Archive for the ‘August 12’ Category

Feast of Blessed Karl Leisner (August 12)   Leave a comment

Above:  Stamp of Blessed Karl Leisner

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED KARL LEISNER (FEBRUARY 28, 1915-AUGUST 12, 1945)

German Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1945

Blessed Karl Leisner, born in Rees, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, on February 15, 1915, followed Jesus Christ, not Adolf Hitler.  Our saint, a student of theology at Munster, first ran afoul of Nazi authorities by trying to establish Roman Catholic youth groups.  The Third Reich sought to dominate all work with youth, however, so Leisner conducted his youth camps in Belgium and The Netherlands instead.  During six months of mandatory agricultural work our saint ran afoul of Nazi authorities again by organizing Sunday Masses for workers.  Leisner, ordained to the diaconate in 1939, became a prisoner for criticizing Hitler.  Eventually, on December 14, 1941, he arrived at Dachau.  There Bishop Gabriel Piquet ordained him to the priesthood on December 17, 1944.  When Allied forces liberated the concentration camp on May 4, 1945, Leisner was near death, suffering from tuberculosis.  He spent the last few months of his life at a sanitarium near Munich.  Leisner, aged 30 years, died at Planegg on August 12, 1945.

Pope John Paul II declared Leisner a Venerable then a Blessed, as a martyr, in 1996.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 16, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORGE BERKELEY, IRISH ANGLICAN BISHOP AND PHILOSOPHER; AND JOSEPH BUTLER, ANGLICAN BISHOP AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF JOHN FRANCIS REGIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF NORMAN MACLEOD, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER; AND HIS COUSIN, JOHN MACLEOD, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF RUFUS JONES, U.S. QUAKER THEOLOGIAN AND COFOUNDER OF THE AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE

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Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame of love

in the heart of your holy martyr Blessed Karl Leisner:

Grant to us, your humble servants, a like faith and power of love,

that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Jeremiah 15:15-21

Psalm 124 or 31:1-5

Jeremiah 15:15-21

1 Peter 4:12-19

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 715

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Feast of Blesseds Josef Stepniak and Josef Straszewski (August 12)   3 comments

Above:  Dachau

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED JÓZEF STEPNIAK (JANUARY 3, 1912-AUGUST 12, 1942)

BLESSED JÓZEF STRASZEWSKI (JANUARY 18, 1885-AUGUST 12, 1942)

Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyrs, 1942

Alternative feast day (as some of the 108 Martyrs of World War II) = June 12

The twentieth century, I have heard, was the century of martyrs.  Certainly World War II was a time of the martyrdom of only God knows how many people.  The Roman Catholic Church has recognized hundreds of martyrs of that time as being Venerable, Blessed, or canonized.  Many of those were Polish priests.

Blessed Józef Straszewski was a faithful priest.  He, born in Wloclawek, Russia (now Poland), on January 18, 1885, studied in his hometown from primary school to seminary.  His priestly ordination occurred there on June 18, 1911.  He served a series of parishes faithfully, and was, for a time, prefect of a State School of Commerce, prior to becoming the pastor of the new St. Stanislaw parish, Wloclawek.  Our saint supervised the construction of the buildings, organized retreats, and led a movie series.  Straszewski was a well-read-man, especially in theology.

Blessed Józef Stepniak, born in Zdzary on January 3, 1912, began life as a citizen of one country and died as a Polish citizen.  (Poland was not a country between 1795 and 1918.)  He, son of Paul Stepniak and Anna Misztal, grew up in a pious farm family.  He studied at St. Fidelis College, Lomza, Poland, working hard and earning mediocre grades.  He became a Capuchin novice (as Florian) at Nowe Miasto, Poland, on August 14, 1931.  Stepniak, who made his profession on August 15, 1935, became a priest on June 24, 1938.  Next our saint began studies at the Catholic University of Lublin.

The invasion and partition of Poland in 1939 disrupted the Roman Catholic Church there.  The Gestapo targeted priests, arresting many of them and simply martyring others.  Stepniak chose ministry to his fellow Christians above his safety.  Agents of the Gestapo arrested him on January 25, 1940.  Straszewski and other priests in the Diocese of Wloclawek became prisoners of the Third Reich on November 7, 1939.

