Collect: Andrei Rublev, Monk and Iconographer, 1430 (Jan 29)

Generally acknowledged as Russia’s greatest iconographer, Andrei Rublev was born around 1365 near Moscow. His “writing” persists to this day.

Holy Trinity. Icon. Andrei Rublev.

Generally acknowledged as Russia’s greatest iconographer, Andrei Rublev was born around 1365 near Moscow. While very young he entered the monastery of The Holy Trinity and in 1405, with the blessing of his igumen (the Orthodox equivalent of abbot), he transferred to the Spaso-Andronikov monastery where he received the tonsure and studied iconography with Theophanes the Greek and the monk Daniel. Among his most revered works are those in the Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir.

The icon (“image” in Greek) is central to Orthodox spirituality. It finds its place in liturgy and in personal devotion. An icon is two dimensional and despite being an image of someone it is not a physical portrait. Western art, especially since the Renaissance, has sought to represent figures or events so that the viewer  might better imagine them. A western crucifix seeks to enable us to imagine what Golgotha was like. Icons seek to  provide immediate access to the spiritual and the divine unmediated by the human, historical imagination. Read more

Holy Women, Holy Men

The Collect for the Commemoration

Holy God, we bless you for the gift of your monk and icon writer Andrei Rublev, who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, provided a window into heaven for generations to come, revealing the majesty and mystery of the holy and blessed Trinity; who lives and reigns through ages of ages. Amen.

Today’s Collect simply give thanks for “the gift of …monk and icon writer Andrei Rublev.” As we view his writing, and the writings of others in icons throughout the Church, let us always give thanks for the gift of individuals with a wonderful talent to open the heavens for us. ~Fr. Dan

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

Manteo and Virginia Dare (Aug 17)

Remembering our story

 

Baptism of Virginia Dare

In the late sixteenth century, Sir Walter Raleigh established three colonies along the northeastern coast of what is now the state of North Carolina. In July 1587, the third and final settlement, consisting of 120 men, women, and children under the leadership of John White, landed on Roanoke Island, near the present-day community of Nags Head.

With the colonists was Manteo, a Native American of the Algonquian nation and resident of Croatoan who had traveled to London in an earlier expedition to become a liaison between the English and the Native Americans. On August 13, 1587, Manteo was baptized, the first recorded baptism of the Church of England in the American colonies and the first recorded baptism of a Native American person in the Church of England. Read more

Holy Women, Holy Men

The Collect for the Commemoration

O God, you have created every human being in your image and each one is precious in your sight: Grant that in remembering the baptisms of Manteo and Virginia Dare, we may grow in honoring your gift of diversity in human life; become stronger in living out our baptismal vow to respect the dignity of every human being; and bring into the fellowship of the risen Christ those who come to him in faith, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

As God answers our prayer may we well and truly “become stronger in living out our baptismal vow to respect the dignity of every human life.” ~Fr. Dan

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

Collect: John Keble, Priest, 1866 (Mar 29)

Pursuing our God-given work with integrity and courage.

 

John Keble

New ev’ry morning is the love
Our wakening and uprising prove:
Through sleep and darkness safely brought,
Restored to life and power and thought.

These familiar words of John Keble are from his cycle of poems entitled The Christian Year (1827), which he wrote to restore among Anglicans a deep feeling for the Church Year. The work went through ninety-five editions, but this was not the fame he sought: his consuming desire was to be a faithful pastor, who finds his fulfillment in daily services, confirmation classes, visits to village schools, and a voluminous correspondence with those seeking spiritual counsel.

Keble, born in 1792, received his early education in his father’s vicarage. At fourteen, he won a scholarship to Oxford and graduated in 1811 with highest honors. He served the University in several capacities, including ten years as Professor of Poetry. After ordination in 1816 he had a series of rural curacies, and finally settled in 1836 into a thirty-year pastorate at the village of Hursley, near Winchester.  Read more

Holy Women, Holy Men

The Collect for the Commemoration

Grant, O God, that in all time of our testing we may know your presence and obey your will; that, following the example of your servant John Keble, we may accomplish with integrity and courage what you give us to do, and endure what you give us to bear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Among the many thanksgiving I commonly offer is that God sets challenges before me that expands mind and heart and spirit. Pray with me that, with God’s help, you and I may truly accomplish—with integrity and courage—the work God has given us to do.  ~Fr. Dan

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

Collect: Gregory the Illuminator, Bishop and Missionary of Armenia, c. 332 (Mar 23)

May we, in our generation, show forth the praise of God.

gregory-illuminotor

Armenia was the first nation-state to become officially Christian, and this set a precedent for the adoption of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine. As a buffer state between the more powerful empires of Rome and Persia, Armenia endured many shifts of policy, as first one and then the other empire took it “under protection.”

