Collect: We beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people; that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Saints and Blesseds
Monday, April 8: William Augustus Muhlenberg
Living from 1796 to 1877, William Augustus Muhlenburg was a priest who had great influence on the 19th century American church. He was born to a family who had been Lutheran for generations, but he joined the Episcopal church as a young man, bordained deacon in 1817 and priest in 1820. Working towards Ecumenism within Christian churches, his proposals became the basis of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral. He founded the first free church in America (before this, churches were funded by auctioning and paying for pew rents) which was also the first church in the country to celebrate the Eucharist weekly; he wrote hymns and worked on hymnals; he founded parish day schools, and a church village on Long Island (Saint Johnland), among many other projects. He died on April 6, 1877.
Tuesday, April 9: William Law
Born in 1686, William Law was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. After being ordained as a deacon in 1711, three years later, he became a “non-juror” when he refused to take the Oath of Allegiance to George I, maintaining that the English throne belonged to the deposed James II and his heirs. He was made a priest in 1728 and that year also published A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, a book which deeply influenced people like Samuel Johnson, the Wesley brothers, and C.S. Lewis. Fr. John-Julian writes that Law was “the acknowledged champion or orthodoxy, piety, and of a true Anglican mystical spirituality.” He died on April 9, 1761.
Thursday, April 11: St. Leo the Great
Born in Rome around 400, Saint Leo the Great became the Bishop of Rome in 440. When consecrated, he prayed: “O Lord, you have laid upon me this heavy burden, bear it with me, I beseech you: be you my guide and my support; give me strength, you who have called me to this work, you who have laid on me his heavy burden.” During his papacy, Leo saved the people of Rome twice from the barbarian invasion — first from Attila the Hun and then the Vandals. He was loved and respected by all for his virtue, humility, administrative brilliance, and eloquent preaching. During the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the attending bishops (over 600) embraced Leo’s treatise written two years before, as inspired by the Holy Spirit. After twenty-one years as pope, he died peacefully in 461.
Friday, April 12: George Augustus Selwyn
Born in 1809 and educated at Cambridge, eight years after being ordained, he was consecrated the first bishop of New Zealand in 1841. He remained in New Zealand for 27 years, ministering to the Maori congregations (on his first tour of the Northern, he never found a Maori church smaller than 400 and some were as large as 2000 Christians!). When war broke out between the Maori and the British, Selwyn had to serve as chaplain to the military, but also kept ministering to the Maori. His discipleship of the Maori held firm even in the war. At one point, a British troop ran out of food while camped by a large Maori position. When they saw the approach of canoes, they expected an attack but instead were given milk goats and potatoes. The Maori chief said, “In the bishop’s Book we are told to feed our enemies. You are our enemies. We feed you; that is all!” And then he left. His ministry to the Maoris was always characterized by empathy and respect, he said “to go among [them] as an equal and a brother is far more profitable than to risk that subtle kind of self-righteousness which creeps into mission work, akin to thanking God that we are not as other men are.” In 1868, while back in England for the Lambeth conference, he was prevailed upon to become the Bishop of Lichfield and he eventually accepted. He died in 1878, crying out his last words “it is Light! It is Light! It is Light” in the Maori language.
Yesterday was Passion Sunday, the beginning of Passiontide. As we look ahead to Holy Week, here are the Holy Week and Easter Resources that we have right now
This past week, Josie Ortega, an Anglican friend from Virginia, reached out to share her post on Living Lent and Easter with Kids: Use Your Senses. I couldn’t stop thinking about the story at the beginning of this post, when she shares about the Good Friday procession in San Andres Cholula, Mexico. Her post is full of good reminders (and reminded me that I need to get my pretzel making in before Lent ends!).
Lastly, this past week, my husband and I attended the Methexis Institute Conference in Charlottesville, VA. While the whole conference was wonderful, we have been haunted by this simple comment from Johannes Hoff in a Q & A time, which seems to be relevant here. After reflecting on John Cage’s insight that “silence is the absence of every noise that wants something,” he stated:
“If we can’t teach our children to be silent a few moments every day, then we can forget teaching them liturgy.”