30 December 2009

From the Anglican Patrimony

Introduction to the prayerbook Sursum Corda

t is an undoubted part of every Christian's duty to pray for others ; and, like many another duty, intercession is an ever widening one : it grows with the growth of the Church and her needs : it grows with the growing complexity of human society, as new classes and objects rise up to claim its help : it grows with the advance of human knowledge, as new mysteries of GOD's work and ways are revealed to us : it grows with every acceleration in locomotion, and every advance in intelligence -- in fact almost every step forward in civilisation seems to demand some correlative advance in intercessory prayer.

The duty of intercession is also an every widening element in each indiviudal life : as a man's interests and experiences widen, so must his prayers : at first his horizon is narrow, limited to a small home circle : then he goes out into the larger world, and that too claims his intercessions : and bit by bit, as friends, acquaintances, and interests grow, he must keep pace with all this expansion, not only in the activity of his outer life, but also in all the hidden energy of his life or devotion and supplication.

Again, if he is a man of GOD, there must be a development in his view as to what is a proper subject for intercession : he begins, alas, too often with a narrow view : he does not see how centrifugal and wide-reaching is this power of intercessory prayer : he looks to other things to accomplish his objects, to advance his interests, and to fulfil many of his best projects. But gradually, as he is a man of GOD, he learns otherwise : he finds that he accomplishes more of GOD's purposes and of his own best hopes by a short quiet half-hour of prayer than by days of restless activity : he no longer denies a place in his intercessions to certain parts of his aims and desires on the ground that they are unsuitable subjects for prayer : on the contrary, he insists on finding a place there for them all, for he finds how prayer, far more than anything else, brings him into effective touch with the widest circles of his fellow-men, the largest range of human interests, and with his own best and highest aspirirations, no less than with the eternal purposes of GOD.
From the Introduction to Sursum Corda
W. H. Frere

The Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield

Easter, 1898

"THE HOLY GHOST is in us to make us Christ-like. He is in us to communicate life, as the 'Author and Giver of life.' He is in us to communicate Christ, to enable us to partake of Christ's Body and Blood. He is our never-failing Friend, our never-absent Companion."

The Reverend Arthur Williamson, D.D.

+Laus Deo.