Collect: John Henry Newman Priest and Theologian, 1890 (Feb 16)

Scripture, tradition, and reason in one man’s life. What can we learn?

 

Cardinal John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman was among the founders of the Oxford Movement and a prolific tractarian, having authored two dozen of the Tracts of the Times, the series of pamphlets setting forth the tenets of the movement. Most notably, Newman is remembered as the author of Tract 90, in which he sought to reconcile the teaching of Roman Catholicism with the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England.

Read the entire post on Holy Women, Holy Men

Collect for the Commemoration

God of all wisdom, we thank you for John Henry Newman, whose eloquence bore witness that your Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, and who made his own life a pilgrimage towards your truth. Grant that, inspired by his words and example, we may ever follow your kindly light till we rest in your bosom, with your dear Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, where heart speaks to heart eternally; for you live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Are you ready to seek out the “kindly light” radiating from the God of all wisdom? Has this light shone in your darkness already? May you find joy and wonder as you experience God’s kindly light this day. May you experience heart speaking to heart now, and eternally. ~Fr. Dan

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

 

Collect: Seventh Sunday after Epiphany

Jesus teaches his disciples (you and me) about love and the Law. Let us respond to God’s teaching and grace.

 

Matthew 5:43ff

 

The Collect for the Day

O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing: Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Pull quote for Epiphany 7

If we really listen to Jesus (Matthew 5:1-48) we discover that love is at the heart of the Law. Without love (as Paul later writes), “I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) Recognizing this, we have the courage to pray that our Lord will send the Holy Spirit, pouring into our hearts his greatest gift, love. Through the week let’s pay attention to God’s answer to our prayer.  ~Fr. Dan

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Collect: Charles Todd Quintard, Bishop of Tennessee, 1898 (Feb 16)

We pray that God will bless the Church to be a refuge for all as we honor God’s Name.

Charles Todd Quintard

Charles Todd Quintard was the second bishop of the Diocese of Tennessee and the first Vice Chancellor of The University of the South at Sewanee.

Quintard was born in 1824 in Stamford, Connecticut. In 1847 he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the Medical College of New York University and worked at New York’s Bellevue Hospital. After a brief episode of practicing medicine in Athens, Georgia, Quintard became the professor of anatomy and physiology at Memphis Medical College and an editor of the Memphis Medical Reporter. […]

It was while he was in Memphis that Quintard came to know Bishop James Hervey ], the first bishop of Tennessee. Under Otey’s personal tutelage, Quintard prepared for holy orders. He was ordained to the diaconate on New Year’s Day 1855 and to the priesthood on the Feast of the Epiphany, 1856. […]

During the Civil War, Quintard played dual roles in the Confederate Army as both chaplain and surgeon. Following the war, he was instrumental in bringing together the previously divided factions and extending the reach of the Episcopal Church, particularly among African Americans.

Bishop Quintard was a strong advocate of education at every level and played a major role in the establishment of schools. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was the rebuilding of the University of the South at Sewanee after its destruction during the Civil War. […]

Read the entire post on Holy Women, Holy Men

Collect for the Commemoration

Mighty God, we bless your Name for the example of your bishop Charles Todd Quintard, who opposed the segregation of African Americans in separate congregations and condemned the exclusion of the poor; and we pray that your Church may be a refuge for all, for the honor of your Name; through Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect for Quintard Feb 16

Most certainly “Mighty God” will answer our prayer to be a refuge for all. Are you ready to use this strength and grace of God? What are some little ways you can begin to put this big picture grace into practice?

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Charles Todd Quintard (Holy Women, Holy Men)

Readings appointed for the Commemoration (Lectionary Page)

Sewanee: The University of the South (Home Page)

What is a Collect? (PDF)

 

Remembering Mark, Evangelist

The beginning of the Gospel of Mark from the 7th century Book of DurrowApril 25 The Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist

“The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Mark 1:1 NRSV

Almighty God, by the hand of Mark the evangelist you have given to your Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank you for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

The Book of Common Prayer, p. 240

Image: The beginning of the Gospel of Mark in the 7th century Book of Durrow. Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.

Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

As Jesus continued on from there,
he saw a man named Matthew
sitting at a kiosk for collecting taxes.
He said to him, “Follow me,”
and he got up and followed him.

