O Almighty God, who alone makest the minds of the faithful to be of one will: grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. – Collect for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, Divine Worship: The Missal.
‘Is there no fixed point on which we can concentrate our gaze and prevent ourselves from becoming completely dazzled and nauseated in the vortex of ceaseless change? Indeed there is. We pray that our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found. If the temporal world is always on the move, stability can be found in the eternal.
…[I]nstability is countered for the Christian by the fact that his true home is in heaven. There he has an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast. There is his fixed point, his absolute standard. So he learns to look not upon the things that are seen, but upon the things that are not seen. For the things that are seen are temporal but the things that are not seen are eternal.
To ensure this stability then we must have our hearts (our attention) fixed on the eternal abode where true and lasting joys are to be found. If this seems a somewhat vague and indefinite instruction, we are enlightened as to the way in which it can be done. We must learn to love what God commands and desire what he promises. The promises are not of much value to us if they only guarantee things that we do not find attractive. And since God’s promises cannot be altered we pray that our own disposition may be so developed that we actually like the things he commands and long for the things he promises.
In other words we need to have “the same mind that is in Christ Jesus”. If we can learn to think with his mind, we shall want, like him, the things his Father gives. Our affections and desires will be attuned to his will, and since it is his will that organises the universe we shall find in him all the stability there is’.
from Reflections on the Collects, 1964
by William Wand KCVO, 1885-1977 (Bishop of London 1945-1955)
Fr Lee Kenyon