At the Altar.
THE variety of choice names which have attached themselves to the Sacrament of the Altar bears witness to a wealth of character possessed by it that can never be exhausted. The Lord's Supper, the Holy Communion, the Eucharist, the Memorial Sacrifice--this it is and more. In this part of the Church one aspect is emphasized, in that another. Happy are they who have sufficient freedom and vision to shake themselves free from the unlovely spirit of exclusion that defends its own theological views by decrying those experimentally unknown to it, and who rejoice to find from year to year more and more of God in this parting gift of the Saviour to His friends! The different visions of the Eucharist do not war with one another. Each supplements the balance of them, and all together from the corona that adorns the brow of the King.
(a) O Christ of the Passion, who at the Last Supper didst bequeath to the Church a perpetual memorial of the sacrifice of the Cross, help us in this holy Sacrament steadfastly to contemplate Thy redeeming love, that we may ever be mindful of the price wherewith Thou hast bought us; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God world without end. Amen.
(b) O Christ of the Eucharist, who in a special manner dost manifest Thyself to Thy people in the Sacrament of Thy body and blood, make Thyself known to us in the breaking of the Bread, that by faith we may clearly see Thy form and humbly adore Thy presence, who art God forever and ever. Amen.
(c) O Living bread, that camest down from heaven to give abundant life to the world, in this Sacrament of the holy food, feed us with Thy body and Thy blood, that we may live in Thy life, labor in Thy strength and inherit Thy joy; who livest and reignest, God, world without end. Amen.
(d) Grant, O Son of God, that as Thou and the Father are one, so we Thy people may be bound together in Thee. Unite in mutual forbearance, loyalty, and brotherly kindness, us Thy brethren who are fellow-guests at this Thy table, that we, being moved by the common impulse of Thine eternal purpose, may promote the peace of Thy Kingdom in the daily interminglings of our common life; whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost we worship and glorify as God forever and ever. Amen.
GOD holds in His hand soundness for the body as well as wisdom for the mind and health for the soul. Christ's touch has still its ancient power. There can be no sufficient treatment of illness which does not give room for the personal ministrations of the Great Physician, or which fails to use prayer to the utmost. Wherever, or from whatever seeming cause, a cure is wrought, it is due to the Holy Spirit of God, the Giver of Life, imparting new power to the diseased body.
(a) Fold in Thy compassion, loving Jesus, those who are smitten with disease .. Lay a healing hand upon the wounds of their souls that inner peace may be their portion. Revive their failing strength and let life conquer death in their suffering bodies, that rejoicing in Thy mercy they may serve Thee with grateful hearts all their days upon earth. Amen.
(b) O Spirit of God, who are the life of men, destroy in us the seeds of disease and death that we may minister to our suffering fellows with unhealthy minds and sound bodies. Out of the abundance of Thy brightness dispel our shadows; with the fullness of Thy joys outweigh our sorrows; in the wealth of Thy providence bury our anxieties; that we may add to our skill those divine influences that further the work of healing and make us true servants and handmaidens of the Great Physician, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Absorbing Divine Vitality
WE must receive as well as ask. Reception is as true an output of energy as request. The nature must be opened not merely to the material medicine prescribed, but to the life that flows from God. Medicine is a symbol as well as a means, betokening God's remedial processes. No patient has so strong a hold on recovery as the one that uses every available agency toward health--accredited scientific treatment as well as faith that opens every pore of being to receive the life of God.
A Reverie before an Operation
WHO is so safe as he that is cared for wholly by God? The schemes and activities of our waking hours plunge us into multitudinous dangers. Then comes the night when our hands are folded and we leave it to God's vigilance to keep us from harm. Not only does He protect us, but while we sleep He instills new life into our veins, so that when we wake we are new creatures. Self-protection involves exhaustion; God's protection brings refreshment. He is safest who is altogether in God's hands.
I am about to surrender my body to His keeping, giving up my consciousness that He may the better do His work. I give back my body to its Creator that He may repair it. It is He that will draw the merciful ether veil across my eyes. It is He who will guide the surgeon's knife and open a saving wound through which will rush a tide of healing.
I am the Resurrection and the Life; he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die.