Both saints became prisoners at Dachau.  They were faithful to the end.  Straszewski, for example, found in the Passion of Jesus the source of strength he needed.  Stepniak and Straszewski, gassed on August 12, 1942, became martyrs.  Pope John Paul II declared them Venerables then Blesseds in 1999.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 16, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORGE BERKELEY, IRISH ANGLICAN BISHOP AND PHILOSOPHER; AND JOSEPH BUTLER, ANGLICAN BISHOP AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF JOHN FRANCIS REGIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF NORMAN MACLEOD, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER; AND HIS COUSIN, JOHN MACLEOD, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF RUFUS JONES, U.S. QUAKER THEOLOGIAN AND COFOUNDER OF THE AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyrs

Blessed Józef Stepniak and Blessed Józef Straszewski

triumphed over suffering and were faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember them in thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with them the crow of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

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

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 714

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Feast of Charles Inglis (August 12)   3 comments

WM HPL-PC-F0120

Above:  St. Paul’s Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1910

Image Source = Halifax Public Libraries

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CHARLES INGLIS (1734-FEBRUARY 24, 1816)

Anglican Bishop of Nova Scotia

The feast day of Charles Inglis, the first bishop of The Church of England in the colonies and the first bishop in what became the Anglican Church of Canada, in The Church of Ireland is August 16.  In the Anglican Church of Canada his commemoration falls on August 12, the anniversary of his consecration as a bishop in 1787.  (That is his Canadian feast day in The Book of Common Prayer of 1962, yet his feast is absent from The Book of Alternative Services of 1985.  Both books have official status in Canada.)

The Church of England, for various reasons, never stationed a bishop in North America until 1787, when Inglis became the first Bishop of Nova Scotia, with jurisdiction over churches in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, and Bermuda.  Four years earlier, Samuel Seabury (1729-1796), a priest in Connecticut, had sailed to England  to seek ordination to the episcopacy.  He, being an American, could not swear loyalty to the British crown, so The Church of England refused to consecrate him.  In 1784 bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church consecrated Seabury.  He became the first bishop in The Episcopal Church (organized in 1789) and the first Bishop of Connecticut (in 1785).  Seabury wore a mitre Charles Inglis had designed.

The Reverend Archibald Inglis (died in 1745) was the Rector of Glen and Kilcarr, in Ireland.  He had three sons, the eldest of which was Richard Inglis (born circa 1720), who succeeded him immediately.  The youngest son was Charles Inglis, born in 1734.  The death of Archibald when Charles was 11 years old prevented our saint from attending a university.  Nevertheless, Charles did read deeply in the Greek and Latin classics and learn some Hebrew.  From 1754 to 1758 our saint taught in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Then he returned to England to become a priest.

Inglis was a priest in North American colonies from 1759 to 1783.  For six years he served in Delaware.  His parish was 33 miles long and 10-13 miles wide, containing four congregations, with the main one at Dover, when he started.  By the time Inglis left he had added a fifth congregation.  1764 was an eventful year for our saint.  Early in the year he married Mary Vining (born in 1733).  By the end of the year he had buried her and their twin daughters, all of whom died at childbirth.

Next Inglis served at Trinity Church, New York, New York, from 1765 to 1783, first as an assistant priest (1765-1776), then as the senior assistant priest (1776-1777), then as the rector (1777-1783).  During his time at Trinity Church our saint and his friend, Thomas Bradbury Chandler (1726-1790), worked together to advocate for the establishment of the episcopate in British North America.  Inglis was a staunch Loyalist and Royalist in revolutionary New York.  In 1776 he received a written request from George Washington, who was planning to attend church on a forthcoming Sunday, to omit the prayers for King George III and the royal family from the Litany in The Book of Common Prayer (1662).  Inglis ignored the note and read the Litany in full, with Washington in attendance.  Later that year our saint wrote and published a rebuttal to Thomas Paine’s Common Sense (1776).  New York Sons of Liberty burned copies of our saint’s text.  The following year, upon the death of Samuel Auchmuty, Rector of Trinity Church, Inglis became the rector of the parish.  Our saint had been de facto rector for a time in 1776-1777, when the ailing Auchmuty had taken time off.

Inglis married his second wife, Mary Crooke, in 1773.  The couple had four children:

  1. Charles Inglis (Jr.) (1774-1782), buried at Trinity Church, New York;
  2. Margaret Inglis (1775-1841), who, in 1799, married Sir Brenton Halliburton (1775-1860), who became the Chief Justice of Nova Scotia;
  3. Anne Inglis (1776-1827), who, in 1793, married George Pidgeon (1760-1818), a missionary priest in the Diocese of Nova Scotia; and
  4. John Inglis (1777-1850), who became a priest, his father’s assistant, and the third Bishop of Nova Scotia.

Inglis, who received two degrees from Oxford University (honorary Master of Arts, 1770; Doctor of Divinity, 1778), lost his wife, property, and parish in 1783.  Mary died; our saint buried her at Trinity Church.  Then, with the British Empire recognizing the fact that the United States (plural in those days) were not British via the Treaty of Paris of 1783, politics changed greatly in the former colonies.  American revolutionary governments seized the property of many Loyalists, including Inglis.  Furthermore, many Loyalists emigrated from former American colonies for various destinations in the British Empire.  Among those destinations were the maritime colonies of British North America.  Late in 1783 Inglis resigned from Trinity Church.  Then he and his children departed New York City for mother England.

