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A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Chad

Almighty God, whose servant Chad, for the peace of the Church, relinquished cheerfully the honors that had been thrust upon him, only to be rewarded with equal responsibility: Keep us, we pray thee, from thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, and ready at all times to give place to others, (in honor preferring one another,) that the cause of Christ may be advanced; in the name of him who washed his disciples’ feet, even the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Spirituality/Prayer

A prayer for the day from Henry Alford

O Blessed Saviour, who art full of mercy and compassion, and wilt not cast out any that come to thee: Help us, we beseech thee, who are grievously vexed with the burden of our sins; and so increase in us the power of thy Holy Spirit that we may prevail against the enemy of our souls; for thy name’s sake.

Posted in Lent, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Ger′asenes. And when he had come out of the boat, there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who lived among the tombs; and no one could bind him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been bound with fetters and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the fetters he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out, and bruising himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped him; and crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” And he begged him eagerly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside; and they begged him, “Send us to the swine, let us enter them.” So he gave them leave. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea.

The herdsmen fled, and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. And they came to Jesus, and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine. And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their neighborhood. And as he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. But he refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decap′olis how much Jesus had done for him; and all men marveled.

–Mark 5:1-20

Posted in Uncategorized

(Church Times) Bishop of London welcomes MPs’ report on end-of-life care

In a statement, the Roman Catholic lead bishop for life issues, the Rt Revd John Sherrington, an auxiliary bishop in the archdiocese of Westminster, welcomed the committee’s decision “not to recommend the legalisation of assisted suicide”.

He continued: “As highlighted in the Committee’s report, experts have noted that there have been major problems in safeguarding the vulnerable and those without full mental capacity when assisted suicide and/or euthanasia has been introduced in other jurisdictions.

“Recognising the distress and suffering of those who are sick and vulnerable, I welcome the Committee’s recommendation that the accessibility and provision of palliative and end of life care needs to be improved — something the Catholic Church has consistently called for.”

Read it all (registration or subscription).

Posted in Anthropology, Church of England, CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(CT) YWAM Rallies After 11 Missionaries Killed, 8 Wounded in Tanzania Bus Accident

YWAM established its presence in Arusha in 2000 and has since established three fully staffed offices in the region. The center’s education programs include classes in discipleship ministry, tailoring, computer skills, and English language, among others.

“In these days, tears are being poured out across the world by individuals, families and YWAMers worldwide. I am personally reeling from the weight of this news, as I knew and loved many of these individuals personally,” wrote Cunningham. She encouraged the use of three Bible verses:

  • Hang on to the fact that, no matter what, we know that God is just and kind in all his ways (Ps. 145:17).
  • Remind yourself of Job 42:2. Job had lost everything and his response to God was I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Let’s hang on to that word!
  • Remind yourself of Isaiah 41:10: Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Read it all.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Missions, Pastoral Theology, Tanzania, Theology

(FT) Emissions reach record high despite growth in clean energy, IEA says

The world’s carbon dioxide emissions from energy rose yet again to a new high in 2023 despite fossil fuel use falling in the advanced economies of the EU and US, the latest International Energy Agency report shows.

Emissions reached a record 37.4bn tonnes as droughts and rising energy demand pushed up fossil fuel use, a rise of 1.1 per cent, or 410mn tonnes, compared to the year before.

This runs counter to the need for emissions to be cut by almost 45 per cent by 2030 to limit long-term global warming to no more than 1.5C since the pre-industrial era. Already the rise in temperatures is at least 1.1C, and last year was the hottest on record.

Higher emissions from India and China helped offset reductions in the EU and the US, as the developing economies remained heavily reliant on coal to meet energy demand even as they also develop cleaner energy. 

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Climate Change, Weather, Corporations/Corporate Life, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Science & Technology

(EF) Nigeria: “There is an effort of the jihad and the Fulani to scare Christians out of their land and stop gospel preaching”

The figures for the persecution of Christians in Nigeria have reached unprecedented heights.

