Archive for October 2010

Feast of Emily Malbone Morgan (February 26)   Leave a comment

Above:  Episcopal Shield

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

EMILY MALBONE MORGAN (1862-1937)

Founder of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross

The Biblical prophets said, among other things, that holiness (or the absence thereof) consists of what one does.   Hospitality is one of the virtues they associate with holiness.  The life of Emily Malbone Morgan reflects an understanding of this.

Morgan came from an Episcopalian family in Hartford, Connecticut, on December 10, 1862.  One brother became a prominent priest.  She devoted herself to simple living and knew the value of praying and of helping other women, whom she called together for prayer and companionship.  Beginning in 1889, she operated a series of vacation houses across the northeastern states for working women who needed to get away and rest, for the sake of spiritual renewal.  This effort was part of the ministry of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross, founded in 1884.

The Society opened its first permanent house, Adelynrood, in Byfield, Massachusetts, in 1901.  Today this is the headquarters and retreat center for the Society.  Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), of The Episcopal Church, states that the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross operates in six countries and has over seven hundred Companions, lay and ordained, all women.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 26, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALFRED THE GREAT, KING OF THE WEST SAXONS

THE FEAST OF CEDD, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF LONDON

THE FEAST OF DMITRY BORTNIANSKY, COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF PHILIP NICOLAI, JOHANN, HEERMANN, AND PAUL GERHARDT, HYMN WRITERS

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Gracious God, we thank you for the life and witness of Emily Malbone Morgan,

who helped to establish the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross

so that women who live in the world might devote themselves

to intercessory prayer, social justice, Christian unity, and simplicity of life.

Help us to follow her example in prayer, simplicity, ecumenism, and witness to your justice,

for the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ, who with you and

the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Exodus 1:15-21

Psalm 119:137-144

Romans 16:1-6

Luke 10:38-42

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 245

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Revised on December 8, 2016

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Advertisements

Feast of John Roberts (February 25)   Leave a comment

Above:  Episcopal Shield

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

THE REVEREND JOHN ROBERTS (1853-1949)

Episcopal Priest and Missionary to the Shoshone and Arapahoe Nations

The history of Christian missions among indigenous peoples includes ethnocentrism, racism, and the destruction of native cultures.  To destroy a culture is to leave many people without a stable moral compass, and to forbid the use of one’s tribal language is a crime against the people themselves and cultural anthropology.  Fortunately, however, many missionaries have cared deeply about and respected the people among whom they have worked.  The Reverend John Roberts was one of these shining lights in Christian missions.

Roberts, who hailed from Wales, became a priest in 1878, in the Bahamas.  Two years later, while in New York City, he contacted John Spaulding, Bishop of Wyoming and Colorado, who was recruiting missionaries to work among the native peoples within his diocese.  Roberts engaged in this work from 1883 to his death, in 1949.

Roberts began this ministry in Colorado but moved on to the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming by 1883.  There we worked among the Shoshone and Arapahoe nations, whose languages he learned.  His partner in life, love, and missions was Laura Brown, whom he married in 1884, and with whom he had six children, five of whom lived to adulthood.

Roberts gained the trust of the people and, in 1887, the Shoshone chief granted him permission to build a mission school for girls.  And the priest built more than that; he established congregations.  He was successful in large part because he respected the cultures of the Shoshone and Arapahoe nations, seeking to bring them to Christ, not to eradicate their heritage.

Once, more years ago than I wish to admit, I watched a program on a now-defunct religious cable television channel.  This was a documentary about Roman Catholic missionary work in a tribe somewhere in the western United States.  The program showed part of a Mass.  The priest, who was the only white person in the building, functioned as a sacramentalist; the tribesmen and women did everything else.  And the processional cross had eagle feathers attached to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  This was a high compliment in that culture.

Wouldn’t the world be a boring place if we were all the same?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 25, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ANGELINA AND SARAH GRIMKE, ABOLITIONISTS

THE FEAST OF VINCENT PRICE, ACTOR

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Creator God, we thank you for bringing your missionary John Roberts from his native land to live and teach your Gospel in a spirit of respect and amity among the Shoshone and Arapahoe peoples in their own language; and we pray that we may also share the Good News of your Christ with all we meet as friends brought together by your Holy Spirit; for you are the one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, living and true, to the ages.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 31:30-32; 4:6b-12a

Psalm 90:13-17

Acts 3:18-25

John 7:37-41a

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 243

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Revised on December 7, 2016

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Eric Liddell (February 22)   3 comments

Above:  Olympic Flag

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

ERIC LIDDELL (1902-1945)

Scottish Missionary and Martyr

There are two ways to stand up for what one believes:  properly (as in sacrifice) and improperly, which is to say, obnoxiously.  The life of Eric Liddell demonstrates the former.