Inglis lived in England for just a few years.  During that time he renewed his friendships with Samuel Seabury and Thomas Bradbury Chandler, for all three men were in London at the same time.  Seabury and Chandler, also Loyalists, eventually returned to the United States, for they made their peace with the revolution and found communities in which their politics were not insurmountable obstacles.  And, as I wrote at the beginning of this post, Inglis designed Seabury’s mitre.  Our saint also encouraged the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge (SPCK) to translate The Book of Common Prayer (1662) into the Mohawk language.  In 1786, after Chandler, citing health problems, declined the offer to become the first Bishop of Nova Scotia, Inglis accepted the position.  The consecration occurred at Lambeth Palace on August 12, 1787.

Bishop Inglis presided over the Diocese of Nova Scotia, a vast territory spanning Ontario in west to the maritime colonies and Newfoundland and Labrador in the west to Bermuda even more to the west.  At the beginning of his episcopate the work was indeed daunting, for there was just one proper church building, that of St. Paul’s, Halifax.  Many colonists had little or no interest in organized religion.  Others, however, were Roman Catholics, Calvinists, and revivalists.  Inglis was critical of all of them.  Of dissenting Protestants he wrote:

Their wild notions are imbibed, which militate against both Church and State.  The minds of the people are hereby perverted against our excellent Church….For my part I shudder at the probable consequences of such a state of things, if continued.  I see in their embryo the same state which produced the subversion of Church and State in the time of Charles I.

Of revivalists he wrote:

Instantaneous conversion accompanied by strong bodily agitation, divine and immediate inspiration and even prophecy, with the impeccability of those who are once converted are among their favorite doctrines and pretensions.

Our saint, a man of the Anglican establishment, was equally critical of pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism, labeling it an “intolerant sect.”  (To be fair, pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism was also quite critical of Protestantism and Anglicanism.)

Inglis built up his see.  Although he expanded the Litany slightly to include civil officials in colonies, he insisted that priests otherwise follow The Book of Common Prayer (1662) to the letter.  He also oversaw the construction of more than 23 church buildings and visited congregations faithfully, confirming many people yet not converting the majority of the population to Anglicanism.  In 1789 our saint founded King’s College, Windsor, as a seminary.  Despite all his hard work, Inglis proved unable to fill all vacancies in missions.  That fact disturbed him.  In 1796 the bishop moved from Halifax, citing issues of climate and weather, and relocated to Clermont, a farm and orchard near Windsor.  And, in 1809, our saint joined His Majesty’s Council, ranking immediately after the Chief Justice.

Inglis worked closely with his youngest child, John Inglis (1777-1850).  The father ordained the son deacon in 1801 and priest the following year.  For 14 years John served at Aylesford, near Windsor.  During many of those years he served as his father’s assistant.  In 1807, at John’s urging, King’s College, Windsor, remaining a seminary, began to admit non-Anglicans, although subscription to the 39 Articles of Religion remained a requirement for earning a degree.

Inglis suffered a stroke in the summer of 1811.  He asked the Archbishop of Canterbury and other church leaders to appoint and consecrate John as the Bishop Coadjutor.  Our saint assumed that he would die soon; he survived until February 24, 1816, aged about 82 years, instead.  In 1812, however, eccelesiastical officialdom decided not to make John a bishop yet.  The stated reasons were the son’s inexperience and allegations of nepotism.  Neither did the church send another bishop until 1816.  The tenure of Robert Stanser, the second Bishop of Nova Scotia, was not a glorious age of church growth, for he spent 1817-1824 in England for health reasons before vacating the post.  Finally, in 1825, John Inglis, the Rector of St. Paul’s, Halifax, from 1816, became the third Bishop of Nova Scotia.  He served in that capacity for a quarter of a century.

