Sep 30 – Jerome of Bethlehem – Priest + Monk + Scholar + Translator + Theologian

Sep 30 - Jerome of Bethlehem

Jerome of Bethlehem
Priest + Monk + Scholar + Translator + Theologian
30 September 420

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From the Satucket Lectionary

Jerome was the foremost biblical scholar of the ancient Church. His translation of the Bible, along with his commentaries and homilies on the biblical books, have made him a major intellectual force in the Western Church.

St. Jerome by Marinus van Reymerswaele

Jerome was born in about 347, and was converted and baptized during his student days in Rome. On a visit to Trier, he found himself attracted to the monastic life, which he tested in a brief but unhappy experience as a hermit in the deserts of Syria. At Antioch, he continued his studies in Hebrew and Greek. In 379, he went to Constantinople where he studied under Gregory of Nazianzus. From 382 to 384 he was secretary to Pope Damasus I, and spiritual director of many noble Roman ladies who were becoming interested in the monastic life. It was Damasus who set him the task of making a new translation of the Bible into Latin — into the popular form of the language, hence the name of the translation: the Vulgate. After the death of Damasus, Jerome returned to the East, and established a monastery at Bethlehem, where he lived and worked until his death on 30 September 420.

Jerome is best known as the translator of the Bible into Latin. A previous version (now called the Old Latin) existed, but Jerome’s version far surpassed it in scholarship and in literary quality. Jerome was well versed in classical Latin (as well as Greek and Hebrew), but deliberately translated the Bible into the style of Latin that was actually spoken and written by the majority of persons in his own time. This kind of Latin is known as Vulgate Latin (meaning the Latin of the common people), and accordingly Jerome’s translation is called the Vulgate.

Vulgate Latin is classical Latin in the first stages of evolving into such modern languages as Spanish, French, and Italian. It has begun the process of changing from an inflected language (in which words have various endings, or inflections, which are used to show the relation of the word to other words in the sentence) to a separate-word language like English (in which additional words, such as prepositions, are used, along with word order, to show the function of the word). Thus, in classical Latin, “He spoke to me,” is dix it mihi  or mihi dixit, but in Vulgate Latin it isdixit ad me.

In the second century BC, Jewish scholars in Alexandria, Egypt, had translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. Tradition had it that this translation was the work of 70 (or 72) scholars, and accordingly the result was known as the Septuagint (often written as LXX). The LXX contains six or more books (there is some leeway here) not found in the standard Hebrew text, known as the Masoretic Text (or MT), and sometimes reads differently from the MT in particular verses. The New Testament writers, except for Matthew, when they are quoting the Old Testament, usually quote from the LXX. The differences in readings between the MT and the LXX were formerly explained by assuming that the LXX translators were sometimes not very good translators. However, very ancient Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible, recently found at Qumran and elsewhere, often agree with the LXX against the MT. Accordingly, it is now generally supposed that the LXX is a fairly accurate translation of Hebrew manuscripts available at the time, and that sometimes the manuscripts that the LXX translators worked from differed from the manuscripts that became the basis for the standardized Hebrew text that we know today.

The early Christians, most of whom knew Greek but not Hebrew, were accustomed to use the LXX as their version of the Old Testament Scriptures. (So, for that matter, did most Jews living in the Roman Empire outside of the land of Israel itself.) The Old Latin translation had been made from the Greek. But Jerome was determined to make his translation from the Hebrew, partly because he considered it to be more accurate, and partly because he wanted a text that he could use as a basis for argument with Jewish opponents, without having them object, “But that is not what the Hebrew text says.”

Intending a translation from the Hebrew, he ran into a difficulty with the Psalms. They were used regularly in public and private worship, and many Christians knew them well enough to notice and resent any radical changes from the wording they had always used. So Jerome translated the Psalms from the Greek, and salved his scholarly feelings by publishing a translation of the Psalms from the Hebrew in an Appendix.

The history of the Psalms in English is in some ways similar. In 1611, the King James Version of the Bible was published, and generally accepted by English-speakers. However, the Psalms in English were already an established part of public worship in the Coverdale translation of 1536 or thereabouts. For roughly 75 years worshippers in England had been reading, saying, singing, or chanting the Psalms in the Coverdale translation (also called the Prayer Book Version). Their response to the Psalms in the King James Version was: “What is this nonsense! Take away this new-fangled modern translation, and leave me to recite the Psalms in the good old-fashioned version that I learned at the knee of my dear old silver-haired mother, the most magnificent version that the pen of man has ever written, the version that has comforted and sustained me all the days of my life.” So, when you attend an Anglican funeral, and you hear the choir chanting,

The LORD is my shepherd,
therefore can I lack nothing.
He shall feed me in a green pasture,
and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort.

You are hearing the Coverdale Psalter. And for some of us, at least, it is a great tree, deeply rooted in the soil of English Christianity, and full of complex associations that make reading it a deeply moving experience. (I have heard rumors that there are versions of the Psalter used in some circles, that are even more modern and trendy than the King James. Hmmph!)

Jerome was intemperate in controversy, and any correspondence with him tended to degenerate into a flame war. (His friendship with Augustine, conducted by letter, nearly ended before it began. Fortunately Augustine sized him up correctly, soothed his feelings, and was extremely tactful thereafter.) His hot temper, pride of learning, and extravagant promotion of asceticism involved him in many bitter controversies over questions of theology and of Bible interpretation. However, he was candid at times in admitting his failings, and was never ambitious for either worldly or churchly honors. He was a militant champion of orthodoxy, a tireless worker, and a scholar of rare gifts.

by James Kiefer

Task Force Report on Reimagining Church lacks Imagination

Trec log

 

 

 

by Ken Howard

I just finished reading over the TREC Letter to the Church (9/4/14) which contains the preliminary recommendations of the Taskforce for Reimagining The Episcopal Church (TREC), which the panel will discuss formally at its TREC Churchwide Meeting on October 2 at the Washington National Cathedral.

I have to say that I was hoping for more imagination.

But my initial reaction is that, while there are some positive recommendations contained in the report, compared to its laudable goals, its results are disappointing.

The Task Force goals spoke of making The Episcopal Church’s churchwide structures more focused on enabling mission and ministry, and on making the church organization more innovative, flexible, and collaborative in the way it operates. Instead, the majority of its recommendations read as though its main objectives were to reduce costs and increase the power of the executive.

