SOUL FOOD – from the World Magazine:
IF YOU HAVE BEEN DEBATING OR HESITATING, then perhaps this story would be most appropriate. For life was not so easy for the Martyrs of our Race either.
JOURNEY TO THE STAKE: Martyrs, Thomas Cranmer hesitated on the way. A mighty and most mindful Father, we have erred and strayed from your ways like lost sheep. We have done those things which we ought not to have done, and there is no health in us. Have mercy upon us miserable offenders; Spare those, O God, who confess their faults, and restore those who are penitent. Amen.
These words were written by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, and author to the 1549 Book of Common Prayer. His prayers had the quality of literary beauty unsurpassed in English. When we read that there is no health in us, we know it to be true. Our only hope is in Christ.
Within a few years, in fact, on March 21, 1556, the truth of his words would sear his soul and take his life.
Archbishop Cranmer’s ordeal started when Mary Tudor, known as Bloody Mary, became queen of England in 1553. She was a Catholic. He was a Protestant.
And soon after Mary’s coronation, Archbishop Cranmer was arrested. During three years of imprisonment, theologians debated him. Day after day they argued and begged him to give up his Protestant beliefs. In that day, if one recanted, it was customary for execution to be stayed and freedom granted.