Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Virginia Tech & Alphege of Canterbury

Today is the saint's day for the not-as-popular-as-he-once-was Alphege of Canterbury (943-1012). Last night, on the eve of this lesser feast of the church, we read the readings for Alphege, which so closely related to news of this week. In our worship, we began with a Litany for the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Then the sermon I gave said in part,
Alphege of CanterburyAn airliner crashes into the Potomac River on a snowy night and a pedestrian jumps into the water, pulls people to safety and dies in the effort. As the towers of the World Trade Center fall, they take with them the lives of firefighters, policemen and paramedics who ran into harm’s way to save others. A gunman takes over an Amish school and a 13-year old girl tells the killer to kill her first, hoping to buy time for her classmates.

A rabbi friend told me once that had there not been a man like Oskar Schindler who saved Jews from death in the Holocaust, then we would have invented him. But the rabbi knew and said that we never had to invent men like Schindler, or Maximilian Kolb, the Catholic priest who offered to die in the place of another man, or the many other stories of Holocaust heroism. And now to these stories, we add professor Liviu Librescu and the others who acted selflessly in the face of death.

I recall these acts on this night as we are on the eve of the Feast of Saint Alphege of Canterbury, another who belongs to this list of selfless saints.
The full text of this sermon on light shining in the darkness is online here: Do Not Fear: Virginia Tech & Alphege of Canterbury

On Faith Panelists on the Virginia Tech Murders
On Faith, an online forum of Newsweek and The Washington Post, have their panelist answering,
How does your faith tradition explain (and respond to) senseless tragedies such as the Virginia Tech shootings?
The main page with all the panelists is here: On Faith and some of the responses more in our part of the larger tradition are here:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
Bishop Jane Holmes Dixon, and
Bishop N.T. Wright.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor



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