Saint Days: Frederick Denison Maurice, Priest and Renewer of Society
Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872) was born to a Unitarian minister in Normanton, Suffolk. After his father's death, his mother and sisters left Unitarianism but remained dissenters to the Church of England. He converted to Anglicanism and became a minister and scholar.
He was active in the Christian Social Movement. While many Americans may find this unsavory (and indeed, so did many of his peers), it is important to remember how bleak life was for those in the lower classes of English society. While his prescriptions may have been flawed and would disagree with his syncretism of Christian teaching and Socialism, he is a reminder that we have an obligation to care for the poor and marginalized.
"Let people call me merely a philosopher, or merely anything else…. My business, because I am a theologian, and have no vocation except for theology, is not to build, but to dig, to show that economics and politics … must have a ground beneath themselves, and that society was not to be made by any arrangements of ours, but is to be regenerated by finding the law and ground of its order and harmony, the only secret of its existence, in God."
Let us remember Frederick Denison Maurice in our prayers today:
Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame of your love in the heart of your servant Frederick Denison Maurice to manifest your compassion and mercy on the poor and the persecuted; Grant to us, your humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who give thanks for his righteous zeal may profit by his example; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.