Archive for the ‘March 7’ Category

Feast of Blessed Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa (March 7)   Leave a comment

Above:  Blessed Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa

Image in the Public Domain

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BLESSED MARIA ANTONIA DE PAZ Y FIGUEROA (1730-MARCH 6 OR 7, 1797)

Foundress of the Daughters of the Divine Savior

Also known as Maria Antonia of Saint Joseph

Blessed Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa lived and served God in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru (now Argentina).  She, born in Silipica, Santiago del Estero, in 1730, grew up in a devout family.  Our saint, perceiving a vocation to religious life, began to live accordingly at age fifteen.  She and other women lived in an informal monastic community because of the absence of formal monastic communities for women in the area.  Father Gaspar Juarez, S.J., provided spiritual direction for the women.  Our saint cared for the sick and the poor, and taught children.  She also assisted Father Juarez at retreats, which he based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius (of) Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.

King Charles III of Spain (reigned as the King of Spain from 1759 to 1788; previously Charles I, Duke of Parma, from 1731 to 1738, then Charles IV, King of the Two Sicilies, from 1734 to 1759) opposed the Jesuits.  He was an absolutist monarch (therefore, a control freak) who distrusted the Society of Jesus, an international organization loyal to the Bishop of Rome.  Charles III also suspected that the Jesuits had instigated riots in 1766. In 1767 he expelled the Society of Jesus from the vast Spanish Empire.  Six years later, he helped to arrange for Papal suppression of the order.

The monarch’s action of 1767 deprived our saint of her spiritual adviser.  She, therefore, led the retreats in various cities.  These retreats proved to be controversial because she grounded them in the Spiritual Exercises.  Sebastian Malivar y Pinto, O.F.M., the Archbishop of Buenos Aires (1777-1783), supported our saint, however.  The popular retreats continued.  More than 150,000 people attended over the years.

Blessed Maria Antonia founded the Daughters of the Divine Savior in 1795. She became Maria Antonia of Saint Joseph.

Our saint died in Buenos Aires on March 6 or 7, 1799.  She was 69 years old.

She became one of the more recent additions to the Roman Catholic calendar of saints.  Pope Benedict XVI declared her a Venerable in 2010.  Pope Francis, who had been one of Malivar’s successors as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, beatified her in 2016.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 17, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTONY OF EGYPT, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND FATHER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM

THE FEAST OF JAMES WOODROW, SOUTHERN PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, NATURALIST, AND ALLEGED HERETIC

THE FEAST OF SAINT PACHOMIUS THE GREAT, FOUNDER OF CHRISTIAN COMMUNAL MONASTICISM

THE FEAST OF RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

THE FEAST OF THOMAS A. DOOLEY, U.S. ROMAN CATHOLIC PHYSICIAN AND HUMANITARIAN

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O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through him might be rich:

Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we,

inspired by the devotion of your servant Blessed Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa,

may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Psalm 34

Philippians 3:7-15

Luke 12:33-37 or 9:57-62

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 722

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Feast of Sts. Perpetua, Felicity, and Their Companions (March 7)   Leave a comment

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Above:  The Martyrdom of Sts. Perpetua, Felicity, and Their Companions

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT VIBIA PERPETUA (BORN IN 181)

SAINT FELICITAS, ALSO KNOWN AS SAINT FELICITY

SAINT REVOCATUS

SAINT CATHAGINIANS SECUNDULUS

SAINT SATURNINUS

Martyred at Carthage on March 7, 203

According to some accounts, Roman Emperor Septimius Severus (lived 145-211; reigned 193-211) forbade Christians to convert people.  Historian J. G. Davies, author of The Early Christian Church (1965), considered this story dubious, however.  Septimius Severus did, however, certainly preside over a vigorous persecution of Christianity in northern Africa in the early 200s.  Among the martyrs from that period were the five saints featured in this post.

