Archive for the ‘January 10’ Category

Feast of Blessed Maria Dolores Rodriguez Sopena y Ortega (January 10)   2 comments

Above:  Blessed María Dolores Rodríguez Sopeña y Ortega

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED MARÍA DOLORES RODRÍGUEZ SOPEÑA Y ORTEGA

(DECEMBER 30, 1848-JANUARY 10, 1918)

Founder of the Centers of Instruction, the Association of the Sodality of the Virgin Mary, the Ladies of the Catechetical Institute, the Association of the Apostolic Laymen/the Sopeña Lay Movement, the Works of the Doctrines/the Center for the Workers, and the Social and Cultural Work Sopeña/the Sopeña Catechetical Institute

Blessed María Dolores Rodríguez Sopeña y Ortega comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the Roman Catholic Church.

Blessed María came from a devout Spanish family.  She, born in Velez Rubio on December 30, 1848, was the fourth of seven children of Nicolasa Ortega Salomon and Tomas Rodríguez Sopeña.  He worked as the administrator of the Marqueses de Velez farms before getting a job as a magistrate in 1866.

Blessed María spent most of her life helping the less fortunate.  She, not caring about status and materialism, valued “the least of these.”  In Almeria, where her father was the judge (1866-1869), our saint, who had poor eyesight, helped her sisters, afflicted with typhoid fever.  She also ministered to a leper.  In 1869, Tomas transferred to Puerto Rico and took a son with him.  The rest of the family moved to Madrid.  Blessed María commenced catechetical work with women in prison, patents in the Princess Hospital, and pupils in Sunday Schools.

The family reunited in Puerto Rico in 1872.  There, Blessed María, 24 years old, tried to join the Sisters of Charity the following year.  Her poor eyesight prevented our saint from joining that order.  Blessed María, therefore, struck out on her own.  She began to work in impoverished neighborhoods and founded the Centers for Instruction.  The curriculum consisted of the catechism and general instruction.  Medical assistance was also available.  Blessed María also founded the Association of the Sodality of the Virgin Mary, members of which staffed the Centers for Instruction.

After Nicolasa died in 1877, the family returned to Madrid later that year. Blessed María spent the next six years taking care of her father and tending to the less fortunate.  Then Tomas died in 1883.  Our saint, struggling to find her vocation, joined a Salesian convent in 1883.  Ten days later, she left it.  The contemplative life did not fit our saint.

Blessed María vocation was social work, especially with women.  She formalized community centers for this social work as part of a new organization, Works of the Doctrines, in 1885.  Eventually, this organization took the name “Center for the Workers.”

In Madrid, in 1892, Blessed María founded the Association of the Apostolic Laymen (now the Sopeña Lay Movement).  The work of this order expanded into eight neighborhoods in Madrid the following year.

Our saint expanded her apostolic work across Spain in 1896.  She founded the Ladies of the Catechetical Institute in Toledo in 1901.  The following year, Blessed María founded the Social and Cultural Work Sopeña (now the Sopeña Catechetical Institute.  She became this order’s Superior General in 1910.

The Sopeña Catechetical Institute expanded into the Americas in 1917.

Blessed María, aged 69 years, died in Madrid on January 10, 1918.

Pope John Paul II declared our saint a Venerable in 1992 then beatified her in 2003.

Blessed María’s institutional legacy continues via the Sopeña Catechetical Institute and the Sopeña Lay Movement.

Consider two words, O reader.  Those words are orthodoxy and orthopraxy.  Orthodoxy is right belief.  Orthopraxy is right practice.  The two are properly like two sides of a coin.  One is like what one does, and as one thinks, one does and is.  When I consider elements of conventional Christian orthodoxy in the past and the present, I find a mixed bag of healthy spirituality and spiritual creepy crawlies.  I, as a student of history, know from primary sources that many Americans defended racially-defined, chattel slavery by quoting the Bible, for example.  I also recall reading such arguments recycled, well into the twentieth century, to justify Jim Crow.  I know, from the words of those who made these arguments, that these were matters, partially, of scriptural authority for those advocates.

The standard to follow is love–not vague love, not puppy love, not make-people-feel-good-for-now love.  The standard to follow is love.  Love builds up people.  Love is tangible.  Love is selfless.  Love hurts sometimes, too.  Love is willing to accompany a beloved one through hell.