Early on, the letter speaks of a need to move from the old paradigm of bureaucracy and regulation to the new paradigm of networking, which would be all to the good if that were the current business paradigm. But the business world has moved beyond networking to a paradigm of lean and focused experimentation and extrapreneurialism (a kind of networked entrepreneurialism)..

The letter suggests four primary roles for churchwide structures: Catalyst, Connector, Capability Builder, and Convener. The Convener role seems appropriate, but the others seem somewhat problematic.  The Catalyst role seems out of place within a highly hierarchical organization like TEC, lacking the indendence to truly instigate and too engaged in heirarchy of power and control to speak truly prophetically, as truth to power. The Connector and Capability Building roles have merit, and could be made to work effectively, but only if exercised with a light hand and only if TEC would eliminate its largely dysfunctional, unproductive, and in some cases obstructive provincial structures.

Meanwhile, if one practical yet critical role that our Churchwide could play most effectively — that of Capacity Builder, leveraging our aggregate size to benefit local level dioceses and parishes by facilitating programs and services at a lower cost and denomination-specific customization — seems to have been entirely overlooked.

[Examples of where such negotiating leverage would pay off might include: (a) churchwide (or diocesan level) copyright permission costs or waivers for Church hymnals, (b) churchwide digital use agreements to use hymns to permit hymn use on iPads and other tablets, (c) churchwide reduced-price contracts with approved vendors for record keeping software, (d) churchwide reduced-price contracts with approved vendors for online giving, (e) churchwide reduced-price contracts with approved vendors for church website development, etc.]

Some of the document’s “critical path” recommendations are reasonable, or at least steps in the right direction. But some don’t go far enough, while others would seem to have to the opposite of the intended effect.  For example, the reduction of Excutive Council from 40 to 21 members is a start: it moves the body from being impossible to govern effectively to merely highly unlikely. Reducing the time allotted for General Convention without re-thinking the entire resolutions process seems likely to produce only frustration. Meanwhile, the out placing of mission and program oriented staff, while retaining only support staff, seems to have it backward. Financial, IT, Legal and Archive services are mission independent, while mission and program staffs are not.

Finally, it strikes me that the three recommended agenda items for future years amount to “kicking the can down the road.” Capacity-building around evangelism, community leadership, and non-traditional parish formation, exploring mixed models of clergy employment/leadership, exploring seminary education requirements and debt burden are issues we should be dealing with now. And on the later issue, we should be re-thinking the entire clergy formation process, from discernment to seminary to deployment.

If our church is to not just survive, but figure out how to thrive in a future yet to be fully discovered, it’s going to have to find a lot more imagination — and be a lot more daring — than this.

 

Sep 29 – Saint Michael & All Angels

Sep 29 - Saint Michael & All Angels

Saint Michael & All Angels
29 Sepember HS (Hebrew Scriptures)

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From the Satucket Lectionary

On the Feast of Michael and all Angels, popularly called Michaelmas, we give thanks for the many ways in which God‘s loving care watches over us, both directly and indirectly, and we are reminded that the richness and variety of God’s creation far exceeds our knowledge of it.

The Holy Scriptures often speak of created intelligences other than humans who worship God in heaven and act as His messengers and agents on earth. We are not told much about them, and it is not clear how much of what we are told is figurative. Jesus speaks of them as rejoicing over penitent sinners (Lk 15:10). Elsewhere, in a statement that has been variously understood (Mt 18:10), He warns against misleading a child, because their angels behold the face of God. (Acts 12:15 may refer to a related idea.)

diptych of the Archangel MichaelIn the Hebrew Scriptures, it is occasionally reported that someone saw a man who spoke to him with authority, and who he then realized was no mere man, but a messenger of God. Thus we have a belief in super-human rational created beings, either resembling men in appearance or taking human appearance when they are to communicate with us. They are referred to as “messengers of God,” or simply as “messengers.” The word for a messenger in Hebrew is malach, in Greek, angelos, from which we get our word “angel” [Digression: angelion means "message, news" and euangelion means "good news = goodspell = gospel," from which we get our word "evangelist" used to mean a preacher of the Good News of salvation, and, more narrowly, one of the four Gospel-writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.]

By the time of Christ, Jewish popular belief included many specifics about angels, with names for many of them. There were thought to be four archangels, named Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. An alternative tradition has seven archangels (see Tobit 12:15 and 1 Enoch 20). Sometimes each archangel is associated with one of the seven planets of the Ptolemaic system (the moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). Michael is associated with Saturn and Uriel with the Sun. The other pairings I forget, but I believe that you will find a list in the long narrative poem called “The Golden Legend,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (I believe that a pairing is also offered in the opening chapters of the Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, by Irenaeus of Lyons, but I have not the work at hand.)

St. Michael & Satan, after Raphael: from a 19thC BCPMichael (the name means “Who is like God?”) is said to be the captain of the heavenly armies. He is mentioned in the Scriptures in Daniel 10:13,31; 12:1 (where he is said to be the prince of the people of Israel); in Jude 9 (where he is said to have disputed with the devil about the body of Moses); and in Revelation 12:7 (where he is said to have led the heavenly armies against those of the great dragon). He is generally pictured in full armor, carrying a lance, and with his foot on the neck of a dragon. (Pictures of the Martyr George are often similar, but only Michael has wings.)

Gabriel (the name means “God is my champion”) is thought of as the special bearer of messages from God to men. He appears in Daniel 8:16; 9:21 as an explainer of some of Daniel’s visions. According to the first chapter of Luke, he announced the forthcoming births of John the Baptist and of our Lord to Zachariah and the Virgin Mary respectively.

Jacob wrestling with the Angel, by DoreRaphael (the name means “God heals”) is mentioned in the Apocrypha, in the book of Tobit, where, disguised as a man, he accompanies the young man Tobias on a quest, enables him to accomplish it, and gives him a remedy for the blindness of his aged father.

Uriel (the name means “God is my light” — compare with “Uriah”, which means “the LORD is my light”) is mentioned in 4 Esdras.

It is thought by many scholars that the seven lamps of Revelation 4:5 are an image suggested by (among many other things) the idea of seven archangels.