Our saint’s published works (mostly sermons) included the following, apart from those to which I have provided links in this post already:

  1. An Essay on Infant Baptism:  In Which the Right of Infants to the Sacrament of Baptism, is Proved from Scripture, Vindicated from the Usual Objections, and Confirmed by the Practice of the First Four Centuries (1768);
  2. A Sermon on II Corinth. v. 6:  Occasioned by the Death of John Ogilvie, D.D., Assistant Minister of Trinity Church, New-York (1774);
  3. A Sermon Preached Before His Excellency of the Lieutenant Governor, His Majesty’s Council, and the House of Assembly, of the Province of Nova-Scotia:  in St. Paul’s Church at Halifax, on Sunday, November 25, 1787 (1787);
  4. A Charge Delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of Nova Scotia, at the Primary Visitation Holden in the Town of Halifax, in the Month of June 1788 (1788);
  5. A Charge Delivered to the Clergy of the Province of Quebec, at the Primary Visitation:  Holden in the City of Quebec, in the Month of August 1789 (1789);
  6. A Charge Delivered to the Clergy of Nova-Scotia, at the Triennial Visitation Holden in the Town of Halifax, in the Month of June 1791 (1791);
  7. Steadfastness in Religion and Loyalty Recommended, in a Sermon Preached Before the Legislature of His Majesty’s Province of Nova-Scotia; in the Parish Church of St. Paul at Halifax, on Sunday, April 7, 1793 (1793);
  8. A Sermon Preached in the Parish Church of St. Paul at Halifax, on Friday, April 25, 1794:  Being the Day Appointed by Proclamation for a General Fast and Humiliation in His Majesty’s Province of Nova-Scotia (1794); and
  9. A Charge Delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of Nova-Scotia at the Triennial Visitation:  Holden in the Months of June and August, 1803 (1803).

Useful sources of information about the bishop include the following:

  1. A Missionary Apostle:  A Sermon Preached in Westminster Abbey, Friday, August 12, 1887, on the Occasion of the Centenary of the Consecration of Charles Inglis, D.D., First Bishop of Nova Scotia (1887), by William Stephens Perry;
  2. A History of the Parish of Trinity Church in the City of New York, Part I:  To the Close of the Rectorship of Dr. Inglis, A.D. 1783 (1898), edited by Morgan Dix; and
  3. Leaders of the Canadian Church (1918), edited by William Bestal Heeney.

Charles Inglis did not hold political differences against those who opposed British rule.  Neither do I, an American, hold his Royalism against him.  He was an ecclesiastical pioneer, a proverbial giant upon whose shoulders others stand.  As the Bishop of Nova Scotia he sought the best interests of his diocese and the Kingdom of God.  Our saint was indeed a man people should continue to honor.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 28, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN ROSS MACDUFF AND GEORGE MATHESON, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTERS AND AUTHORS

THE FEAST OF THE FIRST U.S. METHODIST BOOK OF WORSHIP, 1945

THE FEAST OF SAINT GUALFARDUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER CHANEL, PROTOMARTYR OF OCEANIA

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O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Charles Inglis

to be a bishop and pastor in your Church and feed the flock:

Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit,

that they may minister in your household as true servants of Christ

and stewards of your divine mysteries; through Jesus Christ our Lord,

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

Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84 or 84:7-11

Ephesians 3:14-21

Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 719

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Feast of Thaddeus Stevens (August 12)   6 comments

Above:  The Honorable Thaddeus Stevens, 1860-1868

Image Source = Library of Congress

THADDEUS STEVENS (APRIL 14, 1792-AUGUST 11/12, 1868)

U.S. Abolitionist, Congressman, and Witness for Civil Rights

“The Great Commoner”

One of the advantages of keeping a calendar of saints on a blog is recognizing people–whether or not from a denomination’s authorized calendar.  Today I choose to recognize a saint who, to the best of my knowledge, does not occupy space on any church body’s calendar.  That fact constitutes an oversight on their part.  Many people–especially defensive Southerners with emotional attachments to the Confederacy–have heaped abuse on the reputation of Congressman Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania.  Representations of him from the bad films The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Tennessee Johnson (1942) are laughably inaccurate.  Of course, the Klansmen were the heroes in The Birth of a Nation, a movie which should make a person cringe if it does not bore one into unconsciousness first.

I begin at the end.  Thaddeus Stevens lies buried in a cemetery at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a town where he had lived for many years.  His epitaph follows:

I repose in this quiet and secluded spot

Not from any natural preference for solitude

But, finding no other cemeteries limited as to Race by Charter Rules,

I have chosen this that I might illustrate in my death

The Principles which I advocated through a long life

EQUALITY OF MAN BEFORE HIS CREATOR.

Thaddeus Stevens was born in Vermont on April 14, 1792.  He was the second of four children of Sarah Morrill, a devout Baptist, and Joshua Stevens, a shoemaker  and a surveyor.  Joshua, a man with “rather dissipated habits,” abandoned his family, leaving Sarah to raise her children.  She was devoted to them, and Thaddeus remained devoted to her until she died in 1854.