Blessed María loved “the least of these.”  In doing so, she demonstrated her love of Jesus.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 28, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT AMBROSE OF MILAN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP. SAINT MONICA OF HIPPO, MOTHER OF SAINT AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO; AND SAINT AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF HIPPO REGIUS

THE FEAST OF DENIS WORTMAN, U.S. DUTCH REFORMED MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EDMOND L. BUDRY, SWISS REFORMED, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF LAURA S. COPERHAVER, U.S. LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER AND MISSIONARY LEADER

THE FEAST OF SAINT MOSES THE BLACK, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, AND MARTYR

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom

the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

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), 60

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Feast of Louise Cecilia Fleming (January 10)   Leave a comment

Above:  Flag of the Congo Free State

Image in the Public Domain

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LOUISE CECILIA FLEMING (JANUARY 10, 1862-JUNE 20, 1899)

African-American Baptist Missionary and Physician

Louise “Lulu” Cecilia Fleming comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

Fleming, born a slave on Fleming Island, Florida, on January 10, 1862, became a physician and a missionary.  Our saint’s grandfather was Lewis Fleming, owner of the Hibernia Plantation, Fleming Island.  Her father–perhaps David Fleming–was a slave who escaped to the North and enlisted in the United States Army during the Civil War.  Our saint’s mother was a maid in the plantation house.  The Flemings–free and enslaved–attended the old Bethel Baptist Church, Jacksonville.  In 1865 the majority African-American congregation divided after the white minority failed to expel the African-American members.  The white members formed First Baptist Church.  The African-American members became Bethel Baptist Institutional Church.

Lulu became a teacher then a missionary.  She, educated at the Stanton Institute, Jacksonville, worked as a public school teacher in St. Augustine from 1878 to 1882.  She also taught Sunday School during those years.  The Reverend Rufus B. Kelsay (1842-1896), pastor of Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, Brooklyn, New York, met our saint in St. Augustine.  He, impressed with her zeal for missionary work, arranged for the financing necessary for her to study at Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina.  She became the valedictorian of her class in 1885.  After the Women’s American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society denied Fleming’s request to become a missionary in 1885, our saint returned to Florida.  There she worked as an organizer in the temperance movement and as a journalist for the International Order of Good Templars.  Then, in 1886, Fleming became the first African-American missionary the Women’s Baptist Foreign Missionary Society of the West hired.  She prepared for her assignment to the Congo Free State (later Belgian Congo and now the Democratic Republic of the Congo by attending lectures at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1886 and 1887.  Lulu arrived at the Palabala mission station in the Congo Free State on May 20, 1887.

Above:  Congo Free State

Image in the Public Domain

Fleming’s first stint as a missionary to the Congo Free State lasted from 1887 to 1891.  She, officially a teacher, also preached and provided medical care.  Furthermore, our saint sent three Congolese youth to Shaw University in 1888.  Failing health forced Fleming to return to the United States in 1891.

Fleming spent 1891-1895 in the United States.  After studying at the Leonard Medical School of Shaw University (1891-1892), she rested on Fleming Island for about a year.  From 1893 to 1895, our saint studied at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania.  She became the school’s first African-American female graduate.

Fleming’s second stint as a missionary to the Congo Free State lasted from 1895 to 1899.  She, working under the auspices of the Women’s Baptist Foreign Missionary Society (East), went deeper into the interior the second time.  Our saint, stationed first at Irebu (1895-1898) then at Bolengi (1898-1899), contracted African sleeping sickness in 1899.

Fleming, aged 37 years, returned to the United States for the last time.  She died at Samaritan Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 20, 1899.

Fleming followed Jesus to the end.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 31, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICODEMUS, DISCIPLE OF JESUS

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Louise Cecilia Fleming,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of the Congo Free State.

Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom,

that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ;

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

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 or 96:1-7

Acts 1:1-9

Luke 10:1-9

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 716

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Feast of W. Sibley Towner (January 10)   Leave a comment

Above:  Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, Virginia

Image Source = Google Earth

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W. SIBLEY TOWNER (JANUARY 10, 1933-MAY 23, 2018)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Biblical Scholar

W. Sibley Towner comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The New Interpreter’s Bible, for which he wrote the introduction, commentary, and reflections on Ecclesiastes in Volume V (2000).

Towner was a gentleman and a scholar.  He, born to Wayne A. and Frances S. Towner, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, on January 10, 1933, studied at Yale University.  Our saint earned his B.A., B.D., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University.  He was also a Fulbright Scholar at The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.  Our saint became a Presbyterian (Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., not the Presbyterian Church in the United States) missionary in Lebanon.  For three years he taught secondary school at the Gerard Institute, in 1954-1957.  While in Lebanon, Towner met Jane Ann Miller.  They married in Beirut in 1956.