What is the value to us of remembering the Holy Angels? Well, since they appear to excel us in both knowledge and power, they remind us that, even among created things, we humans are not the top of the heap. Since it is the common belief that demons are angels who have chosen to disobey God and to be His enemies rather than His willing servants, they remind us that the higher we are the lower we can fall. The greater our natural gifts and talents, the greater the damage if we turn them to bad ends. The more we have been given, the more will be expected of us. And, in the picture of God sending His angels to help and defend us, we are reminded that apparently God, instead of doing good things directly, often prefers to do them through His willing servants, enabling those who have accepted His love to show their love for one another.


Everything You Never Wanted to Know about Angels

Angel at Notre Dame CathedralThe major post-New-Testament source for Christian ideas about angels is a writer (probably a fifth-century Syrian monk) who signed himself “Dionysius the Areopagite.” His writings were taken to be those of a convert of the Apostle Paul, mentioned in Acts 17:34. Accordingly, when he wrote on angels (or any other theological subject), he was assumed to know what he was talking about. His writings had a considerable influence on the portrayal of angels in art and in the popular imagination.
What are the Nine Choirs?

The Apostle Paul writes:

[Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father,] far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion,…. (Eph 1:21)

For by him [the Son] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. (Col 1:16)

I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels,nor principalities, nor powers… shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:38f)

For we contend not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against evil spirits in the heights. (Eph 6:12)

…that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. (Eph 3:10)

And you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power (Col 2:10)

And having disarmed principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Col 2:15)

Early commentators tended to take “principalities, powers” etc. as the names of various kinds of angelic beings. Since demons are considered to be fallen or rebellious angels, the quotations from Ephesians 6:12 and Colossians 2:15 are no problem.

Dionysius states that there are nine orders (or choirs) of angels, three triads of three each, in order from highest to lowest as shown in the following table.

The lowest order, called simply angels, are God’s messengers and envoys to (and guardians of) the human race. The highest order, the seraphim, devote themselves to contemplating God, beholding Him face to face, and loving and praising Him. Each order helps to reveal and declare God’s glory to the order below.

Pope Gregory I (see 12 March 604), in his Homilies on the Gospel, lists the same nine choirs, but with a different ranking. Dante (see 15 Sep 1321) in the Convivio gives still a third ranking, but affirms the ranking of Dionysius in the Comedy, canto 28 (I am borrowing heavily from the Sayers-Reynolds notes on this canto.) Aquinas discusses the matter in the Summa T., part I, Q 108.

Dionysius Gregory Convivio
Seraphim
Cherubim
Thrones
Seraphim
Cherubim
Thrones
Seraphim
Cherubim
Powers
Dominions
Virtues
Powers
Dominions
Principalities
Powers
Principalities
Virtues
Dominions
Principalities
Archangels
Angels
Virtues
Archangels
Angels
Thrones
Archangels
Angels

Note that the term “angels” can refer either to all nine orders, or only to the lowest order, just as the term “soldier” can refer to anyone in the army, or only to the enlisted men (as opposed to the officers). For a little more information, see the book The Discarded Image, by C S Lewis.

Some readers will be familiar with the hymn by J Athelstan Riley beginning:
Ye watchers and ye holy ones, C – C D E C | E F G – – -
Bright seraphs, cherubim and thrones. C – C D E C | E F G – – -
Raise the glad strain, Alleluia. c B A – G – | c B A – G -
Cry out, dominions, princedoms, powers, c – c G G F | E F G – – -
Virtues, archangels, angel choirs. c – c G G F | E F G – – -
Oh, praise Him! Oh, praise Him! F E D – C – | F E D – C -
Alleluia, Alleluia, c B A – G – | c B A – G -
Alleluia. F E D – – – | – – C – – -

You will note that this hymn lists the nine choirs, using the ranking of Gregory.


What is a seraph?

Seraphim are mentioned in the Bible in Isaiah’s vision of the heavenly throne-room (Is 6:1-7), where the LORD is seated between two seraphim. (In Hebrew, most masculine nouns form the plural by adding “-im”.) Each has six wings, and with two he covers his face, and with two he covers his feet, and with two he flies. Later writers identify these functions with poverty, chastity, and obedience. Poverty, in that he veils his face, a sign of humility. Chastity, in that he covers his feet, a standard Hebrew idiom (or euphemism) for the lower body, including the crotch. Obedience, in that he flies to carry out whatever commission he receives from God. The word “seraph” comes from a root meaning “to burn”, and the word is used in Nu 21:6,8; Dt 8:15; Is 14:29; 30:6; where it is translated “fiery serpent.” Probably the Hebrews pictured a seraph as a kind of fiery winged serpent or reptile.


What is a Cherub?

Cherubim are first mentioned in the Bible in Gen 3:24, where Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden, and two cherubim are set at the gate to guard it, so that no one may enter. The Psalmist says of God:

He rode upon a cherub, and did fly;
he came flying on the wings of the wind. (18:10)

thou that dwellest between the cherubim (80:1)

he sitteth between the cherubim; let the earth quake (99:1)

From this we infer that they were pictured and thought of as winged creatures flanking or supporting the throne of God.

Ancient Middle Eastern art regularly shows the throne of a king or a god flanked by, or sometimes resting on, two creatures. Typically, each creature has the body of a lion or a bull (often the front quarters of a lion, with claws, and the hind quarters of a bull, with hooves, or vice versa), the head of a man, and the wings of an eagle. For a picture, see the Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th ed., article on “Calah,” vol 2, p 731. We see these creatures, not only flanking a throne, but also flanking the gate or doorway of a city or a temple. They appear to be standard figures, performing the function of honor guards or that of guard dogs.

In Ex 25f and 36f, the Israelites are to make a chest called the Ark of the Covenant, and place on the lid statues of two cherubim, with their wings arching over and meeting in the middle. Aside from the fact that they had wings, we are not told anything about their appearance. It was apparently taken for granted that the Israelites already knew what a cherub was supposed to look like. It is a reasonable guess that they looked like the guard figures already standard in Middle Eastern art, as noted above.

The Ark represented the presence of God, and presumably the Israelites thought of the cherubim as guarding or flanking or supporting an invisible throne. Thus, the Ark gave two complementary messages. On the one hand, it said, “The LORD cannot be represented by a picture or statue. He is spirit, He is invisible. He is transcendent. The whole universe cannot contain Him.” On the other hand, it said, “Here is the place where the LORD chooses to reveal Himself. This is the place toward which you are to direct your homage, this is the focus of your worship.”

