Archive for the ‘Communion of Saints’ Category

Time to Switch Gears   Leave a comment

Above:  Spur Gear

Image in the Public Domain

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For more than a month I have focused on blogging about saints with feast days in August and late July.  I have, since I commenced blogging about saints with feast days in July, been writing and publishing hagiographies for more than three months, including some time off, to publish already-drafted lectionary-based devotions at LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS.

Certain activities edify me spiritually.  Worshiping as a member of my congregation (St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia) helps to ground me.  Serving (usually two Sundays a month) as a Eucharistic minister is meaningful to me, for I have, since my childhood as a United Methodist in rural southern Georgia (with infrequent Communion), felt closest to God when taking Communion.  Thus partaking of the Eucharist is crucial to my religious life.  Teaching Sunday School is a vocation I enjoy greatly.  Preparing hagiographies deepens my faith, for the lives of saints help me learn how to be a better Christian.  Studying the Bible with my intellect and spirituality fully engaged is also essential.

Above:  My Desk, Saturday, July 7, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Translations, from left to right:  TANAKH:  The Holy Scriptures (1985), The New American Bible (1991), The New Jerusalem Bible (1985), The New Revised Standard Version (1989), and The Revised English Bible (1989)

Reality requires me to choose my focus on one blogging project at a time.  I choose to focus next on drafting (in a composition book) devotional posts (based on Year A of the four-year lectionary by the Reverend Will Humes) for the Season after Pentecost 2019 at ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS.  The process of drafting these twenty-six posts (eleven of them already composed) should require just a few more days to complete, but the methodical and non-continuous process of updating ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS, scheduled to commence this summer, will properly end in early December.  Matters of the calendar, as it stands in relation of the post-1969 church calendar in most of Western Christianity, have given me a head start; five posts I have published at ADVENT, CHRISTMAS, AND EPIPHANY DEVOTIONS and one I have published at LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS can, slightly altered, transfer to ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS, bringing the count of new posts to thirty-two, not counting the six monthly guide posts (for June-November) and the new cap post (“Thank You for Visiting This Weblog”), intended to be temporary, deleted after a year or so.  That will be thirty-nine new posts, offset slightly by the deletion of the current cap post and the monthly guide posts for 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have made plans for renovating the September portion of my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  Stage One, complete, was to edit extant posts, sometimes changing feast days.  Stage Two, also complete, was to prepare a list (in pencil) of people to consider adding to my Ecumenical Calendar, as well as posts to rewrite.  I have decided to write about saints with feast days in September between periods of working on ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS and BLOGA THEOLOGICA, on which I work in tandem with the lectionary-based devotional weblogs.

From time to time I will post here at SUNDRY THOUGHTS for other reasons also.

Until later….

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 8, 2018 COMMON ERA

PROPER 9:  THE SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

THE FEAST OF GERALD FORD, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND AGENT OF NATIONAL HEALING; AND BETTY FORD, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND ADVOCATE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

THE FEAST OF ALBERT RHETT STUART, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF GEORGIA AND ADVOCATE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF GEORG NEUWARK, GERMAN LUTHERAN POET AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF GIOVANNI BATTISTA BONONCINI AND ANTONIO MARIA BONONCINI, ITALIAN COMPOSERS

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July 12, 2018

Above:  Composition Book

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

I have completed the process of drafting new posts for ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS.

The drafts, which I plan to publish in installments between this month and early December, fill the space between the bookmarks in the composition book in the photograph above.

KRT

July 12, 2018

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Happy Canada Day!   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of Canada

Image in the Public Domain

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On Canada Day 2018 I wish my neighbors in the true north, strong and free, a happy Canada Day.  They reside in a fine country.  In that spirit I take this occasion to share links to some posts to statesmen and a stateswoman who helped to make and keep it the true north, strong and free:

  1. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker (1895-1979);
  2. Prime Minister Lester Pearson (1897-1972);
  3. Tommy Douglas (1904-1986), Federal Leader of the New Democratic Party;
  4. Flora MacDonald (1926-2015), Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1979-1980; and
  5. Jack Layton (1950-2011), Federal Leader of the New Democratic Party.

