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Archive for May 25th, 2019

Image result for the venerable bede
Image result for the venerable bede

Heavenly Father, when he was still a child You called Your servant Bede to devote his life to serve You in the venerable disciplines of religion and scholarship.  As he labored in the Spirit to bring the riches of Your truth to his generation, grant that we may also strive to make You known in all the world in our various vocations;  through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Bede (673-735) was the last of the early church fathers and the first to compile the history of the English church. Born in Northumbria, Bede was given by his parents to a monastery in Northern England at the age of seven. The most learned man of his time, he was a prolific writer of history, whose careful use of sources provided a model for historians in the Middle Ages. Known best for his book, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, he was also a profound interpreter of Scripture; his commentaries are still fresh today. His most famous disciple, Cuthbert, reported that Bede was working on a translation of John’s Gospel into English when death came, and that he died with the words of the Gloria Patri on his lips. He received the title “Venerable” within two generations of his death and is buried in Durham Cathedral as one of England’s greatest saints.

In Bede’s most known work, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People he writes of the period, “The Persecution Ceasing, The Church In Britain Enjoys Peace Till The Time Of The Arian Heresy. [A.D. 307­-337.]” The Arian Heresy was the false teaching that there was “a time when Christ was not”, in other words, denying the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity.  Of that period he wrote:

“WHEN the storm of persecution ceased, the faithful Christians, who, during the time of danger, had hidden themselves in woods and deserts, and secret caves, appearing in public, rebuilt the churches which had been leveled with the ground; founded, erected, and finished the temples of the holy martyrs, and, as it were, displayed their conquering ensigns in all places; they celebrated festivals, and performed their sacred rites with clean hearts and mouths. This peace continued in the churches of Britain until whole world, infected this island also, so far removed (from) the Arian madness, which, having corrupted the rest of the globe, with the poison of its arrows; when the plague was thus conveyed across the sea, all the venom of every heresy immediately rushed into the island, ever fond of something new, and never holding firm to anything.”

This is an ancient record of the ebb and flow of the Church and Her saving Gospel living in the world, but not of the world.  I pray these witnesses encourage us in the good fight of faith these days. At that time, there was violent persecution then a time of peace and growth of the Good Seed of the Word, then a devilish heresy comes to snatch the seed out of the ground.  The price of freedom in Christ is vigilant teaching, preaching and prayer.  We can learn this from a Venerable Bede with all the saints in Christ. We must be alert and awake as the Lord tells us in the Bible. This is the way we stay awake and alert:

“Whenever we enter the church and draw near to the heavenly mysteries, we ought to approach with all humility and fear, both because of the presence of the angelic powers and out of the reverence due to the sacred oblation; for as the Angels are said to have stood by the Lord’s body when it lay in the tomb, so we must believe that they are present in the celebration of the Mysteries of His most sacred Body at the time of consecration.” + St.  Bede the Venerable

And through the patience and perseverance of the Scripture:

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