Wednesday, February 20, 2013
a legacy of souls
The ever instructive Let Nothing You Dismay provided a link to a biographical article on Fr Charles Lowder as part of a recent post. I had, of course, read about Fr Lowder before, but this article provided far more detail. In brief, he was a Church of England priest, who was inspired by John Henry Newman and the Tractarian movement, and dedicated his life to working amongst the poorest of the poor in one of the worst areas of London. He began by reading Morning Prayer alone in deserted and decrepit churches; by the time of his death, decades later, he had won over thousands to Christ and his funeral was attended by an uncountable throng of weeping mourners.
After I read it, I was a bit sad, thinking that in the years after his death, especially of late, the practice of the faith has gone in such a decline and that his legacy has faded away. But of course that is wrong. His legacy is all the souls he won for Christ during his life, souls who are (partly) as a result of his efforts joined with the Communion of Saints in heaven. That is a legacy that can never fade. Fr Lowder's legacy is truly eternal.
And he leaves behind another legacy: that of the example of his life. From that example we see that his kind of energy, dedication, enthusiasm, & spirit can have amazing results. We must pray that God's Church in this generation will be blessed with more priests like Fr Lowder. And pray also that we may encourage the priests she already has to be more like him ... and of course support them in their efforts when they try to follow in his footsteps.