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…And we’re back! (Plus, who could forget about St. Laurence?)

August 11, 2010

Hey there friends!  We have returned from a wonderful, restful, and fun two weeks of vacation and I want to thank all of you who have waited patiently for this next posting!  I owe an apology to Mike and Joe, who made comments that were waiting for who knows how long to be approved, but I have done so now and we’re ready to get back to it!

Life at St. George’s continues to proceed apace and we are busy making plans for our common life together for the fall when all sorts of fun activities will start back up again.  That leads me to think a little bit about the idea of commitment, which will hopefully be the subject of a more thoughtful posting soon.  But in the meantime, just think about what the word “commitment” means to you.  What images or ideas does it conjure up?

And, before I leave you for today – who could forget about St. Laurence?!?!  His feast day was yesterday and I found myself too tied up getting caught up with parish affairs that I did not post about him – one of my favorite saints.  St. Laurence was a deacon of the church in the middle of the third century; it was a tumultuous and dangerous time to be a Christian, especially where he was in Rome.  The Emperor Valerian was prosecuting Christians at a great rate and with a violent vigor.  He executed the bishop of Rome, Sixtus II along with most of the clergy and demanded that Laurence hand over to him all the treasure of the church, for Laurence was in charge of the church’s wealth.  As the legend goes, Laurence said he would give over the treasure of the church in three days, and during that time he gathered to himself all the poor of the city of Rome.  He then presented the poor to the Emperor, declaring, “These are the treasures of the church!”

On August 10, 258, Emperor Valerian executed Laurence by first grilling him alive on a gridiron and then beheading him.

The Collect for St. Laurence

Almighty God, who didst call thy deacon Laurence to serve thee with deeds of love, and didst give him the crown of martyrdom: Grant, we beseech thee, that we, following his example, may fulfil thy commandments by defending and supporting the poor, and by loving thee with all our hearts, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

One October, in my former parish, I challenged the youth group there to dress up as saints for our annual All Hallows’ Eve lock-in.  Some accepted the challenge, some did not.  To me, the story of Laurence’s martyrdom was too good an opportunity to pass up and so, praying for forgiveness from Laurence, I offer to you a photo of that costume and make up work.  I love the story of St. Laurence and his boldness and faith in the face of certain death, and I meant only to honor him in this albeit strange way, not to cause offense.  I think I succeeded in that by donning this costume, I got to educate a great group of youth and adults on Laurence’s story.  You can access the picture by clicking the “Read more…” link below.  It may not be for the faint of heart.

Fr. Ryan as Blessed, BBQ'd, and Beheaded St. Laurence

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