The prophet Ezekiel records two visions (Ez 1 and 10) in which the LORD appears to him, enthroned above four figures identified as cherubs. Each is said to have four faces, one facing in each direction, the face of a man, a lion, a bull, and an eagle.


Cherubs, Griffins, and Grimm Shifts

This section is linguistic. Those who dislike being lectured about the history of words and the development of languages may skip it.

I begin by pointing out that the English sound “ch” as in “chair” is unknown in both Greek and Hebrew. Accordingly, names in the Bible containing a “ch” were originally pronounced with the sound of “ch” in the German name “Bach” (or “kh” in the Russian name “Khrushchev”), and will normally be pronounced in English with a simple “K” sound, as in Christ, orchestra, orchid, chorus, and so on. SOME words that have been thoroughly assimilated into English, such as “cherub” and “Rachel” (compare the pronunciation of “Raquel Welch,” which is much closer to the Hebrew), have the English “ch” as in “chair”, but please note that the Hebrew pronunciation of “cherub” is more like “kerub” or “kherub.” (Kh as in “Khrushchev”)

In Greek folklore, we have a figure known as a griffin, or gryphon. It is usually portrayed as having the head, chest, claws, and wings of an eagle, joined to the hindquarters of a lion. For a picture, see a copy of Alice in Wonderland, preferably one with the traditional illustrations by Tenniel. The root of the word is G-R-F. (The N is an English suffix not found in the Greek.) Similarly, the root of “cherub” is Kh-R-B. Now these are related roots, related by what is called the Grimm Shift, named for the brothers Grimm, who made a folklore collection known as the Grimm Fairy Tales, but who are also scholars dedicated to the history of languages and the rules that govern their development.

There are twelve sounds known as mutes. They can be placed in a three-dimensional array, 2 by 2 by 3. They are either voiced or unvoiced, either stops or fricatives, either front (labial), middle (dental) or back (palatal).

The fronts are p, b, ph(=f), and bh(=v). They are called labials because they are formed with the lips. P and B are stops, because the breath is stopped completely when they are said (the lips are pressed together). Ph and Bh are fricative, because the air passage is not closed completely, but narrowed so that the breath rubs along the passage (friction=rubbing) and makes a sound. B and Bh are voiced, because the larynx or voicebox vibrates when they are said. P and Ph are voiceless, because they are said with the lips and tongue in the same position as for B and Bh, but without the vibration of the voicebox.

In English, the fricatives Ph and Bh (or, as more commonly spelled, F and V) are really labio-dentals rather than pure labials, because the air escapes between the lower lip and the upper teeth. However, in other languages (Spanish, for example), the air is forced out between the lips. You place your lips as if to say P and then force the air out between them to get Ph–and similarly for Bh.

The middles are t, d, th, and dh. By Th we mean the initial sound of “thin,” and by Dh we mean the initial sound of “then.” These are called dentals because they are pronounced using the teeth. T and D are stops, while Th and Dh are fricatives. T and Th are voiceless, while D and Dh are voiced.

The back mutes, or palatals, are k, g, kh, and gh. The last two sounds, the back fricatives, are not standard in English. The Kh sound is found in the German name Bach, and in the “ch” sound in Scottish words, like “Loch Ness, Loch Lomond,” etc. The Gh is the voiced equivalent, and is found in Spanish in words like “cigarro,” and sometimes when an English-speaker says “cigar.” That is, the throat is not completely closed, but only narrowed, so that the G becomes a voiced fricative.

All twelve of the mutes occur in Biblical Hebrew, and they are represented by six letters: Beth and Pe, Gimel and Kaph, Daleth and Tau. Each of these is written with a dot (called a dagesh) in the interior when it represents a stop, and without the dot when it represents a fricative. However the reader should be warned of two things:

(1) Since the dots and the vowel markings are a later addition to the sacred text, scrolls of the books of the Bible for synagogue use are written without them, and the reader is expected to know the text well enough to manage anyway. Also, since the modern Israeli is expected to know modern Hebrew, and since points are a major nuisance for a typesetter, a book or newspaper written in modern Hebrew will probably be printed without them, unless it is for the instruction of children or beginning Hebrew students.

(2) Since until recently most modern Jews spoke either German or Yiddish (a form of German), modern Hebrew contains only those sounds which occur in German. This means that the fricatives th, dh, gh, are replaced by the corresponding stops t, d, and g. The distinction continues in writing (whenever the points are written) but not in the spoken language.

Now, as a language changes, a middle mute is often replaced by another middle mute, but almost never by a front or a back mute. If you are comparing words in (for example) Latin and English, you will see that a front mute in one word will usually match a front mute in the other. For example, the English word “father” comes from the same primitive root as the Latin “pater,” and we have the correspondence f=p (two labials) and th=t (two dentals). The English word “head” was “heved” in Old English, and it corresponds to the Latin “caput”. The English “h” is as close as we get to “kh”, and the Latin C is pronounced K, so that we have kh=k (back mutes or palatals), v=p (front mutes or labials), and d=t (middle mutes or dentals).

Now the Hebrew word “cherub” has the root Kh-R-B, and the Greek word “gryph” has the root G-R-Ph. We see that the G and Kh are both back mutes or palatals, the R is the same in both words, and the B and Ph are both front mutes or labials. Hence a Gryphon, such as you see in Alice in Wonderland and elsewhere has a history connecting both the form of the creature and its name with the Semitic Cherub.


Cherubs in Revelation

Ezekiel saw four winged creatures, each having the face of a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle. John, in the book of Revelation (4:6-8), saw four winged creatures before the throne, the first like a lion, the second like an ox, the third like a man, and the fourth like an eagle.