These martyrs were Christian catechumen at Carthage.  Vibia Perpetua was a widow with an infant son.  Felicitas and Revocatus were her slaves.  Cathaginians Secundulus and Saturninus rounded out the group.  These five saints refused to make a mandatory sacrifice to the divinity of the emperor.  In so doing they made themselves enemies of the state, which considered such sacrifices essential to the well-being of the empire.  Perpetua refused pleas from her father to spare her life.  He went on to raise her son.  Felicitas, eight months pregnant at the time of her arrest, gave birth to a daughter, whom she entrusted to Christian friends.

Our saints died at Carthage on March 7, 203.  Animals killed Revocatus, Cathaginians Secundulus, and Saturninus in the arena.  Perpetua and Felicitas died by the sword in the same arena.  The soldier who executed Perpetua failed the first time; he pierced her throat between bones.  Then she guided the sword to its destination.

Perhaps so great a woman could not else have been slain had she herself not so willed it.

The Passion of SS. Perpetua and Felicity

The stories of these saints’ martyrdom has encouraged the faith of Christians since 203.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 9, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS PEPIN OF LANDEN, ITTA OF METZ, THEIR RELATIONS, AMAND, AUSTREGISILUS, AND SULPICIUS II OF BOURGES, FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS ACROSS GENERATIONAL LINES

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY PUCCI, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF JULIA CHESTER EMERY, UPHOLDER OF MISSIONS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PHILIP II OF MOSCOW, METROPOLITAN OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA AND MARTYR

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O God, the King of Saints, who strengthened your servants

Perpetua, Felicity, and their companions to make a good confession

and to encourage one another in the time of trial:

Grant that we who cherish their blessed memory may be encouraged by their prayers

to share their pure and steadfast faith and win with them the palm of victory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you

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

Daniel 6:10-16

Psalm 124

Hebrews 10:32-39

Matthew 24:9-14

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 263

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Feast of Jim McGown (March 7)   2 comments

James Hewitt McGown

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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JAMES HEWITT MCGOWN (MARCH 30, 1946-MARCH 7, 2013)

Humanitarian

Seldom do I have the privilege of meeting, much less knowing, people I add to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  This time, however, I write about someone I not only knew but considered a friend.

Jim McGown was born in Lynbrook, New York, in 1946, son of Hewitt Roe McGown and Jeanette McDougal McGown.  He grew up in Garden City, on Long Island.  Jim, a graduate of McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, came to Athens, Georgia, for the first time as a naval officer in training at the U.S. Navy Supply Corps School.  During that stint he met Jane Foster, whom he eventually married in September 1972.  They settled in Jane’s hometown, Athens, the following year, remaining there and moving into their most long-lasting home in 1987.

Jim and Jane raised two sons—Evan Hewitt McGown and Todd Foster McGown Elihu.  Their home was a site of much love, personal warmth, and generosity of spirit.  Jim lived long enough to see Todd marry and welcome visits by his daughter-in-law, Baraka, and his granddaughter, Akasha.

As Jane described Jim to me recently, “God’s love smiled through him.”  Thus Jim loved Christ in his neighbors near to home and far away.  He helped to found the Athens Area Homeless Shelter, served on the board of the Samaritan Counseling Center of Northeast Georgia, mentored community youth, taught computer classes, and lobbied for Palestinian rights.  And Jim and Jane helped me on more than one occasion, even allowing me to live upstairs for a few weeks in 2007, when I was between long-term housing arrangements.  Jim recommended good books to me, gave me some, and offered me sage advice.  The last book he gave me—a Lenten guide which N. T. Wright wrote—has become an especially prized possession.

Jim held various jobs over the years, including a position at Jane’s family business, Foster’s Jewelers.  He also operated a business, Vintage Jim’s, and mentored many students at the Presbyterian Student Center near The University of Georgia (UGA).  That was where I met him during an ecumenical excursion.  His kind counsel helped me through some difficult periods in my life, especially UGA-related ones.

Jim, raised a Roman Catholic—once even a member of a religious order—became a Presbyterian.  He, a member of First Presbyterian Church, Athens, served there as an elder.  He also attended General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a delegate and mentored Education for Ministry (EFM) groups at St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens.  Jim, a warm-hearted man with an inquisitive mind, read scholarly books (especially ones about religious topics) and returned to UGA in his retirement, earning his M.A. in religion.  He died after having attended a lecture on the university campus on March 7, 2013.  It was appropriate that Jim’s final act was an academic one.

