Knights Templar

The Grand Priory of Knights Templar in the United Kingdom

       
       

Weekly Prayers

Grand Priory of Knights Templar in the United Kingdom

From the Office of the Grand Priory Chaplains

Fr. Malcolm Lockey               Week beginning 9th Dec.2018.

If we look at the shops, adverts and houses in our streets, it seems Christmas has already arrived. In some places preparations began as early as mid-summer with adverts imploring us to arrange our Christmas functions in this that or the other hotel. This year it seems to me that the coming festivities are accompanied by lots of grumbling about expense and the need to be nice to one another resulting in ever increasing levels of stress and unhappiness which masks any sense of joy or indeed any real understanding of what this season is really about. And if we mention the word Advent most people won’t know what we’re talking about. Sadly these days few people know anything about the Christian year and the significance of these all important seasons of preparation. If we mention that this time of Advent is a time of preparation, of watchfulness, of penitence, of taking stock and reflecting on how we are preparing to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus and also a time to reflect on our preparedness to meet Christ at the end of time, most people would walk away shaking their heads and telling us to ‘get real’.

But that is what this reflective season is really all about. Even in this midst of all our frantic activity we are meant to stop, reflect in order to make sure that we are truly ready to greet the coming of Christ into the world. But let’s not forget that Bethlehem was also so frantic and busy that the Holy Family couldn’t find a room in which to stay! But I think there’s more that we can do or be.

In the prayer book that I use [Common Worship Daily Prayer] there’s an opening prayer for Advent Morning Prayer that says – ‘As we look for your coming among is this day, open our eyes to behold your presence and strengthen our hands to do your will, that the world may rejoice and give you praise’ For me, these are wonderful words on which to reflect as I begin the day. They remind us that our Lord is at work within the world here and now, we’ve ‘simply’ got to see and recognise Him. And as on that first Christmas Day we are most likely to find Him in the most unlikely of places among the most unlikely of people. The second increasingly important part of that vital sentence is the part about our hands doing the Lord’s will each and every day in the hope that we may make Christ real to others who know little or nothing about Him.

The American Trappist monk Thomas Merton was once criticised after giving a lecture for not saying anything about converting people. His reply was as follows ‘What we are asked to do at present is not so much to speak of Christ as to let Him live in us so that people may find Him by feeling how He lives in us’. Contemplate on those words as we continue our Advent journey.

Let us remember at this time of the Advent season the hungry, the homeless, refugees, suicidal, the desperate. And those on our Templar prayer list.

Pray also my Brothers and Sisters, for Christians persecuted because they are in a minority in their own countries, and not forgetting those who feel unwanted within their own Churches worldwide.

With love and prayers,

Fr Malcolm