CherubimSome have supposed that these creatures (and also those in Ezekiel) represent attributes of God, such as power, love, justice, and wisdom. A more widespread view is that they represent the four Gospels. What I will call the Old Match associates each beast with the beginning of a Gospel. Matthew begins with the human genealogy of Jesus, and so is paired with the Man. Mark begins with John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness, and so is paired with the Lion, a desert animal. Luke begins with Zecharias in the Temple, and so is paired with the Ox, a sacrificial beast. John begins with the Eternal Word, the Logos, in the heaven of God, and so is paired with the Eagle, which soars toward heaven. How old this pairing is, I do not know. It is found in the ornamented initials of Gospel books as early as 900, but I do not know how much earlier it can be traced. What I will call the New Match considers not the beginning of a Gospel, but its overall tone. Thus, Matthew presents Jesus as the promised Messiah, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Accordingly, Matthew is paired with the Lion. Mark represents Jesus as the diligent servant, always at work, always about his Father’s business, never pausing for a moment (Mark’s most characteristic word is “straightway” or “immediately”). Hence Mark is paired with the Ox. Luke shows the compassion, the tenderness, the humanity of Jesus (as in the Parable of the Lost Sheep or of the Prodigal Son). Thus Luke is paired with the Man. John presents Jesus as the Eternal Son of God. Hence John is paired with the Eagle. How old this pairing is, I do not know. I suspect that it is no older than 1500. It has the advantage that the order of the beasts as given by John is the same as the standard order of the Gospels.

If the four beasts represent the Four Gospels, it is tempting to ask whether other books of the Bible are represented. Paul wrote letters to seven churches (Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae, Thessalonika). Perhaps the seven torches burning before the throne represent the Pauline Epistles. There are 24 elders sitting on thrones around the central throne of the Almighty. Perhaps they represent the Old People of God and the New, twelve patriarchs and twelve apostles. Again perhaps they represent the 24 courses of priests who served in the Temple under the Law of Moses. But perhaps they represent the books of the Old Testament. The modern Protestant canon has 39 books in the Old Testament, the same books that are recognized by the Jews. But they count them differently. The twelve minor prophets are written on a single scroll, and called the Book of the Twelve. This reduces the number by 11, from 39 down to 28. The books of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and Ezra-Nehemiah are counted as one book each rather than two, and that reduces the count to 24. Some Jewish writers leave it at that, while others reduce it to 22 by considering Ruth an appendix to Judges and Lamentations an appendix to Jeremiah. The advantage of 22 is that it is the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and this permits all sorts of speculations. However, 24 books is a perfectly well established Jewish count, and there is no reason why John might not have used 24 elders to stand for the 24 books of the Hebrew Scriptures.

At this point the reader may say, “But what about Acts? What about the four letters of Paul to individuals? What about the seven non-Pauline epistles (including Hebrews)? What about the Book of Revelation itself?” As for the book of Acts, I suspect that John simply thought of it as the second volume of the Gospel of Luke. As for the book of Revelation, I think some readers might find it confusing to have the book referring to itself as already written. As for the omitted epistles, I think one might make out a case for most of them as not yet written when John had his vision. The exception is the Epistle to Philemon, which shows every sign of having been written and sent with the Epistle to the Colossians. But then, John might for that very reason have treated it as an appendix to Colossians, a sort of enclosed note as it were. But all this is speculation. I am probably about to be inundated by letters from listmembers who will tell me that I have got it all wrong, and who will explain to me the correct interpretation of the Book of Revelation….

At any rate, we can be fairly sure that the imagery of the four beasts (or living creatures) in Revelation 4 is indebted to the imagery of the cherubim in Ezekiel 1 and 10, but beyond that, it is probably a mistake to expect agreement.

by James Kiefer

Sep 28 – Rolle, Hilton, & Kempe – Mystics

Rolle + Hilton + Kempe

Richard Rolle + Walter Hilton + Margery Kempe
Mystics
28 September 1349, 1396, c. 1440

click here for books by or about Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton, and Margery Kempe


 

From the Satucket Lectionary

Richard Rolle (1290–1349) was an English religious writer, Bible translator, and hermit. He is known as Richard Rolle of Hampole or de Hampole, since after years of wandering he settled in his final years at Hampole, near the Cistercian nunnery.

He wrote in both Latin and English (his first work, Melum, was of alliterative Latin); many works are attributed to him, but it has been questioned how many are genuinely from his hand. In particular, The Pricke of Conscience, once attributed to him, is now thought to have been written by an anonymous author in the 14th century. Some of his writings were printed in the sixteenth century, by Wynkyn de Worde.

In one of his best-known works, The Fire of Love, Rolle provides an account of his mystical experiences, which he describes as being of three kinds: a physical warmth in his body, a sense of wonderful sweetness, and a heavenly music that accompanied him as he chanted the Psalms. The book was widely read in the Middle Ages, and described the four purgative stages that one had to go through to become closer to God: described as open door, heat, song, and sweetness. Because of the wide proliferation of his works, there was a movement to have him canonized. As many of his works were concerned with personal devotion, some, with considerable alterations, were used by the Lollards.

more from Wikipedia

Walter Hilton (1340 – 24 March 1396) was an English Augustinian mystic.

Little is known of his life. He was the head of a house of Augustinian Canons at Thurgarton Priory, near Newark, in Nottinghamshire. He was closely in touch with the Carthusians, though not a member of that order.

His spiritual writings were widely influential during the fifteenth century in England. The most famous of these is the Scala Perfectionis, or Ladder of Perfection, in two books, first printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1494. This work may be described as a guide-book for the journey to the spiritual Jerusalem, which is “contemplation in perfect love of God”. The soul is reformed to the image and likeness of God, first in faith only, and then in faith and in feeling. Speeded by humility and love, it passes through the mystical dark night, which “is nought else but a forbearing and a withdrawing of the thought and of the soul from earthly things by great desire and yearning for to love and see and feel Jesus and spiritual things”. By the gift of love all the vices are destroyed, and the soul at length becomes a perfect lover of Jesus, “fully united to Him with softness of love”. His presence is the life of the soul, even as the soul is the life of the body. Purified to know His secret voice, its spiritual eyes are opened to see His workings in all things and to behold His blessed nature. Hilton’s mystical system is, in the main, a simplification of that of Richard of St. Victor, and, like Richard, he humbly disclaims any personal experience of the Divine familiarity which he describes, declaring that he has not the grace of contemplation himself “in feeling and in working, as I have it in talking”.

more from Wikipedia

Margery Kempe (c. 1373 – after 1438) is known for writing The Book of Margery Kempe, a work considered by some to be the first autobiography in the English language. This book chronicles, to some extent, her extensive pilgrimages to various holy sites in Europe and Asia.

