The Holiness and Greatness of Frederick Douglass External

The Gospel for this coming Sunday is from John, depicting Jesus “cleansing the temple.”

At your convenience, I beg you to use this closing Black History Month to review and pray over this moving reflection by Matthew Fox. Let us seek loving and empowering ways to channel the righteous anger that is always part of our sanctified human nature.

Dan Gleckler

The Holiness and Greatness of Frederick Douglass


Portrait of Frederick Douglass in 1880 by Civil War photographer Matthew B. Brady.
Frederick Douglass

We have been meditating lately on the marks of holiness such as Joy, Courage, Justice, and Generosity that underscored the life, work and martyrdoms of Sister Dorothy Stang and Alexei Navalny.

This is Black History Month. When one thinks of the holiness of great heroes and sheroes of black America, one thinks of people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lewis, Howard Thurman, Sojourner Truth, and many other musicians, writers, poets, actors, and athletes.

Let us also hold up the amazing story and stature of Frederick Douglass (c. 1817-1895), who has been called “the most influential black man in 19th-century America” who underwent “untold acts of brutality” as a teenaged slave, but then “audaciously willed his own freedom and escaped from slavery.”

An exquisite orator and writer, he is said to have “mastered the master’s language” and “saw to the core of the meaning of slavery, both for individuals and for the nation.”*  He has been called a social reformer, abolitionist, writer, orator and statesman.

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