Jim was a great man who left the world better than he found it.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 4, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF PAUL CUFFEE, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MISSIONARY TO THE SHINNECOCK NATION

THE FEAST OF CARL SYLVIUS VOLKNER AND MOKOMOTO, SYMBOLS OF RECONCILATION

THE FEAST OF SAINT CASIMIR OF POLAND, PRINCE

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARINUS OF CAESAREA, ROMAN SOLDIER AND CHRISTIAN MARTYR; AND SAINT ASTERIUS, ROMAN SENATOR AND CHRISTIAN MARTYR

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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 Jim McGown,

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

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

Feast of Edward Osler (March 7)   1 comment

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Above:  Truro, England, Between 1890 and 1900

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08251

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EDWARD OSLER (JANUARY 31, 1798-MARCH 7, 1863)

English Doctor, Editor, and Poet

Edward Osler was the house surgeon at Swansea Infirmary from 1819 to 1836.  That was noble work, to be sure.  But he felt the need for a change.  So our saint went to work in London then in Bath for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.  Then, in 1841, he transferred to Truro to assume the job he held until his death:  Editor of the Royal Cornwall Gazette.  His literary interests and skills were already established, for he had helped to produce Psalms and Hymns Adopted to the Service of the Church of England (“The Mitre Hymnal”) in 1836.  That volume included fifty of his hymns and fifteen of his psalm settings.

Two of Osler’s hymns which I have added to my GATHERED PRAYERS blog, “Lord of the Church, We Humbly Pray” and “O God Unseen, Yet Ever Near,” come from that hymnal.  Also from “The Mitre Hymnal” is this, the third stanza of “Praise the Lord:  Ye Heavens Adore Him,” as printed in The Hymnal (1933):

Worship, honor, glory, blessing,

Lord, we offer unto Thee;

Young and old, Thy praise expressing,

In glad homage bend the knee.

All the saints in heaven adore Thee;

We would bow before Thy throne:

As Thine angels serve before Thee,

So on earth Thy will be done.

Osler’s literary-spiritual legacy is magnificent.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 19, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ANNE HUTCHINSON, REBELLIOUS PURITAN

THE FEAST OF BLAISE PASCAL, MATHEMATICIAN AND ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN EUDES, FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF JESUS AND MARY

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Edward Osler and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

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

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

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

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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Feast of Sts. Drausinus, Ansericus, Vindician, and Leodegarius (March 7)   5 comments

Above:  Gaul in 628 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT ANSERICUS (DIED 652)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Soissons

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SAINT DRAUSINUS (DIED CIRCA 674)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Soissons

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SAINT VINDICIAN (632-712)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Cambrai 

His feast transferred from March 9

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SAINT LEODEGARIUS (CIRCA 616-679)

Roman Catholic Bishop of Autun

His feast transferred from October 2

St. Drausinus received his education under St. Ansericus, Bishop of Soissons from 623 to 652.  (I can find no other information about St. Ansericus.)  St. Drausinus became Bishop of Soissons in 657.  He built convents and churches, and was known for his excellent preaching, his wise episcopal leadership, and his simple lifestyle.  St. Drausinus was also able to convince Ebroin, mayor of the Merovingian palace of Theodoric III, King of Neustria from 673 to 678 and King of all Franks from 678 to 691, to found a chapel for sick nuns.  This was quite an accomplishment, given Ebroin’s bad character.

Consider the following story as evidence of Ebroin’s perfidy:

We begin with St. Leodegarius, raised in the court of Cloatire/Lothair II, King of Neustria from 584 to 613 and King of all Franks from 613 to 629, was the nephew of Didon, Bishop of Poitiers, who also raised him and made him archdeacon.  In 651 St. Leodegarius became Abbot of Maxentius Abbey, to which he introduced the Rule of St. Benedict.  He also helped Queen Bathildis govern as regent for her young son, Clotaire/Lothair III, after her husband, Clovis II, died in 656.  St. Leodegarius became Bishop of Autun in 663.  It was a diocese rent asunder by disputes; he restored the see to wholeness.  The bishop also devoted much time to helping the poor.

