Any junior school child will tell you what plants need to flourish: light, warmth, food and water. So what do humans require?
Catherine of Siena wrote:
The sun hears the fields talking about effort,
and the sun smiles and whispers to me,
‘Why don’t the fields just rest,
for I am willing to do everything to help them grow?’
Rest, my sweet ones, in prayer.
How shall we flourish, grow sweet blossom, bear fruit, bring forth life, resist evil? Remember that the fruit of the Spirit, like all fruit, comes without conscious effort. The lilies of the field do not toil or spin. If we rest in prayer we will flourish.
For centuries in the Church women have been excluded, marginalised, patronised and treated as the cause of sin and corruption. Yet they have contributed to the growth and holiness of the Church in myriad ways. How? Katherine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the US was asked how she maintained her resilience in all the adversity that she must face. Her answer: ‘I know that I am beloved’.
How shall we cultivate such resilience? By dwelling on what is good, and by a rigorous realism about what is.
Prayer for the day
God of life and growth,
entwine us with all
who work for the flourishing of your Church,
bringing to fruition Episcopal gifts
in those who are called:
both men and women.
Give us the will to dwell
on what is good,
the heart to know
the truth of your love,
and the mind to discern and live by what is just;
that all whom you cherish will bear good fruit
in the season of your Spirit.
Points for Prayer
remember the ways in which you are beloved – by God, by friends and family
pray for women you know who are living lives of honour and grace in difficult circumstances
pray for Provinces where there are already female Anglican bishops, that they may know today that they are beloved.
pray for goodness to abound at General Synod.
The WATCH Prayer
Gracious, loving Lord,
we look forward with hope and joyful anticipation
to the time when
men and women
can serve you,
and all people,
equally in every task
within your Church.
Thank you that every position held
and task done
is valued by you
your mission on earth.
Thank you Lord
for hearing our prayer.