Lent Madness: Francis of Assisi vs. Molly Brant

March 30, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Francis of Assisi vs. Molly Brant

Lent Madness 2015Egeria eeked out a win 51% over Frederick Douglass’s 49% on Lent Madness site. On the St. Luke’s site, Egeria was the overwhelming winner, winning 87% of the vote.

Here we are at the Faithful Four. This match up is Francis of Assisi vs. Molly Brant.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

St.-Francis-with-the-animals-300x213Francis of Assisi

Our church garden is well-used holy space by all of God’s creation. One afternoon in October, members of our church gather with our companion animals and ask God’s blessing on these precious beings of God who share their lives with us.

Over the years, more and more neighbors of many faiths join us, and what began as a small gathering has grown into a lively and sacred time filled with the chorus of barks and meows. Our St. Francis statue, nestled in a corner of the church garden, stands in witness to this holy gathering, reminding us of the man who saw God fully visible in every aspect of holy Creation.

Francis, for his many gifts to the Christian faith, is likely most well-known as the namesake of the Blessing of Animals. I suspect Francis, who spent his life responding to the great generosity of God in all he encountered, would probably offer he was just stating the obvious: that God is present in all that surrounds and sustains us and of course we should offer thanks and prayers.

Francis’ most well-known prayer which he actually wrote, Canticle of Brother Sun, is a song to God who has so deeply entered creation that everything is connected in mystical union. Francis saw everything in creation related to one another and deserving of honor and love. The words remind us that no part of creation is too small or too great, too insignificant or too vast, to stand separate from each other. Brother Sun and Sister Moon are honored. Sister Water, Brother Fire, and Sister Mother Earth are all part of the unity of God. Even Sister Death, “from whom no living man can escape” is praised as part of God’s creative experience...Read more here.

mbrant-bio-portraitbMolly Brant

The first time I read Molly Brant’s history, I was immediately struck by her ability to navigate between two vastly different cultures and political systems. As one historian said, she was a “bridge between two worlds.” In the midst of our currently fractured political system, Brant’s life illustrates that there is another way — perhaps not a perfect way — but a means nonetheless of how people of differing cultural and political systems can strive to co-exist in times of uncertainty. Molly’s faithfulness to her Christian faith and her Mohawk family shaped her commitment to harmonious relations even amidst a war that sought to attain the allegiances of Native American tribes no matter the cost to tribal culture and way of life.

Naturally, many debates have circled around Molly’s Loyalist leanings. However, one must remember that history is often on the side of the winner. Were we to step into Molly’s shoes, our view and esteem of her might be a bit different.

Indeed, Molly’s life causes us to examine our own interpretations, leanings, and motivations and how they impact others.

Ultimately, Molly’s goal was to preserve the cultural vitality and independence...Read more here.

Lent Madness: Frederick Douglass vs. Egeria

March 27, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Frederick Douglass vs. Egeria

Lent Madness 2015Molly Brant defeated Bernard Mizeki 59% to 41% Lent Madness site. On the St. Luke’s site, Molly Brant swept the floor with Bernard Mizeki, winning 83% of the vote.

The next match up is Frederick Douglass vs. Egeria.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

Cedar-Hill-300x199Frederick Douglass

Every tourist to Washington, D.C., visits the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Capitol Building. Such sights are classic but they’re so…pedestrian. If you want a bird’s eye view of the city and an opportunity to imagine a day in the life of one of North America’s greatest embodiments of faithfulness, wisdom, and activism, head south to Cedar Hill, Frederick Douglass’ historic and beautifully restored property in Washington’s Anacostia neighborhood. There you’ll have a chance to walk his expertly manicured lawn, which Douglass tended and on which he lifted weights each morning.

Yes, my friends, Douglass was a fitness buff and a naturalist who tended to his body and garden with great affection and detail.
Indeed, he was a well-rounded man long before “well-rounded” became a buzzword on college applications...Read more here.

