The Daily Office

I’m still learning a lot of shit about being Christian – okay, correction: I’m leaning a lot of shit about the forms of Christianity used by the ELCA and the Order of Lutheran Franciscans. All anybody needs to know about being a Christian is contained in Matthew 22:35-40, Mark 12:28-34 and Luke 10:27. I was looking at the OLF site for the General Rule – – and saw that I was supposed to be praying the Daily Office, which I didn’t know what that was so I searched for that and found (Saint Clare was Saint Francis’ girlfriend – not really, but she was the first woman in his order and they were in love, but in a Holy sorta way) which is useful and handy. On this specific day, the Office is:

Hymn: Breathe on me, breath of God

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with Thee I will one will,
To do and to endure.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Blend all my soul with Thine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity.

Words: Edwin Hatch

I was talking with this guy I know, another Lutheran, and I mentioned the OLF which he’d never heard of. I explained a bit and he said “That sounds really Roman Catholic”.

So I said “Well, yeah, the Franciscans started as a Roman Catholic order because that’s all there was at the time. Martin Luther was Roman Catholic until they excommunicated him. We share over a thousand years of history with Roman Catholics. But the Order of Lutheran Franciscans is a Lutheran order that looks to Saint Frances as an example of how one might live a Christian life. It’s definitely Lutheran.”

And he said “I think most people would associate a Franciscan order with Roman Catholicism.”

And I said “It’s Lutheran.” That was pretty much the end of that conversation. I know that guy – he’s a lawyer and he’s pretty committed to his notions of how things are and how things are supposed to be. You ain’t never gonna get him to rethink the concepts he was taught and decided to believe in. Trickle-down economics works. Franciscans are Roman Catholic. Lutherans don’t do Roman Catholic stuff. So I didn’t bother with it. But I am one ecumenical muthafucka and I’m gonna do whatever helps me live as close to God as I can get. St. Francey was batshit crazy, but many people who are touched by God are, which is why “touched by God” is synonymous with “batshit crazy”. I’ve got a Rosary hanging from my rear-view mirror. There’s a picture of Katharina von Bora “die Lutherin” on the wall in my hall (she was Martin Luther’s girlfriend and then they got married and she helped define Protestant life). I’m thinking about getting one of those St. Frances lawn statues, but I might want the Virgin Mary, I dunno. I’ma have whatever helps me remember my relationship with God around me all the time and I don’t care if it comes from Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy or some whacko Baptist preacher from Georgia who painted on cardboard. Holding on hard to forms is what some people gotta do and that’s fine for them, but I want all the images and icons and weird gospel-blues I can get. Its just a matter of time ’til I get Calvary tattooed on my left hand with the three crosses on the first three fingers. Prob’ly get Luther’s rose under that.

Anyhoo, here’s Katharina. Peace be with you.

Related image

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s