By the numbers two of them came from the New Democratic Party, two from the Progressive Conservative Party, and one from the Liberal Party.  Starting in the 1980s Canadian conservative politics became too right-wing for MacDonald, who, at the end of her days, was voting New Democratic.  MacDonald’s former boss, Prime Minister Joe Clark (in that office for nine months in 1979-1980), twice the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, refused to join the merged Conservative Party under the leadership of Stephen Harper and, in retirement, has addressed the Green Party.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 1, 2018 COMMON ERA

PROPER 8:  THE SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF LYMAN BEECHER, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST AND PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, AND ABOLITIONIST; FATHER OF HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, U.S. NOVELIST, HYMN WRITER, AND ABOLITIONIST; SISTER OF HENRY WARD BEECHER, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN AND CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, AND ABOLITIONIST

THE FEAST OF CATHERINE WINKWORTH, TRANSLATOR OF HYMNS; AND JOHN MASON NEALE, ANGLICAN PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF JOHN CHANDLER, ANGLICAN PRIEST, SCHOLAR, AND TRANSLATOR OF HYMNS

THE FEAST OF PAULI MURRAY, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY AND EPISCOPAL PRIEST

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Procedures for Renovating My Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days   Leave a comment

 

 

Above:  Provisional Plans for the Renovated August Section of My Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days

Scans by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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I have completed the process of taking notes for new posts about saints with feast days from July 21 to 31 and begun to write drafts in a composition book.  Next in line, mixed in with the drafting of lectionary-based devotions for the Season after Pentecost 2019, are plans for posts saints with feast days in August.

This seems like a good time to explain my procedures for the continuing renovation of my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

First, one must be dead.  Unless one is a figure from the Hebrew Bible or the Gospels, one must also have died a Christian.

Second, formal canonization or other ecclesiastical recognition, although certainly helpful, is not mandatory.

Third, with few exceptions, I add new posts and replace old ones in chronological order of feast days, from January 1 to December 31.

Fourth, I begin the process of renovating a month by editing extant posts and changing the feast days of some saints.  When I complete this stage, I know where the vacancies to fill are, given my current policy of having  no more than four posts per feast day, and only one for certain feast days, such as the Feast of the Transfiguration (August 6).

Fifth, I pencil in names of people to consider adding.  I derive these names from ecclesiastical calendars (available in books and online), unofficial calendars of saints, and from names I have written down, having found them in various sources, including hymnals and news reports, lives of other saints, and my reading.

Sixth, sometimes I change my mind about adding someone to my Ecumenical Calendar.

Seventh, sometimes I modify my plans for a post by adding people to it.  I enjoy doing this.

Eighth, after I take notes, I draft posts.  Then I create and publish posts.

Ninth, assuming for the sake of discussion that I will live long enough and be able to complete the process of renovating my Ecumenical Calendar, thereby getting through new and replacement posts for December 31, I will repeat the cycle, stacking up to five posts for most days.   Then, when I return to January the next time, I will start stacking up to six posts for most days.  I can, time and other factors permitting, keep adding to my Ecumenical Calendar for a long time.

I pray that my hobby will enrich you spiritually, O reader.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 4, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHRISTOPHER HOMBURG, GERMAN LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS CARACCIOLO, COFOUNDER OF THE MINOR CLERKS REGULAR

THE FEAST OF OLE T. (SANDEN) ARNESON, U.S. NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT STANISLAW KOSTKA STAROWIEYSKI, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

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Posted June 4, 2018 by neatnik2009 in August, Communion of Saints, July 21-31

Virtues of the Saints   1 comment

Above:  Icon of All Saints

Image in the Public Domain

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Reading and writing about lives of saints are ennobling hobbies.  Certainly I find them preferable to a host of alternative possible ways to spend time, not all of which are inherently bad.  I might, for example, follow the news of perfidy, disregard for the truth, and probable criminality rife in the Executive Branch of the Government of the United States of America more closely.  Or I might pour over all the details of political attacks (under false pretenses) on a Roman Catholic chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, complete with doses of Evangelical-Fundamentalist bias against Roman Catholicism, with its celibate priesthood in the Latin Rite.  Or I might lose myself in so-called reality shows.  But no, I prefer Bible studies and hagiographies.

I have been taking notes on saints with feast days ranging from July 7 to 11; I have not completed that project yet.  I have also made plans to draft posts, merge four feasts extant on my ECUMENICAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS’ DAYS AND HOLY DAYS into two feasts, and to create new posts during the next few days.

To focus on the lives of holy people, from antiquity to my lifetime, is to consider those who followed Christ left noble legacies.  There is never a bad time to do that, but now seems like an especially appropriate time, at least for me.  Nobody is perfect, but many of us are genuinely good.  I seek to, in the words of novelist Alex Haley,

Find the good and praise it.

As for current events, the passage of time and the efforts of principled investigators will reveal and document the truth, which will reside in the realm of objective reality, not opinion.  I leave that work to those suited for it.