Egeria-stamp-300x195Egeria

Egeria, kindly recollect, was a Spanish nun who travelled to Palestine, Turkey, and Greece from 381-384 CE, and wrote letters home describing her adventures. As befits one of the first Pioneers of PenPals, Spain issued a stamp for her in 1984.

Somewhat confusingly, there is also a tropical aquarium plant named for her. Because
every trip around the bowl is a pilgrimage for a goldfish who can only remember 30 seconds worth of stuff!

Once she returned home, however, I feel confident in asserting that Egeria had a garment similar to this to notify people of her travels. Egeria is invoked as an authority by the custodian Franciscans who live in and care fore the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and they invite you...Read more here.

Lent Madness: Francis of Assisi vs. Cecilia

March 18, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Francis of Assisi vs. Cecilia

Lent Madness 2015Frederick Douglass won 60% to to Juan Diego’s 40% on the Lent Madness site. On the St. Luke’s site, Frederick Douglass won by an even better margin with 70% of the votes.

The next match up in the Saintly Sixteen is Francis of Assisi vs. Cecilia.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

2-st-francis-of-assisi-randy-wollenmann-300x300Francis of Assisi

The Francis of ideas is often quite different from his actual life, ministry, and words. We envision him as a quiet man surrounded by animals who founded a gentle monastic order. In reality, Francis lived his life with a holy blend of rashness, mysticism, and devotion many modern Christians would call extreme.

G.K. Chesterton notes the Bishop of Assisi, when visiting the Order and seeing them without comforts, without possessions, eating anything they could get, and sleeping on the ground, was greatly disturbed. Francis met the Bishop’s concerns with a stunning in-your-face-ness (bishops were often called upon to support military engagements) by saying, ‘If we had any possessions, we should need weapons and laws to defend them.”…Read more here.

Orazio_Gentileschi_-_Saint_Cecilia_with_an_Angel-300x261Cecilia

Cecilia is the patron saint of singers, musicians, organists, and poets. While witnessing the deaths of her husband and brother-in-law, it is believed that she was singing praises to the Lord during her own martyrdom in Rome in 280 AD.

The songs that Cecilia sang while she was being martyred have been lost to the ages. However, the many poems and songs written and performed in her honor remain great contributions to the literary and music world, and are firmly planted in society’s juke box over the centuries.

Henry Purcell’s 1692 “Hail! Bright Cecilia,” also known as “Ode to St. Cecilia,” has a text by Nicholas Brady:

Hail! Bright Cecilia, Hail to thee!
 Great Patroness of Us and Harmony! 
Who, whilst among the Choir above
 Thou dost thy former Skill improve,
 With Rapture of Delight dost see
 Thy Favourite Art 
Make up a Part
 Of infinite Felicity.
 Hail! Bright Cecilia, Hail to thee!
 Great Patroness of Us and Harmony!

Equally famous is Georg Friedrich Händel’s “An Ode For St. Cecilia’s Day,” from 1739Read more here.

Lent Madness: Juan Diego vs. Frederick Douglass

March 17, 2015 § 1 Comment

Lent Madness 2015Molly Brant eked out a victory on the Lent Madness site winning 51%. But on the St. Luke’s site, Cuthbert won 54% to 46%.

The next match up in the Saintly Sixteen is Juan Diego vs. Frederick Douglass.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

unnamed-227x300Juan Diego

Juan Diego, raised according to the Aztec pagan religion, showed an unusual and mystical sense of life even prior to hearing the Gospel from missionaries. It is said that before the famous apparition of the Virgin Mary, Juan Diego was a virtuous man who led such an exemplary life that people often asked him to intercede for them in prayer.

On December 9, 1531, Juan Diego experienced that apparition in which he asked the Virgin her name. She responded in his native language of Nahuatl, “Tlecuatlecupe,” which means “the one who crushes the head of the serpent” (side note: the serpent was a very important symbol in Aztec religion! Coincidence?!?) “Tlecuatlecupe” when correctly pronounced, sounds very similar to “Guadalupe.”Read more here.