Towner, ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1960, taught Old Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, Yale Divinity School, and the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary through 1976.  In 1976 our saint became The Reverend Archibald McFayden Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia and at the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, across the street from each other in Richmond, Virginia.  [Note:  The two institutions federated as Union-PSCE in 1997 and became Union Presbyterian Seminary in 2009.]  Towner, known as “Sib,” was a respected and admired member of the faculty.  His sense of humor, his penchant for writing limericks, and the twinkle in his eyes set people at ease.  Towner also wrote columns, articles, and Biblical commentaries.  Our saint, who retired in 2002, remained active in seminary life until Parkinson’s Disease forced him to stop.

One can acquire Towner’s book-length commentaries on Genesis and Daniel, Volume V of The New Interpreter’s Bible, and Prayers that Sing and Stir the Heart (2018).

Towner, aged 85 years, died in Kilmarnock, Virginia, on May 23, 2018.

He must have been a wonderful man to know, under whom to study, and with whom to work.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 9, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT EDITH STEIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN AND PHILOSOPHER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HERMAN OF ALASKA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MONK AND MISSIONARY TO THE ALEUT

THE FEAST OF JOHN DRYDEN, ENGLISH PURITAN THEN ANGLICAN THEN ROMAN CATHOLIC POET, PLAYWRIGHT, AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF MARY SUMNER, FOUNDER OF THE MOTHERS’ UNION

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [W. Sibley Towner and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of William Gay Ballantine (January 10)   1 comment

Springfield

Above:  International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1900

Publisher and Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a23744

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WILLIAM GAY BALLANTINE (DECEMBER 7, 1848-JANUARY 10, 1937)

U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, EDUCATOR, SCHOLAR, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

William Gay Ballantine (1848-1937) came from an accomplished American family.  His grandfather, Ebenezer Ballantine (1756-1823), was a surgeon and a veteran of the U.S. War for Independence.  Our saint, named for his uncle, William Gay Ballantine (1807-1841), was one of seven children of the Reverend Elisha Ballantine (1809-1886) and Betsy Ann Watkins Ballantine (1812-1873).  Elisha studied at Union Theological Seminary, located at the time at Prince Edward Court House (now Farmville), Virginia, and served as an instructor there before he graduated.  Then he studied at Halle, Germany, for a year and a half before returning to his alma mater as Professor of Hebrew and Greek in 1831.  Seven years later Elisha left for Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, to become Professor of Greek.  He left that position after two years to become pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Prince Edward Court House (now Farmville Presbyterian Church), where he served from 1840 to 1847.  Then Elisha served as assistant minister at the First Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C. (the legacy of which lives in the National Presbyterian Church in that city), resigning in 1851 due to health issues.  He, after leading a private school, started a successful career at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.  There he taught mathematics (1854-1856), languages (1856-1863), and Greek (1863-1886), and served as Acting President (1884) and as Vice President (1884-1886).

Our saint, William Gay Ballantine (1848-1937), entered the world at Washington, D.C., on December 7, 1848.  His life fit well into his family’s pattern of excellence.  Ballantine graduated from Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio, in 1868.  Briefly he worked as an assistant engineer on the staff of the Ohio Geographical Survey before attending the other Union Theological Seminary, the one in New York, New York.  Ballantine graduated in 1872 then studied at the University of Leipzig.  In 1873 he took a break from his studies to participate in the first American Palestine Expedition, a project of the American Palestine Exploration Society.  Then, in 1874, our saint commenced his academic career in the United States.

That career had three phases:  1874-1891, 1891-1896, and 1897-1921.    In 1874 Ballantine became Professor of Natural History and Chemistry at Ripon College, Ripon, Wisconsin.  During his time at Ripon our saint married Emma Frances Atwood (1857-1919).  The ceremony occurred in 1875.  The couple had four children:

  1. Henry Winthrop Ballantine (1880-1951), a distinguished professor of law;
  2. Arthur Atwood Ballantine (1883-1960), Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury (1931-1932), Undersecretary of the Treasury (1932-1933), and attorney;
  3. Edward Ballantine (1886-1974), composer and professor of music; and
  4. Mary Frances Ballantine (born in 1892 or 1893; was 17 years old at the time of the U.S. Census of 1910).  I sought more information about her, without success.

From 1876 to 1878 our saint was Professor of Greek (with his father, Elisha) at Indiana University, Bloomington.  Then, in 1878, Ballantine relocated to Oberlin, Ohio, to teach at Oberlin College.  There we was Professor of Greek and Hebrew Exegesis (1878-1880), became a Congregationalist minister (1880), was Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature (1880-1891), served as an editor of Biblioteca Sacra and contributed scholarly articles to the publication (1874-1891), and served as chairman of the faculty (1889-1891).  In 1891 Western Reserce College, Cleveland, Ohio, awarded him an honorary LL.D. degree.

