FATHER’S TEACHING CORNER: The Comfortable Words: In an earlier order the Comfortable Words were alternatives, and were set before the Absolution, as a sort of Scriptural warrant and guaranty of the forgiveness of sins. The first of the four sentences was added by Archbishop Cranmer. The three succeeding sentences, which he adopted from the earlier version, recall respectively the redeeming action of Our Lord in his Incarnation, Atonement, and eternal Priesthood after his ascension. The word “comfortable” here carries its original meaning of “strengthening”.
TEACHING ABOUT CHRIST: Christ must be accepted fully or not at all. Christ could not have erred either in Himself or His teaching and be Our Lord and Saviour. He is the same today as in the past. Twenty-one centuries of history, the lives and testimony of the Saints, the assurance of our own hearts, minds, and consciences leave no doubt of the witness of the Church and the Scriptures. With firm conviction and unwavering Faith Our Lord is accepted with all that followed as a consequence of His incarnation and the Holy Mysteries of our religion but “make assurance doubly sure”. Enthroned in Glory in heaven, or tabernacled in the Blessed Sacrament on earth, we worship and adore Our Lord and know the availing power of His prayers and intercessions as He sits on the right hand of God.
SATURDAY IS THE COMMEMORATION of the translation of King Edward the Martyr from Wareham to the nunnery church at Shaftesbury. Edward was born around 962 and died at Corfe in 978. He was the son of King Edgar of England by his first wife and succeeded his father in 975. Three years later he was assassinated at Corfe in Dorset and quietly buried at Wareham. It is said that he was on the way to visit his half-brother Ethelred when he was set upon by Ethelred’s retainers and stabbed before he could dismount his horse. The murderers may well have acted on their own initiative in the interests of their young master; it was not until a century later that it was openly stated that the whole thing was plotted by Edward’s step-mother, Elfrida, to put her son Ethelred on the throne. Supernatural manifestations were alleged in support of the charge. A year later Edward’s body was translated from Wareham to Shaftesbury, where he became venerated as a saint and martyr. He had not in fact died for religion, but this is a good example of the honour due to a martyr being given to one who had simply suffered and unjust death. He was only about 15 or 16 at the time of his death.