Grace in the Midst of Trial

We've never lived through a time of trial quite like this one, as we cope with the global spread of coronavirus. Yet our faith promises that God not only companions us through trial, but even can redeem it, through the incredible power of grace.

During this challenging time, we Brothers wanted to share from our own tradition resources and practices for living well which have been sources of grace to us – and countless generations before us. We hope that these resources will sustain you, inspire you, and help you discover grace in the midst of trial.

Grace in the midst of trial

Lamps of a heavenly wisdom

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.”[1] Dear Friends, This past…

And he answered me

Dear friends, It has been such a comfort, in these unsettled and tense days, for us Brothers to maintain our practice of praying the Daily Office. The Psalms poetically reflect the fullness of the human experience: from praise, exultation, and celebration (126:1-2) to anger, disdain, and vengeance (59:12-14) to utter desperation, resignation, and helplessness (22:1-2), and…

Simple Acts

My dear Friends, It all began quite simply: with a letter mailed in Boston on 7 October, which arrived in Oxford sometime after. The letter caused quite a stir, because in a matter of days the recipient was on his way halfway around the world. The effect of that one letter is still felt here…

For all that has been – Thanks

Dear Friends, In these trying times, physically separated from one another, unable to participate in common worship, it is very tempting to lose heart and hope. Yet for the sake of our unity in Christ, we must resist this temptation. I am lately reminded of an incredible prayer by Dag Hammarskjöld, a Swedish diplomat and…

The Hope of Unknowing

Dear friends, Being a person today naturally means having hopes for tomorrow. We might hope for healing and comfort for ourselves or others. We might hope for an end to injustice, violence, and suffering. We might hope that tomorrow is a little better than today. Especially when today is a time of crisis and anxiety,…

Mother of Sorrows

My dear friends, As you can imagine, I have been reading the cards, letters, and notes that have been coming since the death of our Brother, David Allen. I have been immensely touched by your thoughtful words, and your care for us in the midst of this particular loss. Reflecting on this loss, and what…

Hope in God

Dear Friends in Christ, It is very possible that you are feeling exhausted and discouraged in the midst of the many crises we are facing now; especially here in the United States.  The deadly Covid-19 virus continues to claim thousands of lives, with failed businesses, massive unemployment and school closings following in its wake.  Unrest…

Enlarging Your Perspective

A story was aired on NPR’s “Kid Logic” of a very young boy on his first airplane flight. Soon after takeoff he turned to his mother and asked, “When do we start getting smaller?” Up to then, his experience of airplanes in flight was watching them shrink as they disappeared into the sky. The little…

Creeping

My dear friends: I recently rediscovered a quotation I had noted down in my common place book a number of years ago. Coming upon it the other day was like being reunited with an old familiar friend: the true pilgrim who has found the way says in his thankful heart, I will run when I…

Remember the words he has taught you

Dear Friends, I have been spending quite a lot of time with the Lord’s Prayer lately. It has become a regular feature in my own private prayer, and I have relished it more than I typically do when the brothers come together to pray in the chapel. I have seen much of what’s going on…