Saint Patrick's Church Schola

Lenten 2006 Class -- Classical Spiritual Disciplines

Friday, April 09, 2004

Lancelot Andrewes was a Bishop in the Church of England during the reign of King James. He is celebrated for his great preaching and his ability to live in the thick of daily ministry and still translate much of the Old Testament for the Authoriozed Version (KJV) of the Bible. Here is a thoughtful Good Friday reflection from his pen.

It is well known that Christ and His cross were never parted, but that all His life long was a continual cross. At the very cratch, His cross began. Then Herod sought to do that which Pilate did, even to end His life before it began. All His life after, saith the Apostle in the next verse, was nothing but a perpetual ‘gainsaying of sinners’ which we call crossing; and profess we cannot abide in any of our speeches or purposes to be crossed. He was in the psalm of the Passion, the twenty-second, in the very front or inscription of it, He is set forth unto us under the term of a hart, cervus matutinus, ‘a morning hart,’ that is, He a hart roused early in the morning; as from His birth He was by Herod, and hunted and chased all His life long, and this day brought to an end, and as the poor deer, stricken and wounded to the heart. This was His last, last and worst; and this we properly call His cross, even this day’s suffering. To keep up then to our day, and the cross of the day. ‘He endured the cross.’

‘He endured.’ Very enduring itself is durum, durum pati. Especially for persons of high power or place as the Son of God was. For great persons to do great things, is no great wonder; this very genius naturally inclineth to it. But to suffer any small thing, for them is more fortitude, and the Divine his Christian obedience, rather in suffering than in doing. Suffering is the sure the more hard of the twain. ‘He endured.’

If it be hard to endure, it must be more hard to endure hard things; and of all things hard to be endured, the hardest is death. Of the philosopher’s pe/ute Fober_., ‘five fearful things,’ it is the most fearful; and what will not a man, nay what will not a woman weak and tender, in physic, in chyrurgery, endure, not to endure death? ‘He endured’ death.

And that if He endured, and no more but that, it might suffice; it is worth all we have, for all we have we will give for our life. But not death only, but the kind of death is it. Morten, morten autem crucis, saith the Apostle, doubting the point; ‘death He endured, even the death of the cross.’

The cross is but a little word, but of great contents; but few letters, but in these few letters are contained multa dictu gravia, perpessu aspera, ‘heavy to be named, more heavy to be endured.’ I take but the four things ascribed by the Holy Ghost to the cross, answerable to the four ends or quarters of it. 1. Sanguis Crucis, 2. Dolores Crucis, 3. Scandalum Crucis, 4. Maledictum Crucis: that is, the death of the cross is all these four; a 1. bloody, 2. doleful, 3. scandalous, 4. accursed death.”

–Lancelot Andrewes

Also - go to First Things for a great reflection by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus on Good Friday.

Pax, Peter+


Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Tomorrow the Triduum or Three Great Days begin; one long worship service from Thursday through Sunday. We will go to the upper room on Thursday, go to golgotha on Friday, wait on Saturday and go to the empty tomb on Sunday.

A few weeks back I invited us to consider fasting on Good Friday. I hope everyone is still thinking about that. One can make a total or a partial fast. A total fast would be no food but plenty of water. A partial fast would be a monk's diet for a day -- some bread, light soup, juice. No sweets, desserts, meat, soda, etc. Fasting can be a very helpful means for reflecting on the suffering of our Lord. I also suggest we pray as a community for our common mission - that God will give us wisdom and insight for how we are to be on mission both locally and globally.

Peace, Peter+


Monday, April 05, 2004

Holy Week 2004 started well. It was cold for our Liturgy of the Palms so our procession was short. We read the passion narrative from Luke's gospel in reader's theatre style. All in all things went well, although I am sure there will be some tweaking for next year's service.

If you have never made it to all of the Holy Week services before I encourage you to do so this year. It makes for a busy week, but it can be a very fruitful corporate spiritual discipline.

I am encouraging everyone to fast on Good Friday -- either a total fast (no food but definitely water) or a partial fast (light, simple meals, e.g., no meat, no sweets -- soup, bread, water). It would be great to offer this fast as a period of prayer for our common mission as a church.

Peace, Peter+


Thursday, April 01, 2004

This week is the 10th anniversary of the Rwanda massacres. The Christians in Rwanda and especially the leadership of the Anglican Church have been deeply involved in the work of restoration subsequent to the violence.

A year ago I heard +John Ruchyhana - a retired Bishop from Rwanda - speak of some young relatives leaving his home during the massacres. He found out later that when they arrived at their home they were brutally killed. His response to this has been to come out of retirement and give leadership to Prison Fellowship and work to see some of the very men who killed his family members come to faith in Christ.

Here is a link to an excellent article from Christianity Today regarding the situation in Rwanda.

Peace, Peter+