Prayers & Meditations based on, inspired by or drawn from the writings of Michael Servetus (1511-1553)

At no time can you say, "The world is this; for before
you have finished saying it, the world has changed.

- Michael Servetus in 'Christianismi Restitutio'.

A chalice-lighting

We kindle this light,
symbol of the essential and primal light
that shone forth from the person of Jesus,
and those of all true messengers,
to flood our souls with God.

O God, who we see in the true saints and great souls of humankind,
whose Spirit burned in Jesus as in a lantern to show us the way,
help us to know that you are present everywhere in your creation.

In the very fruits of the earth, in the animals; in stones and pearls
and metals and all treasures, you are there.

You are in the showers and the clouds, in the thunder and the lightning, in the winds and the sunshine.
In the lion and the eagle, in the turtle and the dove, in the calf and the lamb and in all that lives,
you are there.
In people as they live and die, work and dance, sing and pray, rejoice and grieve.
In all you are there and always were, and - as we came to see - in him who showed to us your boundless love.


Breath of God,
Which we have breathed since the moment of our birth
and will breathe until the moment of our death,
we rest in quietness to feel your entry and your exit.

You bring us life,
entering our lungs, entering our blood; carried round our bodies, through our hearts, as they toil
without ceasing.
We rest in quietness to feel the circulation of the blood.

Spirit of God, coursing through our veins almost since the moment of conception,
enlivening our bodies and our souls and making us divine, open our
minds to your presence and our hearts to your love.


O Thou,
whose oneness includes and embraces all
that has been made and has come to be.

O Thou,
in whom all things are present and
who is present in all things.

O Thou,
in whom there is no division, a Divine Unity,
whose expression in humanity found focus
and symbol in Jesus, our brother;

Help us to know what it is to be God's child,
and so be fit vessels of your universal presence.


Whatever our quality of faith concerning God,
whatever name we use to praise the Ultimate,
whatever sacred way we claim to take,
whatever sage or prophet we invoke,
whatever avatar or epiphany we say commands our heart,
it will suffice - if we act rightly according to conscience.

At the last, may the testimony of conscience alone
witness to a life that healed and blessed the world
as best it could. And in that may we be granted peace.


In this season of the Fall,
we remember the true martyrs of our faith - and all faiths.

To the cross and the stake, the dungeon and the gas chamber;
to death by club and axe and bullet they went;
and with them went the One God,
fully present in all their human suffering,
fully present in all their human courage and integrity,
fully present in the love that binds us to them,
fully present in the process that brought us all out of nothingness.

O God who lives and makes us live,
who is the Spirit of all who live and die for human good,
may we know that you are One and we are One in you.


out of hell shall we
save that of our own making;

future judgement shall we

save that of our own conscience;

already with eternal

as we are, if we did but know it;

which might Jesus, Son of the Eternal God, conduct us

as we become aware of his Spirit's leading;

For he is of this eternal life author and

the Divine within ourselves and all creation.

Not out of hell shall we rise; nor future judgement shall we dread;
gifted already with eternal life.
To which might our most clement Lord Christ, Jesus, Son of God,
conduct us all, for he is, of this eternal life author and finisher.

- Michael Servetus in 'Christianismi Restitutio', 1553.

O Jesus, Son of the Eternal God, have pity on me.
- Michael Servetus at Champel, 27th October 1553.


O God,
you come to us in all the multifarious wonders of Nature,
yet you are One God.

O God,
you come to us in the infinite personalities of our one humanity,
yet you are One God.

O God,
you come to us in all the myriad promptings of love, all the
outpourings of creativity, all the strivings for one global commonwealth,
yet you are One God.

O God,
you come to us in all the great souls of our kind, in all who
have received your divine anointing inwardly done, and so
borne true witness to your Spirit,
yet you are One God.

O God,
you come to us in the fellowship and compassion that makes
of our variety one body, for you are One God, known and active
in so many ways, the binding, breathing Oneness of your creation.

At the Michael Servetus memorial, Geneva, 12th August 2003.

On a burning August day in Geneva,
in Champel, where Rosarie meets Beau-Sejour,
I felt the heat as I looked up at a hillside memorial,
thinking of him who felt a heat much greater,
who was burned here for his faith
and for my liberty to think and write and worship
as the Spirit leads.

May I be worthy of his sacrifice.

and remembering Servetus.

Can we forgive
his pride and his hardened heart
his betrayal of the way of Jesus?

Can we forgive
his bigoted hypocrisy
his theology of darkness and despair?

Can we forgive
him the pyre at Champel?

He judged another man's soul but we must not,
so we, who didn't know the secrets of his heart,
forgive him - and pray that God does too.

All the works of the Lord bless the one God.
- Michael Servetus in, 'On the Errors of the Trinity', 1531.

For our soul is a certain light of God,
a spark of the spirit of God, having an innate light of divinity.

- Michael Servetus in, 'Christianismi Restitutio', 1553.

All the works of the Lord bless the one God,
and praise rises from the beasts of the field and
the birds of the air; all that crawls on the earth
and swims in the waters.

All the works of the Lord bless the one God,
and prayers rise from Christian, Jew and Muslim;
acceptable are the devotions of all who worship
in love and humility.

All the works of the Lord bless the one God,
known to us in so many forms, so many dispositions.
We too are members and sharers in the Divine Unity,
called to be temples and instruments of the one Spirit.

And so we pray
that the spark and light of God will glow
brightly in our souls and in our lives.

I consider it a very serious matter to kill a man
simply because he may be mistaken in some question of interpretation of the scripture,
knowing that even the most knowledgeable ones may fall into error.

- Michael Servetus, in a letter.

Let us never kill someone
because we think them mistaken.

Let us never imprison or torture someone
because of a difference of opinion or interpretation.

Let us not even abuse or censure someone or impugn their character
because we think they have fallen into error.

We are so often mistaken, our own interpretation is so often flawed,
we are so often wrong about so many things.

Spirit of Humility,
save us from arrogance and spiritual pride,
save us from having a closed mind and a bigoted attitude.

Save us from mistaking our own malice for the will of God.
Remind us that the deepest evil is that which supposes itself virtuous.

TO A HERESY-HUNTERIt is an heretic that makes the fire,
Not she which burns in it.
William Shakespeare 'The Winter's Tale', II.3

You called him 'heretic'
and made the fire that burned him.
Not with your hands, perhaps,
but with your words and imprecations.

And yet you worshipped God,
whose other name is Love.
You said you followed One for whom that Love
meant mercy, pity, peace.

You called him 'heretic'
because he spoke the truth as heart and scripture taught him;
you whose certainty could show no mercy
though your faith required it.

I ask you now,
in love,
with all the centuries gone,
whose was the greater heresy?

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