• Humility and charity

    From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Tue May 11 23:33:19 2021
    Humility and charity

       Let me warn anyone bent on following Christ to listen to Saint Paul:
       One who claims to abide in Christ ought to walk as he walked. Would
    you follow Christ? Then be humble as he was humble; do not scorn his
    lowliness if you want to reach his exaltation. Human sin made the road
    rough but Christ's resurrection leveled it; by passing over it himself
    he transformed the narrowest of tracks into a royal highway.
       Two feet are needed to run along this highway; they are humility
    and charity. Everyone wants to get to the top--well, the first step to
    take is humility. Why take strides that are too big for you--do you
    want to fall instead of going up? Begin with the first step, humility,
    and you will already be climbing.
    -- Caesarius of Arles

    May 12th - St. Aethelheard of Louth and Canterbury
    (Also known as Ethelhard)

    On entering the Temple in Louth one is soon confronted by St.
    Aethelheard. In the icon on sees a patient, resilient and tough
    person. There is more than a slight hint of the inner life of a monk
    in his eyes. So who is he? He was the 14th Archbishop of Canterbury
    who died on 12th May, 805. Very little is known of his life before he
    became Archbishop but he is described as "Abbas Hludensis Monasterii",
    i.e. Abbot of the Monastery of Louth.

    He lived through very troubled times. The powerful King Offa of Mercia (757-796) had enlarged his kingdom until there was only Mercia,
    Northumbria, and Wessex left in what we now know as England. The
    kingdom stretched down into Kent but to some extent the king felt
    threatened by Canterbury and its powerful Archb. Jaenbert (766-791).
    The king decided to give his kingdom an independent Archdiocese based
    in Litchfield. This would weaken Canterbury's influence by dividing
    the province. This was successfully accomplished when the Papal
    Legates George and Theophylact, sent by Pope Hadrian I in 786-788
    arrived. Bishop Higbert received the pallium (See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11427a.htm) as Archbishop of
    Lichfield, and the Archbishop of Canterbury was left with only London, Winchester, Sherborne, Rochester, and Selsey as suffragan sees. On the
    death of Archbishop Jaenbert (12 Aug., 791), Aethelheard was moved
    from Louth to Canterbury through the direct influence of King Offa. He
    was clearly a man the King felt he could trust. Problems for
    Archbishop designate Aethelheard began immediately. Although he was
    elected in 791, his consecration and enthronement took place on 21
    July, 793: the delay was almost certainly due to the clergy and
    faithful in Kent being most unwilling to have a foreign Archbishop.
    Then three years later the nobles of Kent rebelled against King Offa
    and their Archbishop and rallied round one Eadbert Praen, a priest and
    a member of their ex-royal house (what a strange priest this man must
    have been!). Life gradually became increasingly unbearable and
    dangerous. Although the famous Bl. Alcuin wrote furiously to St.
    Aethelheard telling him not to desert his Church, and after deposing
    and excommunication Eadbert Praen, the Archbishop was forced to flee
    to the continent. King Offa died on 26 July. His successor Egfrith
    died after a very short reign, about 13 Dec.; Cenwulf succeeded in
    Mercia, but the uprising continued in Kent until the capture of
    Eadbert in 798.

    St. Aethelheard had been most helpful to King Cenwulf in deposing
    Eadbert, and in remaining loyal to him in Kent. This enormously
    increased his standing in the Royal court and as a result the
    Archbishopric of Lichfield began to look superfluous. The King wrote
    in 798 to Pope Leo asking him to look into the need for a second
    Archbishopric and enclosed a petition from Aethelheard and his
    suffragan Bishops. Meanwhile St. Aethelheard returned home and
    received another furious letter from Bl. Alcuin telling him to do
    penance for having left his Church. The King’s letter was received
    favourably and St. Aethelheard decided to set out for Rome in 801 to
    speak to his chief pastor himself. In Rome he was just as successful:
    Pope Leo III (795-816) solved the problem of Canterbury and Lichfield
    by returning Lichfield to a suffragan diocese. The Council of Clovesho
    on 12 Oct., 803, officially acknowledged the pope’s decision in
    presence of Cenwulf and his Witan (parliament). An unfortunate result
    of this was that Bishop Higbert was deprived of his pallium
    (Omophorion), in spite of Alcuin's plea that so good a man should not
    be humiliated.

    So what makes St. Aethelheard so important for us? A number of things:

    St. Aethelheard insisted that those who were to be made Bishop should
    make a formal profession of their Orthodox faith and obedience. This
    was enormously important in maintaining the teaching of the Church
    incorrupt and it had a second effect that affected the history of this

    If King Offa had been successful in founding a permanent Archdiocese
    in Lichfield the attainment of national unity would have been set back
    by generations. With a unified Church (with York becoming a
    Metropolitan it was easier to make a spiritual unit a political one.

    He is a local! There are no other communities or parishes with him as
    their patron. This is not as strange as it seems for, although his
    shrine was immensely popular until the Norman Invasion, both it and he
    were suppressed cruelly by the conquerors.

    Holy father Aethelheard of Louth and Canterbury pray to God for us!

    "Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge
    without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better
    than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of
    the stars."
    --Thomas á Kempis

    Bible Quote:
    And I live, now not I: but Christ liveth in me. And that I live now in
    the flesh: I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and
    delivered himself for me.  [Galatians 2:20 ] DRB


    Lord Jesus Christ,
    I believe in Thee as my God and my Saviour.
    Make me more faithful to Thy Gospel and
    commandments. By sharing in the Eucharist,
    may I come to live more fully
    in the life Thou hast given me.
    Keep Thy Love alive within my heart and soul
    so that I may become worthy of Thee.
    Teach me to value and be thankful
    for all of Thy Gifts.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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