The organisation Open Doors reports 4,565 murders in 2023 alone, covering practically all of the 4,998 people who were killed worldwide for their faith in Christ last year. However, are “the absolute lowest of what could happen”, they said.

Now, the International Society for Liberties and Rule of Law (known as Intersociety) states that the number of Christians killed in Nigeria in 2023 exceeds 8,000.

“The combined forces of the government protected Islamic Jihadists and the country’s Security Forces are directly and vicariously accountable for hacking to death of no fewer than 8,222 defenseless Christians, from January 2023 to January 2024”, says the report of the entity based in Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria.

Read it all.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Nigeria, Religion & Culture, Religious Freedom / Persecution, Terrorism, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint David of Wales

Almighty God, who didst call thy servant David to be a faithful and wise steward of thy mysteries for the people of Wales: Mercifully grant that, following his purity of life and zeal for the gospel of Christ, we may with him receive the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Posted in --Wales, Church History, Church of Wales, Spirituality/Prayer

A prayer of praise for the day from Ephraem of Edessa

Blessed be He Who in His love stooped to redeem mankind! Blessed be the King Who made Himself poor to enrich the needy! Blessed be He Who came to fulfill the types and emblems of the prophets! Blessed be He Who made creation rejoice with the wealth and treasure of His Father! Blessed be He Whose glory the dumb sang with hosannas! Blessed be He to Whom little children sang new glory in hymns of praise! Blessed be the new King Who came that new-born babes might glorify Him! Blessed be He unto Whom children brought faltering songs to praise Him among His disciples!

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Lent, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”

–Mark 4:35-41

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Church Times) Ukraine is paying for our security in blood, Archbishop Justin Welby tells Synod

The General Synod has renewed its call for a just peace in Ukraine, after a debate to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion, which fell on Saturday.

The motion, which was carried almost unanimously on Tuesday at the end of a five-day meeting in Westminster, referred to the “ongoing suffering and terror” experienced by Ukrainians two years into the war, and called on churches and politicians to work for an end to the conflict and a restoration of the international order.

During the debate, the motion was amended to include a further call to UK politicians to “affirm their continued support for Ukraine until such time as a just and lasting peace is secured”.

First to speak was the Archbishop of Canterbury, recently returned from his second visit to Ukraine (News, 23 February). He had also spoken, directly but remotely, with Patriarch Kirill. “But I am not neutral on this,” he said. “Ukraine is paying for our security with blood.”

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England, Foreign Relations, Military / Armed Forces, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Russia, Ukraine

(Economist) AI models make stuff up. How can so-called machine hallucinations be controlled?

It is an increasingly familiar experience. A request for help to a large language model (llm) such as Openai’s Chatgpt is promptly met by a response that is confident, coherent and just plain wrong. In an ai model, such tendencies are usually described as hallucinations. A more informal word exists, however: these are the qualities of a great bullshitter.

There are kinder ways to put it. In its instructions to users, Openai warns that Chatgpt “can make mistakes”. Anthropic, an American ai company, says that its llm Claude “may display incorrect or harmful information”; Google’s Gemini warns users to “double-check its responses”. The throughline is this: no matter how fluent and confident ai-generated text sounds, it still cannot be trusted.

Hallucinations make it hard to rely on ai systems in the real world. Mistakes in news-generating algorithms can spread misinformation. Image generators can produce art that infringes on copyright, even when told not to. Customer-service chatbots can promise refunds they shouldn’t. (In 2022 Air Canada’s chatbot concocted a bereavement policy, and this February a Canadian court has confirmed that the airline must foot the bill.) And hallucinations in ai systems that are used for diagnosis or prescription can kill.

The trouble is that the same abilities that allow models to hallucinate are also what make them so useful.

Read it all.

Posted in Science & Technology

(CT) Hackers Try to Take AI to Church–Colorado “hackathon” inspires search for algorithms to help Christian congregations

Nick Skytland likes to ask pastors a question.

“Have you ever considered that the biggest mission field in the world is nowhere in the physical world?” he will say.

“It’s actually the digital world.”

Usually when he asks that, the NASA chief technologist, whose day job is focused on getting astronauts back to the moon, just gets blank stares.

For a few days in October, though, Skytland was surrounded by people who do know the scope and scale of the digital world. And if they didn’t respond to him, it was because they were busy working with artificial intelligence programs to develop real-life solutions to take faith to the digital mission field.

About 200 people gathered at the tech company Gloo’s headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, for the first-ever “AI and the Church” hackathon. Gloo, which is dedicated to connecting and equipping the faith community, invited 41 teams to compete for $250,000 in prizes and $750,000 in additional funding. Skytland and a NASA colleague, Ali Llewellyn, cohosted the event.

Read it all.

Posted in History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

(Bloomberg) Ukraine Sees Risk of Russia Breaking Through Defenses by Summer

Ukrainian officials are concerned that Russian advances could gain significant momentum by the summer unless their allies can increase the supply of ammunition, according to a person familiar with their analysis.

Internal assessments of the situation on the battlefield from Kyiv are growing increasingly bleak as Ukrainian forces struggle to hold off Russian attacks while rationing the number of shells they can fire.

Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said Thursday that mistakes by frontline commanders had compounded the problems facing Ukraine’s defenses around Avdiivka, which was captured by Russian forces this month. Syrskyi said he’d sent in more troops and ammunition to bolster Ukrainian positions.

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Posted in Foreign Relations, Military / Armed Forces, Politics in General, Russia, Ukraine

Three Diocesan Evangelists commissioned in the Diocese of Down and Dromore

Congratulations to the three new Diocesan Evangelists commissioned by Bishop David on Sunday evening 25 February. The commissioning took place in the shadow of Belfast’s famous Harland and Wolf cranes at The Gathering in St Martin’s Church.
Pictured right to left with Bishop David are Justin McMinn (The Gathering), Sarah Irwin (St John’s Lurgan) and Paul Hawkins (Glen Community Church).

Our Warden of Evangelists, Capt George Newell, and Archdeacon Jim Cheshire who gave the address, complete the line–up.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Ireland, Evangelism and Church Growth

A prayer for the day from C. J. Vaughan

Write deeply upon our minds, O Lord God, the lesson of thy holy Word, that only the pure in heart can see thee. Leave us not in the bondage of any sinful inclination. May we neither deceive ourselves with the thought that we have no sin, nor acquiesce idly in aught of which our conscience accuses us. Strengthen us by thy Holy Spirit to fight the good fight of faith, and grant that no day may pass without its victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a bushel, or under a bed, and not on a stand? For there is nothing hid, except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.” And he said to them, “Take heed what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.

–Mark 4:21-34

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Deseret News) An interesting question the Supreme Court won’t answer — yet: can potential jurors can be eliminated from consideration based on their religious beliefs about sexuality and marriage?

After losing at the appellate level, state officials turned to the U.S. Supreme Court. They asked the justices to consider the dismissals and determine whether they amounted to religious discrimination.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court declined to get involved, but Justice Samuel Alito published a statement emphasizing the importance of the issues involved.

Whether jurors can be dismissed based on their religious beliefs about sexuality is a “very serious and important question,” he wrote, one that he anticipated when the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.

“In this case, the court below reasoned that a person who still holds traditional religious views on questions of sexual morality is presumptively unfit to serve on a jury in a case involving a party who is a lesbian. That holding exemplifies the danger that I anticipated in Obergefell v. Hodges, namely, that Americans who do not hide their adherence to traditional religious beliefs about homosexual conduct will be ‘labeled as bigots and treated as such’ by the government,” Alito said.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Supreme Court

([London] Times) Putin has new cyber-tools that threaten democracy, Ukraine warns

So extensive is Moscow’s network of informants and agents that it is impossible to eradicate Russian interference, Danilov said. “Students, wives, tourists ― all of them are used by Russia to do their bidding abroad.”

The FSB, Russia’s security service, was also issuing contracts to European criminal gangs, a relationship that had been made easier by the advent of cryptocurrencies, he said.

