Archive for September 2015

Feast of Richard Rolle (January 19)   Leave a comment

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Above:  Richard Rolle

Image in the Public Domain

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RICHARD ROLLE (1290/1300-SEPTEMBER 29, 1349)

English Roman Catholic Spiritual Writer

Richard Rolle has at least two feast days.  The Episcopal Church celebrates his life on September 28 and adds two other saints–Walter Hilton (died circa 1396) and Margery Kempe (died circa 1440) to the mix.  I have chosen, however, to stay close to The Church of England’s practice of celebrating his life apart from those of Hilton and Kempe, and of doing so on January 20.  I booked January 20 fully, so I have moved Rolle’s feast day to January 19.

We know little about the early life of Richard Rolle.  Even the year of his birth is a matter of debate.  We do know, however, that he dropped out of Oxford at age 18 to become an ascetic and a hermit against his family’s wishes.  Rolle spent many years moving from hermitage to hermitage, converting a host of people along the way.  Finally he settled down outside the Cistercian Convent of St. Mary, Hampole, England, where he advised the nuns spiritually.  Rolle died at Hampole on September 29, 1349.

Our saint left an impressive written legacy in both English and Latin.  His Latin style was academic and his English prose style flowed nicely.  Rolle, who was steeped in the Bible, wrote commentaries on entire books of scripture (such as the Psalms and the Lamentations) and parts of other books (such as Job and the Song of Songs).  He also attracted a following of other spiritual writers, some of whose writings have proven difficult to tell apart from those of Rolle.  Tradition has falsely attributed The Pricke of Conscience to our saint, for example.  Rolle defended the contemplative life against critics and himself against those who accused him of promoting an overly subjective form of Christianity.  Our saint, who was well-versed in major theological works, composed both prose and poetry.  He advocated for solitude, physical self-control, and love of God.  Among his theological works were De Emendatione Vitae (The Mending of Life), Incendium Amoris (The Fire of Love)Ego Dormio, The Form of Perfect Living, and The Commandment of Love of God.

Part of the beauty of good theological writing is that, when it survives its authors, members of successive generations can benefit spiritually from it.  We who live in these times are fortunate that Rolle’s writings remain available.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT EMILY DE RODAT, FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE HOLY FAMILY OF VILLEFRANCHE

THE FEAST OF EDWARD BOUVERIE PUSEY, ANGLICAN PRIEST

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Gracious God, we give you thanks for the life and work of Richard Rolle,

hermit and mystic, who, passing through the cloud of unknowing, beheld the glory.

Help us, after his example, to see you more clearly and love you more dearly,

in the Name of Jesus Christ our Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Job 26:1-4

Psalm 63:1-8

Romans 11:33-12:2

Matthew 5:43-48

–Altered from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 611

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Posted September 18, 2015 by neatnik2009 in January, Saints of the 1300s

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Feast of St. Sava I (January 14)   Leave a comment

St. Sava I and Relatives

Above:  The Family Tree of St. Sava I

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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SAINT SAVA I (1169/1174-JANUARY 14, 1235/1236)

Founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church and First Archbishop of Serbs

A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989) lists our saint as “Sava, Founder and first Archbishop of the Serbian Church.”  I have listed him as St. Sava I, for his nephew, the third Archbishop of Serbs, was St. Sava II.

St. Sava

Above:  St. Sava I

Image in the Public Domain

St. Sava I came from Serbian royalty.  His father was Stephen I, founder of the Nemanja Dynasty (1166-1371) and Grand Prince of Serbia from 1166 to 1196.  Our saint’s mother was Anna, a noblewoman of uncertain origin.  According to one tradition her father was the Byzantine Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes (reigned 1067-1071), but chronological realities make that parentage impossible.  Our saint’s given name was Rastislav, or Rastko for short.  Prince Rastislav, the youngest of three sons, entered monastic life at Mt. Athos against his parents’ wishes at age 18 and took the name Sava.

There were excellent reasons for members of Serbian royalty to enter monastic life.  Stephen I struggled with the Byzantine Empire, to whose emperor he was a vassal during a portion of his reign.  Stephen I fought Byzantine forces and allied himself with the Second Bulgarian Empire.  He joined his son as a monk at Mt. Athos in 1196, taking the monastic name Simeon.  At the same time St. Sava I’s mother, Anna, entered convent and became Anastasia.  Father and son founded the monastery of Chilandari (or Hilandar) as the center of Serbian Orthodox theological studies.  St. Sava I’s parents died in 1200.  In time the Serbian Orthodox Church canonized both of them.  The former Grand Prince became St. Simeon the Myrrh-Streaming and his consort became St. Anastasia.