Douglass-at-work-207x300Frederick Douglass

Throughout Frederick Douglass’ life, literature and Holy Scripture remained an ever-present force. After his escape from slavery, Douglass, who was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, renamed himself after a character in Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake. His sense of mission was inspired by the prophetic words of Old Testament Scripture.

Regarding the Civil War, Douglass wrote, “Civil war was not a mere strife for territory and dominion, but a contest of civilization against barbarism.” After the Civil War, Douglass brought attention to the rise of lynchings in the Deep South and the ongoing racism that prevented the economic and social advancement of African Americans. He was also an outspoken advocate for female suffrage. Hours before his death Douglass stood alongside suffragist Susan B. Anthony and Methodist minister and physician Anna Howard Shaw as they rallied for women’s voting rights. Regarding the matter, Douglass once wrote in his newspaper The North Star, “Right is of no Sex — Truth is of no Color. God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.”Read more here.

Lent Madness: Francis of Assisi vs. John Wycliffe

March 2, 2015 § 1 Comment

Lent Madness 2012On the Lent Madness site, Dorcas lost 31% to Frederick Douglass’s winning 69%! On the St. Luke’s site, we also crowned Frederick Douglass king over Dorcas 63% to 37%!

Today’s match up is Francis of Assisi vs. John Wycliffe.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

 

unnamed1-300x217Francis of Assisi

Francis was born into a wealthy family in the early twelfth century. His younger years were spent like many rich young men of the day — partying rather than praying. A series of events, including an imprisonment and a serious illness, began to shift Francis’s priorities and awareness. On a pilgrimage to Rome, Francis was moved to compassion by encounters with beggars outside St. Peter’s Cathedral.

When Francis returned home, he broke from his old life, taking up the disciplines of poverty and devotion. While attending Mass one day, Francis heard the words of Jesus from Matthew’s Gospel, asking his disciples to leave all and follow him..…Read more here. 

SuperStock_1916-3159-210x300John Wycliffe

John Wycliffe was an early supporter of reform in the Roman Catholic Church. Born in Yorkshire, England, Wycliffe received an excellent education at Oxford University. He earned his doctorate in 1372 and came to be considered one of Oxford’s leading philosophers and theologians. Remembered by the Church as both a translator and controversialist, Wycliffe conformed to the mold of faithful people who did amazing things but would probably never be anyone’s first choice to share a beer with (see also John the Baptist, Cardinal Walsingham, and the Apostle Paul).

Not everyone was a fan of Wycliffe’s criticism of the doctrine of transubstantiation, his challenge of indulgences, and his repudiation of private confession…Read more here.

Lent Madness: Dorcas vs. Frederick Douglass

February 27, 2015 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Dorcas vs. Frederick Douglass

Lent Madness 2012On the Lent Madness site, Bede lost 37% to Cuthbert’s winning 63%! On the St. Luke’s site, Bede remains venerable, winning 56%.

Today’s match up is Dorcas vs. Frederick Douglass.

Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.

 

Raising_of_Tabitha-300x250Dorcas

Dorcas, which is not as bad a name as it sounds (it translates into Tabitha in Aramaic and Gazelle in English), made her first and only appearance in scripture after she had already died.

A lay leader of the early church in the port city of Joppa (now Tel Aviv-Yafo), Dorcas is known only by what was reported about her in Acts 9:36-42. She was described first as a disciple, and then as a person “devoted to good works and acts of charity.”.…Read more here. 

Frederick_Douglass_c1860s-252x300Frederick Douglass

Many people are familiar with Frederick Douglass’ work as an abolitionist in the nineteenth century. What is not as well-known is the depth of Douglass’ Christian faith. Douglass’ love of scripture and his fascination with the apocalyptic writing of Revelation was a guidepost in his quest for personal holiness and social transformation.

Born to an enslaved woman and a white slave owner in 1818 on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Douglass was sent to work for a Baltimore shipbuilder following his mother’s death when he was seven years old....Read more here.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with frederick douglass at Blog of St. Luke in the Fields.