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Posts Tagged "Jim Cotter":

O Rex Gentium: the Sixth Advent Antiphon – 22 December




O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.



O King of the Gentiles
and their desired One,
the Cornerstone that makes both one;
Come, and save humanity,
whom You formed from the dust of the earth.

Isaiah had prophesied:

  • For a child has been born for us, a son given us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
  • He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again. (Isaiah 2:4) .

Last month we celebrated Christ the King , and this antiphon partly looks back to that aspect of Christ’s divinity.


But it also, in the spare Latin text, recalls Christ as cornerstone. I like to think of this as a metaphor for  a turbulent wrestling match, say, where the referee finally grabs each contestant under an arm and talks sense into the opponents while he has their attention. At the end of 2016, it is not hard to think of several groups (Brexiters and Remainers, Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics etc etc) who might benefit from such an intervention.



But Christ is also our internal foundation, our support in surviving the dark times and the framework from which we can make the most of the good times.



John Cotter, in his ‘Expectations for Advent’ has two relevant verses (see above), which he suggests be sung to the tune of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel


Pedantic footnote

Some translations have ‘keystone’ (for an arch) rather than ‘cornerstone’ (to form a right-angle join). You don’t need to be a Latin scholar to work out that ‘angularis’ is not a keystone, which has quite a different implication. Christ is both the keystone, and the cornerstone of our existence, of course. He rose above language and grammar, I am sure.


Jim Cotter’s Prayers Inspired By Psalm 23


Shep01The Shepherd and the Host

That we and all human beings may draw close in friendship and in God.

Dear God, you sustain and feed me:
like a shepherd you guide me.
You lead me to an oasis of green,
to lie down by restful waters.
Quenching my thirst, you restore my life:
renewed and refreshed, I follow you,
a journey on the narrowest of paths.

ps23 001


Even when cliffs loom out of the mist,
my step is steady because of my trust.
Even when I go through the deepest valley,
with the shadow of darkness and death,
I shall fear no evil or harm
For you are with me to give me strength,
your crook, your staff, at my side.

Dwell in me that I may dwell in you.

Even in the midst of my troubles,
with the murmurs of those who disturb me,
I know I can feast in your presence.
You spread a banquet before me,
you anoint my head with oil,
you stoop to wash my feet,
you fill my cup to the brim.

Dwell in me that I may dwell in you.

Your loving kindness and mercy
will meet me every day of my life.
By your Spirit you dwell within me,
and in the whole world around me,
and I shall abide in your house,
content in your presence for ever.

Dwell in me that I may dwell in you.

Wise and loving shepherd, guiding your people in the ways of your truth, leading us through the waters of baptism, and nourishing us with the food of eternal life, keep us in your mercy, and so guide us through the perils of evil and depth, that we may know your joy at the heart of all things, both now and for ever.


Jim Cotter‘s death was announced in Holy Week. Simon Barrow’s memories of him can be read here. He published his own material, but was also published by Canterbury Press.

This is his description of himself on his website:

How can I sum up in a paragraph or two the common threads running through my adult and working life? I have been writing and speaking publicly for forty-five years, and haven’t stopped yet! I think I have been exploring, as a pilgrim soul, what it might mean to unfold afresh my spiritual and religious inheritance, and it has been both a personal and a public concern to try and connect that tradition with the experiences of being gay, undergoing two years of serious depression, and, more recently, living with leukaemia. In their time each of these has been a stigma, information that few people would wish to reveal when applying for a job. Hence much of my work has been as a free range writer, speaker, and publisher, sometimes precariously on the edge of organizations, though with much support and friendship from within them.

My hope is that the work will help those who are younger than I am both to renew their faith and to integrate it with their sexuality without getting depressed and without the stress which may well contribute to a cancer becoming symptomatic sooner than need be. And in that spirit I dedicate this new website to those who, in their generations, pioneered enlightenment, wisdom, and treatments, at no little cost to themselves, so that my life has been richer than it would otherwise have been.
Jim Cotter, Aberdaron

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