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Archive for March, 2011

Some of the materials from this week’s Quiet Hour in Glasnevin.

CHRIST’S COMING                     P.H. Pearse

I have made my heart clean to-night
As a woman might clean her house
Ere her lover come to visit her:
O Lover, pass not by!

I have opened the door of my heart
Like a man that would make a feast
For his son’s coming home from afar:
Lovely Thy coming, O Son!

Some time later I was going home in the London Underground late at night. Two young people sat opposite me, locked in an embrace which was as passionate as you can get when there is a seat-divider between you. As we clicked our way down the line, she told him he was beautiful and she loved him. He repeated it to her at the next station, and she lobbed the words back at him before we had scarcely moved. A woman in the carriage sighed, looked at them, and sighed again meaningfully at me.

I knew what she meant. It was repetitious and boring, and would never change. Somehow or other, those tired hackneyed words would be as fresh to the lovers at the end of the line as they had been boring for us at its beginning. If you are inside the experience, such repetition is fresh; if you are outside the experience, all words are stale.

I thought of my prayers…                

        Rabbi Lionel Blue

  

I HAVE SEEN THE LORD!

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’…

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ 14When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ 16Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” ’ 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

From John 20

  

In the East Window of Glasnevin Church we see the Risen Lord with Mary Magdalene. This personal encounter of love forms the backdrop to the Lord’s Table and the Holy Communion.

  •  Here Christ calls us by name.
  • Here we experience his resurrection and ours.
  • Here sinners are welcomed and made whole.
  • From here we go into the world to proclaim “I have seen the Lord”.

 

A SONG FOR MARY MAGDALENE     P.H. Pearse

 O woman of the gleaming hair,

(Wild hair that won men’s gaze to thee)

Weary thou turnest from the common stare,

For the shuiler Christ is calling thee.
O woman of the snowy side,

Many a lover hath lain with thee,

Yet left thee sad at the morning tide,

But thy lover Christ shall comfort thee.
O woman with the wild thing’s heart,

Old sin hath set a snare for thee:

In the forest ways forspent thou art

But the hunter Christ shall pity thee.

 

O woman spendthrift of thyself,

Spendthrift of all the love in thee,

Sold unto sin for little pelf,

The captain Christ shall ransom thee.
O woman that no lover’s kiss

(Tho’ many a kiss was given thee)

Could slake thy love, is it not for this

The hero Christ shall die for thee?

1.Take this moment, sign and space;   

Take my friends around;          

Here among us make the place

Where your love is found.                  

2. Take the time to call my name, 

Take the time to mend

Who I am and what I’ve been, All I’ve failed to tend.

3. Take the tiredness of my days,                     

Take my past regret;                                    

Letting your forgiveness touch

All I can’t forget.                                                 

4. Take the little child in me,

Scared of growing old;

Help me here to find my worth

Made in Christ’s own mould.

5. Take my talents, take my skills,

Take what’s yet to be;

Let my life be yours, and yet

Let it still be me.                                                                                                   John Bell

 

 

Christ rising was indeed such a gardener, and that a strange one, who made such an herb grow out of the ground this day as the like was never seen before, a dead body to shoot forth alive out of the grave.

But I ask, was he so this day alone? No, but this profession of his, this day begun, he will follow to the end. For he it is that by virtue of this morning’s act shall garden our bodies too, turn all our graves into garden plots; yea, shall one day turn land and sea and all into a great garden, and so husband them as they shall in due time bring forth live bodies, even all our bodies alive again.

Mary Magdalene standing by the grave’s side, and there weeping, is brought to represent unto us the state of all mankind before this day, the day of Christ’s rising again, weeping over the dead. But Christ quickened her, and her spirits that were good as dead. You thought you should have come to Christ’s resurrection today, and so you do. But not to his alone, but even to Mary Magdalene’s resurrection too. For in very deed a kind of resurrection it was was wrought in her; revived as it were, and raised from a dead and drooping, to a lively and cheerful estate. The gardener had done his part, made her all green on the sudden.

From Bishop Lancelot Andrewes, Easter Sermon 1620

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Here are some of the materials used at our Lenten Quiet Hour this afternoon in Finglas.

THE POWER OF SILENCE

One Thursday, I passed a Quaker meeting house, when a meeting was about to take place. It was not for undergraduates who came on Sunday but for Quaker farmers in the country round about. I walked in, sat down, and was sucked into the silence. It is the only mystery the Quakers possess, but it is a very powerful one. Some people got up from time to time and said the normal things, reminding the Almighty of the more distressing current events as if He did not know them. I did not bother about them. I wanted to go deeper into that silence, because I knew that something was in it. It was the same silence I had felt in synagogue after my Bar Mitzvah. I had picked up an old thread, and I was jolly well going to follow it and unravel it. I attended that meeting every week for about two months, and the silence became deeper and more profound. It began to have a face, a personality and a voice.

 From A Backdoor to Heaven – Rabbi Lionel Blue

 

MARY HAS CHOSEN THE BETTER PART

 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’

 Luke 10:38-42

The East Window in Finglas Church shows Martha and Mary with Jesus; traditionally the two sides of Christian life, active service and quiet contemplation. Forming the backdrop to the altar, it suggests that both adoration and action are fruits of the Eucharist.

