Posts Tagged ‘For all the saints’

Introduction:  Billy Sunday was a baseball player who converted to Christianity and became one of the most popular evangelist of his day noted for his flamboyant style.  He was controversial.  The quote below is from For All the Saints, a Lutheran breviary done by Pr. Frederick Schumacher.  It is fourth reading for this day.  It struck me in terms of what I wrote on the feast day of Monica, and especially what her son, Augustine,  said about her. Also, we heard more than one testimonial about the importance of motherhood in the recently completed Republican National Convention.  But even more:  the unsentimental portrait of mothers in the Bible, from Eve to Mary.

 The biggest place in the world is that which is being filled by the people who are closely in touch with youth. Being a king, an emperor or a president is mighty small potatoes compared to being a mother or the teacher of children, whether in a public school or in a Sunday school, and they fill places so great that there isn’t an angel in heaven that wouldn’t be glad to give a bushel of diamonds to boot to come down here and take theirplaces.

Commanding an army is little more than sweeping a street or pounding an anvil compared with the training of a boy or girl. The mother of Moses did more for the world than all the kings that Egypt ever had. To teach a child to love truth and hate a lie, to love purity and hate vice, is greater than inventing a flying machine that will take you to the moon before breakfast. Unconsciously you set in motion influences that will damn or bless the new worlds out of chaos and transform them to God.

A man sent a friend of mine some crystals from the Scientific American and said: “One of these crystals as large as a pin point will give a distinguishable green hue to 116 hogsheads of water. There is a power in a word or act to blight a boy, and through him, curse a community. There is power enough in a word to tincture the life of that child so it will become a power to lift the world to Jesus Christ. The mothers will put in motion influences that will either touch heaven or hell. Talk about greatness!

Oh, you wait until you reach the mountains of eternity, then read the mothers’s names in God’s hall of fame, and see what they have been in the world. Wait until you see God’s hall of fame; you won’t see any Ralph Waldo Emersons, but you will see women bent over the washtub.

I want to tell you women, fooling away your time, hugging and kissing a poodle dog, caressing a “Spitz”, drinking society brandy mash and a cocktail and playing cards, is mighty small business compared to molding the life of a child.

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The Gospel Reading in the Daily Lectionary for the Friday After Pentecost (ELCA): St. Matthew 10:24-33

“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master; it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Be-el’zebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.

“So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.’!’

A Reflection by Fulton J. Sheen (1895 –1979)

Deny not your Master even under opposition. “But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father Who is in heaven.” So long as we are hated, we are worth troubling about. The church that would give only a moral tone to secular movements can die of its own inanition. If the pagan forces of the world left us untouched, if they did not calumniate us, seek to destroy us, set up rival claim.

The Church can still make the evil forces of the world angry. It can still inspire persecution. Therefore Christ is with us. The exhilaration of being counted a foe of evil is the joy of honor. Our heart is warmed by the tribute of enmity from those areas of life, where to be counted friends, or not to be counted at all, would be to stand condemned as salt without savour, and as feeble candles whose light had gone out.ants to the soul, it would mean that we would have lost our influence, that our touch was gone, our stars did no longer shine. Do men shake fists over the tomb of Napoleon? Do armies storm and rage against the grave of Mohammed? Do forces assault the tomb of Lenin? These men are dead. But they do storm the citadel of Christ; they do rage against His Spouse; they do kill the members of His Body; they do try to stifle the young hearts that would breathe His name in school. Therefore Christ must be alive today in His Body which is the Church.   From Characters of the Passion by Bp. Sheen

Closing Prayer:

O God, Who hast taught the hearts of believers by the illumination of the Holy Ghost, and gathered together a Christian Church by Him, grant us also that Thy good Spirit cleanse our hearts, lead us into all truth, sanctify us, give us zealous minds, and comfort us in every time of need, that Thy Church may realize the promise of Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, to conquer over all the gates of hell. Amen.

J. K. Wilhelm Loehe, Lutheran Pastor and Missionary, (1808-1872)

About Bp. Sheen:  Here is a trivia type question and answer:  Who was the first televangelist?  Answer:  Roman Catholic Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.  Maybe there were others ‘way back then’ but Bp. Sheen was quite popular during the fifties on TV.   He said and wrote some pretty good things…even though he was not a Lutheran.  The quotation above is from  the excellent 4 volume series For All the Saints:  A Prayer Book for and by the Church which is basically a Lutheran breviary or daily prayer book, as is Treasury of Daily Prayer from The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

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