Faith Daily |15 June 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 526
Father, we praise you,
that through your Word and Holy Spirit
you created all things;
you reveal your salvation in all the world
through Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh;
through your Holy Spirit you give us a share
in your life and love:
fill us with the vision of your glory,
that we may always serve and praise you,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18
‘Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 ‘So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
5 ‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
16 ‘And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Rev’d Jan
I am contributing for Leanne Hallas today, as she is in hospital again, facing surgery. Please keep her in your prayers.
Familiar words from Jesus/Matthew’s Gospel – we hear them every Ash Wednesday. Today is also the day we remember EVELYN UNDERHILL (d.1941), English spiritual writer and mystic. The quote below, it seems to me, very much speaks to today’s gospel as well:
“Eternity is with us, inviting our contemplation perpetually, but we are too frightened, lazy, and suspicious to respond; too arrogant to still our thought, and let divine sensation have its way. It needs industry and goodwill if we would make that transition; for the process involves a veritable spring-cleaning of the soul, a turning-out and rearrangement of our mental furniture, a wide opening of closed windows, that the notes of the wild birds beyond our garden may come to us fully charged with wonder and freshness, and drown with their music the noise of the gramaphone within. Those who do this, discover that they have lived in a stuffy world, whilst their inheritance was a world of morning-glory:where every tit-mouse is a celestial messenger, and every thrusting bud is charged with the full significance of life.”
― Evelyn Underhill, Practical Mysticism: A Little Book for Normal People
I conclude with Underhill’s ‘prayer on Prayer’ – it is longish, but I could not decide which verses to not leave with you! As we yield to prayer……
FINAL PRAYER Evelyn Underhill “Prayer”
When the soul yields to prayer The gate made of jacinth Swings, stands ajar. Scents out of heavenly places Storm the sad air On the gale that blows in the unmeasured spaces Which link star to star. Eyes shut to the landscape here where we are Open elsewhere When the soul yields to prayer. The soul deep in prayer As a hyacinth Stretcheth forth from its pillar of bloom Feelers of fragrance unseen To the edge of the room. So, held still and serene, Of its outpouring gift unaware, With radiance redeeming the gloom, With sweetness assaulting the air, Is the soul deep in prayer. In the triumph of prayer Twofold is the spell. With the folding of hands There's a spreading of wings. And the soul's lifted up to invisible lands And ineffable peace. Yet it knows, being there, That it's close to the heart of all pitiful things; And it loses and finds, and it gives and demands; For its life is divine, it must love, it must share In the triumph of prayer. In the anguish of prayer It is well! it is well! Then only the victory of love is complete, When the soul on the cross Dies to all save its loss. When in utmost defeat The light that was fair And the friend who was sweet Flee away, then the truth of its love is laid bare In the anguish of prayer.