Our saint had a difficult personality.  Inborn traits might have had something to do with that fact, but so did his disability:  a lifelong limp caused by a clubfoot.  This caused much taunting during his youth.  And some thought of the disability as a curse from God.  That accusation of being cursed by God might have influenced Stevens never to join a church, not that he was estranged from the Bible or hostile to organized religion.  In fact, he knew the Bible very well, having kept a copy by his bedside throughout his life.  And, in the early 1850s, in an attempt to convince his mother to leave Vermont and move to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where there was no Baptist congregation nearby, Stevens offered to pay split the construction costs for a Baptist church with the Baptists.  Sarah died first, however.

Well-educated, Stevens moved to Pennsylvania in 1815 and opened a law office at Gettysburg the following year.  In 1821 he was complicit in returning a slave woman and her children to servitude.  This troubled his conscience greatly, so he became a strong, uncompromising abolitionist.  Stevens was, in fact, chiefly responsible for the equalization of pay for White and African-American soldiers and the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 in 1864.  He also favored Radical Reconstruction, with its insistence on enforcing the civil rights of former slaves.  And he worked hard to remove President Andrew Johnson (in office 1865-1869), an unapologetic racist and foe of the former slaves, from office.  The saint’s methods constituted an overreach, but his heart and mind were in the right place.  (Johnson had said of the former slaves,

Damn them!

To call him a twit is to understate the case greatly.)

As a man Stevens encouraged people to virtue and tried to act kindly, despite his acerbic tendencies.  He discouraged his nephew from drinking.  And Stevens was a kind employer to the workers at his iron works.  Steeped in the Bible, Stevens, as a state legislator in 1842, opposed capital punishment, stating,

Society ought to know nothing of vengeance.

Eight years earlier, he had pushed through the legislature a law creating free public schools in the commonwealth.  A year later, in 1835, he had prevented that law’s repeal.  The major complaint against free public schools was that some people did not want to pay for schools they did not intend to use.  But, Stevens rebutted, people already paid for courts and jails they did not intend to use.

Stevens, as a political creature, supported equality of access to opportunities for social advancement and personal improvement.  This led him to favor a strong role for the government in society, hence his support for public schools and for public works projects, such as those of Henry Clay’s proposed American System.  Stevens was a natural Federalist then Anti-Mason then Whig then Republican.  As I have explained to students in U.S. history courses, the political labels “Democratic” and “Republican” have been constant since 1854 yet the substance of them has changed more than once.  The fact that a certain historical figure fit into a particular political party in the 1800s does not mean that he or she would find a home there or in its successor today.  My readings about Stevens and my knowledge of modern U.S. politics cause me to conclude that he would not have fit easily into the post-Goldwater and Reagan Republican Party.  Certainly the Southern Strategy (appealing to Southern segregationists, beginning in the 1960s) would have offended his morality.

Stevens died about midnight on August 11-12, 1868, after having been ill for a while.  At the tail end of his life he received  a Roman Catholic baptism.  How conscious he was of this baptism was uncertain then and remains at least as uncertain today.  Yet we can be certain of the fact that there was a Protestant funeral him to rival the Roman Catholic funeral.

Professor Hans L. Trefousse, author of Thaddeus Stevens:  Nineteenth-Century Egalitarian (Chapel Hill, NC:  University of North Carolina Press, 1997), the main source of my notes for this post, concluded:

His policies often sounded harsh, whether vindictive or not, but his legacy made possible racial progress in the twentieth century, finally showing that his life had not been a failure.  Ahead of his time, he worked for an interracial democracy.  It was a goal for which he assuredly deserves to be remembered.

–page 245

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 2, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF WALTER RAUSCHENBUSCH, WASHINGTON GLADDEN, AND JACOB RIIS, ADVOCATES OF THE SOCIAL GOSPEL

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Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil

and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servant Thaddeus Stevens,

to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.  

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

Proper 14, Year B   Leave a comment

Above:  Statue of Reconciliation, St. Michael’s Cathedral, Coventry, England, United Kingdom

Image Source = Rebecca Kennison

Love, Not Theocracy

The Sunday Closest to August 10

Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost

AUGUST 12, 2018

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FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #1

2 Samuel 18:9-15, 24-19:3 (Revised Standard Version–Second Catholic Edition):

And Absalom chanced to meet the servants of David.  Absalom was riding his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak, and he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on.  And a certain man saw it, and told Joab,

Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.

Joab said to the man who told him,

What, you saw him!  Why then did you not strike him there to the ground?  I would have been glad to give you ten pieces of silver and a belt.

But the man said to Joab,

Even if I felt in my hand the weight of a thousand pieces of silver, I would not put forth my hand against the king’s son; for in our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, “For my sake protect the young man Absalom.”  On the other hand, if I had dealt treacherously against his life (and there is nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have stood aloof.

Joab said,

I will not waste time like this with you.

And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them into the heart of Absalom, while he was still alive in the oak.  And ten young men, Joab’s armor-bearers, surrounded Absalom and struck him and killed him.

