Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Saturday, October 18, 2014
In recent years, especially the last few years, it has become increasingly harder and harder to have focus on and inspiration in this faith. On the one hand society is always society and will in its own way(s) undermine the faith. This is commonly understood as secularism and is not something I seek to address in this post. For one thing, the constant tension with secular directions is a daily thing and is obvious to most people of faith. The more insidious attacks on a person's focus on Christ are those which come from places least expected. That is they can work to blindside the faith. These are not forces outside the church but within. They may wear a cloak of zeal. They may even be very powerful.
So the irony, or paradox, may be that some forces within the church may be more effective in undermining one's faith than any forces outside. At least, on the outside, intentions are clearer to spot. To keep this brief, if I am not as active in writing about the things of God here, it is because I have been successfully and temporarily blindsided. This is where Jesus' teaching of love for one's enemies, known and unknown, is so basic and why He gave His Church not only His Word but the blessed Sacrament.
Monday, September 29, 2014
"And another angel came, and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer of the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which is before the throne of God. And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel."
Tuesday, September 09, 2014
Since we are saved by God's grace through faith in Christ, we hold on to the sacraments, altars, liturgy, vestments, etc. What may appear as traditions of men to some are simply means through which we are gathered together in Christ and nourished in His Word and Sacraments.
We are conditioned by society to consider that that which is handed over to the Apostles and to us are man's traditions. We blind ourselves to put trust in "innovations" that do not seek to uphold the things of God but which say instead "Hey, look at us!" Are not these attacks on the church and the liturgy and this turning of worship into something pleasing to us, really the ideas and traditions of men? Liturgical renewal is needed now more than ever.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Friday, August 22, 2014
Friday, June 06, 2014
The purity of God can be misplaced or absorbed into the cultural and political views of His people, on both the right and the left. Altar, font and pulpit are diminished in favor of public activity and, ironically, it somehow then seems unethical for the church to be involved in ministry.
Although there have been hints in "false divides" (as opposed to keeping the whole) suggested in theological discussions online in recent years, I confess that I am blindsided by this new purity. Something is indeed doing its work, narrowing down the chosen to but a few, dividing congregations and even Christian families, destroying pastors and scattering the sheep. Where is this "purity" coming from? This legalism apart from forgiveness, life and salvation? This departure from the Body and Blood of Christ?
In the liturgy we pray regularly for the whole church on earth and for the enemies of the church. Come Holy Spirit!