A GROWING COMPENDIUM FOR LIFE
"If you preach justice alone, you will murder the Gospel. There must be justice, and punitive justice"...but it is a subject "so dangerous to handle that only Infinite Love is safe in administering it."
Henry Ward Beecher, 1813–1887
A Prayer Book For and By the Church
Volume IV, Year 2, p173
Let the power of the Father shepherd me:
the wisdom of the Son enlightened me:
the operation of the Spirit quicken me. Amen.
Lancelot Andrewes, 1555-1626
A Prayer Book For and By the Church
Volume IV, Year 2, p 279
O God, who hast made of one blood all nations of [humanity]; give us to know that thou art Father of all, and that we, thy children of every race and nation, are [kin] to one another. Suffer us not to close to any the door of fellowship because of their race or color. Make us evermore to remember that whatever we do to one of the least of these our brethren we do to thee, and by thy great love constrain us to seek for all [people] everywhere the opportunity of fullness of life.
Pour out thy Holy Spirit upon the church...[that she], mediating thy love to all sorts and conditions of [people], may be for the healing of the nations; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Ernest Fremont Tittle, 1885-1949
quoted in A Prayer Book For and By the Church
Volume IV, Year 2, p 273
Malcolm Muggeridge writes -
Can this really be what life is about as the media insist? This interminable soap opera going on from century to century. From era to era, whose old discarded sets and props litter the earth? Surely not.
Thanks to the great mercy and marvel of the Incarnation, the cosmic scene is resolved into a human drama. God reaches down to relate himself to man and man reaches up to relate himself to God. Time looks into eternity and eternity into time, making now always and always now. Everything is transformed by the sublime drama of the Incarnation.
If this Christian revelation is true, then it must be true for all times and in all circumstances. Whatever may happen, however seemingly inimical to it may be the world's going and those who preside over the world's affairs, the truth of the Incarnation remains intact and inviolate. Christendom, like other civilizations before it, is subject to decay and must sometime decompose and disappear. The world's way of responding to intimations of decay is to engage equally in idiot hopes and idiot despair. On the one hand, some new policy or discovery is confidently expected to put everything to right: a new fuel, a new drug, detente, world government. On the other, some disaster is as confidently expected to prove our undoing. Capitalism will break down. Fuel will will run out. Plutonium will lay us low. Atomic waste will kill us off.
In Christian terms, such hopes and fears are equally beside the point. As Christians, we know that here we have no continuing city, that crowns roll into the dust and every earthly kingdom must sometime flounder, whereas we acknowledge a king men did not crown and cannot dethrone, as we are citizens of a city of God that they did not build and cannot destroy. Thus, the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, living in a society as depraved and dissolute as ours. Their games, like our television, specialized in spectacles of violence and eroticism. Paul extorted them to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in God's work, to concern themselves with the things that are unseen, for the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal. It was in the breakdown of Rome that Christendom was born. Now in the breakdown of Christendom, there are the same requirements and the same possibilities to eschew the fantasy of a disintegrating world and seek the reality of what is not seen and eternal, the reality of Christ.
Malcolm Muggeridge, 1903-1990, The End of Christendom
quoted in For All the Saints, Volume III, Year 2, p 321
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,
The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,
The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,
The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,
The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger people. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle." (Phillips Brooks)
“Almighty Father, give us the joy of your love to prepare the way for Christ our Lord.”
(Prayer, For All The Saints, Vol III, Year 2, p 56)
"I, a pilgrim of eternity, stand before Thee, O eternal One."
(John Baillie, A Diary of Private Prayer, Guide to Prayer, p. 243)