The second phase of Ballantine’s academic career in the United States was his time (1891-1896) as the President of Oberlin College.  The inauguration occurred on July 1, 1891.  Our saint had great ambitions for the institution he led.  Although its primary purpose was to educate ministers, he was determined not to sacrifice academic excellence in secular subjects.  Toward that end Ballantine sought to establish a graduate program in philosophy.  Economic realities intervened, however.  In 1893 the U.S. economy entered a depression.  Enrollment and revenues declined.  A $10 (equivalent to about $300 in 2014) increase in tuition seemed necessary to balance the books at Oberlin College.  Protests ensued.  Ballantine resigned on June 22, 1896, and declined a professorship.  Instead he studied in Greece for about a year.

The Hawaiian Star. Honolulu, May 25, 1903, Page 5

The Hawaiian Star, Honolulu, Hawaii, May 25, 1903, Page 5

Accessed via newspapers.org

The third phase of Ballantine’s U.S. academic career unfolded at the International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School (now Springfield College), Springfield, Massachusetts.  Our saint was Professor of Bible there from 1897 to 1921.  He discouraged Biblical literalism and encouraged acceptance of scientific evidence.  This fact disturbed enough people in leadership to prompt a year-long investigation of Ballantine’s theological soundness.  He passed the test.

Our saint retired in 1921 and devoted himself to writing.  He had been writing and publishing for decades, but his output increased after his retirement.  Ballantine’s published works included the following:

  1. The Oberlin Jubilee:  1833-1883 (1883), as editor;
  2. Jehovah’s Champion:  A Study of the Book of Job (1890);
  3. Inductive Logic (1896);
  4. Christ in the Gospel of Mark (1898);
  5. Philippians, the Model Letter (1898);
  6. Inductive Bible Studies:  Mark and Acts (1898);
  7. Key to Inductive Bible Studies (1899);
  8. The Young Man from Nazareth (1921);
  9. Understanding the Bible (1925);
  10. Discovering Jesus (1927);
  11. The Logic of Science (1933); and
  12. The Riverside New Testament:  A Translation from the Original Greek into the English of To-Day (1934).

Ballantine was also a poet.  One of his compositions, “Romaios,” graced America:  A Litany of the Nations (1907).  In 1912 he wrote a hymn, “God Save America,” which reflected his Social Gospel orientation.  Certain hymn websites have yielded a the title (yet no text) of a second hymn, “Justice Now Sits Enthroned.”  I have not found the text in any of the old hymnals in my collection either.

Ballantine died at Springfield, Massachusetts, on January 10, 1937.  He was 88 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ALL CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKERS AND PEACE ACTIVISTS

THE FEAST OF PAUL JONES, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF UTAH AND WITNESS FOR PEACE

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [William Gay Ballantine and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Feast of Allen William Chatfield (January 10)   Leave a comment

Above:  Logo of The Church of England

Image in the Public Domain

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ALLEN WILLIAM CHATFIELD (OCTOBER 2, 1808-JANUARY 10, 1896)

Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Translator

Allen William Chatfield, the son of an Anglican priest, was born at Chatteris, England.  He studied at the Charterhouse, Surrey, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating with honors from Trinity College in 1831.  Chatfield, ordained a priest in 1832, served at Stotfold (1833-1847) and Much Marcle (from 1848), dying at the latter location.

The priest was a skilled translator.  He translated parts of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer into Greek.  James Moffatt, in his companion volume to the 1927 Scottish Presbyterian Hymnary, described this effort as Chatfield’s “most notable work.”  Chatfield also published a volume, Hymns of the Earliest Christian Poets, Bishops and Others, Translated into English Verse (1876).  Hymn sites I have consulted have listed eight hymns he translated and one he wrote.

The Chatfield hymn found most often in hymnals these days is “Lord Jesus, Think on Me.”  The lyrics follow:

Lord Jesus, think on me,

And purge away my sin;

From earth-born passions set me free,

And make me pure within.

Lord Jesus, think on me,

With care and woe opprest;

Let me thy loving servant be,

And taste thy promised rest.

Lord Jesus, think on me,

Nor let me go astray;

Through darkness and perplexity

Paint thou the heavenly way.

Lord Jesus, think on me,

That, when the flood is past,

I may eternal brightness see,

And share thy joy at last.

The original words were those of Synesius of Cyrene (circa 375-circa 414), a north African bishop.

