“He took what is mine in order that He might impart to me what is His.
He took it not to overturn it but to fill it.”
(Cades Cove, TN / Julie Cook / 2015)
We must animate ourselves by the thought that God is always with us,
that he only allows this trial for our greater good,
and that we have not necessarily lost his grace because
we have lost the taste and feelings of it.
St. Ignatius of Loyola
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(statue of Jesus, Parrot Mt. and Gardens, Pigeon Forge, TN / Julie Cook / 2020)
“The soul hungers for God, and nothing but God can satiate it.
Therefore He came to dwell on earth and assumed a Body in order that
this Body might become the Food of our souls.”
St. John Vianney
(a curious macaw parrot at Parrot Mountian and Gardens Pigeon Forge, TN / Julie Cook / 2020)
“In the old days, people demanded ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’
and to repay evil for evil. Patience was not yet on the earth,
because faith was not on the earth either. Of course, impatience made full use of the opportunities the Law gave it. That was easy when the Lord and Master of patience was not here.
But now that he has come and put the grace of faith together with patience,
we are no longer allowed to attack someone even with a word—not even to call someone a fool
without facing the danger of judgment.
The Law found more than it lost when Christ said,
‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven’ (Matthew 5:44-45).
This most important commandment summarizes in a word the universal discipline of patience,
since it does not allow us to do evil even to people who deserve it.”
Tertullian, p. 104
An Excerpt From
A Year with Church Fathers
“Hier stehe ich.
Ich kann nicht anders.
Gott helfe mir.
(Here I stand.
I can not do otherwise.
God help me.
“Our leaders don’t believe the values of the New Testament take
priority over everything else.”
The Rt Reverend Gavin Ashenden
(the old Methodist Church in Cades Cove, TN / Julie Cook / 2015)
Yesterday I shared a heartening tale about a modern day take on Martin Luther’s
500 year old defiance against an ailing Church.
It appears that these 500 years later on … we are again ailing….
or perhaps we are simply still ailing, never having actually been healed.
I’m not so certain as to which it actually is.
Over the past decade or so, we have witnessed leadership within many mainline
Christian denominations yielding, be it willingly or by duress, to the whims,
nay demands, of a growing egocentric hedonistic society that claims everything
in the name of acceptance and love.
But what society fails to understand is that whereas God is indeed Love,
He is also a God of Order…His Order.
I have watched in frustrating bewilderment,
for more years now than I care to recount, church doctrine and or policy being
twisted and contorted to fit an ever demanding culture’s idea of order.
As society works to claim a new oddly fitting human behavior.
Almost 6000 years have passed since God spoke very specifically to Moses.
He issued a set of “rules” for human orderly living.
God had spoken and literally laid down the law.
Then several millennia past and God saw fit to send a proxy,
a stand in for man…one who was to take man’s place in the inevitable
eternal damnation that man had claimed for himself by imposing his own order while
….That so whomever would believe, would be saved and would have eternal life.
It was straight forward…even simple really.
Yet man insisted on making it complicated.
So while Western Civilization marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation—
as it matters not on which side of the fence you find yourself,
the Reformation is being remembered none the less…
However…me thinks there might be something new brewing about?
As in, might we be witnessing perhaps a new bit of Reformation taking shape?
I for one hope so.
Twice during the course of this past week,
I have found myself both hearing and reading the thoughts and sharings of two
very different men of the cloth concerning this “change in the air”—
Yet neither man has cited any particular change as they are merely working to share
the current state of affairs—the health of each one’s collective church body.
One is a Catholic monk who I’ve mentioned here before…Father Hugh—
who happens to be an ardent keeper of the faith and an Australian monk serving in
a monastery in the UK who is not afraid to speak Gospel truth,
even if that truth runs counter to that of Rome.
The other being a former Anglican priest and Chaplin to the Queen, who now is a
missionary Bishop of The Christian Episcopal Church–a ‘renegade’ break away of
Orthodox Anglican and Episcopal laity and clergy.
Both men have noted that our collective Church leadership has capitulated.
As the leadership has accepted false doctrine as some sort of new doctrine.
A form of “soft socialism” so says Bishop Ashenden.
Father Hugh has shared a letter written by a well respected American Theologian and Capuchin monk, Fr. Thomas Weinandy, regarding the dangerous position Pope Francis
appears to be placing the Catholic faithful.
Bishop Ashenden on the other hand in a recent airing of Anglican Unscripted, also
addresses this dangerous direction the current leadership of the Anglican Church seems
to be taking its flock…
I offer you the links below to Father Hugh’s posts regarding Father Weinandy’s
very public letter to Pope Francis.
It should be noted that since writing and having published his letter to the Pope,
the good Capuchin Father has been asked to resign his post as executive
director of the USCCB’s Secretariat for Doctrine.
Just as I suspect those clergy who have tacked the Southwark Declaration to the doors
of various Anglican Cathedrals or who vocally support the Declaration from their pulpits
will eventually suffer reprimand and or repercussion or something even worse.
Just as I would expect to receive such should I tack the Declaration to any door of
any Episcopal Church here in the states—- I would be accused of hate mongering….
because that’s how we handle those who hold fast to the solemn Word of God—
for if you opt to follow the word of God as stated in the Gospel,
particularly when it concerns same sex unions, you are accused of bigotry and hate….
never mind what God has said about such.
Let us offer our prayers for such brave individuals who are not afraid, despite
common thought and new cultural norms, to share God’s truth…
Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures and by clear reason
(for I do not trust in the pope or councils alone, since it is well known
that they have often erred and contradicted themselves),
I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted.
My conscience is captive to the Word of God.
I cannot and I will not retract anything,
since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience.
May God help me.