Well, today we commemorate Augustine of Canterbury.  And I have to admit, I don’t normally think of him when I think of the Anglican via media.  But, at Gregory’s direction, rather than adhering strictly to the Roman rite, he made at least some allowance for Celtic practices that were ongoing when he arrived.  And, as our first Archbishop of Canterbury, that had to help set a tone. (more…)

Ok.  So I’m back from my (CREDO 2) conference in Virginia, and trying to get back into the swing of things.  And for me that includes reading the daily offices (out of the St. Helena Breviary).  So I’ve been reading today about Dunstan (who was born in 910 C.E. and died in 988 C.E.).

This morning I read the commentary from Brightest and Best (where it was commented that when clergy travel without their collars they often annoy people who want them “belled like a cat” so that they know their normal, every day lives are being interrupted by an emissary from the spiritual life).  And I’ve been thinking since about the sacred and the profane in Benedictine thought (more…)

Well, I feel like I’m in Advent already!

Yes, I know, it’s still Thanksgiving Day, and Advent doesn’t come until this Sunday.  But at our service this morning, after talking a little about Jamestown and the first Thanksgiving Day, I shared a little reflection by Sam Portaro (again from Bightest and Best)  where he links Thanksgiving Day and Advent.  He begins with today’s gospel and the image of the lilies of the field.  And he links those to Mary and her pregancy which is a major piece of what we remember in Advent. (more…)

Scattered thoughts on this mornings office … (more…)

I have to admit, I’ve never been all that interested in William Tyndale. (more…)

Well, today is Holy Cross Day.  And once again I was struck by Sam Portaro’s reflections.  He recounts a story (from Bishop William Wiedrich) about a conductor, directing a large group of percussionists raising his arms to cue the timpanists.  In the resulting din, he raised his arms again to silence them.  He then told them, “The music is in the drum, not the mallet.  One does not beat the music into the drum; one gently lets the mallet rise off the skin, as if the mallet were pulling sound from the kettle.”

He then continues:

The cross is like the music of the timpani; it is not something one puts on, but rather something that is coaxed out of us.  The wearing of the cross is not an accessory to life, but rather is the embrace of life itself. …Christians bear the cross within, in the daily embrace of all that it means to be human.  To be a Christian [is] to have the fullness of life coaxed out of oneself.

This gives a rather different feel to Sunday’s gospel inviting us to take up our crosses.

I’m going to have to stop quoting Sam Portaro’s “Brightest and Best.”  But I can’t resist quoting from the last two days readings.  Yesterday was the day we commemorate Lawrence, a deacon martyred in Rome in 258 CE.  The emperor Valerian had him arrested and held for intensive questioning.  He wanted to plunder the riches of the church.

Laurence assembled the sick and poor among whom he had spent the church’s funds and presented them to the emperor saying, “These are the treasures of the church.”  For his impertinence he was roasted alive on a gridiron (and became the patron saint of cooks!). (more…)