Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Rector's Rambling - March 21, 2010

Today we head into Passiontide: the last two weeks leading up to Easter. We become hyper-focused on the last two weeks of Jesus’ life, concentrating not just on our sin (for which we must repent) but begin to look towards our Lord’s Passion as he suffered for the price of those sins.
St. Bonaventure was a 13th century theologian, the first great theologian of the Franciscan Order (who while St. Francis lived, forbade the use of books because being able to read was, in Francis’ eyes, a sign of pride). He was a contemporary of St. Thomas Aquinas, the great Dominican Theologian (followers of St. Dominic’s rule of life which put a priority on learning). Both Ss. Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas died in 1274.
Legend has it that they met occasionally, and at one meeting at St. Bonaventure’s austere friary (the Franciscan’s placing a high priority of poverty and humility) St. Thomas Aquinas was surprised to see that St. Bonaventure had no books in in his cell (bedroom). When asked “where are your books?” St. Bonaventure is said to have pointed to the crucifix on the wall and proclaimed “That is all the book I need”.
Whether apocryphal or not, the story shows what can be a good focus for us as well. To meditate on what Jesus suffered for us is the crux of what this Passiontide is about. Next Sunday we will hear the story of His passion for the Gospel Lesson, and of course will also concentrate on it on Good Friday. Between now and then let us spend some time looking upon a crucifix and thinking about what Jesus went through for OUR OWN SINS. Read the 4 gospel accounts of his arrest, trial, beating, and crucifixion, and ask God for the grace to claim for yourself the Good News of His sacrifice for our sins.