Commemoration of Charles I of England, King and Martyr (1649)

Sanctus Carolus Defensor Fidei

Charles I of England and Scotland, King and Martyr: 30 January 1649

(from today’s entry in the late James Kiefer’s excellent series of hagiographies)

At the end, when Charles was Cromwell’s prisoner, he was required to assent to a law abolishing bishops in the Church of England. He had previously given his consent to such an abolition in Scotland, where the Puritans were in the majority, but here he dug in his heels and declared that Bishops were part of the Church as God had established it, and that he could not in conscience assent to Cromwell’s demand. His refusal sealed his doom, and it is for this that he is accounted a martyr, since he could have saved his life by giving in on this question. He was brought to trial before Parliament, found guilty of treason, and beheaded 30 January 1649. On the scaffold, he said (I quote from memory and may not have the exact words):

“No man in England is a better friend to liberty than myself, But I must tell you plainly that the liberty of subjects consists not in having a hand in the government, but in having that government, and those laws, whereby their lives and their goods may be most their own.”

That is to say, one may reasonably ask of a government that it establish justice in the land; so that judges do not take bribes, so that innocent men are not convicted of crimes, while the guilty are convicted and punished, so that honest men need fear neither robbers nor the sheriff. One may further ask that taxes be not excessive, and that punishments be not disproportionate to the crime. Charles would have said,

“Do not ask whether the laws were made by men whom you elected. Ask whether they are reasonable and good laws, upholding justice and the public weal.”

He would have invited comparison of his record in this respect with that of the Long Parliament (which sat for twenty years without an election, and whose members came to think of themselves as rulers for life, accountable to no one) and Cromwell (who eventually dissolved Parliament and ruled as a military dictator, under whose rule the ordinary Englishman had far less liberty than under Charles).

In his struggle with his opponents, Charles considered himself to be contending for two things:

(1) the good of the realm and the liberty and well-being of the people, which he believed would be better served by the monarch ruling according to ancient precedent, maintaining the traditional rights of the people as enshrined in the common law, than by a Parliament that ended up denying that it was either bound by the law or accountable to the people; and

(2) the Church of England, preaching the doctrine of the undivided Church of the first ten centuries, administering sacraments regarded not as mere psychological aids to devotion but as vehicles of the presence and activity of God in his Church, governed by bishops who had been consecrated by bishops who had been consecrated by bishops… back certainly to the second century, and, as many have believed, back to the Twelve Apostles and to the command of Christ himself.

In his Declaration at Newport, in the last year of his life, he said:

“I conceive that Episcopal government is most consonant to the Word of God, and of an apostolical institution, as it appears by the Scripture, to have been practised by the Apostles themselves, and by them committed and derived to particular persons as their substitutes or successors therein and hath ever since to these last times been exercised by Bishops in all the Churches of Christ, and therefore I cannot in conscience consent to abolish the said government.”

In a day when religious toleration was not widespread, King Charles I was noteworthy for his reluctance to engage in religious persecution of any kind, whether against Romanists or Anabaptists.

http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/92.html

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King Charles I – Anglican Martyr | Anglican History Blog

charleyboy

30 January: Commemoration of Charles I of England, King and Martyr

Source: King Charles I Anglican Martyr | Anglican History Blog

“A devotional cult was established in Charles’ name and he is considered an Anglican martyr, especially by Anglo-Catholics. It is said that if Charles had been willing to abandon the Church and give up the episcopacy he might have saved his throne and his life. Charles would not give to either demand, and as Gladstone said, ‘it was for the Church that Charles shed his blood on the scaffold.’

“Charles was removed as a saint from the calendar in 1859 but his feast day continues to be observed in the Church of England. The Society of King Charles the Martyr continues devotional activities in his memory…

“Charles is commemorated in churches across England and his last word of ‘REMEMBER’ can be found on statues. A hymn written to St. Charles contains this verse:

“For England’s Church, for England’s realm (Once thine in earthly sway), Lest storms our Ark should overwhelm, Saint Charles of England pray!”

Preparing for Lent | Full Homely Divinity

Pre-Lent and Lent - Expanded

Lent is sometimes referred to as a pilgrimage or a journey. Very few people set out on any kind of journey without packing a bag. What are the things that we need to include in our Lenten luggage?

Source: Preparing for Lent | Full Homely Divinity

Today – Sunday, January 28th – is Septuagesima Sunday, the Third Sunday before Lent, and the First Sunday of Pre-Lent, or as it has traditionally been called in the English (Anglican) tradition, Shrovetide. It is approximately 70 days before Lent.