“It was the modus operandi of the KGB, and it is the case again today where they are using a combination of European criminal gangs to do their work in conjunction with trained officers.

“There are criminals sitting in the Kremlin and they use criminals to do their work for them. The country is run on criminality.”

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Russia, Science & Technology

(Wired) Ransomware Groups Are Bouncing Back Faster From Law Enforcement Busts

Six days before Christmas, the US Department of Justice loudly announced a win in the ongoing fight against the scourge of ransomware: An FBI-led, international operation had targeted the notorious hacking group known as BlackCat or AlphV, releasing decryption keys to foil its ransom attempts against hundreds of victims and seizing the dark web sites it had used to threaten and extort them. “In disrupting the BlackCat ransomware group, the Justice Department has once again hacked the hackers,” deputy attorney general Lisa Monaco declared in a statement.

Two months and one week later, however, those hackers don’t appear particularly “disrupted.” For the last seven days and counting, BlackCat has held hostage the medical firm Change Healthcare, crippling its software in hospitals and pharmacies across the United States, leading to delays in drug prescriptions for an untold number of patients.

The ongoing outage at Change Healthcare, first reported to be a BlackCat attack by Reuters, represents a particularly grim incident in the ransomware epidemic not just due to its severity, its length, and the potential toll on victims’ health. Ransomware-tracking analysts say it also illustrates how even law enforcement’s wins against ransomware groups appear to be increasingly short-lived, as the hackers that law enforcement target in carefully coordinated busts simply rebuild and restart their attacks with impunity.

“Because we can’t arrest the core operators that are in Russia or in areas that are uncooperative with law enforcement, we can’t stop them,” says Allan Liska, a ransomware-focused researcher for cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.

Read it all.

Posted in Corporations/Corporate Life, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Science & Technology

(EF) In Northern Ireland, half identify as “practising Christian”, 21% say they are evangelical

The data published by a report published by the Evangelical Alliance in Northern Ireland has “surprised” even those who were aware of the strong presence of Christianity in the region.

The survey, conducted by polling agency Savanta ComRes in spring 2023, shows that 50% of people in Northern Ireland identify themselves as “practising Christians”. 17% of the surveyed said they had no religion, and another 31.3% identified as a non-practising Christian.

The study revealed that “23% go to church each week”, 35% pray on a weekly basis and 13% “personally read the Bible”.

Read it all.

Posted in --Ireland, England / UK, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Anna Julia Haywood Cooper

Almighty God, who didst inspire thy servant Anna Julia Haywood Cooper with the love of learning and the skill of teaching: Enlighten us more and more through the discipline of learning, and deepen our commitment to the education of all thy children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A prayer for the day from Brookes Foss Westcott (1825-1901)

O Eternal God, who hast taught us by thy holy Word that our bodies are temples of thy Spirit: Keep us, we most humbly beseech thee, temperate and holy in thought, word and deed, that at the last we, with all the pure in heart, may see thee and be made like unto thee in thy heavenly kingdom; through Christ our Lord.

Posted in Lent, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he taught them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it had not much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil; and when the sun rose it was scorched, and since it had no root it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

And when he was alone, those who were about him with the twelve asked him concerning the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables; so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven.” And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown; when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word which is sown in them. And these in like manner are the ones sown upon rocky ground, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones sown among thorns; they are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown upon the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

–Mark 4:1-20

Posted in Theology: Scripture

C of E General Synod calls for redoubling of efforts to create new churches on estates

The Church of England needs many more leaders from working class backgrounds and deprived communities, the General Synod has heard, in a debate where members voted to redouble efforts to establish churches on housing estates.

The Synod re-committed the Church of England to setting up a church on every significant social housing estate, five years on from first giving its backing to this goal.

Members also backed moves to double the number of young active Christians on housing estates and ensure that young people from estates and low-income communities are trained as children’s and young people’s leaders among other forms of ministry.