I am grateful for people, such as Allen William Chatfield, who devoted their lives to God and literary pursuits which continue to ennoble faithful Christians.  We humans have the potential to engage in much creative work and play.  And I, as a student of history, like those who have delved into the treasure house of ancient texts.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 26, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN BERCHMANS, ROMAN CATHOLIC SEMINARIAN

THE FEAST OF ISAAC WATTS, HYMN WRITER

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Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant Allen William Chatfield.

Teach us to drive from the world all chaos and disorder, that our eyes may behold your glory,

and that at last everyone may know the inexhaustible richness of your new creation

in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.  

Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8 or 2 Chronicles 20:20-21

Psalm 96

Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 5:18b-20

Matthew 13:44-52

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 61

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Revised on November 21, 2016

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Feast of St. John the Good (January 10)   Leave a comment

Above:  Europe in 526 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT JOHN THE GOOD, A.K.A. SAINT JOHN CAMILLUS (DIED 660)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Milan

Now what use is it, my brothers, for a man to say he “has faith” if his actions do not correspond with it?  Could that sort of faith save anyone’s soul?  If a fellow man or woman has no clothes to wear and nothing to eat, and one of you say, “Good luck to you I hope you’ll keep warm and find enough to eat”, and yet give them nothing meet their physical needs, what on earth is the good of that?  Yet that is exactly what a bare faith without a corresponding life is like–quite dead….Yes, faith without actions is as dead as a body without a soul.

–James 2:14-17, 26 (J. B. Phillips, The New Testament in Modern English, 1972)

No bishop had lived in Milan for eighty years.  The Western Roman Empire was no more, and Arian Lombards forced the exile of previous bishops.  But St. John Camillus filled the vacancy.  He argued against the Arian heresy, which teaches that Christ was a created being.  (The Jehovah’s Witnesses have incorporated this heresy into their alleged orthodoxy.)  He also resisted the Monothelistist heresy, which claims that the human and divine wills of Jesus Christ had a common will and activity.  Monothelitism undermines the doctrine that Jesus was fully human.  Having correct Christology is important, but so is living one’s faith, as James reminds us.  St. John Camillus earned his nickname, “the Good,” by his demonstrated holiness, as evident in his many good works in Milan.

St. John the Good died in 660, but, in 2011, people still speak of him as one who had an active faith, complete with good deeds and sound Christology.  If, in fourteen centuries, the human species and memories of us survive, may our successors make the same statements about us.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 28, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF KAMAHAMEHA AND EMMA, KING AND QUEEN OF HAWAII

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Almighty God,

you raised up faithful bishops of your church,

including your servant St. John the Good.

May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,

so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Revised on November 14, 2016

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First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of Our Lord, Year B   Leave a comment

Above:  Ubari Oasis in Libya

The Waters of Life

JANUARY 10, 2021

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Genesis 1:1-5 (New Revised Standard Version):

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.  Then God said,

Let there be light;

and there was light.  And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.  And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Psalm 29 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

Ascribe to the LORD, you gods,

ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;

worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters;

the God of glory thunders;

the LORD is mighty upon the waters.

4 The voice of the LORD is a powerful voice;

the voice of the LORD is a voice of splendor.

The voice of the LORD breaks the cedar trees;

the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon;

6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,

and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.

The voice of the LORD splits the flames of fire;

the voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;

the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the LORD makes the oak trees writhe

and strips the forest bare.

9 And in the temple of the LORD

all are crying, “Glory!”

10 The LORD sits enthroned above the flood;

the LORD sits enthroned as King for evermore.

11 The LORD shall give strength to his people;

the LORD shall give his people the blessing of peace.

Acts 19:1-7 (New Revised Standard Version):

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples.  He said to them,

Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?

They replied,

No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.

Then he said,

Into what then were you baptized?

They answered,

Into John’s baptism.

Paul said,

John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.

On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  When Paul had laid his hands on them, they spoke in tongues and prophesied–altogether there were about twelve of them.

Mark 1:4-11 (New Revised Standard Version):

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of forgiveness of sins.  And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.  Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.  He proclaimed,

The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals.  I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

In those days Jesus came down from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.  And a voice came from heaven,

You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.

