Collect: “O Lord, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Friday, February 15: Blessed Thomas Bray
Born in 1656, Thomas Bray was educated at Oxford and was selected by the Bishop of London to help organize the church in the American colony of Maryland. While delayed before his journey, he spent his time creating a free parochial library system. It was originally intended for American, but was also instituted in England. He then founded the “Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge.” After his service in Maryland, he returned to England and also founded the “Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.” He died on this day in 1730. Archdeacon W.H. Hutton, in The Dictionary of English Church History, writes of Bray: “He was a vigorous and humorous writer and a parish priest of exemplary devotion, and to no one in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries does the practical work of the English Church owe a greater debt.”
Saint Valentine’s Day Bonus
This Thursday is St. Valentine’s Day. Saint Valentine was a priest or a bishop of Terni. He was martyred in Rome under the Emperor Claudius around 269. Since the Middle Ages, his feast day has been associated with courtly love traditions. Because so little is known about him, his feast day was officially taken off the Roman calendar and also isn’t in our Ordo calendar. But, as this is a day that will inevitably come up in family life and he is a saint, I thought I would share Auntie Leila’s thoughts on celebrating:
“… make it into a real, not just sentimental, occasion of expressing affection to everyone — in family life, just take out the romantic part of it. There’s nothing wrong with sending pretty cards and giving chocolates to those you love best, keeping in mind of course that dear St. Valentine was a martyr for the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and he wants us to contemplate our own mortality with holy fear! But if we think about it for a second, it’s exactly that contemplation that makes it possible for us to express true love to each other, even once a year by means of a frivolous be-ribboned greeting and some treats.”
And, as a way of expressing affection for you, dear readers, here is Bley’s Valentine for Parents.
You could also read George Herbert’s poem, Love (which I will also copy paste into the printable pdf below, since that is what I want to post on my refrigerator this week. )
Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lacked anything.
“A guest,” I answered, “worthy to be here”:
Love said, “You shall be he.”
“I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on thee.”
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
“Who made the eyes but I?”
“Truth, Lord; but I have marred them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.”
“And know you not,” says Love, “who bore the blame?”
“My dear, then I will serve.”
“You must sit down,” says Love, “and taste my meat.”
So I did sit and eat.
As Lent approaches on March 6, I thought I would link to the Lenten resources that we have on hand.
- Ash Wednesday Explained
- Hot Cross Buns for Ash Wednesday & Good Friday
- Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent
- Lenten Collects (Printable)
- Prayer Beads for Children (Printable Prayer Cards)
- Children in Worship, Or, the Mortification of Parents
- Devotional Art: A Lenten Reflection
- A Thousand Small Choices
- Thoughts on Cooking with Limits During Lent
These next few weeks have far fewer saints day bios to write, so I’m going to be focusing on some posts to fill in our Lenten gaps (short family Lenten liturgy? Lenten reading recommendations? So many possibilities!). Is there anything that you would especially like to see on this site for Lent?