
swept over me.

By day the Lord will send
his loving kindness;
by night I will sing to him,
praise the God of my life.

I will say to God, my rock:
“Why have your forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
oppressed by the foe?”

With cries that pierce me to the heart,
my enemies revile me,
saying to me all day long:
“Where is your God?”

Why are you cast down, my soul,
why groan within me?
Hope in God; I will praise him still,
my saviour and my God.

Grail Psalter

Reading of the Day

I come now to the many people who, greatly desiring the life of communion with God, find no opportunity for attention to Him in an existence which often lacks privacy and is conditioned by ceaseless household duties, exacting professional responsibilities or long hours of work. The great spiritual teachers, who are not nearly so aloof from normal life as those who do not read them suppose, have often dealt with this situation, which is not quite new, though it seems to press with peculiar weight upon ourselves. They all make the same answer: that what is asked of us is not necessarily a great deal of time devoted to what we regard as spiritual things, but the constant offering of our wills to God, so that the practical duties which fill most of our days can become part of His order and be given spiritual worth. So Père Grou, whose writings are among the best and most practical guides to the spiritual life that we possess, says, “We are always praying, when we are doing our duty and turning it into work for God.” He adds that among the things which we should regard as spiritual in this sense are our household or professional work, the social duties of our station, friendly visits, kind actions, and small courtesies, and also necessary recreation of body and of mind, so long as we link all these by intention with God …

So those who wonder where they are to begin might begin here, by trying to give spiritual quality to every detail of their everyday lives, whether those lives are filled with a constant succession of home duties, or form part of the great systems of organized industry or public service, or are devoted to intellectual or artistic end …

Evelyn Underhill: Lecture 4

Silent reflection

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 them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Collect of the Day in the Novena

Almighty and eternal God,
who gave to Evelyn Underhill a great love of souls,
and a longing that all might know
the spiritual riches of the Church, both East and West:
help us constantly to offer our wills to you,
so that each day may be lived for your glory,
and everything be turned to your service.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for the Novena

O God, who taught the hearts of your faithful people
by the sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit;
Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things,
and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of that same Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Conclusion

May the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

Called to be Holy: Novena Day 7 (21 May)

The Office

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Psalm 108 (107)

My heart is ready, O God;
I will sing, sing your praise.
Awake, my soul;
awake, lyre and harp,
I will awake the dawn.

I will thank you, Lord, among the peoples,
among the nations I will praise you,
for your love reaches to the heavens
and your truth to the skies.
O God, arise above the heavens;
may your glory shine on earth!

O come and deliver your friends;
help with your right hand and reply.
From his holy place God has made this promise;
“I will triumph and divide the land of Shechem,
I will measure out the valley of Succoth.

Gilead is mine and Manasseh,
Ephraim I take for my helmet,
Judah for my commander’s staff.
Moab I will use for my washbowl,
on Edom I will plant my shoe.
Over the Philistines I will shout in triumph.”

But who will lead me to conquer the fortress?
Who will bring me face to face with Edom?
Will you utterly reject us, O God,
and no longer march with our armies?

Give us help against the foe,
for the help of man is vain.
With God we shall do bravely
and he will trample down our foes.

Grail Psalter

Reading of the Day

In ancient times Christians all over the world began it with a morning salutation. Each man said to his neighbour, ‘Christ is risen’; and his neighbour answered him, ‘Christ is risen indeed and hath appeared unto Simon’. Even to Simon, the coward disciple who denied him thrice, Christ is risen; even to us who long ago vowed to obey him, and yet so often denied him before men, so often taken part with sin, and followed the world, when Christ called us another way.

‘Christ is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon!’: to Simon Peter the favoured Apostle, on whom the Church is built, Christ appeared. He has appeared to his Holy Church first of all, and in the Church he dispenses blessings, such as the world knows not of. Blessed are they in that they knew their blessedness, who are allowed as we are, week after week, and Festival after Festival, to seek and find in that Holy Church the Saviour of their souls! Blessed are they beyond language or thought, to whom it is vouchsafed to receive these tokens of his love, which cannot otherwise be gained by man, the pledges and means of his special presence, in the Sacrament of his Supper; who are allowed to eat and drink the food of immortality, and receive life from the bleeding side of the Son of God!

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, “Christ, a Quickening Spirit” in Parochial and Plain Sermons II

Silent reflection

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 them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Collect of the Day in the Novena

O Lord, support us all the day long,
until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over,
and our work is done.
Then in thy mercy grant us a safe lodging,
and a holy rest, and peace at the last,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for the Novena

O God, who taught the hearts of your faithful people
by the sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit;
Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things,
and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of that same Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Conclusion

May the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

Called to be Holy: Novena Day 6 (20 May)

The Office

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Psalm 1

Happy indeed is the man
who follows not the counsel of the wicked,
nor lingers in the way of sinners
nor sits in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord
and who ponders his law day and night.

He is like a tree that is planted
beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season
and whose leaves shall never fade;
and all that he does shall prosper.
Not so are the wicked, not so!

For they like winnowed chaff
shall be driven away by the wind.
When the wicked are judged they shall not stand,
nor find room among those who are just;
for the Lord guards the way of the just
but the way of the wicked leads to doom

Grail Psalter

Reading of the Day

Her Virgin eyes saw God Incarnate born,
When she to Bethl’em came that happy morn;
How high her raptures then began to tell
None but her own omniscient Son can tell.

The Holy Ghost his temple in her built;
Cleansed from congenital, kept from mortal guilt;
And from the moment that her blood was fired,
Into her heart celestial love inspired.

Heaven with transcendent joys her entrance graced,
Next to his throne her Son his Mother placed;
And here below, now she’s of heav’n possess’d,
All generations are to call her blest!

Thomas Ken: Hymn to the Blessed Virgin

Silent reflection

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 them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Collect of the Day in the Novena

Glory to you, my God,
who in the time of our separation, raised up Thomas Ken
who witnessed to the holiness of Christian living
even before the King and his court,
and in his poetry gave praise
for the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mary:
let his example, we pray, inspire us
in our living and in our devotion,
and bring us all to the transcendent joys of heaven.
Though Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for the Novena

O God, who taught the hearts of your faithful people
by the sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit;
Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things,
and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of that same Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Conclusion

May the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

Called to be Holy: Novena Day 5 (19 May)

The Office

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Psalm 138 (137)

I thank you, Lord, with all my heart,
you have heard the words of my mouth.
In the presence of the angels I will bless you.
I will adore before your holy temple.

I thank you for your faithfulness and love
which excel all we ever knew of you.
On the day I called, you answered;
you increased the strength of my soul.

All earth’s kings shall thank you
when they hear the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the Lord’s ways:
“How great is the glory of the Lord!”

The Lord is high yet he looks on the lowly
and the haughty he knows from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of affliction
you give me life and frustrate my foes.

You stretch out your hand and save me,
your hand will do all things for me.
Your love, O Lord, is eternal,
discard not the work of your hands.

Grail Psalter

Reading of the Day

He must dwell in us; and in us he will ‘dwell’ if the fruits of his Spirit be found in us. And of his fruits the very first is love. And the fruit is as the tree is. For he himself is love, the essential love, and love-knot of the undivided Trinity.

Now to work love, the undoubted both sign and means of his dwelling, that better way, or how sooner wrought, than by the sacrament of love, at the feast of love, upon the feast-day of love; when love descended with both his hands full of gifts for very love, to take up his dwelling with us?

You shall observe: there ever was and will be a near alliance between ‘the gifts he sent’ and the ‘gifts he left us’. He left us the gifts of his body and blood. His body broken, and full of the characters of love all over. His blood shed, every drop whereof is a great drop of love. To those which were sent, these which were left, love, joy, peace, have a special connatural reference, to breed and to maintain each other. His Body the Spirit of strength, his blood the Spirit of comfort; both the Spirit of love.

Lancelot Andrewes – A Whitsunday Sermon 1614

Silent reflection

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 them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Collect of the Day in the Novena

Lord Jesus Christ,
you have given us the great benefit of the Eucharist,
to be for us
a showing forth of your death,
a participation of the Spirit,
the cleansing of stains,
healing of the sickness of the soul,
renewal of the covenant,
provision for the journey of life,
a seal of faith,
fullness of wisdom,
bond of charity,
an armour of endurance,
confidence of prayer,
and a pledge of resurrection.
So deepen our love of this Most Holy Sacrament
and unite your faithful people in One Body,
for your name’s sake, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for the Novena

O God, who taught the hearts of your faithful people
by the sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit;
Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things,
and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of that same Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Conclusion

May the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen