Tuesday, June 5, 2012

And You Thought YOUR Confirmation Classes were Tough...

I've taken it upon myself to upload an image and short story of a commemoration from the Lutheran and any other Christian Calendar that interests me every day on Facebook.  It's really been fascinating.  If I can't find something uplifting and inspiring, I can find something downright interesting Like St. Dunstan who was known for being very good at outsmarting the Devil.  He was a blacksmith and the Devil asked him to shoe his horse.  Instead he shoed the Devil!  This, as you can imagine, was very painful and the Devil begged him to unshoe him.  Dunstan agreed, but only if the Devil agreed to never enter a building with a horseshoe over the door.  The devil agreed, and this is where we get the idea of a lucky horseshoe. 

St. Boniface, Apostle to the Germans, whom we commemorate today was killed while preparing some Frisians (a Germanic people from the modern day Netherlands to Denmark) for confirmation on Pentecost eve by a gang of pagan Frisians.  . Although his comrades were armed Boniface urged them to lay down their arms, saying "Cease fighting. Lay down your arms, for we are told in Scripture not to render evil for good but to overcome evil by good." All were massacred.

The story is told that his killers were looking for gold and silver but instead found pages of scripture in his bags.  There is also a story of Boniface attempting to save himself by holding a bible over his head.  

Along with the remains of Boniface, the Fulda Cathedral holds a slashed bible, known as the Ragyndrudis Codex, which is said to be the Bible which was held by Boniface when he died.  Father Anonymous will, no doubt, attempt to dispute the authenticity of this story but the association of this book with Boniface's martyrdom is goes back pretty far. 

To me it doesn't matter whether or not it REALLY is the very book, anymore than if the chains in the Church of the Chains of Peter and Paul are really the actual chains.  Peter and Paul were held in chains and seeing them makes it real.  Looking at that slashed manuscript makes it real to me that there was a man who was slashed to death while trying to each people about Christ.  To me, relics are not magic  nor history, they are icons we need the same way we need water and bread for the sacraments.  We are earthly people and earthly things help our faith.

Which is why I use power point and pictures in Confirmation, to bring this back to my heading.

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