The Merovingian Dynasty was frequently fractious, with surviving sons of a deceased king dividing the kingdom among themselves and not always exhibiting brotherly love.  Periodically one Merovingian monarch united the realm under his rule, only to have the unification reversed after he died.  This pattern created violent political waters to navigate, and more than one saint lost his life in them.  Clotaire/Lothair III died in 673, survived by two brothers.  Childeric II was King of Austrasia from 662 to 675, and Theodoric III was King of Neustria from 673 to 698.  Childeric II and Theodoric III engaged in a power struggle.  St. Leodegarius supported Childeric II, who reigned as King of all Franks from 673 to 675, until an assassination.  Ebroin, having lost to the forces of Childeric II, found himself exiled for a few years, during which St. Leodegarius functioned as a royal advisor.  Childeric II married a first cousin in 675, at which point St. Leodegarius condemned that union and received exile as a consequence.  Later that year, Theodoric III, the last brother left alive, recalled both St. Leodegarius and Ebroin.  The latter returned after arranging for the murder of his successor as mayor of the palace.

Also in 675, Ebroin convinced the Duke of Champagne and the Bishops of Chalons and Valence to attack Autun.  St. Leodegarius surrendered to spare the city.  Ebroin had the Bishop of Autun blinded, his lips cut off, and his tongue removed.  Three years later, Ebroin convinced Theodoric III that St. Leodegarius was responsible for the murder of Childeric II, with the help of the bishop’s brother, Gerinus.  So Theodoric III had Gerinus stoned to death and St. Leodegarius tortured.  Finally, in 679, St. Leodegarius was deposed formally then executed.

At this point we meet St. Vindician.  Born at Bullecourt, Francia, he was Bishop of Cambrai from 669 to his death, in 712.  As bishop St. Vindician was renowned for making many converts and founding monasteries.  Fellow bishops appointed St. Vindician to confront Theodoric III over the Gerinus-St. Leodegarius matter.  Theodoric III repented after his meeting with St. Vindician, funding St. Vaast Monastery, Arras, near the site of the murder of St. Leodegarius.   Ebroin, who lived by murder, died of an assassination in 680/681.  And St. Vindician died in 712, while visiting Brussels.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 13, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ELLA J. BAKER, WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT LUCY OF SYRACUSE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

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Almighty God,

you raised up faithful bishops of your church,

including your servants

Saint Ansericus,

Saint Drausinus,

Saint Leodegarius,

and Saint Vindician.

May the memory of their lives 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 December 24, 2016

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Third Sunday in Lent, Year B   Leave a comment

Above:  Moses with the Ten Commandments, by Rembrandt van Rijn

Law

MARCH 7, 2021

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Exodus 20:1-17 (New Revised Standard Version):

Then God spoke all these words:

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work– you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Psalm 19 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1  The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the firmament shows his handiwork.

2  One day tells its tale to another,

and one night imparts knowledge to another.

3  Although they have no words or language,

and their voices are not heard,

4  Their sound has gone out into all lands,

and their message to the ends of the world.

5  In the deep has he set a pavilion for the sun;

it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber;

it rejoices like a champion to run its course.

6  It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens

and runs about to the end of it again;

nothing is hidden from its burning heat.

7 The law of the LORD is perfect and revives the soul;

the testimony of the LORD is sure and gives wisdom to the innocent.

8 The statutes of the LORD are just and rejoice the heart;

the commandment of the LORD is clear and gives light to the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is clean and endures forever;

the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold,

sweeter far than honey, than honey in the comb.

11 By them also is your servant enlightened,

and in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can tell how often he offends?

cleanse me from my secret faults.

13 Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins;

let them not get dominion over me;

then shall I be whole and sound,

and innocent of a great offense.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,

O LORD, my strength and my redeemer.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (New Revised Standard Version):

The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

John 2:13-22 (New Revised Standard Version):

The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves,

Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!

His disciples remembered that it was written,

Zeal for your house will consume me.

The Jews then said to him,

What sign can you show us for doing this?

Jesus answered them,

Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

The Jews then said,

This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?

