In preparation for the third session of the fifty-first Synod of our Diocese, I reflected on the writings of the three heroes of faith we commemorate during Synod week: St Teresa of Avila, Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer, and St Ignatius of Antioch. Here are the prayers I wrote based on their thoughts, which we will be using at the opening services of each session:
A prayer from the writings of Nicholas Ridley:
Grant us grace, O merciful Lord, to look beyond the things that are present, but with the eyes of our faith to behold the things that are everlasting in heaven: implant this vision in us, strengthen us to forgo the riches, honours and pleasures of this life and instead to bear Christ’s cross, so that, at the end, we may pass through the gate of death into everlasting life in your presence and be numbered with the chosen members of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
based on Nicholas Ridley’s Letter of Farewell ‘to the Prisoners in Christ’s Gospel’s cause (Letter XXXIII, October 1555)
A prayer from the writings of St Teresa of Avila:
Beloved Lord Jesus, your Kingdom is like hidden treasure and costly jewels: guide our hearts and show us the way to discover the beauty of heaven in the treasure of your Word, and the joy of heaven in the precious pearls of prayer and sacraments. Enlighten our paths that we may never enter the darkness of the evil one. Strengthen our trust and love for you that, when this life’s journey is past, we may fully surrender our souls into your hands, and there experience the peace that comes from knowing that your will for us is done. For you are alive and and give life, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one Lord, forever and ever. Amen.
based on St Teresa of Avila’s ‘Fifth Dwelling’ of The Interior Castle (1588)
A prayer from the writings of St Ignatius of Antioch:
Lord Jesus Christ, who prayed with your apostles that they may be one as you and the Father are one: grant us the gift of unity that, founded on your Word and the teaching of the apostles, we may prosper in body and spirit, and grow faith and love into your household on earth. Lead us according to your will, shield us from the assaults of the prince of this world, that we may enter your kingdom and there enjoy you, Our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for you are the source of our unity and our life, our beginning and our end. Amen.
based on St Ignatius’ Letter to the Magnesians, I and XIII.