(Joab orders Ahimaaz not to tell David what has happened.  Then Joab sends a Cushite to update David and decides after all to let Ahimaaz run after the Cushite.  Ahimaaz then passes the Cushite.)

Now David was sitting between the two gates; and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate by the wall, and when he lifted up his eyes and looked, he saw a man running alone.  And the watchman called out and told the king.  And the king said,

If he is alone, there are tidings in his mouth.

And he came apace, and drew near.  And the watchman saw another man running; and the watchman called to the gate and said,

See, another man running alone!

The king said,

He also brings tidings.

And the watchman said,

I think the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.

And the king said,

He is a good man, and comes with good tidings.

Then Ahimaaz cried out out to the king,

All is well.

And he bowed before the king with his face to the earth, and said,

Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king.

And the king said,

Is it well with the young man Absalom?

Ahimaaz answered,

When Joab sent your servant I saw a great tumult, but I do not know what it was.

And the king said,

Turn aside, and stand here.

So he turned aside, and stood still.

And behold, the Cushite came; and the Cushite said,

Good tidings for my lord the king!  For the LORD has delivered you this day from the power of all who rose up against you.

The king said to the Cushite,

Is it well with the young man Absalom?

And the Cushite answered,

May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up against you for evil, be like that young man.

And the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he went, he said,

O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom!  Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

It was told Joab,

Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.

So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people; for the people heard that day,

The king is grieving for his son.

And the people stole into the city that day as people steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle.

Psalm 130 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1  Out of the depths have I called to you, O LORD;

LORD, hear my voice;

let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.

2  If you , LORD, were to note what is done amiss,

O Lord, who could stand?

3  For there is forgiveness with you;

therefore you shall be feared.

4  I wait for the LORD; my soul waits for him;

in his word is my hope.

5  My soul waits for the LORD,

more than watchmen in the morning,

more than watchmen in the morning.

6  O Israel, wait for the LORD,

for with the LORD there is mercy;

7  With him there is plenteous redemption,

and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #2

1 Kings 19:4-8 (TANAKH:  The Holy Scriptures):

[Elijah] himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness.  He came to a broom bush and sat down under it, and prayed that he might die.

Enough!

he cried.

Now, O LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.

He lay down and fell asleep under a broom bush.  Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him,

Arise and eat.

He looked about; and there, beside his head, was a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water!  He ate and drank, and lay down again.  The angel of the LORD came a second time and touched him and said,

Arise and eat, or the journey will be too much for you.

He arose and ate and drank; and with the strength from that meal he walked forty days and forty nights as far as the mountain of God at Horeb.

Psalm 34:1-8 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1 I will bless the LORD at all times;

his praise shall ever be in my mouth.

2 I will glory in the LORD;

let the humble hear and rejoice.

3 Proclaim with me the greatness of the LORD;

let us exult his Name together.

4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me

and delivered me out of all my terror.

5 Look upon him and be radiant,

and let not your faces be ashamed.

6 I called in my affliction and the LORD heard me

and saved me from all my troubles.

The angel of the LORD encompasses those who fear him,

and he will deliver them.

Taste and see that the LORD is good;

happy are they who trust in him.

SECOND READING

Ephesians 4:25-5:2 (New Revised Standard Version):

Putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

GOSPEL READING

John 6:35, 41-51 (New Revised Standard Version):

Jesus said to the people,

I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said,

I am the bread that came down from heaven.

They were saying,

“Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, “I have come down from heaven”?

Jesus answered them,

Do not complain among yourselves. No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, “And they shall all be taught by God.” Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.

The Collect:

Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Some Related Posts:

Proper 14, Year A:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/proper-14-year-a/

Proper 14, Year B:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/proper-14-year-b/

2 Samuel 18 and 19:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/week-of-4-epiphany-tuesday-year-2/

John 6:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/eighteenth-day-of-easter/

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/nineteenth-day-of-easter/

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The reading from Ephesians deserves much more attention from many people.

Two strains coexist in the politics of my nations, the United States of America.  One is talk of religion, often the sort bearing the stamp of theocracy or longings thereof.  This comes mixed frequently with Nativism, reactionary tendencies, Social Darwinism, and, quite frankly, homophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry.  The other strain is anger oblivious to objective definitions.  So “Socialism” has taken on meanings far beyond anything the Socialist Party recognizes, and there are people who condemn the very government programs upon which they depend and who do know that these programs are creatures of the government.  Hence some want to keep the federal government out of their Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid.  These individuals are mad, not rational.  These two strains go hand-in-hand.

Yet we read in Ephesians that we ought not entertain resentment or anger.  As 5:1-2 (J. B. Phillips, 1972) reads:

So you then should try to become like God, for you are his children and he loves you.  Live your lives in love–the same sort of love which Christ gave us and which he perfectly expressed when he gave himself up for us….