But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

The Collect:

Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; 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

Third Sunday in Lent, Year A

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/third-sunday-in-lent-year-a/

Third Sunday in Lent, Year B:

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/third-sunday-in-lent-year-b/

Exodus 20:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/week-of-proper-11-friday-year-1/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/proper-22-year-a/

1 Corinthians 1:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/fourth-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-a/

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-sixth-day-of-lent-tuesday-in-holy-week/

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I grew up in the Bible Belt of southern Georgia U.S.A.  My parents taught me to engage my brain fully when considering the Bible, a fact for which I bless them.  That training continues to serve me well.  To this day, if I had to live in certain counties in Georgia–for example, those without an Episcopal congregation–I would not attend church, for I doubt that I could find a place to worship and to engage mind within the same walls without incurring scornful looks.  I am about to demonstrate why this is true.

One feature of Jewish law is that it is supposedly revealed–not subject to human reason–but revealed.  Yet I propose that there is great moral and intellectual danger in going on autopilot with regard to the Law of Moses.  For example, some of the Ten Commandments, printed above in English translation, classify women along with livestock and property.  Others do not question the moral legitimacy of slavery.  And other parts of the Law of Moses are quick to condemn people to death.  Just flip over to Exodus 21.

One can cherry pick the parts of the Law of Moses which confirm one’s opinions concerning a variety of issues, but this constitutes intellectual dishonesty if one claims to take the Bible literally and to consider the Book inerrant and infallible.  The truth is that we who read the book must pick and choose, for we cannot keep all of it, due to contradictions.  This is especially true if we are Christians.

So, as one does not accept biblical inerrancy or infallibility, but who takes the Bible quite seriously, I choose to follow the Law of Love:  What does love require?  I can ignore Exodus 21:7f, which begins with selling one’s daughter into slavery, for the Law of Love proscribes that such an act is never appropriate.  And, like the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), I can overlook the commandment to put to death a child who curses his mother or father (Exodus 21:17).

The Johannine Gospel, unlike the Synoptic Gospels, places our Lord’s cleansing of the Temple at the inaugural phase of his ministry.  (The Synoptics place this event just a few days before his crucifixion.)  Thus the author of the Gospel of John has Jesus begin his ministry by questioning and protesting publicly the Temple system of animal sacrifices, one which many people could not afford.  It was also true that the conversion of Roman currency (technically idolatrous, for it bore the allegedly divine Emperor’s image) into money religiously appropriate for the purchase of a sacrificial animal benefited not only the money changers but also the Temple authorities financially.  This economic exploitation galled Jesus.  For Jesus, love trumped all else.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 speaks of Christ as being a stumbling block and a portal simultaneously.  The purpose of the Incarnation was not to erect a stumbling block but, if that is what one makes Jesus, that is what he is for that person.  Jesus is love incarnate.  For many of us (in the general sense) pure love and compassion are terrifying, for they break down the barriers we use to define our reality.  Who is an insider?  Who is an outsider?  Who is pure?  Who is impure?  Who is saved?  Who is damned?  We have our own answers, as does God.  These answers conflict quite often.  God, I suspect, is generally more merciful than we are.

KRT

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Published in a nearly identical form at LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on July 26, 2011

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for March   Leave a comment

Daffodil

Image Source = Bertil Videt

1 (Anna of Oxenhall and Her Faithful Descendants, Wenna the Queen, Non, Samson of Dol, Cybi, and David of Wales)

  • Edwin Hodder, English Biographer, Devotional Writer, and Hymn Writer
  • George Wishart, Scottish Calvinist Reformer and Martyr, 1546; and Walter Milne, Scottish Protestant Martyr, 1558
  • Jean-Pierre de Caussade, French Roman Catholic Priest and Spiritual Director
  • Roger Lefort, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bourges

2 (Shabbaz Bhatti and Other Christian Martyrs of the Islamic World)