Eric Liddell was a son of missionary parents in China.  He and his brother began to attend Elthan College, Blackheath, in England, when Eric was six years old.  This was a boarding school for the children of missionaries.  Today’s saint excelled at athletics, such as rugby and track, at Elthan.

Liddell joined his brother at the University of Edinburgh in 1921.  There he continued to run and to play rugby.  He became a noted track runner, going to the 1924 Summer Olympic Games.  Liddell won the gold medal in the 400 meter race and the bronze medal in the 100 meter race.  He could have won a medal in the 100 meter race, his best event in college, but he did not participate because that race was scheduled for a Sunday.  Liddell kept the Sabbath.

Liddell graduated from the University of Edinburgh and spent most of the rest of his life (1925-1943) as a missionary in China.  Ordained in 1932, he married Florence Mackenzie two years later.  They had three children, all daughters.

The Presbyterian missionary family suffered many hardships, for this was the time of the Second Sino-Japanese War, which expanded to become the Pacific Theater of World War II.  Liddell’s wife and children sought and found safety in Canada after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but he stayed behind to continue the good work.  The Japanese interned today’s saint at Weihsein in 1943.  There he died 1945, shortly before Allied forces liberated the camp.

The willing sacrifices of Eric Liddell brought glory to the Lord and Savior whose name he professed.  May we do likewise, each in our own way, as God leads us.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 25, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST AND ANGELINA AND SARAH GRIMKE, ABOLITIONISTS

THE FEAST OF VINCENT PRICE, ACTOR

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A link to the Eric Liddell Centre:

http://www.ericliddell.org/

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

God whose strength bears up as on mighty wings:  We rejoice in remembering your athlete and missionary, Eric Liddell, to whom you gave courage and resolution in contest and in captivity; and we pray that we may run with endurance the race that is set before us and persevere in patient witness, until we wear that crown of victory won for us by Jesus our Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 40:27-31

Psalm 18:21-25, 29-34

2 Peter 1:3-11

Mark 10:35-45

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Revised on December 5, 2016

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Blessed Guido di Pietro, a.k.a. Fra Angelico (February 18)   2 comments

The Day of Judgement, by St. Guido di Pietro (Fra Angelico)

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

BLESSED GUIDO DI PIETRO (1387-1455)

Roman Catholic Monk and Artist

“Why do we need miracles?  These are his miracles.”

–Pope John Paul II speaking of Fra Angelico’s paintings at the beatification ceremony, 1982

I remember attending a Lay Ministries Conference at Honey Creek, the camp and conference center of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, years ago.  (I attended several of these over time.)  The main speaker at one conference stated an obvious fact:  Much great religious art is Roman Catholic in origin, but very little of such art comes from Low Church Protestant quarters.  Iconoclastic tendencies account for this.  Indeed, Roman Catholicism is a profoundly visual form of Christianity.  And this art is an expression of deep faith.

St. Lawrence Receives the Treasures of the Church, by Fra Angelico

Such is the case with St. Guido di Pietro.  Born in Vicchio, Italy, Guido joined the Dominicans, where he received the nickname Fra Angelico, which means “Angelic Brother.”  He rose to become Prior of the monastery at Fiesole from 1449 to 1552, but the saint’s main legacy and expression of his faith and his holy life was his art.

The Transfiguration, by Fra Angelico

The saint painted exclusively religious subjects, for this was a form of prayer for him.  He painted murals for convents and the Vatican.  And he painted magnificent altar pieces.  And, centuries later, we who live today can admire the beauty and the craftsmanship of the art, as well as what informed it.