Part of Margery Kempe’s significance lies in the autobiographical nature of her book: it is the best insight available that points to a female, middle class experience in the Middle Ages. Kempe is admittedly unusual among the more traditional holy exemplars of her time, such as Julian of Norwich. Margery, in fact, described her visit to Julian in her anchorhold in Norwich, and describes how they together discussed Margery’s visions as to their orthodoxy, deciding that because they lead to charity they were of the Holy Spirit.

Though Kempe is often depicted as an “oddity” or even a “madwoman,” recent scholarship on vernacular theologies and popular practices of piety suggest she was not, perhaps, as odd as she appears. Rather than being the ramblings of a madwoman, her Book is revealed as a carefully constructed spiritual and social commentary. … Her autobiography begins with “the onset of her spiritual quest, her recovery from the ghostly aftermath of her first child-bearing”. There is no firm evidence that Margery Kempe could herself read or write, but Leyser notes how religious culture was informed by texts, as was that of her more well-known contemporary Julian of Norwich, noting how there is some evidence that the “Incendium Amoris” by Richard Rolle influenced Margery Kempe; Walter Hilton has been cited as another possible influence on Kempe. Among other books that Margery had read to her were, repeatedly, the “Revelationes” of Birgitta of Sweden and, in fact, her pilgrimages carefully copy those of that married saint who had had eight children.

more from Wikipedia

Sep 27 – Thomas Traherne – Priest + Poet

Sep 27 - Thomas Traherne

Thomas Traherne
Priest + Poet
27 September 1674

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From the Satucket Lectionary

Thomas Traherne, MA (1636 or 1637, Hereford, England – ca. October 10, 1674, Teddington) was an English poet and religious writer. His style is often considered Metaphysical.

Traherne was an inconsequential literary figure during his life, whose works were unappreciated until long after his death. He led a humble, devout life, largely sheltered from the literary community. Only one of his works, Roman Forgeries (1673), was published in his lifetime. Christian Ethicks (1675) followed soon after his death, and later A Serious and Patheticall Contemplation of the Mercies of God (1699); but after that much of his finest work was lost, corrupted or misattributed to other writers.

The discoveries responsible for his renewed vindication as a theologian, beside the poems, are four complete Centuries of Meditation, short paragraphs embodying reflexions on religion and Christian morals. Some of these, evidently autobiographical in character, describe a childhood from which the “glory and the dream” was slow to depart. Of the power of nature to inform the mind with beauty, and the ecstatic harmony of a child with the natural world, the earlier poems, which contain his best work, are full. In their manner, as in their matter, they remind the reader of William Blake and William Wordsworth. The poems on childhood may well have been inspired by Vaughan’s lines entitled The Retreat. He quotes George Herbert‘s “Longing” in the newly discovered Lambeth Manuscript. His poetry is essentially metaphysical and his workmanship is uneven, but the collection contains passages of great beauty.

His poems were published in Poems (1903) and Centuries of Meditations (1908). The Select Meditations were only published in 1997. In 1996 and 1997, another of Traherne’s manuscripts were discovered in the Folger Library in Washington DC by Julia Smith and Laetitia Yeandle. A second was discovered in Lambeth Palace Library in London by Jeremy Maule. The Ceremonial Law, from the Folger library, is an unfinished epic poem of over 1,800 lines. The Lambeth Manuscipt contains four, and a fragmentary fifth, mainly prose works known as: Inducements to Retiredness, A Sober View of Dr Twisse, Seeds of Eternity, The Kingdom of God and the fragment Love. … These two finds are a primary contributing factor to why Traherne is now being considered as much as a theologian as a poet.

—  more at Wikipedia

Sep 27 – Vincent DePaul – Helper of the Poor

Sep 27 - Vincent DePaul

Vincent DePaul
Helper of the Poor
27 September 1660

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From the Satucket Lectionary

Vincent de Paul was born in Gascony in about 1580, of peasant stock. He was an intelligent lad, and his father sent him off to be educated. He was ordained at twenty, and at first was interested chiefly in a successful career. But when he was thirty, he accepted a post as chaplain and tutor in the household of Philip de Gondi, Count of Joigny. This brought him into contact with the peasants on the Gondi estate, and he became concerned for their needs, physical and spiritual. A peasant who believed himself to be dying confessed to him that his previous confessions for many years had been dishonest. Vincent began to preach in the local church on confession, repentance, forgiveness, and the love of God. His sermons drew such crowds of penitents that he had to call in a group of other priests to assist him. He took on the pastorship of a neighboring church attended by a more fashionable and aristocratic crowd, and there he likewise drew many of his listeners to repentance and amendment of life. Returning to Paris, he worked among the prisoners destined for the galleys who were being held at the Conciergerie.

(A reader asked whether “galleys” was a misprint for “gallows”. No, until fairly recently (certainly into the 1820’s) French convicts were often sentenced to pull the oars on ships. There is a an essay on the subject by the historian W H (Warren) Lewis (brother of C.S. Lewis) in the book Essays Presented To Charles Williams, Oxford U Press, about 1945. The best known account is in the novel Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, which contains several long essays on the galley system. Hugo’s novels often have long sections where the action stops completely, while the author explains to the reader some aspect of French culture or history. The novelist Ayn Rand, who considers Hugo the world’s greatest novelist, complains that these sections affect her like commercials interrupting a television drama. It seems an odd complaint from the author of Atlas Shrugged, but I digress.)

In 1625 he established the Congregation of the Mission (now known as the Vincentians, or the Lazarists), a community of priests who undertook to renounce all ecclesiastical advancement and devote themselves to work in the small towns and villages of France. In an age not noted for “interdenominational courtesy,” he instructed his missioners that Protestants were to be treated as brothers, with respect and love, without patronage or condescension or contentiousness. Wealthy men and women came to him, expressing a wish to amend their lives, and he organized them into a Confraternity of Charity, and set them to work caring for the poor and sick in hospitals and in home visits. In 1633 the Archbishop or Paris gave him the Priory of St Lazare as a headquarters. There he offered retreats six times a year for those who were preparing for the ministry. These lasted two weeks each, and each involved about eighty students. He then began to offer similar retreats for laypersons of all classes and widely varying backgrounds. He said (identifying Lazarus of the Parable with Lazarus of Bethany):

This house was formerly used as a retreat for lepers, and not One of them was cured. Now it is used to receive sinners, who are sick men coveed with spiritual leprosy, but are cured by the grace of God. Nay, rather, they are dead men brought back to life. What a joy it is to think that the house of St Lazare is a house of resurrection! Lazarus, after he had been four days in the tomb, came out alive, and our Lord who raised him up still gives the same grace to many who, after staying here some days as in the grave of Lazarus, come out with a new life.