Theocracy relies on on coercion, not voluntary action.  Thus theocracy is inconsistent with Christian love.  May we love one another, encouraging–not coercing–one another toward deeper righteousness.

Here ends the lesson.

KRT

Published originally in a nearly identical form at ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on October 3, 2011

Posted October 3, 2011 by neatnik2009 in August 12, Revised Common Lectionary Year B

Tagged with

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for August   Leave a comment

Poppies

Image Source = Santosh Namby Chandran

1 (JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA, DISCIPLE OF JESUS)

2 (Georg Weissel, German Lutheran Pastor and Hymn Writer)

  • Anna Bernadine Dorothy Hoppe, U.S. Lutheran Hymn Writer and Translator
  • Christian Gottfried Gebhard, German Moravian Composer and Music Educator
  • Peter Julian Eymard, Founder of the Priests of the Blessed Sacrament, the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, and the Priests’ Eucharistic League; and Organizer of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament

3 (JOANNA, MARY, AND SALOME, WITNESSES TO THE RESURRECTION)

4 (Frederick William Foster, English Moravian Bishop, Liturgist, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator)

  • Frédéric Janssoone, French Roman Catholic Priest and Friar
  • John Brownlie, Scottish Presbyterian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Translator of Hymns
  • Lambert Beauduin, Belgian Roman Catholic Priest and Pioneer of Liturgical Renewal

5 (Alfred Tennyson, English Poet)

  • Adam of St. Victor, Roman Catholic Monk and Hymn Writer
  • Albrecht Dürer, Matthias Grünewald, and Lucas Cranach the Elder, Renaissance Artists
  • George Frederick Root, Poet and Composer

6 (TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST)

7 (Colbert S. Cartwright, U.S. Disciples of Christ Minister, Liturgist, and Witness for Civil Rights)

  • Guglielmo Massaia, Italian Cardinal, Missionary, and Capuchin Friar
  • John Scrimger, Canadian Presbyterian Minister, Ecumenist, and Liturgist
  • Victricius of Rouen, Roman Conscientious Objector and Roman Catholic Bishop

8 (Mary MacKillop, Founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart)

  • Altman, Roman Catholic Bishop of Passau
  • Dominic, Founder of the Order of Preachers
  • Raymond Brown, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest and Biblical Scholar

9 (Edith Stein, Roman Catholic Nun and Philosopher)

  • Herman of Alaska, Russian Orthodox Monk and Missionary to the Aleut
  • John Dryden, English Puritan then Anglican then Roman Catholic Poet, Playwright, and Translator
  • Mary Sumner, Foundress of the Mothers’ Union

10 (William Walsham How, Anglican Bishop of Wakefield and Hymn Writer; and his sister, Frances Jane Douglas(s), Hymn Writer)

  • John Athelstan Laurie Riley, Anglican Ecumenist, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Cyriaca, Roman Catholic Martyr at Rome, 249; and Sixtus II, His Companions, and Laurence of Rome, Roman Catholic Martyrs at Rome, 258
  • Edward Grzymala and Franciszek Drzewiecki, Polish Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs, 1942

11 (Gregory Thaumaturgus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Neocaesarea; and Alexander of Comana “the Charcoal Burner,” Roman Catholic Martyr and Bishop of Comana, Pontus)

  • Equitius of Valeria, Benedictine Abbot and Founder of Monasteries
  • Matthias Loy, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Educator, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator; and Conrad Hermann Louis Schuette, German-American Lutheran Minister, Educator, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Maurice Tornay, Swiss Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary to Tibet, and Martyr, 1949

12 (Thaddeus Stevens, U.S. Abolitionist, Congressman, and Witness for Civil Rights)

  • Charles Inglis, Anglican Bishop of Nova Scotia
  • Józef Stepniak and Józef Straszewski, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyrs, 1942
  • Karl Leisner, German Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1945

13 (John Henry Hopkins, Jr., Episcopal Priest and Hymnodist; and his nephew, John Henry Hopkins, III, Episcopal Priest and Musician)

  • Elizabeth Payson Prentiss, U.S. Presbyterian Hymn Writer
  • Jeremy Taylor, Anglican Bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore
  • John Bajus, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator

14 (William Croft, Anglican Organist and Composer)

  • Matthias Claudius, German Lutheran Writer
  • Maximilian Kolbe, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1941; and Jonathan Myrick Daniels, Episcopal Seminarian and Martyr, 1965
  • Sarah Flower Adams, English Unitarian Hymn Writer; and her sister, Eliza Flower, English Unitarian Composer