As this essay accurately asks, “Since Lent is itself a season of preparation, it may seem like overkill to have to prepare for Lent. Yet, how will we take full advantage of the opportunity of Lent if we wait until the last minute to decide how to keep it?” It then goes on to discuss how this season of Pre-Lent can help us to experience a more holy and fruitful Lenten season. Here is but one excerpt:

“Many Christians have a formal rule of life which they observe throughout the year. Their Lenten rule will usually add a few seasonal exercises. For those who do not already have a formal, year-round rule, Lent is a good opportunity to begin one. The purpose of a rule of life is not to set impossibly high standards that might be admirable but are not practical. A rule of life must fit the person.

“A new Christian or someone new to the whole idea of a rule of life will have a more modest rule than an older, more proficient Christian. So, the elements in the invitation above need to be tailored to the maturity of the individual. (A spiritual companion or director can be very helpful here.) A runner might hope someday to run a marathon, but it may take years of training at shorter distances to build the stamina and strength to achieve that goal.”

“Holiness of life is the goal of every Christian, but progress towards that goal is a lifelong task, not the accomplishment of a single Lent. At the same time, the basics of a Lenten rule can set a pattern for a lifetime of spiritual growth.”

As I have commented so many times, I adjure you to “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest” the wisdom contained in this essay.


Note: the author(s) of Full Homely Divinity are operating out of the milieu of the 1979 Prayer Book, but do not let that dissuade nor frighten you! If there were more people who view that text, as these folks do, from the context of the Anglican tradition as a whole, there would be far fewer issues with it.

Re-Asserting a Feminine Tradition – Crisis Magazine

I wear the chapel veil at Mass as an affirmation and an embrace of my feminine difference. According to the ancient traditions of the Church, only women may be veiled in the presence of God…

Tradition binds us together and gives our faith a richness, mystery, and depth that the modern world finds frightening because it cannot be satisfactorily explained.

Source: Re-Asserting a Feminine Tradition – Crisis Magazine

I post about this periodically because I think that veiling – while always voluntary and optional – is a powerful symbol of femininity, and the sacred distinctiveness of women, at a time when our popular, secular society seems to be bound, bent, and determined to eradicate true distinctiveness in, ironically, the name of “diversity.” So this article is particularly powerful, for me, because the author is a woman who is saying the same thing… only much better than I could, and “from the inside,” so to speak. Here are a few excerpts:

“The problem is, the modern world is trying to liberate us from ourselves. Modern society demands that women be able to compete with men, to show that there is nothing actually different about us. The modern world, for all of its lip-service to diversity, is terrified of differences. It does not know how to cope with true differences because it can only see relationships in terms of power struggles: who can best whom, who is oppressing whom? If you are different, if you have a different nature then, the modern world concludes, it must be because some tyrannical force is keeping you from your full potential to be exactly the same as everyone else.

“But true equality is not sameness. God created us male and female and found us to be very good, but he did not ever intend to create us exactly the same, with irrelevant bodily differences that can be hacked off, ignored, or chemically altered as we see fit. God is entirely too fine a craftsman for that… The contraceptive mentality of the modern world is attempting to eradicate this difference, this distinctively feminine difference, in pursuit of its value of sameness that it has mistaken for equality. In these days, when the life of the unborn is held rather cheaply, and the family is under assault, I wear the chapel veil as an embrace of my distinctly feminine nature.”

Two other points, one specific to veiling, the other more general:

“According to the ancient traditions of the Church, only women may be veiled in the presence of God… Men are not allowed to cover their heads in church. When the bishop and the pope remove their head coverings, they are submitting themselves in humility before the presence of God, not asserting some sort of male superiority with their bare heads. When more of society wore hats, it was a much more obvious sign, but even today, we acknowledge that when a man removes his hat, it is a sign of deference and respect—and if you need a reminder, pay attention the next time the national anthem is sung.”

That is powerful. As I said, veiling is voluntary and optional. But for those who choose to participate, this is something they can do that men cannot: women alone are allowed to be veiled, to have their heads covered in the presence of God. Men, in contrast, must “uncover,” they must remove their hats in God’s presence. This is something I was sorta-kinda aware of – of course I knew since childhood that I had to take my hat off in church – but this nonetheless really rather smacked me in the face. There’s more that she shares about this in the article, and it’s worth reading.

And then there’s this, which I quoted at the beginning:

“Tradition binds us together and gives our faith a richness, mystery, and depth that the modern world finds frightening because it cannot be satisfactorily explained.”

To which I can only say, amen!

Romania’s Prime Minister resigns after disagreement with the royal family | Royal Central

Romania’s Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned after losing the support from his own political party. Former Prime Minister Tudose recently decided to expel the royal family from Elisabeta Palace. This resulted in a statement from parliament speaker Liviu Dragnea and leader of the Social Democratic Party where it was announced that Prime Minister Tudose had signed his resignation.

Source: Romania’s Prime Minister resigns after disagreement with the royal family – Royal Central

Support for monarchy seems to be growing in a number of areas of the world, and one of these is certainly Romania!

