Benefice of Harston, Hauxton and Newton

  • The Vicarage
  • Church Street
  • Harston
  • Cambs
  • CB22 7NP

01223 873284

Poems, Prayers and Photos


"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30,31)


For all whose day starts with anxiety,
as they leave the security of home
worrying about the risk of infection;
particularly those whose health
or age classifies them as vulnerable.
Loving God, be close, keep them safe,
along with all whose tasks today
includes the care of frail and elderly.
And for all of us, grant wisdom
to make sensible choices, not just
for ourselves, but for everybody.



Joy's photo

Photo by Joy


The virtue of hope is an orientation of the soul towards a transformation after which it will be wholly and exclusively love.

Gateway to God: Simone Weil


Anything that is found to stimulate hope should be seized upon  and made to serve. This applies  to a book, a film, a broadcast, or a conversation with someone who can impart it.

Considerations: Hubert van Zeller


Nr  Lindisfarne

On the St Cuthbert's Way pilgrimage



Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now, 
on trying to make the world
different than it is. 
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
 
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
 
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
 
Lynn Ungar 

The patient man is already experiencing a deep and healthful purging.  When he receives an injury, he is more distressed for the other's unkind thought than for the hurt he has received; he gladly prays for those who put obstacles in his path, forgives others their faults from his heart, and is not slow in seeking their forgiveness.  He is more ready to feel pity for others than anger, but his own feelings he often treats roughly, and he tries to keep his natural impulses obedient to his spirit.

The Imitation of Christ: Thomas a Kempis


Stream
On the St Cuthbert's Way


Lockdown – a reflection by Brother Richard Hendrick OFM Cap 

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

Brother Richard Hendrick, 13 March 2020


Forest edge

On the St Cuthbert's Way


Prayer for a Pandemic

May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home, remember those who have no work.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close, remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips remember those that have no place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market, remember those who have no margin at all. 

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home, remember those who have no home.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,

let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen. 


The View from the Window

Like a painting it is set before one,

But less brittle, ageless; these colours

Are renewed daily with variations

Of light and distance that no painter

Achieves or suggests.  Then there is movement,

Change, as lowly the cloud bruises

Are healed by sunlight, or snow caps

A black mood; but gold at evening

To cheer the heart.  All through history

The great brush has not rested,

Nor the paint dried; yet what eye,

Looking coolly, or, as we now,

Through the tears’ lenses, ever saw

This work and it was not finished?


R S Thomas

Trees



The Lamb

Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed,
By the stream & o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice:
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee

Little Lamb I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb I'll tell thee;
He is called by thy name
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee
Little Lamb God bless thee.

William Blake

You may like to listen to The Lamb, set to music by the late John Tavener, available on YouTube, sung by The Sixteen. 




The Shepherd
How sweet is the Shepherd's sweet lot!
From the morn to the evening he strays;
He shall follow his sheep all the day,
And his tongue shall be filled with praise.
 
For he hears the lamb's innocent call,
And he hears the ewe's tender reply;
He is watchful while they are in peace,
For they know when their Shepherd is nigh.
 
William Blake

 


St Cuthberts Cave

St Cuthbert's Cave, where it is reputed that St Cuthbert's coffin was hidden by monks to avoid a Viking raid.