Out of his Confraternity of Charity there arose an order of nuns called the Daughters (or Sisters) of Charity, devoted to nursing those who were sick and poor. He said of them, “Their convent is the sick-room, their chapel the parish church, their cloister the streets of the city.” Many babies were abandoned in Paris every year, and when Vincent saw some of them, he established an orphanage for them, and thereafter often wandered through the slums, looking in corners for abandoned babies, which he carried back to the orphanage.

He complained to the King that ecclesiastical posts were distributed simply as political favors, and that the spiritual qualifications of the appointees were simply ignored. The King responded by creating a Council of Conscience to remedy the matter, with Vincent at the head. On one occasion, a noblewoman of the court, furious with Vincent because he refused to nominate her son for a position as bishop, threw a stool at him. He left the room with a stream of blood pouring from his forehead, and said to a companion who was waiting for him, “Is it not wonderful how strong a mother’s love for her son can be?” He died 27 September 1660.

by James Kiefer

Sep 26 – Lancelot Andrewes – Bishop + Scholar

Sep 26 - Lancelot Andrewes

Lancelot Andrewes
Bishop + Scholar
26 Sepember 1626

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From the Satucket Lectionary

Lancelot AndrewesLancelot Andrewes (1555-1626), Bishop of Winchester, was on the committee of scholars that produced the King James Translation of the Bible, and probably contributed more to that work than any other single person. It is accordingly no surprise to find him not only a devout writer but a learned and eloquent one, a master of English prose, and learned in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and eighteen other languages. His sermons were popular in his own day, but are perhaps too academic for most modern readers. He prepared for his own use a manuscript notebook of Private Prayers, which was published after his death. The material was apparently intended, not to be read aloud, but to serve as a guide and stimulus to devout meditation. What follows is a brief extract from the section for Thursday Morning. The reader will note that he commemorates three events associated with Thursday: (1) the creation of air and water animals (mostly birds and fish) on the Fifth Day of Creation as described in Genesis 1; (2) the institution of the Sacrament of the Lord’s supper by Our Lord Jesus Christ on the evening before He was crucified (Matthew 26); and (3) the Ascension of Our Lord into heaven forty days after His resurrection (Acts 1).

COMMEMORATION

Blessed art Thou, O Lord
who didst bring forth of water
moving creatures that have life,
and whales,
and winged fowls:
and didst bless them,
so as to increase and multiply.

The things concerning the Ascension:
Set up Thyself, O God, above the heavens
and Thy glory above all the earth.
By thine Ascension
draw us withal unto Thee, O Lord,
so as to set our affections on things above,
and not on things on the earth.

By the awful mystery of Thy Holy Body and Precious
Blood in the evening of this day:
Lord, have mercy.
FAITH

Coming unto God,
I believe that He is,
and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him:
I know that my Redeemer liveth;
that He is the Christ the Son of the Living God;
that He is indeed the Saviour of the world;
that He came into the world to save sinners,
of whom I am chief.
Through the grace of Jesus Christ
we believe that we shall be saved
even as our fathers withal.
I believe verily to see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
THANKSGIVING

O my Lord, my Lord, I thank Thee
for that I am,
that I am alive,
that I am rational:
for nurture,
preservation,
governance:
for education,
citizenship,
religion:
for Thy gifts of grace,
nature,
estate:
for redemption,
regeneration,
instruction:
for calling,
recalling,
further calling manifold:
for forbearance,
longsuffering,
long longsuffering towards me,
many times,
many years,
until now:
for all good offices I have received,
good speed I have gotten:
for any good thing done:
for the use of things present,
thy promise
and my hope
touching the fruition of the good things to come:
for my parents honest and good,
teachers gentle,
benefactors always to be had in remembrance,
colleagues likeminded,
hearers attentive,
friends sincere,
retainers faithful:
for all who have stood me in good stead
by their writings,
their sermons,
conversations,
prayers,
examples,
rebukes,
wrongs:
for these things and all other,
which I wot of, which I wot not of,
open and secret,
things I remember, things I have forgotten withal,
things done to me after my will or yet against my will,
I confess to Thee and bless Thee and give thanks unto Thee,
and I will confess and bless and give thanks to Thee
all the days of my life.
What thanks can I render to God again
for all the benefits that He hath done unto me?

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY
Thou are worthy, O Lord and our God, the Holy One,
to receive the glory and the honour and the power:
for Thou hast created all things,
and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.

by James Kiefer

Sep 26 – Wilson Carlile

Sep 26 - Wilson Carlile

Wilson Carlile
Priest + Founder of Church Army
26 September 1942

click here for books about Wilson Carlile and Church Army


From the Satucket Lectionary 

Wilson CarlileWilson Carlile was born in 1847 in Brixton. He suffered from a spinal weakness all his life, which hampered his education. He entered his grandfather’s business at the age of thirteen but soon moved on and learnt fluent French, which he used to good advantage in France trading in silk. He later learned German and Italian to enhance his business, but was ruined in a slump in 1873. After a serious illness, he began to take his religion more seriously and became confirmed in the Church of England. He acted as organist to Ira D Sankey, during the Moody and Sankey missions and in 1881 was ordained priest, serving his curacy at St Mary Abbots in Kensington, together with a dozen other curates. The lack of contact between the Church and the working classes was a cause of real concern to him and he began outdoor preaching. In 1882, he resigned his curacy and founded the Church Army, four years after the foundation of the Salvation Army. He continued to take part in its administration until a few weeks before his death on this day [26 September] in 1942.

[Source: Report on the Calendar, Lectionary and Collects, 2000, by The Liturgical Commision of the Church of England, July 1995. Additional information is available from Wikipedia]

 

Sep 25 – Sergius of Moscow – Abbot

Sep 25 - Sergius of Moscow

Sergius of Moscow
Abbot – Holy Trinity of Moscow
25 September 1392

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From the Satucket Lectionary

To the people of Russia, Sergius is a national hero and an example of Russian spiritual life at its best.

