February 07, 2011
Ubi Caritas ...
Yesterday was the next-to-last Sunday of the Epiphany. We had a guest preacher at St. Andrew's, the Rev. Reid Hamilton from nearby Canterbury House, home of the world famous "Jazz Mass" which is supposed to appeal to the younger generation ... I guess ... Naturally, the 8 o'clock mass, generally assumed to be for the "older generation," was populated with about 14 people, easily a score less than what we typically host on a Sunday morning.
Which was too bad, because Fr. Hamilton went out onto the steps of the altar and preached extemporaneously on John Henry Newman, the Oxford Movement, and what it means to be the member of a church. All without notes or reading from a piece of paper.
One of the "Lessons" for this particular Sunday came not from the Lectionary but from John Keble's "National Apostasy Considered" sermon of 1833:
"..... [T]he surest way to uphold or restore our endangered Church, will be for each
of her anxious children, in his own place and station, to resign himself more
thoroughly to his GOD and SAVIOUR in those duties, public and private, which are not
immediately affected by the emergencies of the moment:-- the daily and hourly duties, I mean, of piety, purity, charity, justice."
I don't know what Fr. Hamilton intended us to take away from his own sermon to the congregation, but the events of this week (February 28/March 4) have reinforced to me again, the truth of Keble's assertion that we Wayists are called to daily and hourly duties of piety, purity, charity, and justice.
It doesn't sound like the material of which saints and martyrs are made. But when we DON'T accept these duties, then we absolve ourselves of the necessity of daily self-conversion into saints and martyrs.
Because if we live and die, then, we live and die in Christ: daily and hourly. In each moment.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
To God alone the glory, AMEN.