The Collect:

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

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Some Related Posts:

First Sunday after the Epiphany:  The Baptism of Our Lord, Year A:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/first-sunday-after-the-epiphany-the-baptism-of-our-lord-year-a/

Apollos:

https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2010/01/22/feast-of-aquila-priscilla-and-apollos-february-13/

Genesis 1:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/10/09/week-of-5-epiphany-monday-year-1/

Mark 1:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/eighth-day-of-advent-second-sunday-of-advent-year-b/

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Water carries much symbolic meaning in the Bible.  The beautiful opening mythology in Genesis assumes that the Earth is founded upon the waters and that waters occupy the space on the other side of the dome of the sky.  So it is that, early in Genesis 1, a wind–the Spirit–from God moves across the face of the primordial waters.  Later, in Exodus, the Hebrew nations is born when it crosses the Sea of Reeds out of Egypt and into the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula.  Indeed, water was especially precious to those Biblical people who lived in or near the desert; water was essential for life.  This comes across in Psalm 1:3, for example:

They [“they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked, nor lingered in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seats of the scornful”] are like trees planted by streams of water,

bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither;

everything they do shall prosper.

(1979 Book of Common Prayer, page 585)

A survival techniques website I have consulted says that one, depending on circumstances, for months without any food.  Yet one’s body requires water daily; indeed, one can survive on just a few quarts of water for days or weeks in some environments.  So there are excellent reasons for the association of water with spiritual life.

Many people think of baptism as something we do.   Yes, we perform the sacramental rite baptism, but it is a sacrament.  As the catechism in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer says regarding the sacraments,

The sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace.

Grace, in turn, is

God’s favor towards us, unearned and undeserved; by grace God forgives our sins, enlightens our minds, stirs our hearts, and strengthens our wills.

(This material comes from pages 857 and 858 of the Prayer Book.)

Baptism is something God does, and the ritual we perform is a rite of Christian initiation, a ceremony of formal admission to the family of God.  Baptism is properly communal, not individual, in nature.  This is why the gathered congregation takes part in the baptism of a person.

God became human in the form of Jesus of Nazareth, who sought the baptism of John the Baptist.  Hence Jesus identified with us.  It is proper, then, that we identify with him.

KRT

Published originally at ADVENT, CHRISTMAS, AND EPIPHANY DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on June 5, 2011

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/first-sunday-in-lent-year-b/

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for January   Leave a comment

Snow in January

Image in the Public Domain

1 (EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Holy Name of Jesus
  • World Day of Peace

2 (NINTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Gaspar del Bufalo, Founder of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood
  • Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe, Bavarian Lutheran Minister, and Coordinator of Domestic and Foreign Missions
  • Narcissus of Tomi, Argeus of Tomi, and Marcellinus of Tomi, Roman Martyrs, 320
  • Odilo of Cluny, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Sabine Baring-Gould, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

3 (TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Edward Caswall, English Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Edward Perronet, British Methodist Preacher
  • Elmer G. Homrighausen, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Biblical Scholar, and Professor of Christian Education
  • Gladys Aylward, Missionary in China and Taiwan
  • William Alfred Passavant, Sr., U.S. Lutheran Minister, Humanitarian, and Evangelist

4 (ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Angela of Foligno, Italian Roman Catholic Penitent and Humanitarian
  • Elizabeth Ann Seton, Founder of the American Sisters of Charity
  • Gregory of Langres, Terticus of Langres, Gallus of Clermont, Gregory of Tours, Avitus I of Clermont, Magnericus of Trier, and Gaugericus, Roman Catholic Bishops
  • Johann Ludwig Freydt, German Moravian Composer and Educator
  • Mary Lundie Duncan, Scottish Presbyterian Hymn Writer

5 (TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS)

  • Antonio Lotti, Italian Roman Catholic Musician and Composer
  • Felix Manz, First Anabaptist Martyr, 1527
  • Genoveva Torres Morales, Founder of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Angels
  • John Nepomucene Neumann, Roman Catholic Bishop of Philadelphia
  • Margaret Mackay, Scottish Hymn Writer

6 (EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST)

7 (François Fénelon, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cambrai)

  • Aldric of Le Mans, Roman Catholic Bishop of Le Mans
  • Jean Kenyon Mackenzie, U.S. Presbyterian Missionary in West Africa
  • Lanza del Vasto, Founder of the Community of the Ark
  • Lucian of Antioch, Roman Catholic Martyr, 312
  • William Jones, Anglican Priest and Musician

8 (Thorfinn of Hamar, Roman Catholic Bishop)

  • A. J. Muste, Dutch-American Minister, Labor Activist, and Pacifist
  • Arcangelo Corelli, Italian Roman Catholic Musician and Composer
  • Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei, Scientists
  • Harriet Bedell, Episcopal Deaconess and Missionary
  • Pepin of Landen, Itta of Metz, Their Relations, Amand, Austregisilus, and Sulpicius II of Bourges, Faithful Christians Across Generational Lines

