The Scraggly Bishop

“Day by day, dear Lord, of thee three things I pray: to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly, day by day.”

These words are attributed to Richard, Bishop of Chichester, 1253.

Richard was an impoverished orphan who became a small-town parson. Preaching and counselling were particular gifts of his and his fame soon spread. Against the wishes of King Henry III, Richard was consecrated as Bishop of Chichester. The king wouldn’t allow him to enter the cathedral or the bishop’s palace so for two years, he wandered around his diocese with bare feet and scraggly hair. He lived very simply on the charity of his flock.

Even when the quarrel with the king was patched up and Richard moved into the bishop’s palace, he continued to live almost as a beggar, fasting often and sleeping on the floor.

His words have echoed down the centuries, inspiring Christians like me. They became popular in 1971 in the musical, Godspell.

Today, I would like to make them the basis of my prayer.

Lord Jesus, I would like to know you better, to understand your heart. I would like to love you more and more each passing day and follow you more closely every day of my life. Amen.

This post is part of JusJoJan

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