Friday, February 28, 2014

Come my way, my truth, my life

Yesterday was the feast day of George Herbert, a seventeenth century poet and priest who was one of the Carolina Divines.  My love of his writings when I was in seminary encouraged me to dig deeper and research the many nearly forgotten women who supported and inspired these poet priests in the time of King Charles I.  These women, discovered most often by reading footnotes, became the subject of my master thesis, "Truly Divine:  Women of the Caroline Divine Era."   Pride cometh, however; it wasn't until after I had received my Master of Divinity that I found out that I had spell-checked the very frequently used word "diary" into dairy.  Oh well.

At my ordination to the priesthood, we sang one of Herbert's poems transformed into a hymn, Come my way, my truth, my life.

Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:  
such a way as gives us breath, 
such a truth as ends all strife, 
such a life as killeth death.

Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:  
such a light as shows a feast, 
such a feast as mends in length, 
such a strength as makes his guest.

Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:  
such a joy as none can move, 
such a love as none can part, 
such a heart as joys in love.

I find the Collect appointed for George Herbert's day especially meaningful:

Our God and King, you called your servant George Herbert from the pursuit of worldly honors to be a pastor of souls, a poet, and a priest in your temple: Give us grace, we pray, joyfully to perform the tasks you give us to do, knowing that nothing is menial or common that is done for your sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN

Give us grace, we pray, joyfully to perform the tasks you give us to do, knowing that nothing is menial or common that is done for your sake.....  

These words resonated in my soul as I pondered and prayed from the porch of my Bluebonnet Cabin.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Apostling in the Piney Woods

Today I start a retreat at Camp Allen, our Diocesan gathering place in the piney woods. I'm here as Chaplain-in-Residence which means I pray Morning and Evening Prayer each day in the Chapel (which is bigger than St. Mary's nave)--and cover any liturgical needs that might come up in the week.  In exchange, I stay in a cabin on the lake and get 3 CEUs. God is very good. 

Our Vestry and Ministry Council will spend the day with me on Saturday. I go back to preach at St. Mary's on Sunday, and our spin on World Mission Sunday, which is always the last Sunday after the Epiphany, is to anoint and commission parishioners to be missionaries in their everyday, not--so--quotidian lives. As God would have it, here is the word for the day from my morning devotional:

Apostle    (Br. David Veygof, Society of St. John the Evangelist)

You have been chosen to bear fruit, fruit that will last. This is a great honor and privilege: to be bearers of God’s light and love in the world, to give testimony to God’s compassion, grace and peace.