Friday, May 6, 2016

St. James Anglican Cathedral: Daughters Of The Holy Cross

Fr. Dale Matson

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Daughters Of The Holy Cross

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Every time the Daughters of the Holy Cross (DOHC) send me minutes of their meetings or emails of the names of those requesting prayer, I am amazed at the extent of suffering of my brothers and sisters in Christ. We are not a young congregation and health challenges come all too frequently. The extent of this suffering is more often than not, unknown to our faith community at St. James Cathedral unless these names are included in the Prayers of the people. There is no family left untouched by tragedy.

Because their chapter is at the Cathedral, these women are known as the Bishop’s Chapter and are concerned with the lives of those in the entire Diocese. You know who these ladies are by the cross they wear which is symbolic of their ministry.

This suffering includes the daughters themselves who are mature in the faith and oft-wounded veterans of spiritual warfare themselves. Many of the DOHC members are what I would call “citizen soldiers”. They have family responsibilities that require their attention also and serve the congregation in various other ways. They are women living in community under vows but not under a convent roof. They are our faith firewall.

We know from Scripture that the prayers of the saints rise as incense to Heaven and are collected in golden bowls. (Revelation 5:8). Heaven needs lots of bowls.

Their intercessory prayers on our behalf are like the Holy Spirit. “And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26). If the saints of St. James only knew how much their lives are supported by the safety net provided by the DOHC prayers!

I cannot say enough how much their intercessory prayers undergird the mission of our faith community, protect from attack and harm our clergy and prevent the evil one from entering the hearts of the faithful. Personally, their prayers have helped empower my sermons, strengthen me in sickness, and helped heal me after medical interventions.

Their prayers have helped guide the hands of medical personnel, softened the hearts and minds of those trapped in unforgiveness toward others and self and moved the unrepentant sinner toward repentance. Their prayers have helped loosen the bonds of those trapped in addiction. Their prayers have given the resolve to abused women to end the desecration of their body, the temple of the Holy Spirit.

They are exhorters who encourage the timid, affirm the clergy and provide an ear to those who are neglected and abandoned. They see with the eyes of faith and are able through prayer to “…call things that are not as though they were.” (Romans 4:17b)

If the lay congregants are the mainsail and the clergy the spinnaker, the DOHC are the jib as we sail the uncharted sea of faith.

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Thank you from all of us and may God continue to richly bless your ministry.

For those who may be interested, here is a link to the national organization.  

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