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Hallo again to all.

It has been a week with one soundtrack. As we have read new blips about Mitregate, episcopal appointments in Southwark and Malawi, strife about women bishops and covenants, our daily lives have felt quite far from all of this. Instead, each day we have been reminded afresh that

New every morning is the love
Our wakening and uprising prove;
Through sleep and darkness safely brought,
Restored to life and power and thought.

Nor do we say this with any glib, dismissing attitude toward the importance of any of these matters in the life of the Anglican world we know and love so well. We have just been too focused by matters personal on the ways in which

New mercies, each returning day,
Hover around us while we pray;
New perils past, new sins forgiven,
New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.

These 'new thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven' have been forged, as is so often the case, in crises with a medical dimension: major surgery for a close friend on Monday, a high fever and summer 'flu for one of our editors over the last three days, and the impending death of a family member. This is all hard, and harder still coming at once for several of us, but somehow not crushing when read through the lenses given us by Keble of Hursley and Otterbourne:

If, on our daily course, our mind
Be set to hallow all we find,
New treasures still, of countless price,
God will provide for sacrifice.

There is something meet and right here, we hope: that in coming face to face with some of the worst difficulties our frail flesh can offer, the mind should go rather to the poetry and hymnody of our tradition rather than its all-too-familiar ecclesiomachy. For

Old friends, old scenes, will lovelier be,
As more of heaven in each we see;
Some softening gleam of love and prayer
Shall dawn on every cross and care.

Though we've read and sung these words dozens of times, and long ago committed them to memory, it is in a week such as the one just ended that we really learn their heft.

We need not bid, for cloistered cell,
Our neighbor and our words farewell,
Nor strive to find ourselves too high
For sinful man beneath the sky.

It's all right here in the midst of a normal week with normal tasks (link-finding, delighted LTTE-reading, sorting of messages from readers, and updating or correcting our listings) where we never left it:

AmenThe trivial round, the common task,
Will furnish all we ought to ask;
Room to deny ourselves, a road
To bring us daily nearer God.

Thankful, then, for a week through which we have been safely brought, and during which we have had such a rich soundtrack, we'll keep on singing it, or humming it, or whistling it—comforted and encouraged at the same time.

Only, O Lord, in thy dear love,
Fit us for perfect rest above,
And help us, this and every day,
To live more nearly as we pray.

See you next week.

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Last updated: 4 July 2010

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