15 (MARY OF NAZARETH, MOTHER OF GOD)

16 (John Diefenbaker and Lester Pearson, Prime Ministers of Canada; and Tommy Douglas, Federal Leader of the New Democratic Party)

  • Alipius, Roman Catholic Bishop of Tagaste and Friend of St. Augustine of Hippo
  • John Courtney Murray, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest and Theologian
  • John Jones of Talysarn, Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Minister and Hymn Tune Composer

17 (Samuel Johnson, Congregationalist Minister, Anglican Priest, President of King’s College, “Father of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut,” and “Father of American Library Classification;” Timothy Cutler, Congregationalist Minister, Anglican Priest, and Rector of Yale College; Daniel Browne, Educator, Congregationalist Minister, and Anglican Priest; and James Wetmore, Congregationalist Minister and Anglican Priest)

  • Baptisms of Manteo and Virginia Dare, 1587
  • George Croly, Anglican Priest, Poet, Historian, Novelist, Dramatist, Theologian, and Hymn Writer
  • William James Early Bennett, Anglican Priest

18 (Artemisia Bowden, African-American Educator and Civil Rights Activist)

  • Erdmann Neumeister, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Francis John McConnell, U.S. Methodist Bishop and Social Reformer
  • Jonathan Friedrich Bahnmaier, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

19 (Sixtus III, Bishop of Rome)

  • Blaise Pascal, French Roman Catholic Scientist, Mathematician, and Theologian
  • Magnus and Agricola of Avignon, Roman Catholic Bishops of Avignon
  • William Hammond, English Moravian Hymn Writer

20 (ZACCHAEUS, PENITENT TAX COLLECTOR AND ROMAN COLLABORATOR)

21 (Bruno Zembol, Polish Roman Catholic Friar and Martyr, 1942)

  • Camerius, Cisellus, and Luxorius of Sardinia, Martyrs, 303
  • Martyrs of Edessa, Circa 304
  • Maximilian of Antioch, Circa 353; and Bonosus and Maximianus the Soldier, Martyrs, 362

22 (Jack Layton, Canadian Activist and Federal Leader of the New Democratic Party)

  • Hryhorii Khomyshyn, Symeon Lukach, and Ivan Slezyuk, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishops and Martyrs, 1947, 1964, and 1973
  • John Kemble and John Wall, English Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs, 1679
  • Thomas Percy, Richard Kirkman, and William Lacey, English Roman Catholic Martyrs, 1572 and 1582

23 (Martin de Porres and Juan Macias, Humanitarians and Dominican Lay Brothers; Rose of Lima, Humanitarian and Dominican Sister; and Turibius of Mogrovejo, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Lima)

  • Theodore O. Wedel, Episcopal Priest and Biblical Scholar; and his wife, Cynthia Clark Wedel, U.S. Psychologist and Episcopal Ecumenist

24 (BARTHOLOMEW THE APOSTLE, MARTYR)

25 (Michael Faraday, Scientist)

  • Andrea Bordino, Italian Roman Catholic Lay Brother
  • Maria Troncatti, Italian Roman Catholic Nun
  • William John Copeland, Anglican Priest and Hymn Translator

26 (Frederick William Herzberger, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Translator)

  • Levkadia Harasymiv, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Nun, and Martyr, 1952
  • Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi and Maria Corsini Beltrame Quattrocchi, Italian Roman Catholic Humanitarians
  • Teresa of Jesus, Jornet y Ibars, Catalan Roman Catholic Nun and Cofoundress of the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Elderly

27 (Thomas Gallaudet and Henry Winter Syle, Episcopal Priests and Educators of the Deaf)

  • Amadeus of Clermont, French Roman Catholic Monk; and his son, Amadeus of Lausanne, French-Swiss Roman Catholic Abbot and Bishop
  • Dominic Barberi, Roman Catholic Apostle to England
  • Henriette Luise von Hayn, German Moravian Hymn Writer

28 (Ambrose of Milan, Roman Catholic Bishop; Monica of Hippo, Mother of St. Augustine of Hippo; and Augustine of Hippo, Roman Catholic Bishop of Hippo Regius)

  • Denis Wortman, U.S. Dutch Reformed Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Laura S. Coperhaver, U.S. Lutheran Hymn Writer and Missionary Leader
  • Moses the Black, Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, and Martyr

29 (BEHEADING OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST)

30 (Jeanne Jugan, Foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor)

  • John Leary, U.S. Roman Catholic Social Activist and Advocate for the Poor and Marginalized
  • Karl Otto Eberhardt, German Moravian Organist, Music Educator, and Composer

31 (NICODEMUS, DISCIPLE OF JESUS)

 

Lowercase boldface on a date with two or more commemorations indicates a primary feast.