The Bishop of Blackburn, Philip North, who introduced the debate, called on the Church of England to act now to reverse the “slow erosion” of Christian life on estates.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

(Reason) Poll: Almost a Third of Americans Say the First Amendment Goes ‘Too Far’

According to a new poll from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), a First Amendment organization, nearly a third of Americans, including similar numbers of Republicans and Democrats, say that the First Amendment goes “too far” in the rights it guarantees. More than half agreed that their local community should not allow a public speech that espouses a belief they find particularly offensive.

“Those results were disappointing, but not exactly surprising,” said FIRE Chief Research Adviser Sean Stevens in a Tuesday press release. “Here at FIRE, we’ve long observed that many people who say they’re concerned about free speech waver when it comes to beliefs they personally find offensive. But the best way to protect your speech in the future is to defend the right to controversial and offensive speech today.”

The survey, which was conducted in partnership with the Polarization Research Lab (PRL) at Dartmouth College, asked 1,000 Americans about their opinions on free speech and expression. The survey found that “when it comes to whether people are able to freely express their views,” over two-thirds of respondents said they believed America was headed in the wrong direction. Further, only 25 percent of respondents agreed that the right to free speech was “very” or “completely” secure.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Language, Law & Legal Issues, Theology

(LiveScience) ‘Quantum memory breakthrough’ may lead to a quantum internet

We’re now one step closer to a “quantum internet” — an interconnected web of quantum computers — after scientists built a network of “quantum memories” at room temperature for the first time.

In their experiments, the scientists stored and retrieved two photonic qubits — qubits made from photons (or light particles) — at the quantum level, according to their paper published on Jan. 15 in the Nature journal, Quantum Information.

The breakthrough is significant because quantum memory is a foundational technology that will be a precursor to a quantum internet – the next generation of the World Wide Web.

Read it all.

Posted in Science & Technology

George Herbert on his Feast Day–The Thanksgiving

Oh King of grief! (a title strange, yet true,
To thee of all kings only due)
Oh King of wounds! how shall I grieve for thee,
Who in all grief preventest me?
Shall I weep blood? why thou has wept such store
That all thy body was one door.
Shall I be scourged, flouted, boxed, sold?
‘Tis but to tell the tale is told.
‘My God, my God, why dost thou part from me? ‘
Was such a grief as cannot be.
But how then shall I imitate thee, and
Copy thy fair, though bloody hand?
Surely I will revenge me on thy love,
And try who shall victorious prove.
If thou dost give me wealth, I will restore
All back unto thee by the poor.
If thou dost give me honour, men shall see,
The honour doth belong to thee.
I will not marry; or, if she be mine,
She and her children shall be thine.
My bosom friend, if he blaspheme thy name,
I will tear thence his love and fame.
One half of me being gone, the rest I give
Unto some Chapel, die or live.
As for thy passion – But of that anon,
When with the other I have done.
For thy predestination I’ll contrive,
That three years hence, if I survive,
I’ll build a spittle, or mend common ways,
But mend mine own without delays.
Then I will use the works of thy creation,
As if I us’d them but for fashion.
The world and I will quarrel; and the year
Shall not perceive, that I am here.
My music shall find thee, and ev’ry string
Shall have his attribute to sing;
That all together may accord in thee,
And prove one God, one harmony.
If thou shalt give me wit, it shall appear;
If thou hast giv’n it me, ’tis here.
Nay, I will read thy book, and never move
Till I have found therein thy love;
Thy art of love, which I’ll turn back on thee,
O my dear Saviour, Victory!
Then for thy passion – I will do for that –
Alas, my God, I know not what.

–George Herbert (1593-1633)

Posted in Church History, Poetry & Literature

A Prayer for the Feast Day of George Herbert

Our God and King, who didst call thy servant George Herbert from the pursuit of worldly honors to be a pastor of souls, a poet, and a priest in thy temple: Give unto us the grace, we beseech thee, joyfully to perform the tasks thou givest us to do, knowing that nothing is menial or common that is done for thy sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Day from the Church of England

Almighty God,
lead us by your Spirit that by the prayer and discipline of Lent
may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings,
and by following in his Way
come to share in his glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen (slightly edited; KSH).

Posted in Lent, Spirituality/Prayer