The Eastern Orthodox have a profound saying:  “Beauty will save the world.”  We all need beauty.  As I write this sentence I think about the cacophony of shouting matches that is much of the media:  talk radio, many weblogs and other websites, and much of what passes for cable news programming.  There, strong opinions and decibel levels (often in combination) are more highly praised than are objective reality and reasoned discussion.  We need beauty more than ever.  We need to turn off many media outlets, ignore loud and poorly-informed people, and be quiet.  We need to admire art and contemplate poetry.  We need to remember that God is found in quietness, not the sound of the whirlwind.  We need more people like Fra Angelico.

Beauty will save us, if we give it the chance to do so.  This beauty exists in both overtly religious art (of all formats, including music) and secular works.  How often have I melted into a Wagner opera or a Beethoven symphony?  Too many times to count.  And I have become one with some Shostakovich works.  I have found God in all these places (and many more very much like it), too.

Now, instead of choosing the standard collect and readings for an artist, as found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, the 2006 hymnal and worship book of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I provide my own.  Readings that have some bearing specifically on the saint are a better choice.

Beloved God, you are the Lord and Master of all that is beautiful and ennobling.  May we rejoice in the example of Fra Angelico and all others whose creative output is a form of prayer.  And may we encourage such prayer as we have opportunity to do so, and engage in ourselves, if you have called us to that good work.  For you are the sculptor of our talents, and we are your handiwork.  In the name of God, who continues to create.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9

Psalm 96

Philippians 4:4-9

Matthew 22:34-40

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 25, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ANGELINA AND SARAH GRIMKE, ABOLITIONISTS

THE FEAST OF VINCENT PRICE, ACTOR

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Revised on December 2, 2016

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Posted October 25, 2010 by neatnik2009 in February 11-20, Saints of the 1300s, Saints of the 1400s

Tagged with

Feast of St. Marie Adolphine Dierks (February 17)   Leave a comment

A Map of Asia in 1890

Image Source = Wikipedia

SAINT MARIE ADOLPHINE DIERKS (1866-1900)

Roman Catholic Nun, Missionary, and Martyr

Missionary work can be hazardous to one’s health, and can lead to death.  It has done so for many faithful people.  Among the honored dead missionaries may we remember St. Marie Adolphine Dierks.

The saint was born in Ossendrecht, The Netherlands.  She worked to support her family financially until that was no longer necessary.  Then she joined the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Antwerp in 1893.  The Franciscan Missionaries sent the saint and six other nuns to the Diocese of Shanxi, China.  There the sisters worked at a hospital and an orphanage.

Human history is replete with irrational and violent behavior.  Violent reaction to imperialism, especially foreign domination in one’s homeland, is predictable, as in the case of the Boxer Rebellion of 1900.  Yet the saint and her fellow nuns were not imperialists.  Nevertheless, they died by beheading.  Pope John Paul II canonized them in 2000, listing them among the Martyrs of China.

The martyred companions of St. Marie Adolphine Dierks were:

  1. St. Mary Clare
  2. St. Mary Amandina
  3. St. Mary Hermina of Jesus
  4. St. Mary of St. Justus
  5. St. Mary of Peace
  6. St. Mary of the Holy Birth

May their love of God and their fellow human beings inspire us to acts of love.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 22, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF BARTHOLOMEW ZOUBERBUHLER, ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF PAUL TILLICH, LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.  Inspire us with the memory of St. Marie Adolphine Dierks and her sister nuns, whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross, and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives by your Son’s victory over sin and death, for he lives and reigns with you and Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

Feast of St. Francis Serrano (February 17)   Leave a comment

A Modern Map of the Republic of the Philippines

Image Source = https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rp.html

SAINT FRANCIS SERRANO (1691-1748)

Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

St. Francis Serrano, born in Granada, Spain, became a Dominican priest.  In this capacity he traveled to the Philippines, then part of the Spanish Empire, in 1725.  From there he received an assignment to serve as a missionary to the Fujian region of China, in the southeast of that empire.  The saint was an effective missionary working in dangerous circumstances.  He had to disguise himself as a peasant so he could administer the sacraments in secret, for example.  Finally, in 1746, the dynastic authorities caught up with him and imprisoned him for 19 months.  The beat him so severely that they damaged his hearing during time.  They also branded his face.  The saint met his martyrdom by suffocation in his cell.

A Map of China in 1734

Image Source = Wikipedia

Pope John Paul II canonized St. Francis Serrano in 2000.

