Saint Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts

A Reblog from the good offices of The Reverend Emily Hylden and the Living Chruch:

Trinity Church Boston


Remembering Phillips Brooks
Daily Devotional • January 23
By the Rev. Dr. Edward Ambrose

God blessed the Episcopal Church and beyond when he called Phillips Brooks as diocesan of Massachusetts. In fact, God granted Bishop Brooks empowerment similar to the strength which Jonah received when Jonah finally accepted his godly calling to Ninevah.  Thus, the quotation from the Book of Jonah is appropriate for Phillips Brooks whose feast we celebrate today.

Brooks wrote that his only ambition was “to be a parish priest and, though not much of one,  [I] would as a college president be still less.” Despite his humble self-assessment, Bishop Brooks created architecturally inspiring churches which enabled congregations to lift up their hearts to God in prayer. His liturgical inspiration was similarly effective. Thus, as a bishop, architect and liturgist, Phillips Brooks always remained a true parish priest in his heart. When he died, he received a funeral similar to the rites reserved for kings, attended by representatives of many denominations.
Just like the great work, Trinity Church, Boston, in which he had a heavy hand, his introducing Helen Keller to both Anne Sullivan and to Christianity is a testament to the lasting impact Bp. Brooks made on American Christianity, though his work was much behind the scenes.

Jonah 3:1-10

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2“Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” 3So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. 4Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

5And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. 6When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.7Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. 8Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. 9Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.” 10When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

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