9 (Julia Chester Emery, Upholder of Missions)

  • Emily Greene Balch, U.S. Quaker Sociologist, Economist, and Peace Activist
  • Gene M. Tucker, United Methodist Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • Johann Josef Ignaz von Döllinger, Dissident and Excommunicated German Roman Catholic Priest, Theologian, and Historian
  • Philip II of Moscow, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia, and Martyr, 1569
  • Thomas Curtis Clark, U.S. Disciples of Christ Evangelist, Poet, and Hymn Writer

10 (John the Good, Roman Catholic Bishop of Milan)

  • Allen William Chatfield, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Translator
  • Louise Cecilia Fleming, African-American Baptist Missionary and Physician
  • María Dolores Rodríguez Sopeña y Ortega, Founder of the Centers of Instruction, the Association of the Sodality of the Virgin Mary, the Ladies of the Catechetical Institute, the Association of the Apostolic Laymen/the Sopeña Lay Movement, the Works of the Doctrines/the Center for the Workes, and the Social and Cultural Work Sopeña/the Sopeña Catechetical Institute
  • W. Sibley Towner, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • William Gay Ballantine, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Educator, Scholar, Poet, and Hymn Writer

11 (Theodosius the Cenobiarch, Roman Catholic Monk)

  • Charles William Everest, Episcopal Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer
  • Ignatius Spencer, Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest and Apostle of Ecumenical Prayer; and his protégé, Elizabeth Prout, Founder of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion
  • Miep Gies, Righteous Gentile
  • Paulinus II of Aquileia, Roman Catholic Patriarch of Aquileia
  • Richard Frederick Littledale, Anglican Priest and Translator of Hymns

12 (Benedict Biscop, Roman Catholic Abbot of Wearmouth)

  • Aelred of Hexham, Roman Catholic Abbot of Rievaulx
  • Caesarius of Arles, Roman Catholic Bishop of Arles; and his sister, Caesaria of Arles, Roman Catholic Abbess
  • Anthony Mary Pucci, Italian Roman Catholic Priest
  • Henry Alford, Anglican Priest, Biblical Scholar, Literary Translator, Hymn Writer, Hymn Translator, and Bible Translator
  • Marguerite Bourgeoys, Founder of the Sisters of Notre Dame

13 (Hilary of Poitiers, Roman Catholic Bishop of Poitiers, “Athanasius of the West;” and Hymn Writer; and his protégé, Martin of Tours, Roman Catholic Bishop of Tours)

  • Christian Keimann, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Edgar J. Goodspeed, U.S. Baptist Biblical Scholar and Translator
  • George Fox, Founder of the Religious Society of Friends
  • Mary Slessor, Scottish Presbyterian Missionary in West Africa
  • Samuel Preiswerk, Swiss Reformed Minister and Hymn Writer

14 (Macrina the Elder, Her Family, and Gregory of Nazianzus the Younger)

  • Abby Kelley Foster and her husband, Stephen Symonds Foster, U.S. Quaker Abolitionists and Feminists
  • Eivind Josef Berggrav, Lutheran Bishop of Oslo, Hymn Translator, and Leader of the Norwegian Resistance During World War II
  • Kristen Kvamme, Norwegian-American Hymn Writer and Translator
  • Richard Meux Benson, Anglican Priest and Co-Founder of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist; Charles Chapman Grafton, Episcopal Priest, Co-Founder of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, and Bishop of Fond du Lac; and Charles Gore, Anglican Bishop of Worcester, Birmingham, and Oxford; Founder of the Community of the Resurrection; Theologian; and Advocate for Social Justice and World Peace
  • Sava I, Founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church and First Archbishop of Serbs

15 (Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights Leader and Martyr, 1968)

  • Bertha Paulssen, German-American Seminary Professor, Psychologist, and Sociologist
  • Gustave Weigel, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest and Ecumenist
  • John Cosin, Anglican Bishop of Durham
  • John Marinus Versteeg, U.S. Methodist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Nikolaus Gross, German Roman Catholic Opponent of Nazism, and Martyr, 1945

16 (Roberto de Noboli, Roman Catholic Missionary in India)

  • Berard and His Companions, Roman Catholic Martyrs in Morocco, 1220
  • Edmund Hamilton Sears, U.S. Unitarian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Biblical Scholar
  • Edward Bunnett, Anglican Organist and Composer
  • Juana Maria Condesa Lluch, Founder of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Immaculate Conception, Protectress of Workers
  • Timothy Richard Matthews, Anglican Priest, Organist, and Hymn Tune Composer