The accounts of Gregory, known as the Illuminator and as Apostle of the Armenians, are a mixture of legend and fact. He was born about 257. After his father assassinated the Persian King Chosroes I, the infant boy was rescued and taken to Caesarea in Cappadocia, where he was brought up as a Christian.  Read more

Holy Women, Holy Men

The Collect for the Commemoration

Almighty God, whose will it is to be glorified in your saints, and who raised up your servant Gregory the Illuminator to be a light in the world, and to preach the Gospel to the people of Armenia: Shine, we pray, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may show forth your praise, who called us out of darkness into your marvelous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Do you hear what we’re asking? “Shine…in our hearts…you who have called us out of darkness into your marvelous light,” is our intercessory prayer. Illuminate us, so that “in our generation we may show forth your praise,” we continue. May it be so, I pray. ~Fr. Dan

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

Image: Holy Women, Holy Men

Collect: Patrick, Bishop and Missionary of Ireland, 461 (Mar 17)

May we come at last to the light of everlasting life.

 

St. Patrick Icon

Patrick was born into a Christian family somewhere on the northwest coast of Britain in about 390. His grandfather had been a Christian priest and his father, Calpornius, a deacon. Calpornius was an important official in the late Roman imperial government of Britain. It was not unusual in this post-Constantinian period for such state officials to be in holy orders. When Patrick was about sixteen, he was captured by a band of Irish slave-raiders. He was carried off to Ireland and forced to serve as a shepherd. When he was about twenty-one, he escaped and returned to Britain, where he was educated as a Christian. He tells us that he took holy orders as both presbyter and bishop, although no particular see is known as his at this time. A vision then called him to return to Ireland. This he did about the year 431.

Tradition holds that Patrick landed not far from the place of his earlier captivity, near what is now known as Downpatrick (a “down” or “dun” is a fortified hill, the stronghold of a local Irish king). He then began a remarkable process of missionary conversion throughout the country that continued until his death, probably in 461.

Read more

Holy Women, Holy Men

The Collect for the Commemoration

Almighty God, in your providence you chose your servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of you: Grant us so to walk in that light that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

May we respond to God’s answer of our prayer and walk as children of the light.  ~Fr. Dan

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

Collect: John and Charles Wesley, Priests, 1791, 1788 (Mar 3)

“I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation….”

 

John and Charles Wesley

John was the fifteenth, and Charles the eighteenth, child of Samuel Wesley, Rector of Epworth, Lincolnshire. John was born June 17, 1703, and Charles, December 18, 1707.

The lives and fortunes of the brothers were closely intertwined. As founders and leaders of the “Methodist” or evangelical revival in eighteenth-century England, their continuing influence redounds throughout the world and is felt in many Churches.

Although their theological writings and sermons are still widely appreciated, it is through their hymns—especially those of Charles, who wrote over six thousand of them—that their religious experience, and their Christian faith and life, continue to affect the hearts of many.

Read more

Holy Women, Holy Men

The Collect for the Commemoration

Lord God, you inspired your servants John and Charles Wesley with burning zeal for the sanctification of souls, and endowed them with eloquence in speech and song: Kindle in your Church, we entreat you, such fervor, that those whose faith has cooled may be warmed, and those who have not known Christ may turn to him and be saved; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Collect used in worship can be both a prayer of intercession and petition. In this Collect we are clearly praying for others (“Kindle in your Church”), it is a prayer of intercession. However, you and I are members of this Church, so we are praying for ourselves, it can be a prayer of petition. Recognizing this as a prayer for the whole church, I find it useful (almost always) to focus on the Collect as a prayer of petition. Here, I am asking this: “Kindle in me—a member of your Church, Lord God—such fervor, that those whose faith has cooled may be warmed, and those who have not known Christ may turn to him and be saved.” As I join other Church members in this prayer and this mission, I believe God will be glorified. And you? ~Fr. Dan

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

Image: Holy Women, Holy Men

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.