Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Never cease to chant them

Common Worship begins daily prayers with Psalm 51.15 and Psalm 70.1 because Cranmer’s did in 1549.  Cranmer did because mediaeval monks did.  Mediaeval monks did because the Rule of St Benedict  told them to in about 530.  Benedict told them to read John Cassian to find out why.  Cassian wrote in about 400 about the earliest monks in the Egyptian desert from about 270 ceaselessly turning such verses over in their hearts .  Begin ‘Open our lips and fill them with your praise’ in case you are tempted to think that it is you who begin.   Continue ‘Come swiftly to my help’ because, as Cassian says, this verse has been picked from all scripture for this purpose, that the downcast do not despair of saving remedies and the spiritually successful are reminded that they cannot last without God; ‘do not cease to chant them’. 

The pictures of meadow flowers are from Mayflower Wood, Immingham on Saturday.  One of two full-time nature conservation officers who work for industry on the Humber bank showed us round, and it was particularly interesting to find out that such people exist; the wood is provided by the Oil Refinery next door to it.

The text is another of my attempts to provide answers for the Questions column in the Church Times and was published there last week, and draws on material included in this Blog before.

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