Monthly Archives: March 2012

If I had not suffered
I would not have known the love of God.
If many people had not suffered
God’s love would not have been passed on.
If Jesus had not suffered
God’s love would not have been made visible.

Mizuno Genzo, Japan

We thank you, Father, for those days in the desert when, through prayer and fasting, Jesus discovered your will for his life and overcame the temptations of the Evil one.

Help us to come close to you and to listen to your voice.  Give us strength to overcome the temptation to please ourselves and live life without you.  Teach us your way.  For Jesus’s sake.  Amen

From the Alternative Service Book (1980)

God of all beauty, whose will it is that all your creatures should enjoy the world and the life you have given us; we know that many are unable to do this through hunger, poverty, disease, oppression, ignorance or sin.  Let us never rest content in your joys until we have done everything in our power and by your grace to help others to share them also.

George Appleton

Most people’s wilderness is inside them, not outside.  Thinking of it outside is a trick we play on ourselves – a trick to hide from what we really are, not comfortingly wicked, but incapable, for the time being, of establishing communion.

Harry Williams, English Theologian

O God, who has made the heaven and the earth and all that is good and lovely therein, and has shown us through Jesus Christ our Lord that the secret of joy is a heart free from selfish desires, help us to find delight in simple things and ever to rejoice in the riches of your bounty, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

From ‘The Kingdom, the Power and the Glory’

Lead us from death to life,
from falsehood to truth.
Lead us from despair to hope,
from fear to trust.
Lead us from hate to love,
from war to peace.
Let peace fill our hearts,
our world, our universe.

Universal prayer for peace

Urban living can be an alienating experience.  I live on a shortcut between a train station and a tube station, and every day, before crossing the front door, I feel myself taking a sharp intake of breath before throwing myself into the mass of people running to catch their tube to work or their train home.  As everyone is stuck in their groove, in their daily routine, it is obvious that no one is about to let me through without an assertive movement on my part, and so I metaphorically pinch my nose and jump, ready to be scowled at.  It gives me a real sense of diving into a dehumanised world that does not seem to have time to care.

London, and large conurbations, can be places of intense solitude despite the number of people around us.  I never felt more lonely than in a march that gathered over a million people some years ago.  It is the most extraordinary and upsetting experience.

In the loneliness and wilderness of the crowd, it is quite hard to remember my worth as a unique human being.  But by stopping and focusing on the present moment, by creating inner silence, I know that I, and everyone around me, intensely matter to God who is present now and for eternity.  This helps me to not yield into the temptation of behaving towards others as I would not like them to behave towards me.

The Rev’d Bertrand Olivier, Vicar of All Hallows by the Tower


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