St. Sava I returned to Serbia in 1207/1208, repatriated his father’s remains in the process.  The immediate task was to make peace between his quarreling older brothers.  St. Sava I remained in his homeland until 1217, serving as archimandrite, or chief abbot.  Then he returned to Mt. Athos.

Balkans 1200 CE

Above:  The Balkans and Environs after 1204 Common Era

Map Source = Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1957)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

St. Sava I founded the independent Serbian Orthodox Church in 1219, after meeting with Byzantine Emperor Theodore I Laskaris (reigned 1208-1221) and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Manuel I Charitopoulos (reigned 1215-1222), then in exile at Nicaea.  Our saint became the first Archbishop of Serbs, a post he held until he retired in 1233.  He appointed bishops, all of whom were alumni of the Chilandari monastery.  He also ended the Serbian Church’s vacillation between allegiance to Rome and allegiance to Constantinople.  St. Sava I also encouraged the spread of education in Serbia and wrote the first original work of Serbian literature–a biography of his father.  Our saint also contended with the Bogomil heresy (900s-1400s), a form of Gnosticism.  Bogomils denied the Incarnation, baptism, the Eucharist, the priesthood, and the structure of the Orthodox Church.

St. Sava I, retired, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  He died during the return trip, at Turnovo, Bulgaria, on January 14, 1235/1236 Old Style.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT EMILY DE RODAT, FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE HOLY FAMILY OF VILLEFRANCHE

THE FEAST OF EDWARD BOUVERIE PUSEY, ANGLICAN PRIEST

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Almighty God, you have enlightened your Church

by the teaching of your servant St. Sava I;

enrich it evermore with your heavenly grace,

and raise up faithful witnesses, who by their life and teaching

may proclaim to all people the truth of your salvation;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Nehemiah 8:1-10

Psalm 34:11-17

1 Corinthians 2:6-16

Matthew 5:13-19

–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), page 684

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Revised on November 16, 2016

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Feast of Gladys Aylward (January 3)   2 comments

Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, AR) January 24, 1970 page 1

The Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, Arkansas), January 24, 1970, Page 1

Accessed via newspapers.com

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GLADYS AYLWARD (JULY 24, 1902-JANUARY 3, 1970)

Missionary in China and Taiwan

Gladys Aylward seemed like an unlikely candidate for missionary service.  She, a native of London, England, came from a working class family.  Aylward had gone to work as a maid at an early age, and her educational attainment suffered as a result.  Would she be able to learn Chinese in her twenties?  Some in the China Inland Mission had doubts, but the agency gave her a chance.

Thus, in 1930, our saint traveled to China.  She learned the language, overcame suspicions and won respect among Chinese people, converted many of them to Christianity, and improved the lives of many people.  Aylward participated in the effort to end the practice of binding girls’ feet.  In the process she endured much opposition, some of it violent.  Our saint, who became a Chinese citizen in 1936, advocated for prison reform.  And, with the Second Sino-Japanese War heating up in 1938, Aylward cared for many orphans and adopted some of them.  Our saint, whose health suffered due to wartime conditions, left for England in 1947.  There she remained until 1958, the year that The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, the movie in which Ingrid Bergman portrayed her, debuted.  From 1958 to 1970 Aylward lived in Taiwan, where she ran an orphanage.  She died of pneumonia at Taipei on January 3, 1970.  Our saint never married or gave birth, but she functioned as a mother to many children.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT EMILY DE RODAT, FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE HOLY FAMILY OF VILLEFRANCHE

THE FEAST OF EDWARD BOUVERIE PUSEY, ANGLICAN PRIEST

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Everlasting God, you have sent your messengers

to carry the good news of Christ into the world;

grant that we who commemorate Gladys Aylward

may know the hope of the gospel in our hearts

and show forth its light in all our ways;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 49:1-6

Psalm 67

Acts 16:6-10

Matthew 9:35-38

–Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), pages 682-683

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Feast of Harriet Auber (January 20)   1 comment

Church of England Logo

Above:  Logo of The Church of England

Image in the Public Domain

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HARRIET AUBER (OCTOBER 4, 1773-JANUARY 20, 1862)

Anglican Hymn Writer

Many people have sought to glorify themselves.  A large proportion of them have succeeded.  Human glory is fleeting, however.  Harriet Auber (1773-1862) succeeded in glorifying God, whose glory is everlasting.

