Saints


Does Jesus live in you?

I found myself asking that question repeatedly during this past week.  How does Jesus presence show itself in my life?

That’s what it means to be a Christian, isn’t it?  That Jesus, somehow, takes life in our lives?

I use, in my personal prayer life, The Saint Helena Breviary.  A breviary is simply a book of offices, in this case Matins, Diurnum, Vespers and Compline (- in English that’s just Morning Prayer, Noon Day Prayer, Evening Prayer and End of Day Prayer).  The Order of St. Helena is named after the Emperor Constantine’s mother, Helena, who is supposed to have found a remnant of the cross Jesus died on during excavations she oversaw in Jerusalem.

She built a shrine with two principal buildings where the Church of the Holy Sepulcher now stands.  It consisted of a large basilica used for the Liturgy of the Word, and a circular church known as “The Resurrection” with its altar placed on the supposed site of Jesus’ tomb.  In the courtyard connecting these two buildings, to one side, you can see the Hill of Calvary.  The shrine was dedicated on September 14, 335.  Since then, September 14, yesterday, has been know as Holy Cross Day.

As you might imagine, Holy Cross Day is a big deal (more…)

I know I’ve read chapter 24 of Genesis before, though not necessarily as a unit.  But I’ve always been inclined to dismiss it simply as “they found the boy a bride.”  I’ve never really looked at the chapter.

It comes right after the story of Sarah’s death, and Abraham’s purchase of land in the Promised Land for her burial, and her burial.  Abraham, for the first time, is a land owner.  It sounds like Isaac would have been born when she was about ninety years old, give or take a year or two.  She died when she was 127 years old.  So Isaac was probably 35 plus years of age at the time of her death.

Always assuming we’re supposed to pay any attention to ages in a chronological sense. (more…)

There was a strand in yesterday’s office reading from Jeremiah that I hadn’t noticed before.  In it, starting at 15:27, Jeremiah says:

I took no pleasure in sitting with merrymakers; with your hand on me I sat alone,
choking with the indignation you filled me with.
Why is my pain ongoing,
my wound incurable, refusing to heal?
Why, you’re like  a spring that dries up when it’s needed most,
like waters that can’t be relied upon!

The commentary in The Jewish Study Bible suggests that Jeremiah has failed in his office of being a prophet. (more…)

In our calendar today, we remember William Temple (Archbishop of Canterbury, 1881-1944).  Other sources I use also commemorate Leonard (a 6th century hermit).  Very little is actually known about Leonard.  He seems to have been a Frankish noble, converted by Remigius, who chose to become a monk instead when offered a bishopric by Clovis. (more…)

This might have been how I should have ended last Sunday’s sermon (David’s Sin).  I ran across it today in Celtic Daily Prayer (it’s Ignatius of Loyola day in their calendar, and this was linked to the brief biography there):

O God,
I cannot undo the past,
or make it never have happened! (more…)

Saints are added to, and sometimes subtracted from, the calendar of saints days (optionally) recognized by the Episcopal Church periodically at our triennial General Convention.  Florence Nightingale, for example, was added for trial use (you have to be approved twice in a row to be official) at one convention and removed from the calendar three years later at the next convention.

In theory, this was because those who opposed her inclusion were not aware of the deep connection between her faith and her ministry in the world, and because they believed (inaccurately) that later in life she lost her faith. (more…)

Today, in the calendar of the Episcopal Church, is the day we commemorate Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, who died in 1109.  He was born in Aosta, in northern Italy, around 1033 CE.  He left home as a young man, traveling north, until he reached the Abbey of Bec in Normandy, where at Lanfranc’s urging, he embraced monastic life and took his vows in 1060 — succeeding Lanfranc as Prior in 1063 and later as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1093.  So he was roughly 27 years old when he finally settled down.

Anselm is probably best known for his ontological argument for the existence of God — which I studied way back in college.  Basically it says that since God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived, and since we have the idea of God (as unconditional being) in our mind, such a being has to exist (or there would be something greater) and we could not even talk about such a being if it did not exist outside of our mind.

I’m probably not doing a fair summary of the argument, possibly because it has always seemed a circular and unconvincing argument. (more…)

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