Today the government of the People’s Republic of China chafes against those Chinese Roman Catholics who follow the Vatican (not Beijing).  The Popes, to their credit, have not caved into the Chinese government’s control freak ways.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 22, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF BARTHOLOMEW ZOUBERBUHLER, ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF PAUL TILLICH, LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.  Inspire us with the memory of St. Francis Serrano, whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross, and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives by your Son’s victory over sin and death, for he lives and reigns with you and Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

Feast of Charles Freer Andrews (February 12)   Leave a comment

Above:  Map of India in 1900

Source = http://www.wmcarey.edu

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

THE REVEREND CHARLES FREER ANDREWS

Born in Birmingham, England, February 12, 1871

Died in Calcutta, India, April 5, 1940

Priest of the Church of England; known during his lifetime as “Christ’s Faithful Apostle” and “Friend of the Poor”

The history of Christian global missions has both glorious and shameful aspects.  On the negative side, many missionaries have carried their ethnocentric and racist views with them, functioning more as emissaries of their native imperial powers than as messengers for Jesus.  These individuals have alienated many people from the Gospel.  The study of history tells me that this style of foreign missions leads frequently to indigenous peoples identifying Christianity with imperialism, and therefore rejecting both Christ and the imperialists.  So the act of embracing whatever religion is indigenous becomes an indicator of national pride and anti-imperialism.    And the cross of Christ does not prevail in another foreign land.  This is quite unfortunate.

Yet many other missionaries have advocated for the rights of those to whom God has sent them.  Some of have died for the indigenous peoples.  Charles Freer Andrews did not die for this cause, but he did dedicate most of his adult life to it.  The Episcopal Church has placed his feast on February 12, but since I already have four people on that day, I have moved him up one  day.  And he is a fine addition to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

Above:  An Indian Stamp Bearing the Image of Charles Freer Andrews

Image Source = http://dailyoffice.wordpress.com/

Charles Freer Andrews became an Anglican priest in 1897.  The cause of social justice was an integral part of his faith, and the abuses of the native peoples of India at the hands of the British government concerned him.  So, in 1904, Andrews moved to Delhi, where he began to teach philosophy at St. Stephen’s College.  There he received the label Deenabandhu, which means, “Friend of the Poor.”  This was an apt title, for the priest was active in the Indian National Congress.  And, in 1913, Andrews mediated a settlement to a strike in Madras, thereby averting violence.

Andrews opposed violence, a point that caused him to disagree with his friend Mohandas K. Gandhi in 1918 when the latter participated in a military recruiting effort.  For Andrews, nonviolence was a principle not subject to compromise, even during time of war.  He did cooperate closely with Gandhi for many years, participating in negotiations with the British government and organizing an ashram. And, in India, Andrews opened a Hindu-Christian dialogue and advocated for the rights of the Dalits, or the Untouchables, arguing that they had rights, too.   Gandhi paid Andrews the highest possible compliment, calling him “Christ’s Faithful Apostle.”

Andrews also traveled to Fiji, in the South Pacific Ocean, multiple times during his life.  There he found social justice causes, too, advocating for the rights of exploited indentured workers and employees of sugar companies.  (The corporation controlled the lives of its workers, making them slaves of a sort.)

Andrews returned to England in 1935, accepting Gandhi’s suggestion that native-born Indians should lead the struggle for independence.  He did visit the subcontinent from time to time, though.  Andrews died during such a visit in 1940.

Sometimes circumstances present opportunities to do great things for God and our fellow human beings, and people, such as Charles Freer Andrews, accept the challenge.  The particulars of your call are not identical to mine or that of Charles Freer Andrews, but a principle is constant.  May I be “Christ’s Faithful Apostle” wherever God wants me to be, and may you be “Christ’s Faithful Apostle” wherever God wants you to be.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 22, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF BARTHOLOMEW ZOUBERBUHLER, ANGLICAN PRIEST

THE FEAST OF PAUL TILLICH, LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Gracious God, you called Charles Freer Andrews to empty himself, after the example of our Savior, so that he might proclaim your salvation to the peoples of India and the Pacific Islands:  By your Holy Spirit inspire us with like zeal to bring together people of every race and class, that there may be one Body and one Spirit in Jesus Christ, our Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 15:7-11

Psalm 113:2-8

Ephesians 2:13-22

Matthew 23:8-12

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 219

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Revised on November 30, 2016

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++