Auber was of Huguenot ancestry.  Her grandfather, Pierre Auber, had fled France in 1685, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.  Our saint’s father was James Auber, a clergyman of The Church of England.  Harriet entered the world at Spitalfields, Stepney, Middlesex, England, on October 4, 1773.

Our saint, who lived quietly in the villages of Broxbourne and Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, for most of her life, left an outstanding literary legacy.  She wrote at least 41 hymns before and after 1829, the year of the publication of The Spirit of the Psalms:  A Compressed Version of Select Portions of the Psalms of David, Adapted to Christian Worship, which she edited anonymously.  She even engaged in misdirection, identifying the editor in the preface as

A CLERGYMAN OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND,

so that she would attract no attention or glory.  The purpose of the volume was to improve on the poetic quality of extant metrical psalters.

Auber, who was so humble that she even refused to permit relatives to see her poems, never married.  For many years she lived with a friend, Mary Jane Mackenzie, at Hoddesdon.  Mackenzie wrote religious books, such as the following:

  1. Geraldine; or, Modes of Faith and Practice; A Tale, in Three Volumes–Volumes I, II, and III (1820);
  2. Lectures on the Parables, Selected from the New Testament (1822);
  3. Lectures on the Miracles (1825); and
  4. Private Life; or, Varieties of Character and Opinion–Volumes I and II (1829).

Residents of the village cherished “the memory of the two saintly ladies” with “veneration and affection,” according to the Handbook to The Church Hymnary–Revised Edition (1927), page 257.  That volume said of Auber,

Her spirit was one of singular beauty and attractiveness.

She died at Hoddesdon on January 20, 1862.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 16, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHARLES EDWARD OAKLEY, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT LUDMILLA, DUCHESS OF BOHEMIA

THE FEAST OF MARTIN BEHM, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PHILIBERT AND AICARDUS OF JUMIEGES, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Harriet Auber and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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This is post #1450 of SUNDRY THOUGHTS.

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Feast of Caspar Neumann (January 23)   1 comment

Luther Rose

Above:  The Luther Rose

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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CASPAR NEUMANN (SEPTEMBER 14, 1684-JANUARY 27, 1715)

German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

Caspar Neumann found his vocation in the ordained ministry and left a legacy in hymnody.

Our saint, a son of Martin Neumann, a tax collector, entered the world at Breslau, Silesia (now Wroclaw, Poland), on September 14, 1648.  He attended the University of Jena from 1667 to 1670, graduating with his M.A. then working as an instructor there.   His ministerial career began in 1673, when Neumann’s ordination took place at the request of Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Altenburg (reigned 1672-1675), and became the traveling chaplain to Prince Christian, later the Duke of Saxe-Eisenberg (reigned 1675-1707).  In 1676 Neumann became the Court Preacher at Altenburg.  In December of that year our saint became the diaconus of St. Mary Magdalene Church, Breslau.  His title changed to pastor in 1689.  In February 1697 Neumann began to serve as pastor of St. Elizabeth’s Church in Breslau, professor of theology in town, and inspector of Lutheran schools and churches in the district.  Our saint, a renowned preacher and poet, died at Breslau on January 27, 1715.  He was 66 years old.

Neumann left a literary legacy.  He published Kern aller Gebete (1680 and 1697), a prayer book, and a hymnal, Kirchen-Gesangbuch (1711).  The latter book contained some of our saint’s more than 30 hymns, most of which also appeared in other hymnals from 1700, 1748, 1749, and 1752.  At least six of Neumann’s hymns have English translations.  I have added five of these texts to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 14, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Caspar Neumann and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Henry Augustine Collins (January 19)   1 comment

Vatican Flag

Above:  The Flag of Vatican City

Image in the Public Domain

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HENRY AUGUSTINE COLLINS (APRIL 28, 1837-JANUARY 29, 1919)

Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer

Henry Augustine Collins, born at Barningham, Yorkshire, England, on April 28, 1837, was an author and a priest.  In 1854, the year he took Anglican Holy Orders, our saint, the author of both prose and verse, graduated from Oxford with his M.A. and edited Hymns for Missions, a volume of thirty-seven hymns, two of which (“Jesus, Meek and Lowly” and “Jesu, My Lord, My God, My All“) he had written.  Our saint, the son of the Reverend Thomas Collins, a clergyman of The Church of England, left the Church of his father and his youth for the Roman Catholic Church in November 1857.  Collins joined the Cistercian Order in 1860 and entered the Mount St. Bernard Abbey, Coalville, North Leicester, the following year.  There our saint remained until 1882, when he became the chaplain to the nuns at the Holy Cross Abbey, Stapehill, Dorcetshire.  He retired to the Mount St. Bernard Abbey in 1913.  Collins died there on January 29, 1919.  He was 81 years old.

Collins published works other than Hymns for Missions (1854).  They were:

  1. The Life of Father Gentili (1861);
  2. The Spirit and Mission of the Cistercian Order (1866); and
  3. The Divine Cloud (1871).

Unfortunately, his hymns (three of which I have added to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog)–theologically dense texts of much grace and beauty–have fallen out of favor with many hymnal committees, which have tended to become more enamored of shallow praise choruses with few words repeated often.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 14, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Henry Augustine Collins and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Richard Meux Benson, Charles Chapman Grafton, and Charles Gore (January 16)   1 comment

Anglican Communion

Above:  The Flag of the Anglican Communion

Image in the Public Domain

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Benson

Image in the Public Domain

RICHARD MEUX BENSON (JULY 6, 1824-JANUARY 14, 1915)

Anglican Priest and Cofounder of the Society of St. John the Evangelist

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Grafton

Image in the Public Domain

CHARLES CHAPMAN GRAFTON (APRIL 12, 1830-AUGUST 30, 1912)

Episcopal Priest, Cofounder of the Society of St. John the Baptist, and Bishop of Fond du Lac

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Gore

Image in the Public Domain

CHARLES GORE (JANUARY 22, 1853-JANUARY 17, 1932)

Anglican Bishop of Worcester, Birmingham, and Oxford; Founder of the Community of the Resurrection; Theologian; and Advocate for Social Justice and World Peace

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PROLOGUE

January 16  and 17 seem to be auspicious days for celebrating founders of monastic orders.  So far the list has consisted of St. Antony of Egypt and St. Pachomius the Great.  With this post I remain within the theme yet depart antiquity for the 1800s.  Richard Meux Benson, Charles Chapman Grafton, and Charles Gore join the company of saints at this weblog.  The Church of England celebrates Gore’s life on January 17.  The Episcopal Church celebrates the lives of Gore and Benson on January 16 and the life of Grafton on August 30.  I have decided to follow the Episcopalian practice of joining Benson and Gore on January 16 and to depart from the Episcopalian practice of commemorating Grafton on August 30.  A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days is my project–one of my hobbies–so I have full authority with regard to it.

RICHARD MEUX BENSON, PART I

This composite account begins with Richard Meux Benson, born to a wealthy family in London, England, the United Kingdom, on July 6, 1824.  He, tutored privately at home for years, went on to attend Christ Church, Oxford, where he met to major influences, the Tractarians Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800-1882) and John Henry Newman (1801-1890).  Our saint graduated with his B.A. in 1847 and his M.A. two years later.  Benson took Anglican Holy Orders in 1849, served briefly as the Curate of St. Mark’s, Surbiton (1849-1850), then became the Vicar of Cowley, Oxford (1850-1886).  In 1865, at Cowley, he, along with two other priests, founded the Mission Priests of St. John the Evangelist, which became the Society of St. John the Evangelist (S.S.J.E.) the following year.  The S.S.J.E. became the first stable Anglican religious order for men founded since the English Reformation.  Members, who were active in the outside world, lived communally, recited the Divine Office together daily, meditated privately at least one hour daily when possible, and spent designated days on spiritual retreats and in silence.