Matthew 9:9, CEB

Collect commemorating Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

We thank you, heavenly Father, for the witness of your apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of your Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Come wander with me. Hear what the Spirit is saying, as you listen to what we ask (and what we say about ourselves and our God) in the Collect we pray as we commemorate Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist.

We thank you, heavenly Father

  • Only one other Collect (Saturday in Easter Week) begins with the words “we thank you.” My personal prayers often begin with the words, “thank you.” Other collects contain thanksgiving, but this prayer on Matthew’s Feast Day and the prayer on Saturday in Easter Week mark the only 2 times our communal prayer in worship begins with thanksgiving.

we pray that, after [Matthew’s] example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him

  • Wow. That is some request. It intrigues me that our request is that we imitate the example of Matthew, that we hear and then obey (with ready wills and hearts no less) the calling of our Lord to follow. We don’t ask for graces to prepare ourselves to be sent (an apostle is one who is sent by another) or even to proclaim ‘good news’ (what Matthew ultimately did, what an evangelist does); we ask to be able to hear and obey and follow. We ask God for grace (and good-will) to hang out with Jesus.
  • If you are reading this. chances are you have indeed heard this call and have followed Jesus.
    • Into what adventure have you followed him?
    • Were you able, like Matthew, to follow immediately?
    • Were you more like me (and so many others I have met along the way) and hesitated, wondered, asked questions, started, stopped, sat down and didn’t move, and, you get the idea … well?
    • My following has hardly been immediate or perfect, but here I am. I do thank God for that grace; I thank God that I have so many traveling with me who have similar stories. I thank God for the example of Matthew, who just got up and followed.

What are your thoughts as you listen to this prayer, especially the notion of “call”? And, by the way, have you noticed how often “call” is part of our prayers? What are your experiences, your hopes, your beliefs, given voice in this prayer? Please continue the conversation in the Comment section. Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

John Coleridge Patteson

A Collect commemorating John Coleridge Patteson and his Companions; Bishop of Melanesia, Martyrs, 1871

Almighty God, you called your faithful servant John Coleridge Patteson and his companions to be witnesses and martyrs in the islands of Melanesia, and by their labors and sufferings raised up a people for your own possession: Pour out your Holy Spirit upon your Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many, your holy Name may be glorified and your kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Collect for the Commemoration of John Coleridge Patteson, in Holy Women, Holy Men)

Inspired by offline encouragement, I find myself wandering through the Collects (prayers used by many churches including the Episcopal Church at the start of worship). Come wander with me. Hear what the Spirit is saying, as you listen to what we ask (and what we say about ourselves and our God) in the Collect we pray as we commemorate John Coleridge Patteson and his companions.

“you called” (let’s consider this one element of the Collect)

Once again we acknowledge a characteristic of God: Almighty God (One so beyond us) is also One who calls (a very personal, very intimate activity).

If God speaks anywhere, it is into our personal lives that he speaks. Someone we love dies, say. Some unforeseen act of kindness or cruelty touches the heart or makes the blood run cold. We fail a friend, or a friend fails us, and we are appalled at the capacity we all of us have for estranging the very people in our lives we need the most.

“If God speaks anywhere,
it is into our personal lives”

Or maybe nothing extraordinary happens at all—just one day following another, helter-skelter, in the manner of days. We sleep and dream. We wake. We work. We remember and forget. We have fun and are depressed. And into the thick of it, or out of the thick of it, at moments of even the most humdrum of our days, God speaks.
Buechner, Frederick (2009-10-13). Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechne (pp. 2-3). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

I believe (with Buechner and many others) that God speaks (“calls”) through persons and events in our lives. It is a very personal communication if we are paying attention. By paying attention I mean listening and wondering in prayer, in study, in quiet, in action (as we do what we believe God is “calling” us to do). In each of these moments we gain information. When what we “hear” is confirmed by others in our faith community, we can definitely go forward with boldness (like John Coleridge Patteson and his companions).

