My favorite writing from +Boniface:
A letter by St Boniface
The careful shepherd watches over Christ’s flock
In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of lifes different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course.
The ancient fathers showed us how we should carry out this duty: Clement, Cornelius and many others in the city of Rome, Cyprian at Carthage, Athanasius at Alexandria. They all lived under emperors who were pagans; they all steered Christs ship or rather his most dear spouse, the Church. This they did by teaching and defending her, by their labours and sufferings, even to the shedding of blood.
I am terrified when I think of all this. Fear and trembling came upon me and the darkness of my sins almost covered me. I would gladly give up the task of guiding the Church which I have accepted if I could find such an action warranted by the example of the fathers or by holy Scripture.
Since this is the case, and since the truth can be assaulted but never defeated or falsified, with our tired mind let us turn to the words of Solomon: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own prudence. Think on him in all your ways, and he will guide your steps. In another place he says: The name of the Lord is an impregnable tower. The just man seeks refuge in it and he will be saved.
Let us stand fast in what is right and prepare our souls for trial. Let us wait upon Gods strengthening aid and say to him: O Lord, you have been our refuge in all generations.
Let us trust in him who has placed this burden upon us. What we ourselves cannot bear let us bear with the help of Christ. For he is all-powerful and he tells us: My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Let us continue the fight on the day of the Lord. The days of anguish and of tribulation have overtaken us; if God so wills, let us die for the holy laws of our fathers, so that we may deserve to obtain an eternal inheritance with them.
Let us be neither dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers nor paid servants who run away before the wolf. Instead let us be careful shepherds watching over Christs flock. Let us preach the whole of Gods plan to the powerful and to the humble, to rich and to poor, to men of every rank and age, as far as God gives us the strength, in season and out of season, as Saint Gregory writes in his book of Pastoral Instruction.
There is a line of spiritual pedigree from St. Paul to Augustine to Boniface to Luther, and for that reason this excellent cathecesis on the first missionary martyr to Germany is worth of a
Keep a Good Lent!
Troparion in the Eighth Tone
Thou hast shown thyself, O God-inspired Boniface, as a guide to the orthodox faith, a teacher of true worship and purity, O star of the universe and companion of the bishops, O wise one. Through thy light thou hast enlightened all, O harp of the Spirit. Therefore, intercede with Christ to save our souls.
Very fitting words given the state of the world today.
Thank you for this lesson! I got “line of spiritual pedigree from St. Paul to Augustine to Boniface to Luther” for the first time. I’m seeing more clearly than ever the value of the stories of the saints who are cheering us on.