Yesterday was the feast day of George Herbert, a seventeenth century poet and priest who was one of the Carolina Divines. My love of his writings when I was in seminary encouraged me to dig deeper and research the many nearly forgotten women who supported and inspired these poet priests in the time of King Charles I. These women, discovered most often by reading footnotes, became the subject of my master thesis, “Truly Divine: Women of the Caroline Divine Era.” Pride cometh, however; it wasn’t until after I had received my Master of Divinity that I found out that I had spell-checked the very frequently used word “diary” into dairy. Oh well.
At my ordination to the priesthood, we sang one of Herbert’s poems transformed into a hymn, Come my way, my truth, my life.
I find the Collect appointed for George Herbert’s day especially meaningful:
Our God and King, you called your servant George Herbert from the pursuit of worldly honors to be a pastor of souls, a poet, and a priest in your temple: Give us grace, we pray, joyfully to perform the tasks you give us to do, knowing that nothing is menial or common that is done for your sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN