On the 25th September the English church commemorates one of its saintly bishops, Lancelot Andrewes alongside St. Sergius of Russia, another very holy man. These two have been inspirations to many.
As William Laud wrote in his diary "a great light has gone out today" In the light of revents in recent times it might be good to reflect on the conversation our beloved bishop had with Tobie Matthew who was converting to the Roman Catholic Church. His reasons for doing so was that it had “a continual visibility, of a perpetuity, of an infallibility, of sanctity, of unity, of universality, of converting nations from idolatry, ... of the learning of her doctors, of the piety of her confessors, of the purity of her virgins, of the penance of her eremites and innumerable other saints.” Andrewes replied that he agreed absolutely “that all these signs and marks did most absolutely belong to the Catholic Church.” He further informed Matthew that he “held the English Protestant Catholic Church, and the Roman Catholic Church, to be one and the same Church of Christ”, except that “my Church” is “the better swept, and more cleanly kept, and more substantially repaired”.
In this conversation Andrewes also indicated that with a lifetime of study behind him, he had concluded that this Reformed Catholic Church represented the truest expression of faith, which enabled him to serve God here in preparation to “enjoy him hereafter”. It was the true national Church in England and as such is “a sure way to heaven”. He assured Matthew that if he “had been able to find just cause why I should hold myself to be unsafe where I am, I should not have failed to choose the best way to the next world whatsoever it might have cost me in this.”
As he preached in his 1615 Gowrie sermon, “what is it to live out the full compass of man’s uttermost age, if he live not so in this life, as after this he may live for ever?” -
From Lancelot Anddrewes, Mentor of Reformed Catholicism in the Post Reformation Church in England.
THE COMMEMORATION OF LANCELOT ANDREWES, 1555 - 1626
Guard Thou my soul,
strenghten my body,
elevate my senses,
direct my course,
order my habits,
shape my character,
bless my actions,
fulfil my prayers,
inspire holy thoughts,
pardon the past,
correct the present,
prevent the future.
Now unto Him that is able
to exceedingly abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that
worketh in us, unto Him be glory
in the Church by Christ Jesus
throughout all ages, world without