Monday, October 13, 2008

October 13, Feast of Edward the Confessor

I saw on my Ordo calandar today that it's the feast of Edward the Confessor, King of England. As I have a fondness for English history, and I'm trying to get back to observing the feast days, I dug out my trusty Oxford History of Britain, and looked up old Edward.

He seems an odd fellow to be called a saint. It seems particularly kind to name him the patron saint of troubled marriages; I'm not sure that sending your wife away to a nunnery is any kind of example to follow. Of course, he did later take her back, and I suppose it is probably the the good example of reconciliation that we are supposed to follow.

His life, like the lives of most of England's monarchs, would make a splendid novel, if you found the right person to write it. But the wars, the family intrigues, the deaths, tortures, flights to safety, glorious battles, headache-inducing politics: it's all there.

Perhaps it's the glimpses of piety here and there that make it something extraordinary: the dedication to building a glorious church, the rumors of the healing touch, his care for the poor.

It is more piety, maybe, than is apparent in the lives of most great men. And maybe these few things that are remembered are evidence of much more that is not. It makes me wonder how much of our devotion to God would be remembered by any future generations. Or would they just see the wars, the politics, the oddities?

Though Edward was a king, I feel like he gives me hope for living as a saint in ordinary times. Though his times look extraordinary to us (the battles, politics, etc, mentioned above), it was, largely a peaceful time in England. There were wars, there were dangers, but nothing like what was to follow in the next little bit. He served where he was called, it seems. A king doing kingly things, but nonetheless, trying to be God's king.

So, in the end, after looking at this ambiguous saint, what I take is that I ought to serve where I am, regardless of what odd things or small things come to me.

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

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