Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Announcing a cure for depression!!!

When a priest is "installed" as the rector of a church, s/he is required to say this prayer;

O Lord my God, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; yet you have called your servant to stand in your house, and to serve at your altar. To you and to your service I devote myself, body, soul, and spirit. Fill my memory with the record of your mighty works; enlighten my understanding with the light of your Holy Spirit; and may all the desires of my heart and will center in what you would have me do. Make me an instrument of your salvation for the people entrusted to my care, and grant that I may faithfully administer your holy Sacraments, and by my life and teaching set forth your true and living Word. Be always with me in carrying out the duties of my ministry. In prayer, quicken my devotion; in praises, heighten my love and gratitude; in preaching, give me readiness of thought and expression; and grant that, by the clearness and brightness of your holy Word, all the world may be drawn into your blessed kingdom. All this I ask for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

When I stand at the altar, or sit in the church in a quiet moment these words come back to me. This prayer of oblation reminds us that it is not so much what God does for us that is critical, it is what we do for God and more especially what we do for God's people that matters more.

This wondrous prayer is a constant reminder that there is so much to do. This is not a duty. This is a joy. Remembering that just being alive is a gift, we cannot help but think that it is in the giving of life to others that great joy is to be found.

Depression is the common cold of the modern world. So is anxiety. I, no less than you, am subject to fits of depression and anxiety, but the best way I know to shake it off is to remember to give away all that I have; not of my money but of my life. This kind of giving is the greatest joy of my life, and is so easily forgotten. A prayer like the one above puts it all back in perspective. It is a wonderful prayer full of grace.

Best of all it is not just for ordained sorts like me, it is for the priesthood of all believers, folks of every way of life, believer and non believer alike, churchman and non-churchman as well. Give your life for others, and you will have joy; boundless joy!

Fr Paul

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