CHARLES CHAPMAN GRAFTON, PART I

The two cofounders of the S.S.J.E. were Father Simeon Wilberforce O’Neill and Father Charles Chapman Grafton.  The latter, a native of the United States, had started his sojourn in England.  Grafton, born to a wealthy family in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 12, 1830, had entered the ordained life after graduating from Harvard Law School in 1853.  He, after studying with the Right Reverend William Rollinson Whittingham, the Bishop of Maryland from 1840 to 1879, entered the Sacred Order of Deacons on December 23, 1855.  Grafton served at Reisterstown, Maryland, for a few years.  He became a priest on May 30, 1858.  Next he served as the Curate of St. Paul’s Church, Baltimore, and as the Chaplain of Deaconesses in the Diocese of Maryland.  Our saint lived in England from 1865 to 1872.

RICHARD MEUX BENSON, PART II

Benson served at Cowley until 1886, when he resigned to devote his full attention to the S.S.J.E.  From 1870 to 1883 the order spread to the United States, India, and South Africa.  Our saint wrote the rule for the order, the Superior of which he remained until 1890.  Afterward he traveled the world for a few years.  Benson spent a year in India then eight years in Boston.  He spent the Lent of 1895 preaching and teaching in parishes in Baltimore, despite the fact that his high churchmanship  had prompted critical comments by William Paret, the Bishop of Maryland from 1884 to 1911.  Benson returned to England, where he remained for the last 16 years of his life.  He took communion every morning.  When he could no longer walk to take communion, someone pushed him in a wheelchair.  Benson died on January 14, 1915.

Benson wrote much.  Searches at archive.org yielded the following results:

CHARLES CHAPMAN GRAFTON, PART II

Grafton returned to the United States in 1872.  He became the Rector of the Church of the Advent, Boston, Massachusetts, an Anglo-Catholic parish.  Grafton also left the S.S.J.E. due to a jurisdictional dispute regarding Benson.  Grafton did, however, help to found the American Congregation of St. Benedict, now the Benedictine Order of St. John the Beloved.  Then, in 1888, he, with Mother Ruth Margaret, founded the Sisterhood of the Holy Nativity.

In 1888 the Diocese of Fond du Lac elected Grafton to become its bishop.  The consecration occurred on August 25, 1889.  Bishop Grafton expanded the diocese.  He did this via two financial channels–his wealth and the wealth of people in the East whom he persuaded to contribute.  Nevertheless, perhaps Grafton’s most memorable moment occurred in 1900, at the consecration of Bishop Coadjutor Reginald Heber Weller.  Grafton, an ecumenist with strong interest in ties to Old Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, invited distinguished guests to participate in the consecration of Bishop Weller.  Bishop Antoni Kazlowski of the Polish National Catholic Church and Bishop Tikhon (now St. Tikhon) of the Russian Orthodox Church joined Episcopal bishops in the conscration of Weller.  The ecumenical breadth of bishops offended many Protestant-minded Episcopalians, who also objected to the photograph of all the bishops in full episcopal regalia.  The sight of Episcopal bishops in copes and mitres was a cause of much ecclesiastical controversy.  In time the scandal of the “Fond du Lac Circus” died down.

Grafton died on August 30, 1912.  Two years later Cathedral Editions of his complete works (Volumes I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII) debuted in print.

CHARLES GORE

Charles Gore was sui generis–of his own kind.  He was a liberal–a social radical, even–yet many theological radicals considered him to be too conservative.  Gore valued tradition yet many traditionalists thought he was too liberal.  He was an Anglo-Catholic yet many Anglo-Catholics considered him to be insufficiently Anglo-Catholic.  Others expected him to fit into a round hole, but he was a gloriously square peg.

Gore, a native of Wimbledon, London, the United Kingdom, came from a privileged family.  His privilege continued as he studied at Harrow then at Baillol College, Oxford.  In 1875 he became a Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford.  He, a deacon in 1876 and a priest in 1878, served as the Vice Principal of the theological school at Cuddesdon from 1880 to 1883.  Next he was the first Principal of Pusey House, Oxford, from 1884 to 1893.

Gore was a popular preacher.  He served as the Incumbent of Radley from 1893 to 1894 before becoming the Canon of Westminster in 1894.  Sundays on which he preached were much-anticipated days for many people.

In 1887 Gore founded the Society of the Resurrection, which became the Community of the Resurrection five years later.  The new order started with six priests, and our saint served as the first Superior (1892-1901).