Pax vobiscum!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANNA ROSA GATTORNO, FOUNDRESS OF THE INSTITUTE OF THE DAUGHTERS OF SAINT ANNE, MOTHER OF MARY IMMACULATE

THE FEAST OF TOBIAS CLAUSNITZER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS WILLIBALD OF EICHSTATT AND LULLUS OF MAINZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT WALBURGA OF HEIDENHELM, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESS; SAINTS PETRONAX OF MONTE CASSINO, WINNEBALD OF HEIDENHELM, WIGBERT OF FRITZLAR, AND STURMIUS OF FULDA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS; AND SAINT SEBALDUS OF VINCENZA, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT AND MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF CLARENCE DICKINSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

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Theological Diversity and the Communion of Saints   Leave a comment

Above:  Icon of All Saints

Image in the Public Domain

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IN PARTICULAR, WITH REGARD TO MY ECUMENICAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS’ DAYS AND HOLY DAYS

My methodology of adding to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days entails filling vacant slots on a day-by-day basis.  If I, for example, have two vacant slots for a given date, I ponder saints, consider how much information is available about them, and decide how best to fill both slots, if possible.  Sometimes I leave slots vacant, for filling later.  My current policy is to have a maximum of four posts (with one or more saints per post) per day, except a date with a Biblically-themed feast, when I usually reserve that date for that feast, unless I make a rare exception to that rule.  March 25, for example, is the Feast of the Annunciation and the Feast of St. Dismas, both Biblically themed feasts.  January 1 is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus; it is also World Peace Day.  Nevertheless, January 6 is solely the Feast of the Epiphany on my Ecumenical Calendar.  I plan to change the maximum number of posts for most days to five in 2020 or 2021, and perhaps to more eventually.  My Ecumenical Calendar can be a long-term project always in progress, assuming that I lead a long life.

Longevity is not a guarantee, of course.  Yet I make plans, just in case I am around and able to continue work on this hobby.

Since I think about additions to my Ecumenical Calendar on a day-by-day basis, looking at the trees, not the forest, so to speak, I do not collect data about societal categories (such as gender, ethnicity, and national origin) and assign quotas based on them.  Affirmative action, for all its societal value in many settings and cultures at certain times, has no place in my Ecumenical Calendar.  I do, however, enjoy recognizing people whose stories of faith have fallen into the shadows of others, including other saints.  Many of these overlooked saints fall into categories such as women, racial or ethnic minorities, and members of powerless or less powerful populations.  I cite, for example, my recent post about Niebuhrs, which includes not just Reinhold and H. Richard, but Hulda and Ursula also.

I do think purposefully about theological diversity.  Thus Popes rub shoulders with Protestants and Orthodox Patriarchs, Anglican bishops with Puritan missionaries, dogmatic theologians with non-dogmatic theologians, and mystics and alleged heretics with the conventionally orthodox, by the standards of their contexts.  In the New Testament a saint is simply a Christian; that is my definition of a saint.  The great cloud of witnesses spreads out across a wide spectrum.

According to an old saying, each Christian is somebody’s schismatic.  One might make a strong case for Roman Catholicism being schismatic from Judaism.  As surely as each Christian is somebody’s schismatic, he or she is also somebody’s heretic.  God defines heresy with certitude; we mere mortals do not.  Often we define heresy to exclude those who disagree with us, but sometimes our definitions overlap with God’s.  But how are we to know how often that happens?

I steer a moderate course through the thicket of heresy and orthodoxy, learning from early Ecumenical Councils and Church Fathers, and from Desert Mothers and Desert Fathers.  While I do this I acknowledge that, according to the Roman Catholic Church, I, as one who belongs to another Christian communion (The Episcopal Church, to be precise), I lack the fullness of the faith.  Roman Catholic orthodoxy since Vatican II holds that, since Holy Mother Church alone has the fullness of the faith, all other Christians are “separated brethren.”  At least I am no longer going to Hell, allegedly.  Progress is progress.

For all the theological diversity represented on my Ecumenical Calendar, unity is also evident.  The unity of serving Christ is present; that outweighs many differences.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 27, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORGE WASHINGTON DOANE, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF NEW JERSEY; AND HIS SON, WILLIAM CROSWELL DOANE, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF ALBANY; HYMN WRITERS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ANTONY AND THEODOSIUS OF KIEV, FOUNDERS OF RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MONASTICISM; SAINT BARLAAM OF KIEV, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX ABBOT; AND SAINT STEPHEN OF KIEV, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX ABBOT AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF CHRISTINA ROSSETTI, POET AND RELIGIOUS WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS REMACLUS OF MAASTRICHT, THEODORE OF MAASTRICHT, LAMBERT OF MAASTRICHT, HUBERT OF MAASTRICHT AND LIEGE, AND FLORBERT OF LIEGE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT LANDRADA OF MUNSTERBILSEN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESS; AND SAINTS OTGER OF UTRECHT, PLECHELM OF GUELDERLAND, AND WIRO, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARIES

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More Saints Coming Soon: July Edition   Leave a comment

Above:  July

From Gleason’s Pictorial, July 15, 1854

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-42800

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I am preparing to return to the renovation of my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days in a few days, picking up where I left off in February.