  • Aidan of Lindisfarne, Celtic Missionary Bishop; Caelin, Celtic Priest; Cedd of Lastingham, Celtic and Roman Catholic Priest, Bishop of Essex, and Abbot of Lastingham; Cynibil of Lastingham, Celtic and Roman Catholic Priest and Monk; Chad of Mercia, Celtic and Roman Catholic Priest, Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of York/the Northumbrians and of Lichfield/the Mercians and the Lindsey People; Vitalian, Bishop of Rome; Adrian of Canterbury, Roman Catholic Abbot of Saints Peter and Paul, Canterbury; Theodore of Tarsus, Roman Catholic Monk and Archbishop of Canterbury; and Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, Celtic and Roman Catholic Monk, Hermit, Priest, and Bishop of Lindisfarne
  • Daniel March, Sr., U.S. Congregationalist and Presbyterian Minister, Poet, Hymn Writer, and Liturgist
  • John Stuart Blackie, Scottish Presbyterian Scholar, Linguist, Poet, Theologian, and Hymn Writer
  • Ludmilla of Bohemia, Duchess of Bohemia, and Martyr, 921; her grandson, Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia, and Martyr, 929; Agnes of Prague, Bohemian Princess and Nun; pen pal of Clare of Assisi, Foundress of the Poor Clares; sister of Agnes of Assisi, Abbess at Monticelli; daughter of Hortulana of Assisi, Poor Clare Nun

3 (Katharine Drexel, Foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament)

  • Antonio Francesco Marzorati, Johannes Laurentius Weiss, and Michele Pro Fasoli, Franscican Missionary Priests and Martyrs in Ethiopia, 1716
  • Gervinus, Roman Catholic Abbot and Scholar
  • Henry Elias Fries, U.S. Moravian Industrialist; and his wife, Rosa Elvira Fries, U.S. Moravian Musician
  • Teresa Eustochio Verzeri, Foundress of the Institute of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

4 (Charles Simeon, Anglican Priest and Promoter of Missions; Henry Martyn, Anglican Priest, Linguist, Translator, and Missionary; and Abdul Masih, Indian Convert and Missionary)

  • Henry Suso, German Roman Catholic Mystic, Preacher, and Spiritual Writer
  • John Edgar Park, U.S. Presbyterian then Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Paul Cuffee, U.S. Presbyterian Missionary to the Shinnecock Nation
  • Thomas Hornblower Gill, English Unitarian then Anglican Hymn Writer

5 (Karl Rahner, Jesuit Priest and Theologian)

  • Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle, English Roman Catholic Convert, Spiritual Writer, and Translator of Spiritual Writings; Founder of Mount Saint Bernard Abbey
  • Christopher Macassoli of Vigevano, Franciscan Priest
  • Eusebius of Cremona, Roman Catholic Abbot and Humanitarian
  • Ion Costist, Franciscan Lay Brother

6 (Martin Niemoller, German Lutheran Minister and Peace Activist)

  • Chrodegang of Metz, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Jordan of Pisa, Dominican Evangelist
  • William Bright, Anglican Canon, Scholar, and Hymn Writer

7 (James Hewitt McGown, Humanitarian)

  • Drausinus and Ansericus, Roman Catholic Bishops of Soissons; Vindician, Roman Catholic Bishop of Cambrai; and Leodegarius, Roman Catholic Bishop of Autun
  • Edward Osler, English Doctor, Editor, and Poet
  • Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, Foundress of the Daughters of the Divine Savior
  • Perpetua, Felicity, and Their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203

8 (Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln)

  • Fred B. Craddock, U.S. Disciples of Christ Minister, Biblical Scholar, and Renowned Preacher
  • Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • John Hampden Gurney, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • John of God, Founder of the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God

9 (Harriet Tubman, U.S. Abolitionist)

  • Emanuel Cronenwett, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Frances of Rome, Foundress of the Collatines
  • Johann Pachelbel, German Lutheran Organist and Composer
  • Sophronius of Jerusalem, Roman Catholic Patriarch

10 (Marie-Joseph Lagrange, Roman Catholic Priest and Biblical Scholar)

  • Agripinnus of Autun, Roman Catholic Bishop; Germanus of Paris, Roman Catholic Bishop; and Droctoveus of Autun, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Folliot Sandford Pierpoint, Anglican Educator, Poet, and Hymn Writer
  • John Oglivie, Scottish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1615
  • Macarius of Jerusalem, Roman Catholic Bishop