Gore became a bishop in 1902.  He served as the Bishop of Worcester (1902-1905), the Bishop of Birmingham (1895-1911), and the Bishop of Oxford (1911-1919).  He retired to London in 1919.  Our saint wrote and preached a great deal, lectured at King’s College, and served as the Dean of the theological faculty of London University (1924-1928).  He died of pneumonia on January 17, 1932, after returning from a trip to India.  Gore was 78 years old.

Gore’s theology included much room for ambiguity.  He embraced higher criticism of the Bible, allowing for the realities of science and history, yet he insisted on the veracity of biblical miracles and the truth of the Church’s ancient creeds.  Nevertheless, some traditionalists questioned our saint’s Christology, especially when he argued that Jesus, as God incarnate, had taken on human limitations to his knowledge.

Gore favored a reasoning faith, a synthesis of critical reason and Christian faith.  He called this synthesis liberal Catholicism.  (Note the lowercase “l” in “liberal,” O reader, for that is crucial.  There is such a thing as Liberal Catholicism, with strong Theosophical influences.  Gore was hardly a Theosophist.)  Gore’s liberal Catholicism included defenses of apostolic succession and support for tradition.  It did not, however, follow tradition blindly, for it accommodated reason, science, and history.  As Ross Mackenzie wrote of our saint in the Christian Passages section of The Episcopal Church’s Education for Ministry, Year Three (1991),

Catholicism meant for him the establishment of a visible society that is the home of salvation.  But it must be a liberal Catholicism, appealing to scripture, antiquity, and reason in its concern for liberty, equality, and fraternity, “real expressions,” he said, “of the divine wisdom for today.”

–Page 493

This Social Gospel aspect of Gore’s theology found expression regarding many issues.  Sound theology, he insisted, must translate into positive social action.  In 1889 he helped to found the Christian Social Union, an outgrowth of Tractarian social concern.  Gore criticized imperialism, including that of his own nation-state.  He also advocated for international reconciliation after World War I.  The passage of time has confirmed that Germany suffered due to the ravages of the Great War and to vengeful treaty provisions, leading to high levels of resentment.  Nazis fed off that sense of grievance as well as other factors.  The article of the article on Gore in Volume 10 of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1968) noted our saint’s concern with social issues such as housing, education, world peace, and industrial relations.  That author wrote that this concern flowed from Gore’s

fundamental theological conviction of the unity of grace and nature in the divine purpose.  From this premise he concluded that his pastoral office demanded the broadest concern for human welfare as well as watchful care for the good order of the church.

–Page 583

Many works by Gore and some about him came to my attention when I searched at archive.org, my favorite website.  I have divided these works into categories, the first of which is original works by Gore:

The second category is works to which Gore contributed:

The third category is books Gore edited:

The fourth category is works in which another person edited Gore’s words:

Finally, in its own category is a response to Gore:

EPILOGUE

The Synoptic Gospels tell a story about a wealthy young man.  In Mark 10:17-3, Matthew 19:16-30, and Luke 18:18-30, a rich young man asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life.  According to our Lord and Savior, this young man, who has kept certain commandments religiously, lacks one thing:

Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.

–Luke 18:22b, Revised Standard Version–Catholic Edition (1966)

The young man leaves a sorrowful person, for he trusts in his wealth, not in God.

Richard Meux Benson, Charles Chapman Grafton, and Charles Gore came from backgrounds of economic privilege, but did not trust in that privilege.  No, they trusted in God.  They cared about the problems of the less fortunate and of those near and far, and acted accordingly.  They built up the Church, for the glory of God.  They were trees which produced good fruit.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAPHNUTIUS THE GREAT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF UPPER THEBAID

THE FEAST OF NARAYAN SESHADRI OF JALNA, INDIAN PRESBYTERIAN EVANGELIST AND “APOSTLE TO THE MANGS”

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATIENS OF LYONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP

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Gracious God, you have inspired a rich variety of ministries in your Church:

We give you thanks for Richard Meux Benson, Charles Chapman Grafton, and Charles Gore,

instruments in the revival of Anglican monasticism.

Grant that we, following their example,

may call for perennial renewal in your Church through conscious union with Christ,

witnessing to the social justice that is a mark of the reign of our Savior Jesus,

who is the light of the world; and who lives and reigns with you

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

1 Kings 19:9-12

Psalm 27:5-11

1 John 4:7-12

John 17:6-11

–Altered from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 171

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