What are your thoughts as you listen to this prayer, especially the notion of “call”? What are your experiences, your hopes, your beliefs, given voice in this prayer? Please continue the conversation in the Comment section. Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690

A Collect commemorating Theodore of Tarsus

Almighty God, you called your servant Theodore of Tarsus from Rome to the see of Canterbury, and gave him gifts of grace and wisdom to establish unity where there had been division, and order where there had been chaos: Create in your Church, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, such godly union and concord that it may proclaim, both by word and example, the Gospel of the Prince of Peace; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Collect for the Commemoration of Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690 in Holy Women, Holy Men)

Inspired by offline encouragement, I find myself wandering through the Collects (prayers used by many churches including the Episcopal Church at the start of worship). Come wander with me. Hear what the Spirit is saying, as you listen to what we ask (and what we say about ourselves and our God) in the Collect we pray as we commemorate Theodore of Tarsus:

Almighty God

In this Collect we address God as “Almighty God.” In other Collects we use different terms of address (and we’ll take them up as they appear).

  • What images come to your mind and heart when you hear “Almighty God”? (Asked another way, what images come to your mind and heart when you call out “Almighty God”?)
  • Leaving your feelings out of it (for the moment) what scriptural and theological “truth” is being spoken when we use this form of address? (That is, what truth—rooted in scripture, tradition, and reason—do we perpetuate, do we pass along, in speaking this way?)
  • What feelings/emotions are stirred up by using this form of addressing God?

you called your servant Theodore of Tarsus from Rome to the see of Canterbury

  • Is everyone “called” by God to some ministry, work, place, or adventure by “Almighty God”?
  • What evidence do you have for your answer?
  • Have you ever felt called by God?
  • If yes, how did you know it was a “call” originating in God?
  • If no, explore what you understand by the word “call” and what “measures” you will use to determine that you are being engaged in a divine dialogue (or not).

and gave him gifts of grace and wisdom to establish unity where there had been division, and order where there had been chaos

A pretty substantial calling (to establish unity and order) to be sure. A noble calling, requiring “gifts of grace and wisdom.”

  • What is a call of God to which you have responded (or are responding)?
  • What gifts of God helped you (or are helping you) fulfill your role in God’s call?

Create in your Church, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, such godly union and concord [that it may proclaim, both by word and example, the Gospel of the Prince of Peace]

There are 2 pieces to this part of the Collect: our petition (that God create anew) and our aspiration in receiving what we ask “that it (the Church) may proclaim….”

  • On a scale of 1-5 (1 = don’t believe at all to 5 = confidently believe), how firmly do you believe that God continues to create new things? Explain.
  • What “operation of the Holy Spirit” is required in order to help us (the Church) create a “godly union and concord”?
  • What is our role in helping God (by the operation of the Holy Spirit) create “godly union and concord” in the Church (that is, among ourselves)?

[Create in your Church, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, such godly union and concord] that it may proclaim, both by word and example, the Gospel of the Prince of Peace

To reiterate, in many of our Collects we ask God’s grace and blessing so that we may do (or do better), live (or live better) the will of God in our world. This is one of those Collects. After asking God to continue in us the creative activity of bringing us together and helping us live in harmony we speak our aspiration: “that [we] (the Church) may proclaim, both by word and example, the Gospel of the Prince of Peace.”

  • Who is the Prince of Peace?
  • How do you know this?
  • How does (y)our church “proclaim … by word and example, the Gospel of the Prince of Peace”?
  • Can you list 5 such “proclamations”? Can you list 10? 20? Make and share your list.
  • What are some “proclamations” (y)our church might make better? might make for the first time?

If you are able to pray a Collect slowly, with serious (not cursory) reflection, with honest challenges to yourself and your church, you will find a rich and wonderful universe (a godly universe) of possibility, promise, and challenge.

In this and succeeding posts I will share my questions for reflection. I am certain that other questions will occur to you and I encourage you to ask them in the Comments section. I journal regularly. More than ask questions of you, I ask them of myself; my answers are written in my journal. My answers do indeed influence who I am and how I behave. My hope is that you, too, will find direction, encouragement, wisdom, challenge, comfort, as you ask and answer questions raised by the words we use in our Collects.

What are your thoughts as you listen to this prayer? What are your experiences, your hopes, your beliefs, given voice in this prayer? Please continue the conversation in the Comment section. Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.