11 (John Swertner, Dutch-German Moravian Minister, Hymn Writer, Hymn Translator, and Hymnal Editor; and his collaborator, John Mueller, German-English Moravian Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor)

  • Aengus the Culdee, Hermit and Monk; and Maelruan, Abbot
  • Eulogius of Spain, Roman Catholic Bishop of Toledo, Cordoba; and Leocrita; Roman Catholic Martyrs, 859
  • Francis Wayland, U.S. Baptist Minister, Educator, and Social Reformer
  • Pal Prennushi, Albanian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1948

12 (Trasilla and Emiliana; their sister-in-law, Sylvia of Rome; and her son, Gregory I “the Great,” Bishop of Rome)

  • John H. Caldwell, U.S. Methodist Minister and Social Reformer
  • Maximillian of Treveste, Roman Conscientious Objector and Martyr, 295
  • Rutilio Grande, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1977
  • Theophanes the Chroncler, Defender of Icons

13 (Yves Congar, Roman Catholic Priest and Theologian)

  • Heldrad, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • James Theodore Holly, Episcopal Bishop of Haiti, and the Dominican Republic; First African-American Bishop in The Episcopal Church
  • Plato of Symboleon and Theodore Studites, Eastern Orthodox Abbots; and Nicephorus of Constantinople, Patriarch
  • Roderic of Cabra and Solomon of Cordoba, Roman Catholic Martyrs, 857

14 (Fannie Lou Hamer, Prophet of Freedom)

  • Albert Lister Peace, Organist in England and Scotland
  • Harriet King Osgood Munger, U.S. Congregationalist Hymn Writer
  • Nehemiah Goreh, Indian Anglican Priest and Theologian
  • Vincenzina Cusmano, Superior of the Sisters Servants of the Poor; and her brother, Giacomo Cusmano, Founder of the Sisters Servants of the Poor and the Missionary Servants of the Poor

15 (Zachary of Rome, Bishop of Rome)

  • Jan Adalbert Balicki and Ladislaus Findysz, Roman Catholic Priests in Poland
  • Ozora Stearns Davis, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Theologian, and Hymn Writer
  • Vethappan Solomon, Apostle to the Nicobar Islands

16 (Adalbald of Ostevant, Rictrudis of Marchiennes, and Their Relations)

  • Abraham Kidunaia, Roman Catholic Hermit; and Mary of Edessa, Roman Catholic Anchoress
  • John Cacciafronte, Roman Catholic Monk, Abbot, Bishop, and Martyr, 1183
  • Megingaud of Wurzburg, Roman Catholic Monk and Bishop
  • Thomas Wyatt Turner, U.S. Roman Catholic Scientist, Educator, and Civil Rights Activist; Founder of Federated Colored Catholics

17 (Patrick, Apostle of Ireland)

  • Ebenezer Elliott, “The Corn Law Rhymer”
  • Henry Scott Holland, Anglican Hymn Writer and Priest
  • Jan Sarkander, Silesian Roman Catholic Priest and “Martyr of the Confessional,” 1620
  • Maria Barbara Maix, Foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

18 (Leonides of Alexandria, Roman Catholic Martyr, 202; Origen, Roman Catholic Theologian; Demetrius of Alexandria, Roman Catholic Bishop; and Alexander of Jerusalem, Roman Catholic Bishop)

  • Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop, Theologian, and Liturgist
  • Eliza Sibbald Alderson, Poet and Hymn Writer; and John Bacchus Dykes, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Paul of Cyprus, Eastern Orthodox Martyr, 760
  • Robert Walmsley, English Congregationalist Hymn Writer

19 (JOSEPH OF NAZARETH, HUSBAND OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD)

20 (Sebastian Castellio, Prophet of Religious Liberty)

  • Christopher Wordsworth, Hymn Writer and Anglican Bishop of Lincoln
  • Ellen Gates Starr, U.S. Episcopalian then Roman Catholic Social Activist and Reformer
  • Maria Josefa Sancho de Guerra, Foundress of the Congregation of the Servants of Jesus
  • Samuel Rodigast, German Lutheran Academic and Hymn Writer

