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 Thursday December 22nd 2016Tim Candler9

 

     To better frame the question for this Festive Season with a little more precision than I managed to do yesterday, I ask you to put yourself into the shoes of a 16th Century Carmelite Monk. It's something like 1550, there's been years and years of war between European Princes, many of whom were related and there's a major threat from a well organized Muselmann Empire who militarily were the equal of any army Western Europe could produce and whose leader had things like harems and who owned Jerusalem. One morning while doing the Lord's work you discover that your monastery will play host to Martin Luther, a man who's ideas were such he'd been outlawed by the Pope himself. Small comfort that this man wasn't an outlaw in the forgivable hanging, drawing a quartering sense, he was an outlaw in the "Thou shalt no speak to him or listen to any sedition he might utter, if you do you'll face the consequences in heaven upon your immortal soul" sense.

 

Past

      A tricky situation, I'd agree. Modern equivalent would be having someone like Margaret Thatcher, a Professional Wrestler or anyone from Hollywood, the Queen of England or one of the Trump offspring as a house guest. Martin Luther was a radical troublemaker, he was a man who wrote pamphlets before breakfast, he defaced church property by hammering nails into wooden doors, he stayed up late into the night translating swathes of the bible into German, not the High German, which was for people who knew what Frankincense was, but the every day German speaking German, the "Jesus didn't much like Pharisees and so instead of being gentle about it he went Medieval on the Financial Sector" kind of German. Trust me, the prospect of such a visit would have driven me to my cell with a terrible headache, until I attempt to recall that I'm a Carmelite Monk. I'm not a Franciscan, or a Dominican. I'm an incredibly long way from being something like Templar, and I belong to a monastery that was named after Jesus' grandmother.

 

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