I have been working on other blogging projects, including some I have yet to publish.  I have, for example, drafted the new posts for LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS, a weblog I am waiting until late May to begin renovating and updated, due to May 20 being the Day of Pentecost, the last day that weblog covers.  I have also renovated and updated ADVENT, CHRISTMAS, AND EPIPHANY DEVOTIONS.  Along the way I have also added to BLOGA THEOLOGICA methodically.

My renovation of my Ecumenical Calendar has followed a deliberate plan–to start with posts for January 1 and work chronologically.  I have, however, made three exceptions–for December 26, 27, and 28–due to the renovation and updating of ADVENT, CHRISTMAS, AND EPIPHANY DEVOTIONS.  So far I have renovated the January, February, March, April, May, and June sections of my Ecumenical Calendar, changing dates on many posts, deleting others, replacing many of the deleted posts with better entries, and adding “new” saints to the calendar.  I have prepared a two-page-long list of names for July.  Some of these are posts to redo, but many will be new to my Ecumenical Calendar.

I admit to having competing and frequently mutually exclusive interests.  For example, I relish lectionary-based Bible study, which I carry out in preparation for the Sunday School class I teach at St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia, and at more than one of my weblogs.  I also enjoy reading and writing about lives of holy people.  I find, however, that sometimes I am “in the zone” for Bible-based blogging but not for lives of the saints, and visa versa.  So I listen to myself.

For your information, just in case you, O reader, are interested, I do have longterm plans for my Ecumenical Calendar.  At present the maximum number of posts I assign per day is four.  A post might cover more than one saint, but I stack up no more than four posts per day, with some days blocked off for just one post.  Whenever I, having renovated the December portion of my Ecumenical Calendar, return to the January section again, I intend to stack up as many as five posts per day, and to apply that rule to the subsequent months.  I might go to six or more eventually.  There is no shortage of holy lives about which to read and write, after all.

Pax vobiscum!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 13, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH BARBER LIGHTFOOT, BISHOP OF DURHAM

THE FEAST OF HENRI PERRIN, WORKER PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT DAVID URIBE-VELASCO, MEXICAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT ZENO OF VERONA, BISHOP

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Expressing Opinions   Leave a comment

I am not shy about expressing my opinions at this, my original weblog, the one from which the others sprang, directly or indirectly.  I am, however, cautious in so far as I do not feel obligated to express every thought that passes through my mind.  I do, in fact, leave most of my thoughts unexpressed.  Furthermore, I am a trained historian.  The difference between history and journalism is hindsight.  I prefer to sit back and gather data rather than to spout off.  When I make a statement, however, I make it with conviction.

Certainly, in the age of the political, moral, and ecological train wreck that is the Trump Administration, with its fondness for foreign elected dictators and contempt for the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, sordid details come to light so quickly that I have difficulty keeping up with them.  Apparently do does that overgrown toddler, that man-child with a Twitter account,  a thin skin, a small vocabulary, a dearth of historical knowledge, a penchant for half-baked conspiracy theories, and a casual relationship (at best) with objective reality, in the White House.  In these times I double down on my historian’s tendencies and express my perspective by permitting it to inform my analysis of the past.   I leave a plethora of clues embedded in my posts.

I have ended my hiatus on renovating my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  During the hiatus I drafted new devotions for Lent, Easter, and the Season After Pentecost 2018.  I have made plans to start updating my LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS weblog after Pentecost (next Sunday) and ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS once Advent 2017 has begun.  I have also resolved to return to the wonderful world of saints.  My choice of saints has long reflected my political and theological priorities.  Now that the time to renovate systematically the Ecumenical Calendar, a project begun casually in 2009, has come, I have begun to remove some people and add others in accordance with my changing priorities and access to more knowledge, as well as all that I have learned about blogging.  I have never considered agreeing with me completely to be a requirement for inclusion, but not being overall morally objectionable to me has always been mandatory.

Without further ado, I resume the process of adding saints.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 29, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF PERCY DEARMER, ANGLICAN CANON AND TRANSLATOR AND AUTHOR OF HYMNS

THE FEAST OF THE FIRST U.S. PRESBYTERIAN BOOK OF CONFESSIONS, 1967

THE FEAST OF JIRI TRANOVSKY, LUTHER TO THE SLAVS AND FATHER OF SLOVAK HYMNODY

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LUKE KIRBY, THOMAS COTTAM, WILLIAM FILBY, AND LAURENCE RICHARDSON, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS

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