Thought for the Day : Thursday 7 May

Thought for the Day from Canon Bob Shaw of St Chad’s:

Readings: Exodus 34:1-10 & 27-35 and Luke 4:1-13

Next year I will be celebrating 50 years of priestly ministry in the Anglican Church. In preparation for my ordination in Ripon Cathedral I spent some days in retreat at the Convent of the Holy Rood in Middlesbrough. One of the sisters there gave me a little card on which some words of St Teresa of Avila were printed. I still treasure the card and have committed the message on it to memory because it continues to inspire me. My wife found encouragement from the same words during her student days. It was also a lovely surprise when I received a similar card from Katharine Salmon at the time of her licensing as a Reader at St. Chad’s.

It is called St Teresa’s Bookmark because according to tradition Teresa carried it around in her prayer book where it was found after her death in 1582. That was a long time ago but many people have followed Teresa’s example and, like me, have received spiritual strength and support by reading these words regularly. I encourage you to do the same and possibly commit the bookmark to memory in order to receive inspiration to guide you in these times of uncertainty.

You can discover more about St. Teresa’s life if you google ‘St Teresa’s Bookmark’ selecting options such as ‘A prayer for trust and patience’, and ‘Knights of the holy Eucharist’. Other saints may also be of help such as St. Francis of Assisi, or, closer to home, St Chad as well as St. Robert of Knaresborough of course, the patron saint of Yorkshire! Their witness has stood the test of time. In so many ways God gives us all the help we need to continue on our Christian pilgrimage.

The gift of music can also enrich our spirituality. I find Margaret Rizza’s choral music very helpful in this respect and I recommend her compositions in connection with St. Teresa’s bookmark.

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