Sunday, October 25, 2009

St. Crispin's Day

King Henry V:
What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
(IV, iii)

Sunday, October 18, 2009 we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”~Nelson Mandela

I remember a time when I used to live by this quote, and I hope that I haven't forgotten it - too much. The longer version is taken from Nelson Mandela's inauguration speech in South Africa in 1994. It can certainly be taken out of context, and perhaps has, by a sort of new age gnosticism that is pervasive.

The light, of course, should be considered Christ as the "light of the world." (Jn 9:5) As for fear, we are called to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling."(Phil. 2:12) However, all rest and consolation is found in Him, for "my yoke is easy and my burden is light."(Mt 11:28)

When I hear this quote, I think of a certain spiritual integrity that comes with being open and honest; not lying, and not having to hide things in order to give anyone a sense of false security. Ultimately, "the truth shall set you free."(Jn 8:32)

Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke

Kontakion - Tone 2

Let us praise the godly Luke:
he is the true preacher of piety,
the orator of ineffable mysteries
and the star of the Church;
for the Word, Who alone knows the hearts of men,
chose him, together with wise Paul, to be a teacher of the gentiles!

Troparion - Tone 5

Let us praise with sacred songs the holy Apostle Luke,
the recorder of the joyous Gospel of Christ
and the scribe of the Acts of the Apostles,
for his writings are a testimony of the Church of Christ:
He is the physician of human weaknesses and infirmities.
He heals the wounds of our souls,
and constantly intercedes for our salvation!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our Lady of Walsingham

, O Virgin Theotokos! As thou didst receive the Good News of salvation at Gabriel’s appearing and didst by thine own appearing at Walsingham cause the Holy House to be raised up as an everlasting remembrance of that same mystery of salvation, pray that we may ever bear in our souls Jesus whom thou didst bring forth, the Savior of mankind.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Anglican/Orthodox Conference

The first photo is the famous "Fon Du Lac Circus" photo, which includes Bishop, now St., Tikhon, visiting the Nashotah House (Episcopal Seminary) in Wisconsin. I attended the A/O Conference this past weekend at the House. A reaction to this event is provided by ROCOR United. A response to these comments is provided on the Ad Orientem blog.

St. Edward, King and Confessor

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Ss. Sergius and Bacchus

(Ss. Sergius and Bacchus Church in Istanbul)

"The Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus in Syria were appointed to high positions in the army by the emperor Maximian (284-305), who did not know that they were Christians. Envious people informed Maximian that his two trusted counsellors did not honor the pagan gods. This was considered to be a crime against the state.

The emperor, wanting to convince himself of the truth of the accusation, ordered Sergius and Bacchus to offer sacrifice to the idols, but they replied that they honored the One God and worshiped only Him.

Maximian commanded that the martyrs be stripped of the insignia of military rank (their belts, gold pendants, and rings), and then dressed them in feminine clothing. They were led through the city with an iron chains around their necks, and the people mocked them. Then he summoned Sergius and Bacchus to him again and in a friendly manner advised them not to be swayed by Christian fables, but to return to the Roman gods. The saints refuted the emperor's words, and demonstrated the folly of worshiping the pagan gods.

The emperor commanded that they be sent to the governor of the eastern part of Syria, Antiochus, a fierce hater of Christians. Antiochus had received his position with the help of Sergius and Bacchus. "My fathers and benefactors!" he said. "Have pity on yourselves, and also on me. I do not want to condemn my benefactors to cruel tortures." The holy martyrs replied, "For us life is Christ, and to die is gain." The enraged Antiochus ordered Bacchus to be mercilessly beaten, and the holy martyr surrendered his soul to the Lord. They shod Sergius with iron sandals with nails in their soles and sent him to another city, where he was beheaded with the sword." -

Troparion - Tone 4

Your holy martyrs Sergius and Bacchus, O Lord,
through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God.
For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through their intercessions, save our souls!

Kontakion - Tone 2

Podoben: "Seeking the highest..."
Having courageously confronted the enemy,
you brought an end to his guiles, and received from on high the crown of victory.
Illustrious martyrs, Sergius and Bacchus,
with one heart you cry aloud:
"How good and pleasant it is to dwell with God."

Monday, October 05, 2009

St. Placidus, Maurus, and companions

Sunday, October 04, 2009

St. Francis (Roman Catholic Church)

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen