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Category: Speaking to the Soul

Puritan mission

Puritan missionary activity was not an early form of the aggressive evangelism so familiar to twentieth-century Americans. As several scholars have observed, the Massachusetts charter enjoined the planters to “win and incite the natives to . . . the Christian faith” through “your good life and orderly conversation.”

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One in faith

The nature and scope of Charles’ liturgical reforms were determined by his desire to secure a uniformity in the church commensurate with that which he was trying to secure in the realm of political affairs. The Frankish Church with its numberless local “uses” could not be expected to furnish the requisite model. Accordingly, he decided to adopt the Roman use, so that the Frankish and Roman churches, one in doctrine and in faith, should be one in form and in ritual. The Roman chant, the Roman sacramentary, the Roman calendar and the Roman form of baptism were all to be approved.

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A holy life

St. Dunstan’s life at Canterbury is characteristic; long hours, both day and night, were spent in private prayer, besides his regular attendance at Mass and the Office. Often he would visit the shrines of St. Augustine and St. Ethelbert, and we are told of a vision of angels who sang to him heavenly canticles.

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I will be their shepherd

“I will be their shepherd,” he says, “and I will be close to them,” as clothing to their skin. He desires to save my flesh by clothing it in the robe of immortality, and he as anointed my body. “They shall call on me,” he says, “and I will answer, ‘Here I am.’” Lord, you have heard me more quickly than I ever had hoped.

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Overseer and laborer

Rev. Father in God: This presentation of a Bishop’s Robes is the first that has occurred in the history of our youthful diocese. We who have the privilege of making it wish that it may be regarded as an expression both of our gratitude to Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, and also of our love and respect for our fellow-man who has been placed over us in the Lord. The gift itself is small; but to us it implies much

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Pray for peace

God is opening doors for our partnership work with the church in Sudan. . . . As God opens these doors, keep praying so that we can walk through them faithfully to bring relief to those suffering, hope to those laboring, and effective support to those working hard to keep the peace.

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Our shepherd

There is no image of the Saviour as exploited by Christian art as that of the Good Shepherd. However, it too often puts before us an idyllic, somewhat effeminate figure, with insipid colours—in short, something very different from the rough, nomadic shepherd who inspired the words of Christ and who, alone,

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Blessed sacrament

Whatsoever the Spirit can convey to the body of the church, we may expect from this sacrament; for as the Spirit is the instrument of life and action, so the blood of Christ is the conveyance of His Spirit.

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Theology of generosity

As I’ve considered Frances’ life, it’s struck me that she addressed one of the questions that all of us must answer. To use Cain’s phrasing, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” To put the question in more religious terms: “Does God have intentions for our relationships as God’s people?” “Are we responsible before God for more than our own lives?”

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Mysterious bread

O thou who this mysterious bread

didst in Emmaus break,

return, herewith our souls to feed,

and to thy followers speak.

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The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

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