Collect: Patrick, Bishop and Missionary of Ireland, 461 (Mar 17)

May we come at last to the light of everlasting life.

 

St. Patrick Icon

Patrick was born into a Christian family somewhere on the northwest coast of Britain in about 390. His grandfather had been a Christian priest and his father, Calpornius, a deacon. Calpornius was an important official in the late Roman imperial government of Britain. It was not unusual in this post-Constantinian period for such state officials to be in holy orders. When Patrick was about sixteen, he was captured by a band of Irish slave-raiders. He was carried off to Ireland and forced to serve as a shepherd. When he was about twenty-one, he escaped and returned to Britain, where he was educated as a Christian. He tells us that he took holy orders as both presbyter and bishop, although no particular see is known as his at this time. A vision then called him to return to Ireland. This he did about the year 431.

Tradition holds that Patrick landed not far from the place of his earlier captivity, near what is now known as Downpatrick (a “down” or “dun” is a fortified hill, the stronghold of a local Irish king). He then began a remarkable process of missionary conversion throughout the country that continued until his death, probably in 461.

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Holy Women, Holy Men

The Collect for the Commemoration

Almighty God, in your providence you chose your servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of you: Grant us so to walk in that light that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

May we respond to God’s answer of our prayer and walk as children of the light.  ~Fr. Dan

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

After presidential power shifts, Episcopalians ask: How should we pray?

Book of Common Prayer page 359

Episcopal News Service (ENS) posted “After presidential power shifts, Episcopalians ask: How should we pray” on January 23, 2017. It had the subtitle “Debating purpose, intention of praying for Donald Trump in church.” As internet posts go, this is a long post. It presents reasoned answers for both “yes” and “no.” What follows are a few quotes from the article. I encourage you to read the entire article here.
~Fr. Dan

Read quotes from the article

Statement of Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Curry regarding prayers for the President

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

The following is a statement from Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry via the Public Affairs Office of the Episcopal Church

 

Begin quoteThis past week, Barack H. Obama, the 44th President of the United States, in the tradition of Presidents dating back to George Washington, gave his farewell address to the nation. Next week Donald J. Trump, in the same tradition of this country, will take the oath of office and be inaugurated as the 45th President.

We recognize that this election has been contentious, and the Episcopal Church, like our nation, has expressed a diversity of views, some of which have been born in deep pain.

There has been much discussion, and some controversy, about the appropriateness of the Washington National Cathedral hosting the Inaugural Prayer Service this year, and of church choirs singing at inaugural events.

Underneath the variety of questions and concerns are some basic Christian questions about prayer: when I pray for our leaders, why am I doing so?  Should I pray for a leader I disagree with? When I pray what do I think I am accomplishing?

On one level these questions seem inconsequential and innocuous. But real prayer is not innocuous. It is powerful. That question can become poignant and even painful as it is for many in this moment, given that some of the values that many of us heard expressed over the past year have seemed to be in contradiction to deeply-held Christian convictions of love, compassion, and human dignity.

So, should we pray for the President?

– Please keep reading!

What a homeless man taught me on Christmas morning

The original post appeared on The Messy Middle, January 4, 2017

When we truly “seek and serve Christ in all persons,” (see the Book of Common Prayer, 305) when we behave in a way that reveals we truly “love our neighbor as ourselves,” we open ourselves to the Christ meeting us and teaching us in ways we never expected. This is a story to make that point for you and me.

Continue reading “What a homeless man taught me on Christmas morning”

On Prayer and the New Year

As the new year approaches and many people think about new years resolutions, I would like to suggest one: reading written prayers.

I am not suggesting that one replace his whole prayer time with reading prayers or that he give up spontaneous praying in favor of reading prayers, but that he add to those disciplines the practice of reading prayers written by others. I suggest this resolution for the following reasons.

Written from an “evangelical perspective” the suggestion is relevant to all who wish to deepen their life of prayer in 2017. Read the entire post by Taylor Drummond on The Chorus in the Chaos Blog (Patheos).

 

Prayers to begin, but what is to follow?

2016-04 Lahore

April 4, 2016 [ACNS, by Gavin Drake] Around 200 Christians, Muslims and Hindus gathered yesterday (Sunday) at the site of last weekend’s horrific Easter Day bomb attack for a united act of solidarity and sympathy for the victims of the attack.

This weekend’s gathering at the Gulshan-e Iqbal Park began with a peaceful demonstration at 5.40 pm – the exact moment that last week’s blast occurred.

[…] Candles were lit and Christian, Muslim and Hindu religious leaders – including the Moderator of the Church of Pakistan, Bishop Samuel Azariah, joined hands as they prayed for the victims and their families.

Amongst the 200 people present were representatives from the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Louisiana and the presbyterian Church of Scotland. The Church of Pakistan is a United Church. In addition to being a province of the Anglican Communion it is also a member of the World Council of Reformed Churches and the World Methodist Council. See: http://www.anglicannews.org/news/2016/04/multi-faith-vigil-for-lahore-easter-bomb-victims.aspx on Anglican News Service

As the article goes on read how the Archbishop of Canterbury was confronted with words asking for more than platitudes, no matter how compassionate. The Archbishop’s unnamed friend was asking for involvement.

What do you hear the Spirit saying?

Photo Credit: Diocese of Raiwind on Anglican News Service

What do you hear?

If you’ve not encountered  (Pastor) Steve Garnaas-Holmes yet, let this be your introduction. Upon hearing these words from Luke…

Prepare the way of the Lord, make a straight path for God. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. —Luke 3.4-6

… Steve heard a prayer and shared it:

God of love, take my heart and change it.

Take what is rough in me and let it become gentle.

Take my fear and let it become wonder.

Read the entire prayer

And you, what do you hear?

Visit Steve’s Blog: Unfolding Light