FRIDAY THE SIXTH OF JULY, 2018
* Jan Hus *
We thank you, O Lord and Master, for teaching us how to pray simply and sincerely to you and for hearing us when we so call upon you. We thank you for saving us from our sins and sorrows and for directing all our ways this day. Lead us ever onwards to yourself; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
( Father John of the Russian Church )
To avert from men God’s wrath, Jesus suffered in our stead;
by an ignominious death he a full atonement made
and by his most precious blood brought us, sinners, nigh to God.
Hither each afflicted soul may repair, though filled with grief;
to the sick, not to the whole, the Physician brings relief;
fear not, therefore, but draw nigh, Christ will all your wants supply.
But examine first your case, whether you be in the faith;
do you long for pardoning grace? Is your only hope his death?
Then, however your soul’s oppressed, come, you are a worthy guest.
He who Jesus’ mercy knows is from wrath and envy freed.
Love unto each other shows that we are his flock indeed;
thus we may in all our ways show forth our redeemer’s praise.
( Attributed to Jan Hus )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Jan Hus, betrayed and burned in the name of Christ
The Reformation of the Church was a long time in coming, preceded by movements of reform which stayed within the institutional church, like the Franciscans, as well as those which broke away from the institutional church, like the Waldensians.
Jan Hus was a Czech priest, philosopher, and reformer who lived about a century earlier than Martin Luther. He was influenced by the early English reformer, John Wycliffe. It is important to remember that Hus lived and taught during the time of the Great Western Schism (1378-1414) in which there were first two popes and then three claiming and dividing the loyalty of the Christian people. People like Hus responded to this crisis in authority by returning to the primacy of the Bible, seeking translations in the language of the people. In particular, Hus advocated for a return to the custom of receiving the sacrament of holy communion in both kinds (bread and cup). In 1411, the controversy shifted to indulgences. The net was closing in on Jan Hus, as the Great Western Schism was drawing to a close.
The Council of Constance, (southern Germany 1414-1418) brought an end to the Great Schism by deposing all three claimants to the papacy and electing Martin V to be the unifying pope. Jan Hus, promised safe conduct by the emperor, attended the council. He hoped to present his best case for Church reform, but instead, was imprisoned, tried and sentenced to be burned at the stake for heresy.
On the sixth of July, 1414, the sentence was carried out.
Many consider him the first martyr of the Reformation. Martin Luther was called the “Saxon Hus” by his enemies, a century later.
Quote: "In the same truth of the Gospel which I have written, taught, and preached, drawing upon the sayings and positions of the holy doctors, I am ready to die today."
Scripture. In "Psalm One Hundred and Nineteen," verses forty-six to forty-seven, we read:
I will also speak of your decrees before kings, and shall not be put to shame; I find my delight in your commandments, because I love them.
... for peace in the world.
... for those whose radical love for Jesus Christ puts them at odds with the institutional churches.
... that we may always hold fast to the words of Jesus.
... for an end to all executions.
... for the safety of the divers attempting to rescue the twelve boys and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand; for Saman Gunan, the diver who has already died and for those who mourn his death.
... for those killed or injured when a firework depot exploded in the town of Tultepec in Mexico. DETAILS
... for those who drowned and for those who are missing after a passenger boat capsized off the holiday island of Phuket in Thailand. DETAILS
... for those who have died or who have become unwell during the current heatwave in Quebec. DETAILS
... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
From a letter from Jan Hus to King Ladislaus of Poland, dated the tenth of June, 1412:
May the grace of Jesus Christ be granted to you for the ruling of your people and the attaining of the life of glory! Most serene prince, it hath brought me great joy and comfort to hear that your Majesty in the providence of Almighty God hath come to an agreement with the most illustrious King Sigismund. The people and myself are united in the prayer that God may direct the lives of both of you in the way of righteousness, and your subjects as well.
To this end, most illustrious prince, it appears to be a prior condition alike for your Majesty, for his excellence King Sigismund, and for the other princes, that the heresy of simony should be removed from your dominions. But is it possible to expect its banishment when it has spread its poison so widely that scarcely anywhere can clergy or people be found that have not been laid low by this heresy of simony?
Who is honest enough to present to a see for the honour of God, for the salvation of the people and for one’s own salvation? Who is so disinterested as to accept a see, a parish living or any other benefice under the constraint of these three motives? I would that there were many to refuse them as a form of bondage and human bribery!
But are not the words of Jeremiah fulfilled: From the least of them even to the greatest all follow hard after covetousness, and from the prophet even to the priest all make a lie?
Is the disciple of Christ wide of the mark when he says: All seek the things that that are their own, not the things that are Jesus Christ’s?
It is the voice of the Church weeping, because the gold is become dim and the finest colour is changed.
Once the priesthood was like gold aflame with love and burnished with virtues; but now it hath become earthy and blackened, as Bernard saith. The words of our Saviour are fulfilled: Iniquity shall abound (that is, among the clergy) and charity shall grow cold (among the people). Woe, therefore, to him that weeps not for such a time!
Most illustrious prince, it is because they hear a message like this that a simoniac, pomp-loving, luxurious, and unrestrained clergy charge me with defamation of their order and heresy-mongerings. But shall I keep silence? God forbid! Woe is me if I keep silence! It is better for me to die than not to resist the wickedness which would make me a partner in their crimes and in their hell. May it please the King of glory to preserve your Majesty from these things for the holy government of your people!
Almighty God, who gave to your servant Jan Huss boldness to confess the name of our saviour Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world and courage to die for this faith: grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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