Pall of St. SergiusSergius was born around 1314, the son of a farmer. When he was twenty, he and his brother began to live as hermits in a forest near Moscow. Others joined them in what became the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, a center for the renewal of Russian Christianity. Pilgrims came from all Russia to worship and to receive spiritual instruction, advice, and encouragement. The Russians were at the time largely subservient to the neighboring (non-Christian) Tatar (or Tartar) people. Sergius rallied the people behind Prince Dimitri Donskoi, who defeated the Tatars in 1380 and established an independent Russia.

Sergius was a gentle man, of winning personality. Stories told of him resemble those of Francis of Assisi, including some that show that animals tended to trust him. He had the ability to inspire in men an intense awareness of the love of God, and a readiness to respond in love and obedience. He remained close to his peasant roots. One contemporary said of him, “He has about him the smell of fir forests.” To this day, the effect of his personality on Russian devotion remains considerable.

(The following material is taken with minor alterations from The Lives of the Saints, by Sabine Baring-Gould, author of the hymn “Onward, Christian Soldiers. The reader will note that this account was written before the Communist Revolution, at a time when the Czar was still ruler of Russia, and the Russian Orthodox Church was the official religion of the country.)

The name of Sergius is as dear to every Russian’s heart as that of William Tell to a Swiss, or that of Joan of Arc to a Frenchman. He was born at Rostoff in the early part of the 14th century, and when quite young left the house of his parents, and, together with his brother Stephen, settled himself in the dense forests of Radonege with bears for his companions, suffering from fierce cold in winter, often from famine. The fame of his virtues drew disciples around him. They compelled him to go to Peryaslavla-Zalessky, to receive priestly orders from Athanasius, Bishop of Volhynia, who lived there. Sergius built by his own labor in the midst of the forest a rude church of timber, by the name of the Source of Life, the Ever Blessed Trinity, which has since grown into the greatest, most renowned and wealthy monastery in all Russia–the Troitzka (=Trinity) Abbey, whose destiny has become inseparable from the destinies of the capital.

Princes and prelates applied to Sergius not only for advice, but also for teachers trained in his school, who might become in their realms and dioceses the heads of similar institutions, centers whence light and wisdom might shine. Tartar invasion had quenched the religious fervor of the Russians: a new era of zeal opened with the foundation of the Troitzka monastery and the labors of Sergius. At the request of Vladimir, Athanasius, a disciple of Sergius, founded the Visotsky monastery at Serpouchoff; and another of his pupils, Sabbas, laid the foundation of the convent of Svenigorod, while his nephew Theodore laid that of Simonoff in Moscow. In the terrible struggle against the Tartars, the heart of the Grand-Prince Demetrius failed him; how could he break the power of this inexhaustible horde which, like the locusts of the prophet Joel, had the garden of Eden before them and left behind them a desolate wilderness? It was the remonstrance, the prayers of Sergius, that encouraged the Prince to engage in battle with the horde on the fields of the Don. No historical picture or sculpture in Russia is more frequent than that which represents the youthful warrior receiving the benediction of the aged hermit. Two of his monks, Peresvet and Osliab, accompanied the Prince to the field, and fought in coats of mail drawn over their monastic habit; and the battle was begun by the single combat of Peresvet with a gigantic Tartar, champion of the Horde.

The two chief convents in the suburbs of Moscow still preserve the recollection of that day. One is the vast fortress of the Donskoi monastery, under the Sparrow Hills. The other is the Simonoff monastery already mentioned, founded on the banks of the Mosqua, on a beautiful spot chosen by the saint himself, and its earliest site was consecrated by the tomb which covers the bodies of his two warlike monks. From that day forth he stood out in the national recollection as the champion of Russia. It was from his convent that the noblest patriotic inspirations were drawn, and, as he had led the way in giving the first great repulse to the Tartar power, so the final blow in like manner came from a successor in his place. In 1480, when Ivan III wavered, as Demetrius had wavered before him, it was by the remonstrance of Archbishop Bassian, formerly prior of the Troitzka monastery, that Ivan too was driven, almost against his will, to the field. “Dost thou fear death?” so he was addressed by the aged prelate. “Thou too must die as well as others; death is the lot of all, man, beast, and bird alike; none avoid it. Give these warriors into my hands, and, old as I am, I will not spare myself, nor turn my back upon the Tartars.” The Metropolitan, we are told, added his exhortations to those of Bassian. Ivan returned to the camp, the Khan of the Golden Horde fled without a blow, and Russia was set free for ever. [Note: The reader will remember that Constantinople (also called New Rome) fell to the Turks in 1453, and thus the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire came to an end. This same Ivan III married the niece of the last Byzantine Emperor, and so claimed for himself a position in the line of Christian Emperors beginning with Constantine, and for Moscow the position of Third Rome, the capital thenceforth of the Christian world.]

Now back to the time of Sergius.

The Metropolitan, Alexis, being eighty-four years old, perceived that his end was approaching, and he wished to give Sergius his blessing and appoint him as his successor. But the humble monk, in great alarm, declared that he could not accept and wear the sacred picture of the Blessed Virgin suspended by gold chains, which the primate had sent him from his own breast on which it had hung. “From my youth up,” said he, “I have never possessed or worn gold, and how now can I adorn myself in my old age?” St. Sergius died at an extremely advanced age in 1392, amidst the lamentations of his contemporaries.

by James Kiefer

Sep 22 – Philander Chase – Bishop

Illumination - Philander Chase

Philander Chase
Bishop
22 September 1852

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From the Satucket Lectionary

Philander Chase was born in New Hampshire in 1775. He graduated from Dartmouth, and then entered the ministry in the Episcopal Church. He served congregations in Lake George, Poughkeepsie, New Orleans and Hartford, but felt the calling to preaching on the frontier and so moved west in 1817. He became bishop of Ohio in 1818, and also founded Kenyon College, raising the necessary funds in England. He ran into conflicts, both in his diocese and in the college, and so resigned his positions in 1831 and moved to Michigan. However, the newly-formed diocese of Illinois called him in 1835 to be its bishop, and he served in this position until his death, and as Presiding Bishop from 1843.

Much more can be found on a site devoted to Philander Chase, at Kenyon College. A biography of him is also available from the Internet Archive.

Bp. Philander Chase and his wife.