17 (Antony of Egypt, Roman Catholic Abbot and Father of Western Monasticism)

  • Deicola and Gall, Roman Catholic Monks; and Othmar, Roman Catholic Abbot at Saint Gallen
  • James Woodrow, Southern Presbyterian Minister, Naturalist, and Alleged Heretic
  • Pachomius the Great, Founder of Christian Communal Monasticism
  • Rutherford Birchard Hayes, President of the United States of America
  • Thomas A. Dooley, U.S. Roman Catholic Physician and Humanitarian

18-25 (WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY)

18 (CONFESSION OF SAINT PETER, APOSTLE)

19 (Sargent Shriver his wife, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Humanitarians)

  • Alessandro Valignano, Italian Jesuit Missionary Priest in the Far East
  • Charles Winfred Douglas, Episcopal Priest, Liturgist, Musicologist, Linguist, Poet, Hymn Translator, and Arranger
  • Henry Twells, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

20 (Fabian, Bishop of Rome, and Martyr, 250)

  • Euthymius the Great and Theoctistus, Roman Catholic Abbots
  • Greville Phillimore, English Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Harold A. Bosley, United Methodist Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • Harriet Auber, Anglican Hymn Writer
  • Richard Rolle, English Roman Catholic Spiritual Writer

21 (Mirocles of Milan and Epiphanius of Pavia, Roman Catholic Bishops)

  • Alban Roe and Thomas Reynolds, Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs, 1642
  • John Yi Yon-on, Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr in Korea, 1867

22 (John Julian, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymnologist)

  • Alexander Men, Russian Orthodox Priest and Martyr, 1990
  • Benjamin Lay, American Quaker Abolitionist
  • Ladislao Batthány-Strattmann, Austro-Hungarian Roman Catholic Physician and Philanthropist
  • Vincent Pallotti, Founder of the Society for the Catholic Apostolate, the Union of Catholic Apostolate, and the Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate

23 (John the Almsgiver, Patriarch of Alexandria)

  • Charles Kingsley, Anglican Priest, Novelist, and Hymn Writer
  • Edward Grubb, English Quaker Author, Social Reformer, and Hymn Writer
  • George A. Buttrick, Anglo-American Presbyterian Minister and Biblical Scholar; and his son, David G. Buttrick, U.S. Presbyterian then United Church of Christ Minister, Theologian, and Liturgist
  • James D. Smart, Canadian Presbyterian Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • Phillips Brooks, Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts, and Hymn Writer

24 (Ordination of Florence Li-Tim-Oi, First Female Priest in the Anglican Communion)

  • Bob Keeshan, Captain Kangaroo
  • Lindsay Bartholomew Longacre, U.S. Methodist Minister, Biblical Scholar, and Hymn Tune Composer
  • Marie Poussepin, Founder of the Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Virgin
  • Martyrs of Podlasie, 1874
  • Suranus of Sora, Roman Catholic Abbot and Martyr, 580

25 (CONVERSION OF SAINT PAUL, APOSTLE)

26 (TIMOTHY, TITUS, AND SILAS, CO-WORKERS OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE)

27 (Jerome, Paula of Rome, Eustochium, Blaesilla, Marcella, and Lea of Rome)

  • Angela Merici, Founder of the Company of Saint Ursula
  • Carolina Santocanale, Founder of the Capuchin Sisters of the Immaculate of Lourdes
  • Caspar Neumann, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Mary Evelyn “Mev” Puleo, U.S. Roman Catholic Photojournalist and Advocate for Social Justice
  • Pierre Batiffol, French Roman Catholic Priest, Historian, and Theologian

28 (Albert the Great and his pupil, Thomas Aquinas; Roman Catholic Theologians)

  • Andrei Rublev, Russian Orthodox Icon Writer
  • Daniel J. Simundson, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • Henry Augustine Collins, Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Joseph Barnby, Anglican Church Musician and Composer
  • Somerset Corry Lowry, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

29 (LYDIA, DORCAS, AND PHOEBE, CO-WORKERS OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE)

30 (Lesslie Newbigin, English Reformed Missionary and Theologian)

  • Bathildas, Queen of France
  • David Galván Bermúdez, Mexican Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in Mexico, 1915
  • Frederick Oakeley, Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest
  • Genesius I of Clermont and Praejectus of Clermont, Roman Catholic Bishops; and Amarin, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Jacques Bunol, French Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1945

31 (Charles Frederick Mackenzie, Anglican Bishop of Nyasaland, and Martyr, 1862)

  • Anthony Bénézet, French-American Quaker Abolitionist
  • Menno Simons, Mennonite Leader

 

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