Sunday, November 08, 2009

Commemoration of Johannes von Staupitz, Luther's Father Confessor

Today the church remembers Johannes von Staupitz, Luther's pastor and, as Treasury of Daily Prayer reminds us, Father Confessor. May we all be so blessed to have some care for our soul the way Pastor von Staupitz cared for Luther's. From the Treasury:

Johannes von Staupitz (ca. 1469-1524), vicar-general of the Augustinian Order in Germany and friend of Martin Luther, was born in Saxony. He studied at the universities in Leipzig and Cologne and served on the faculty at Cologne. In 1503, he was called by Frederick the Wise to serve as dean of the theological faculty at the newly founded University of Wittenberg. There Staupitz encouraged Luther to attain a doctorate in theology and appointed Luther as his successor to professor of Bible at the university. During Luther's early struggles to understand God's grace, it was Staupitz who counseled Luther to focus on Christ and not on himself.

We pray a fitting prayer:

Almighty, everlasting God, for our many sins we justly deserve eternal condemnation. In Your mercy, You sent Your dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who won for us forgiveness of sins and everlasting salvation. Grant us a true confession so that dead to sin we may hear the sweet words of Absolution from our confessor as Luther heard them from his pastor, Johannes von Staupitz, and be released from all our sin; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

And by the way, if you don't have a Father Confessor, or don't know what one is, go ask your pastor about it. You won't regret it!

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