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    Commemoration of Martyrs of Papua New Guinea, 1942 I know there are many who have pitied my beginnings, thinking it tragic that I had to endure such traumas both as a child and throughout my life, but I confess that I have rather pitied those who have never tasted the bitterness of a trial "too severe." For how is one to appreciate the contrast of light's dawning hope if his soul has never trembled through the dark hours of a nightmare's watch? Or how can one prove God's faithfulness if he never is granted the privilege of wandering through a barren desert, where only pools of Christ's Presence can possibly provide survival? It is a great honor to be apportioned pain. Christ Himself, though God incarnate, learned obedience through what He suffered. Dare we assume that we as His children can be taught by any wiser or kinder instructor than the severity of unwanted pain? We dare not steel ourselves against our trials, running away from the fires where our pruned branches crumble to ashes. For if we escape those flames, we will risk barrenness of soul and will miss out on the beauty that only is born through the ashes of yesterday's grief.

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Feast of Justin, Martyr at Rome, c.165 Commemoration of Angela de'Merici, Founder of the Institute of St. Ursula, 1540 read more

Feast of Justin, Martyr at Rome, c.165 Commemoration of Angela de'Merici, Founder of the Institute of St. Ursula, 1540 The attitude of Jesus to the Jewish law was singularly free and unembarrassed. He made full use of it as an impressive statement of high ethical ideals; even its ritual practices He treated with perfect tolerance where they did not conflict with fundamental moral obligations. From Pharisaic formalism He appealed to the relative simplicity of the venerable written Law. But again from the written Law itself He appealed to the basic rights and duties of humanity: the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath; the Law might permit the dissolution of marriage, but there was something more deeply rooted in the nature of things which forbade it; the [law of retaliation], the central principle of legal justice, must go overboard in the interest of the holy impulse to love your neighbor, not merely as yourself, but as God has loved you. Such freehanded dealing meant that the whole notion of morality as a code of rules, with sanctions of rewards and punishments, was abandoned. But the average Christian was slow to see this implication. For instance, Jesus had taken fasting out of the class of meritorious acts, and given it a place only as the fitting and spontaneous expression of certain spiritual states. This is what an early authoritative catechism of the Church made of His teaching: "Let not your fast be made with the hypocrites, for they fast on Monday and Thursday; ye therefore shall fast on Wednesday and Friday." It sounds ludicrous, but we may ask, Was it not on some very similar principle that the Church did actually carry through its reconstruction of "religious observance"? And a Church which so perverted Christ's treatment of the ritual law proved itself almost equally incapable of understanding His drastic revision of the moral law.

by C. Harold Dodd Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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  9  /  9  

Feast of Peter & Paul, Apostles The unbelieving mind would not be convinced by any proof, and the worshiping read more

Feast of Peter & Paul, Apostles The unbelieving mind would not be convinced by any proof, and the worshiping heart needs none.

by A.w. Tozer Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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  12  /  19  

Commemoration of Caroline Chisholm, Social Reformer, 1877 The truth of Christ's supremacy over all the powers in the universe read more

Commemoration of Caroline Chisholm, Social Reformer, 1877 The truth of Christ's supremacy over all the powers in the universe is one which modern man sorely needs to learn. He is oppressed by a sense of impotence in the grasp of merciless forces which he can neither overcome nor escape. These forces may be Frankenstein monsters of man's own creation, or they may be horrors outside his conscious control; either way, he is intimidated by the vastness of those fateful currents which threaten to sweep him on to destruction, whether he will or no. And to modern man in his frustration and despair, the full-orbed gospel of Christ, as Paul presents it to the Colossians, is the one message of hope. Christ crucified and risen is Lord of all; all the forces in the universe, well-disposed and ill-disposed, are subject to Him. To be united to Christ by faith is to throw off the thraldom of hostile powers, to enjoy perfect freedom, to gain the mastery over the dominion of evil -- because Christ's victory is ours.

by F. F. Bruce Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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We find not in the Gospel, that Christ hath anywhere provided for the uniformity of churches, but only for their read more

We find not in the Gospel, that Christ hath anywhere provided for the uniformity of churches, but only for their unity.

by Roger Williams Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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  7  /  11  

Continuing a short series on forgiveness: "The law of Jehovah is perfect, restoring the soul" (Psa 19:7). Most read more

Continuing a short series on forgiveness: "The law of Jehovah is perfect, restoring the soul" (Psa 19:7). Most laws condemn the soul and pronounce sentence. The result of the law of my God is perfect. It condemns but forgives. It restores - more than abundantly - what it takes away.

by Jim Elliot Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Temptations and occasions put nothing into a man, but only draw out what was in him before.

Temptations and occasions put nothing into a man, but only draw out what was in him before.

by John Owen Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of Hugh, Carthusian Monk, Bishop of Lincoln, 1200 We are not only to renounce evil, but to read more

Feast of Hugh, Carthusian Monk, Bishop of Lincoln, 1200 We are not only to renounce evil, but to manifest the truth. We tell people the world is vain; let our lives manifest that it is so. We tell them that our home is above and that all these things are transitory. Does our dwelling look like it? O to live consistent lives!

by J. Hudson Taylor Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Order of Minoresses (Poor Clares), 1253 Commemoration of John Henry Newman, Priest, read more

Feast of Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Order of Minoresses (Poor Clares), 1253 Commemoration of John Henry Newman, Priest, Teacher, Tractarian, 1890 May I be patient! It is so difficult to make real what one believes, and to make these trials, as they are intended, real blessings.

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Continuing a series on the church: By God's grace we live in a time of rediscovery of the Church read more

Continuing a series on the church: By God's grace we live in a time of rediscovery of the Church and of the wholeness of the Church. We see more clearly than often has been the case that ecclesiology and christology are one. The ekklesia, the community of believers, has as its first and foremost qualification that it is that community which, as community, belongs to Christ and is in Christ, and as such is the sphere of God's salvation, redemption, and reconciliation, and of Christ's rulership. This is the archetypal reality of the Church. To see and seize this essential point is a great blessing. This blessing, however, could as well become a curse, if it remained a theme of theological meditation and self-contemplation. This new knowledge is not real knowledge if it is not accompanied by a horror about the alienation of the empirical Church from its own fundamental reality and by a deep longing for a tangible manifestation of the Church's true nature. This horror and this longing are the deeper motives which are operating in many of the events and passionate discussions around the place and responsibility of the laity as an organic part of the Church.

by Hendrik Kraemer Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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