“Like craftsmen working on a great cathedral, we have each been given instructions about the particular stone we are to spend our lives carving, without knowing or being able to guess where it will take its place within the grand design. We are assured, by the words of Paul and by Jesus’ resurrection as the launch of that new creation, that the work we do is not in vain. That says it all. That is the mandate we need for every act of justice and mercy, every program of ecology, every effort to reflect God’s wise stewardly image into his creation.” ~N.T. Wright, Surprised by Scripture
“How can we not lose our souls when everything and everybody pulls us in different directions? How can we ‘keep it together’ when we are constantly being torn apart? Jesus says, ‘Not a hair of your head will be lost. Your perseverance will win you your lives’ (Luke 21:18–19). We can only survive our world when we trust that God knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. We can only keep it together when we believe that God holds us together. We can only win our lives when we remain faithful to the truth that every little part of us, yes, every hair, is completely safe in the divine embrace of our Lord. To say it differently: when we keep living a spiritual life, we have nothing to be afraid of.” ~Fr. Henri J.M. Nouwen
Ethelflæda was the daughter of Æthelwold of Wessex. She joined the Abbey of Romsey under the abbacy of Morwenna, and eventually became abbess herself. She practised an austere life, and on her death was buried in the Abbey beside St Morwenna.
Saint Ethelflaeda, pray for us.
“There are in truth three states of the converted: the beginning, the middle, and the perfection. In the beginning they experience the charms of sweetness; in the middle the contests of temptation; and in the end the fullness of perfection.” ~Pope St. Gregory the Great
“Dear brothers and sisters, let us learn to pause longer before God, who revealed himself in Jesus Christ, let us learn to recognize in silence, in our own hearts, his voice that calls us and leads us back to the depths of our existence, to the source of life, to the source of salvation, to enable us to go beyond the limitations of our life and to open ourselves to God’s dimension, to the relationship with him, which is Infinite Love.” ~Pope Benedict XVI, May 11, 2011
To you, Holy Martyrs of England and Wales, we commend our prayers and our needs in these difficult times. As you laid down your lives for Christ and His Church, we ask that we may emulate your sacrifice in our daily lives, living as true and humble disciples of Christ.
May His Gospel so penetrate our minds and hearts that we may become what He urges us to be: salt of the earth and light of the world, making Him present through holy lives to the men and women of our time.
Sustain us with your loving presence, be our companions on our earthly journey. Defend us in moments of trial, console us in sorrows and remind us of that joy which Christ implants into the souls of His devoted servants. Intercede that we may truly be servants of mercy and reconciliation.
Watch over us and guide us in our Christian lives so one day we may merit to be with you in the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father. Amen.
Lord God, you chose Saint Luke to reveal the mystery of your love for the poor in his preaching and his writings. Grant that those who already acknowledge your name may continue to be one in mind and heart, and that all the nations may see your salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
St. Luke, pray for us.
Almighty ever-living God, who adorn the sacred body of your Church with the confessions of holy Martyrs, grant, we pray, that, just as the glorious passion of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, which we celebrate today, brought him eternal splendor, so it may be for us unending protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
St. Ignatius, pray for us.