Often in the course of our weekday Morning Prayer the Church calendar commemorates a saint, or noteworthy person. Last week we remembered Richard, Bishop of Chichester who died on 16 June 1276.
I find it humbling and often inspiring to hear about the lives of people like Richard. I try to imagine what life must have been like for them, and the different kinds of challenges and opportunities they faced.
Amongst the features of his life of faith Richard was noted as a model diocesan bishop, travelling around Chichester diocese on foot and taking time to visit and care for his clergy and people. It seems that Richard decided time spent in this way was time well spent.
Perhaps Richard will be best know today for a prayer he wrote, and which is still said and appreciated by Christians all over the world. It captures not just the essence of Richard’s life and attitude, but the stance he longed the church would adopt too.
Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits thou hast given me,
for all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
may I know thee more clearly,
love thee more dearly,
and follow thee more nearly, day by day.