For Associates: Intercessions

Further to our prayer focus initiative these are some of the contributions we have received on the theme of Hope.

We hope these will inspire and encourage others to do the same.  The theme now is Forgiveness.
There is no need for illustration, although any form will be welcomed. Also poetry is not the only form of expression desired, recounting an experience, a prayer, a story, or an event.   Please feel free to be as creative as you like in expressing your reflection on the word chosen and send your contributions to Debbie Webb. debbieleek21@gmail.com 3 Castle Gardens, Letcombe Regis, OX12 9RQ

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SNOWDROP
The Snowdrop speaks her promise
As she gently bows her head.
With winter all around us she speaks of spring ahead
Her white and trembling bell
Calls us to stand strong,
For the light of her arrival,
Gives our heart its hopeful song.

Debbie Webb

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From The Darkling Thrush  

BY THOMAS HARDY    written 31st December, 1900

….

At once a voice arose among

      The bleak twigs overhead

In a full-hearted evensong

      Of joy illimited;

An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,

      In blast-beruffled plume,

Had chosen thus to fling his soul

      Upon the growing gloom.

 

So little cause for carolings

      Of such ecstatic sound

Was written on terrestrial things

      Afar or nigh around,

That I could think there trembled through

      His happy good-night air

Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew

      And I was unaware.

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This Breathless Earth

We bolted every door but even so

We couldn’t catch our breath for very fear:

Fear of their knocking at the gate below,

Fear that they’d find and kill us even here.

Though Mary’s tale had quickened all our hearts

Each fleeting hope just deepens your despair:

The panic grips again, the gasping starts,

The drowning, and the coming up for air.

Then suddenly, a different atmosphere,

A clarity of light, a strange release,

And, all unlooked for, Christ himself was there

Love in his eyes and on his lips, our peace.

So now we breathe again, sent forth, forgiven,

To bring this breathless earth a breath of heaven.

Malcolm Guite

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Prayers for after Easter

Voice 1:  It is some time now since Easter. Those were heady days. Our Risen Lord was fresh from his grave, and all creation sang a new song. But now April moves on, a new term’s work for some; several more months before the holidays; another late blast of winter; ordinary Sundays of ordinary worship; the dull hand of unexpectant prayer.

Voice 2:  Christians, think again. Why do you seek the living among the dead?

Voice 1:  Lord we must be looking in the wrong places. Open our eyes to see you, alive and smiling, in the heart of our worship, in the word of the preacher, in the lift of the music, in the taste of the sacrament. Help us stand on tiptoe as we listen, sing and pray. Knowing that at any moment we may be touched by your hand and raised up from our dull vision.

Voice 2:  Christians, think again. Why do you seek the living among the dead?

Voice 1:  The world is weary, and so soon after its Lord was raised.

There is heartache throughout the world in the ongoing pandemic and particularly in India and…..

There is conflict in so many places and particularly in matters of race, discrimination and …..

There is hunger and thirst, and huge inequality of provision

So soon we lose the Easter hope of a new creation, and a new people energized to love in the world’s dark places. We look at our past failures to cope and we expect more of the same. Teach us hope and give us joy as we dare to think new thoughts and devise new plans for your suffering children.

Voice 2:  Christians, think again. Why do you seek the living among the dead?

Voice 1: Forgive us, Lord, for our cynicism about politics and our politicians. We expect so little of them it is not surprising they live up to those expectations. Help us instead to seek the living amongst the living, living hope among living political systems. Make us prayerful and supportive of our politicians, especially now as they face such hard decisions and the impossibility of always getting things right and pleasing everyone.

Voice 2:  Christians, think again. Why do you seek the living among the dead?

Voice 1:  Lord, we often tell you how little you can do in a situation, asking you to bring a little comfort here and a little healing there. We seek your help in the dry world of our dead expectations. Instead we ask you at this time to be our living Lord in our living hope for the whole of you wonderful creation.

               Silent before you now, we pray for our special situations and special people, with expectancy in our prayers…………..

Voice 2:  Lord, we promise to think again. We will pray in hope and expectation. We will seek your living presence, not among the tombs, but in the bustling heart of life. And we know we will see you there, in Galilee, for you will be there before us. We will no more seek the living among the dead,

For you are risen. Alleluia!

 Almighty God, by your angel Gabriel you chose Mary to be the mother of our only Son Jesus Christ our Lord, filling her with grace and calling her blessed:  give to us who are gathered into one Community under her name, grace to walk in her footsteps; to be lowly, obedient, faithful, and to say in all things and at all times, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  Let it be to me according to your word.”  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Written by the Founder – William John Butler

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The Associates Steering Group will be praying for the Sisters CSMV and all Associates particularly at 12:30 and 5pm each day, the Sisters time for Sext and Vespers.  Perhaps you would like to join us wherever you are.

If you are feeling isolated or would like someone to talk to please feel free to contact one of the steering group.