“Last week, the Romanian royal family was ordered to evacuate the Elizabeth Palace before 5 February on the direct order of then Prime Minister Mihai Tudose. This created huge protests. Former Prime Minister Mihai Tudose, a former communist, lied publically to the press and said that the royal family had been using the castle without paying for it. These allegations were strongly denied in a statement by Crown Princess Margarita. The news was first reported internationally by “The International Monarchist Conference”.

“Parliament speaker Liviu Dragnea had declared himself a royalist and in favour of the Royal House of Romania. The fact that the Prime Minister lied about this and tried to have the royal family thrown out of the palace was condemned strongly by the majority of the parliament and speaker Dragnea. This has resulted in the ongoing political crisis.”

Most interesting!

Peter Hitchens: “We have chosen the wrong future.” | YouTube

Source: Peter Hitchens: “It’s over. Europe is doomed” – YouTube

Despite the rampant stupidity of the interviewer (and the clickbait title of this video, on YouTube – unless I missed something, I never once heard Peter Hitchens say “It’s over. Europe is doomed”) this is a very good and instructive video, which I wish more people would watch and take to heart!

One thing Hitchens did say, which I agree with 100%, is that “We have chosen the wrong future” – if, that is, by “we” is meant (as I know he did mean it) the political, social, and academic “elite.” We are not (yet, totally) stuck with our choice, however. We can re-choose. And I hope and pray we will!!!

(Peter Hitchens, by the way, is a remarkably sound-thinking man – like Sir Roger Scuton and a few others that still give me hope for Britain’s future!)

Secular Fundamentalism and the ravishing of Europe. © Gavin Ashenden | Gavin Ashenden

voltaire

 

Source: Secular Fundamentalism and the ravishing of Europe. © Gavin Ashenden – Gavin Ashenden

Sadly, the once-proud Church of England appears to be on its last legs, theologically and morally; however, there are still a few shining lights within it, bravely striving to hold back the darkness. One of these is former Queen’s Chaplain, Bishop Gavin Ashenden.

Sadly, he and those like him are very much in the minority, these days; however, he is at least doing his best to speak truth to power! As in this essay, where he describes the way in which the new secular fundamentalism (a.k.a. militant political correctness, a.k.a. cultural Marxism) is chipping away at Western values. He writes,

“It was probably pretty obvious that if you import Islamic culture in which women are subjugated, into a culture founded on Christian values, where all human beings are believed to be equally valuable, the conflict between these two value systems would sooner or later cause trouble.

“Numbers are the key to it. Sweden’s left wing government, supposedly deeply pro-feminist, has pursued a highly liberal immigration policy. So how has society changed as a result? The answer is that women have been seriously endangered…

“If the government of a country decides that the principle of mass immigration is more important that the safety and dignity of women, it has the right to put it to the people in a democracy, to allow them to accept or reject the project. It doesn’t have the right to suppress the facts or the truth.

“The problem we face in this clash of liberal values is that instead of looking for an answer to the problems the clash throws up, the political instinct has been to hide the truth; and in these cases to make women pay the price for it.”

The ostensibly “liberal” Left – which in recent decades has transmogrified into a bastion of secular fundamentalism, as Bishop Ashenden points out, and politically-correct orthodoxy – cannot indefinitely defend the indefensible: that bringing massive numbers of immigrants, who hold social, moral, and religious beliefs very much at odds with the values Western civilization has developed with no little blood, sweat, and tears over several millennia, is congruent with liberal ideas such as women’s rights. Sooner or later the house of cards will come crashing down.

Unfortunately, as Bishop Ashenden points out, when confronted with this reality, the political instinct of the European – and American – Left has been to hide the evidence. No, there is no concrete indication that the men who rape and molest women at public events in Sweden and Germany are asylum seekers… because the police and other officials are forbidden to record that information.

No, you can’t make “offensive” comments about Muslims on Facebook (at the risk of being arrested, in some supposedly “liberal democratic” European countries!) – even those engaged in grooming, sexually abusing, and trafficking in young white British girls – because that might lead to an open and honest debate about the wisdom of letting large numbers of them into Western nations. And so it goes…

Obviously, this sort of information cannot be kept under wraps forever. Sooner or later, it will become blindingly obvious to all but the most committed ideologues that the proverbial emperor is wearing no clothes. But by then a great deal of damage – possibly irreversible damage – will have been done to the cultures and people of Europe, and perhaps America as well. Indeed, we live in troubled times.

However, as my late mother would remind me, God is in charge. Things may seem chaotic, perhaps even hopeless, to us; but His power is infinite. We may not be able to do much, but we can at least pray!

De furore Sarraceni, Domine, libera nos…

Or perhaps I should say,

De furore civilibus, Domine, libera nos!

(“From the fury of the politicians, O Lord, deliver us!”)