21 (Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and Johann Christian Bach, Composers)

  • John S. Stamm, Bishop of The Evangelical Church then the Evangelical United Brethren Church
  • Nicholas of Flüe and his grandson, Conrad Scheuber, Swiss Hermits
  • Serapion of Thmuis, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Umphrey Lee, U.S. Methodist Minister and President of Southern Methodist University

22 (Deogratias, Roman Catholic Bishop of Carthage)

  • Emmanuel Mournier, Personalist Philosopher
  • James De Koven, Episcopal Priest
  • Thomas Hughes, British Social Reformer and Member of Parliament
  • William Edward Hickson, English Music Educator and Social Reformer

23 (Gregory the Illuminator and Isaac the Great, Patriarchs of Armenia)

  • Meister Eckhart, Roman Catholic Theologian and Mystic
  • Metodej Dominik Trčka, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1959
  • Victorian of Hadrumetum, Martyr at Carthage, 484
  • Walter of Pontoise, French Roman Catholic Abbot and Ecclesiastical Reformer

24 (Oscar Romero, Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador; and the Martyrs of El Salvador, 1980-1992)

  • Didacus Joseph of Cadiz, Capuchin Friar
  • Paul Couturier, Apostle of Christian Unity
  • Thomas Attwood, “Father of Modern Church Music”
  • William Leddra, British Quaker Martyr in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1661

25 (ANNUNCIATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST)

  • Dismas, Penitent Bandit

26 (Margaret Clitherow, English Roman Catholic Martyr, 1586)

  • Flannery O’Connor, U.S. Roman Catholic Writer
  • George Rundle Prynne, Anglican Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer
  • James Rendel Harris, Anglo-American Congregationalist then Quaker Biblical Scholar and Orientalist; Robert Lubbock Bensly, English Biblical Translator and Orientalist; Agnes Smith Lewis and Margaret Dunlop Smith Gibson, English Biblical Scholars and Linguists; Samuel Savage Lewis, Anglican Priest and Librarian of Corpus Christi College; and James Young Gibson, Scottish United Presbyterian Minister and Literary Translator
  • Ludger, Roman Catholic Bishop of Munster

27 (Charles Henry Brent, Episcopal Missionary Bishop of the Philippines, Bishop of Western New York, and Ecumenist)

  • Nicholas Owen, Thomas Garnet, Mark Barkworth, Edward Oldcorne, and Ralph Ashley, Roman Catholic Martyrs, 1601-1608
  • Robert Hall Baynes, Anglican Bishop of Madagascar
  • Rupert of Salzburg, Apostle of Bavaria and Austria
  • Stanley Rother, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Martyr in Guatemala, 1981

28 (James Solomon Russell, Episcopal Priest, Educator, and Advocate for Racial Equality)

  • Guntram of Burgundy, King
  • Katharine Lee Bates, U.S. Educator, Poet, and Hymn Writer
  • Richard Chevenix Trench, Anglican Archbishop of Dublin
  • Tutilo, Roman Catholic Monk and Composer

29 (Charles Villiers Stanford, Composer, Organist, and Conductor)

  • Dora Greenwell, Poet and Devotional Writer
  • John Keble, Anglican Priest and Poet
  • Jonas and Barachisius, Roman Catholic Martyrs, 327

30 (Innocent of Alaska, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of North America)

  • Cordelia Cox, U.S. Lutheran Social Worker, Educator, and Resettler of Refugees
  • John Marriott, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • John Wright Buckham, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Theologian, and Hymn Writer
  • Julio Alvarez Mendoza, Mexican Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1927

31 (Maria Skobtsova, Russian Orthodox Martyr, 1945)

  • Ernest Trice Thompson, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Renewer of the Church
  • Franz Joseph Haydn and his brother, Michael Haydn, Composers
  • Joan of Toulouse, Carmelite Nun; and Simon Stock, Carmelite Friar
  • John Donne, Anglican Priest and Poet

 

Floating

  • The Confession of Saint Martha of Bethany (the Sunday immediately prior to Palm Sunday; March 8-April 11)

 

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