Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Prayer to St Philip

This is the text from the prayer card we were given at the blessing with the relic of St Philip Neri at the end of Solemn First Vespers for his feast at the Oxford Oratory this evening:

Philip, my glorious Patron, gain for me a portion of that gift which thou hadst so abundantly.
Alas! Thy heart was burning with love; mine is all frozen towards God, and alive only for creatures. I love the world, which can never make me happy; my highest desire is to well off here below; my highest desire is to be well off here below.
O my God. when I learn to love nothing else but Thee?
Gain for me,O Philip, a pure love, a strong love, and an efficacious love, that, loving God here upon earth, I may enjoy the sight of Him together with thee and all the saints, hereafter in Heaven.

Bl. John Henry Newman (Novena to St Philip, May 18th Meditations and Devotions)

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