Bishop Mark Lawrence: Ash Wednesday Meditations at TSM, Feb 2012 (UPDATED)

March 19, 2012

Just discovered that the TSM website has two audio files with Bp. Mark Lawrence’s 2012 Ash Wednesday reflections at the TSM Chapel.

Meditation 1

Meditation 2

Ok, sure, we’re already a month into Lent…!  But in my book, it is ALWAYS worth listening to +Mark Lawrence preach.


Update:  I’ve now listened to the first meditation in full.  These are LONG meaty reflections (The first is perhaps about 45 minutes).  They are definitely appropriate for listening ANY time in Lent, not just Ash Wednesday.  These could make good Holy Week / Good Friday meditations.

Update 2:  I’ve now been alerted that there is a description of +Mark Lawrence’s meditations and the TSM Ash Wed. Quiet Day.

Read the details here.

+Mark Lawrence also preached a Chapel Sermon that day.  Here’s the link.

Lent Quotes – Amy Carmichael: ALL His ways are loving & faithful

March 19, 2012

I found this wonderful reflection on Psalm 25 by Amy Carmichael, one of my favorite authors, sometime in the past two weeks while browsing for Lenten devotionals online.  I discovered it at a blog called Barnstorming.

All the paths of the Lord are loving and faithful
Psalm 25:10

“All does not mean ‘all – except the paths I am walking in now,’
or ‘nearly all – except this especially difficult and painful path.’
All must mean all.
So, your path with its unexplained sorrow or turmoil,
and mine with its sharp flints and briers –
and both our paths,
with their unexplained perplexity,
their sheer mystery – they are His paths,
on which he will show Himself loving and faithful.
Nothing else; nothing less.
Amy Carmichael–Anglican missionary to India 1867-1951

The full entry (with some reflection on Amy Carmichael’s words) is here.

There are many wonderful and rich Lenten meditations at this blog.  Take some time to browse the blog’s Lent category.

A reflection on a Lenten collect

March 19, 2012

Within the past few days, I discovered the blog The Rector’s Corner, by the rector of St. Timothy’s Episcopal church in Salem Oregon.  His blog includes a number of excellent posts from Classical Anglican sources, and some excellent Lenten posts.

His March 16th reflection on the Collect for Friday in the Third Week of Lent struck me as being very worth posting here:

Grant us, O Lord our Strength, a true love of your holy Name; so that, trusting in your grace, we may fear no earthly evil, nor fix our hearts on earthly goods, but may rejoice in your full salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
This prayer contains a number of wise observations. We are reminded that God alone is our strength: our will-power, our resolve, our education, or our self-righteousness will never be enough. We pray for a true love—not an intellectual mastery—of God’s holy Name. That Name is the gateway into a life of being in its fullest sense, serving, loving, and growing. Such a love will confront all that is false and hopeless in our life, and two examples are given here: our fears and greed.


Lent gives as the opportunity to come back to an open-minded and humble honesty about ourselves. We learn again that pointing the finger in judgment of others or denying the reality of our own failure to “commend the faith that is in us” (as the Ash Wednesday liturgy, following on 1 Peter 3:15, so aptly puts it) is both useless and sinful. It is only when we can speak freely before God of our need, our poverty, our unfaithfulness, that room is made for grace to fill us up and act through us as agents of the Gospel.

Having re-oriented us to reality (the real measure of humility), the above collect’s logic points us to Easter: it is only by calling upon God’s grace to open our eyes to the reality within and without us that we will be able to “rejoice in full salvation” from God. There is no other way. Anything less than this will be a man-made imitation and simply a repetition of all the failed ideologies, programs, “decades of evangelism,” and vain substitutes for the Gospel gone before us. Pray that that we may “embrace and ever hold fast” the vision this simple Lenten collect sets before us.

The full reflection is here.

Daily Lenten Poems

March 19, 2012

In my Google searching last week dedicated to beefing up our listing of explicitly ANGLICAN Lenten devotional resources, I came across a blog by a priest in the Church of Ireland, the Rev. Patrick Comerford, canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.

For Lent 2012, he has been posting daily poems with some background details about the poems as well as some devotional reflections and prayers that tie in with the poem or the lectionary.

I’ve not read all of the 23 poems he has so far posted, but here are links to a few of my favorites:

Holy Cross, by Sir Shane Leslie

Confession (O What a cunning guest), by George Herbert


Lenten Communion by Katharine Tynan

this last poem I’ve linked is so lovely and powerful, that I can’t help but post it in full here – it seems very appropriate in mid-Lent when we might be feeling the need for rest & refreshing, just as the poet imagines our Lord needed refreshing on His journey to the Cross:

Rest in a friend’s house, Dear, I pray:
The way is long to Good Friday,
And very chill and grey the way.

No crocus with its shining cup,
Nor the gold daffodil is up, –
Nothing is here save the snowdrop.

Sit down with me and taste good cheer:
Too soon, too soon, Thy Passion’s here;
The wind is keen and the skies drear.

Sit by my fire and break my bread.
Yea, from Thy dish may I be fed,
And under Thy feet my hair spread!

Lord, in the quiet, chill and sweet,
Let me pour water for Thy feet,
While the crowd goes by in the Street.

Why wouldst Thou dream of spear or sword,
Or of the ingrate rabble, Lord?
There is no sound save the song of a bird.

Let us sit down and talk at ease
About Thy Father’s business.
(What shouts were those borne on the breeze?)

Nay, Lord, it cannot be for Thee
They raise the tallest cross of the three
On yon dark Mount of Calvary!

So soon, so soon, the hour’s flown!
The glory’s dying: Thou art gone
Out on Thy lonely way, alone.

Although I’ve posted the entire poem, if you read the full blog entry, there is more about the author and the writing of the poem, as well as some devotional thoughts.

UPDATE:  We’ve now compiled a full list of all 43 poems posted by Patrick Comerford in Lent 2012.

Mark 7:32-37

March 19, 2012

Then they brought to him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged him to put his hand on him. (Mark 7:32)
      Lord, your church as a speech impediment and does not proclaim the gospel clearly. Put your hand on us and set us free to do the work you have called us to.

And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers in his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. (Mark 7:33)
      Jesus, take each of us aside and put your finger in our ears so that we may clearly hear you and touch our tongues so that they may speak your word.

Then, looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” (Mark 7:34)
      Jesus, please speak that word — “Be opened.” — to each of us. Help us to be open to what you are doing now.

Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. (Mark 7:35)
      Holy Spirit, immediately open our ears and loose our tongues to praise Jesus and speak the gospel clearly.

Then he commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more he commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it. (Mark 7:36)
      Father, please help each of us know when it is time to speak and when it is time to be silent.

And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” (Mark 7:37)
      Jesus, you do all things well. Make your deaf church hear and your silent people proclaim the gospel. Thank you.

(John 6:4-0) A word received: I long for my people to look to me for help in their time of need.

Monday: 89:1-18 * 89:19-52; Gen. 49:1-28: 1 Cor. 10:14-11:1: Mark 7:24-37
Tuesday: 97, 99, [100] * 94, [95]; Gen. 49:29-50:14: 1 Cor. 11:17-34: Mark 8:1-10

      Notes from the Front Line

***** Start now reading and reflecting on the lessons for Sunday so that you can receive all that God has for you (John 12:20-33; Hebrews 5:(1-4)5-10; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51 or 51:11-16).

***** Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2012
From: Nigel Mumford
Subject: Daily Quote…
      Lions, tigers and bears,
      Oh my!
      Angels, archangels and the whole company of heaven…
      Oh Wow…
      Does it get any better?

Albany Intercessor

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