Can we imagine ourselves offering hospitality to Jesus? Receiving his hospitality? Attending to him and serving him in the people we meet?

 

Martha and Mary were friends of Jesus,

They loved him dearly, and he loved them

Martha was busy, serving his dinner.

Mary was quiet, listening to him

 

We must be busy, working for others.

We must be quiet, so we can pray:

Busy with Martha, quiet with Mary;

Always with Jesus, all through the day.

Mary Oswin

 

THE JESUS PRAYER

It can be hard to still ourselves – our minds race, our thoughts wander. It is helpful to sit comfortably and relaxed, and to allow our breathing to become regular. Reciting a simple prayer over and over can help to concentrate the mind. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46) is an example.

In the Eastern Church, the classic prayer that undergirds Orthodox spiritual practice is that which is called the “Jesus Prayer”, based on Luke 18:13.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Repeated slowly and attentively, the Jesus Prayer calms us and allows us to be open in humility to God’s love.

Bust of Jesus Christ

LOVE

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back
Guilty of dust and sin
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lack’d any thing.
A guest, I answer’d, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear, I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?
Truth, Lord, but I have marr’d them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat.
So I did sit and eat.

George Herbert

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The real Dean’s Vicar of St Patrick’s…

THE VICAR AND I WILL BE THERE
(Clifford Grey and Nat D. Ayer)

Dear friends, I’m the curate of Slushford-on-Creek.
My name is the Reverend Septimus Meek,
The Vicar and I work so hard as a rule.
To-day there’s a meeting at our Infant School,
  And the Vicar and I will be there,
  For we are an industrious pair.
The mothers of course at the meeting will be.
At twenty past two they’ll be handing out tea,
And a silver collection is taken at three,
  So the Vicar and I will be there.

I’m awfully sorry for poor Mrs. Jones.
They say she has terrible pains in her bones.
She lives all alone and she suffers, I fear,
But to-morrow some friends will be calling, I hear.
  And the Vicar and I will be there,
  For we are an industrious pair.
They will bring her much joy, she’ll forget all her pain.
With flowers and fruit she’ll be quite well again,
And the Squire is sending a crate of champagne,
  So the Vicar and I will be there.

Katherine Perkins is our village belle.
I fear me alas — still no matter — ah, well—
But let us rejoice, for this maiden serene
Will be married to-morrow to Samuel Green,
  And the Vicar and I will be there,
  For we are an industrious pair.
The bride will look sweet as she walks down the floor,
But still in the throng – though the fact she’ll ignore,
Will be several fellows who’ve kissed her before,
  And the Vicar and I will be there.

The Town Hall next week we have taken, you see.
We are giving the wounded some afternoon tea.
And Lady Fitzgargle — you’ve heard her before—
Is giving us music from three until four,
  And the Vicar and I will be there,
  For we are an industrious pair.
She means very well, but she’s hardly a Star,
And soon as she sings and they hear her afar,
Quite a lot of those boys will retreat to the bar,
  And the Vicar and I will be there.

Words by Clifford Grey
Music by Nat D. Ayer
(1919)

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This Wednesday, March 9th, is the First Day of Lent. The Eucharist will be celebrated in Finglas at 10.30 a.m. and in Santry at 8 p.m. There will be a school service in Glasnevin at 11.30 a.m.

I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you – I am no more worthy to be your son.

My son was dead, and is alive again; was lost, and is found.

Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Collect

Almighty Father, whose Son was revealed in majesty before he suffered death upon the cross: Give us grace to perceive his glory, that we may be strengthened to suffer with him and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory; who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

First Reading: Exodus 24: 12-18

The Lord said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.’ So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. To the elders he had said, ‘Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.’

Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

 

Psalm 99

1 The Lord is king: let the |peoples |tremble; * he is enthroned above the cherubim: |let the |earth |shake.

2 The Lord is |great in |Zion * and |high a|bove all |peoples.

3 Let them praise your name, which is |great and |awesome; * the |Lord our |God is |holy.

4 Mighty king, who loves justice, you have es|tablished |equity; * you have executed |justice and |righteousness in |Jacob.

5† Exalt the |Lord our |God; * bow down before his |footstool, for |he is |holy.

6 Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among those who |call upon his |name; * they called upon the |Lord |and he |answered them.

7 He spoke to them out of the |pillar of |cloud; * they kept his testimonies |and the |law• that he |gave them.

8 You answered them, O |Lord our |God; * you were a God who forgave them, and |pardoned •them for |their of|fences.

9 Exalt the Lord our God, and worship him upon his |holy |hill, * for the |Lord our |God is |holy.

 

Glory to the Father and |to the |Son * and |to the |Holy |Spirit;

As it was in the be|ginning, is |now * and shall be for |ever. |A-|men.

 

Second Reading: 2 Peter 1: 16-21

Eyewitnesses of Christ’s Glory

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honour and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.

So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

 

Gospel: Matthew 17: 1-9       The Transfiguration

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, ‘Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.’

 

Post Communion Prayer

Holy God, we see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ. May we who are partakers at his table reflect his life in word and deed, that all the world may know his power to change and save. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

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