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    Feast of Dominic, Priest, Founder of the Order of Preachers, 1221 Continuing a short series of verse on Christ: If it be all for naught, for nothingness At last, why does God make the world so fair? Why spill this golden splendor out across The western hills, and light the silver lamp Of eve? Why give me eyes to see, and soul To love so strong and deep? Then, with a pang This brightness stabs me through, and wakes within Rebellious voice to cry against all death? Why set this hunger for eternity To gnaw my heartstrings through, if death ends all? If death ends all, then evil must be good, Wrong must be right, and beauty ugliness. God is a Judas who betrays His Son, And with a kiss, damns all the world to hell, -- If Christ rose not again. ... Unknown soldier, killed in World War I August 9, 2002 Feast of Mary Sumner, Founder of the Mothers' Union, 1921 Concluding a short series of verse on Christ: With this ambiguous earth his dealings have been told us. These abide: The signal to a maid, the human birth, The lesson, and the young Man crucified. But not a star of all the innumerable host of stars has heard How he administered this terrestrial ball. Our race has kept their Lord's entrusted Word. Of his earth-visiting feet none knows the secret, cherished, perilous, The terrible, shamefast, frightened, whispered, sweet, Heart-shattering secret of his way with us. No planet knows that this, our wayside planet, carrying land and wave, Love and life multiplied, and pain and bliss, Bears, as its chief treasure, one forsaken grave. Nor, in our little day, may his devices with the heavens be guessed, His pilgrimage to thread the Milky Way Or his bestowal there be manifest. But in the eternities, doubtless we shall compare Together, hear a million alien Gospels, in what guise He trod the Pleiades, the Lyre, and the Bear. O, be prepared, my soul! To read the inconceivable, to scan The million forms of God those stars unroll When, in our turn, we show to them a Man.

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If thou desirest to be safe, turn at once in thy emptiness to God. If thou hast been inconsistent, how read more

If thou desirest to be safe, turn at once in thy emptiness to God. If thou hast been inconsistent, how canst thou better become consistent again than in God only? How canst thou better escape death than by the true, real Life -- which is God Himself?

by Johannes Tauler Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of Bartholomew the Apostle It is often said with a sneer that the God of Israel was only read more

Feast of Bartholomew the Apostle It is often said with a sneer that the God of Israel was only a God of Battles, "a mere barbaric Lord of Hosts" pitted in rivalry against other gods only as their envious foe. Well it is for the world that He was indeed a God of Battles. Well it is for us that He was to all the rest only a rival and a foe. In the ordinary way, it would have been only too easy for them to have achieved the desolate disaster of conceiving Him as a friend. It would have been only too easy for them to have seen Him stretching out His hands in love and reconciliation, embracing Baal and kissing the painted face of Astarte... It would have been easy enough for His worshipers to follow the enlightened course of Syncretism and the pooling of all the pagan traditions. It is obvious indeed that His followers were always sliding down this easy slope; and it required the almost demoniac energy of certain inspired demagogues, who testified to the divine unity in words that are still like winds of inspiration and ruin, [to stop them]. The more we really understand of the ancient conditions that contributed to the final culture of the Faith, the more we shall have a real and even a realistic reverence for the greatness of the Prophets of Israel. As it was, while the whole world melted into this mass of confused mythology, this Deity who is called tribal and narrow, precisely because He was what is called tribal and narrow, preserved the primary religion of all mankind. He was tribal enough to be universal. He was as narrow as the universe.

by G. K. Chesterton Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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The test of life are to make, not break us. Trouble may demolish a man's business but build up his read more

The test of life are to make, not break us. Trouble may demolish a man's business but build up his character. The blow at the outward man may be the greatest blessing to the inner man. If God, then, puts or permits anything hard in our lives, be sure that the real peril, the real trouble, is that we shall lose if we flinch or rebel.

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Feast of the Venerable Bede, Priest, Monk of Jarrow, Historian, 735 Commemoration of Aldhelm, Abbot of Mamsbury, Bishop of Sherborne, read more

Feast of the Venerable Bede, Priest, Monk of Jarrow, Historian, 735 Commemoration of Aldhelm, Abbot of Mamsbury, Bishop of Sherborne, 709 When we inculcate that faith ought to be certain and secure, we conceive not of a certainty attended with no doubt, or of a security interrupted by no anxiety; but we rather affirm, that believers have a perpetual conflict with their own diffidence, and are far from placing their consciences in a placid calm never disturbed by any storms. Yet, on the other hand, we deny, however they may be afflicted, that they ever fall and depart from that certain confidence which they have conceived in the divine mercy.

by Charles Hodge Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Commemoration of Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1012 Nothing is too great and nothing is too small to commit read more

Commemoration of Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1012 Nothing is too great and nothing is too small to commit into the hands of the Lord.

by A. W. Pink Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Persons of mean understandings, not so inquisitive, nor so well
instructed, are made good Christians, and by reverence and read more

Persons of mean understandings, not so inquisitive, nor so well
instructed, are made good Christians, and by reverence and
obedience, implicity believe, and abide by their belief.

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Feast of All Saints Let men in whose hearts are the ways of God seriously consider the use that read more

Feast of All Saints Let men in whose hearts are the ways of God seriously consider the use that hath been made, under the blessing of God, of the conscientious observation of the Lord's day, in the past and present ages, unto the promotion of holiness, righteousness, and religion universally, in the power of it; and if they are not under invincible prejudices, it will be very difficult for them to judge that it is a plant which our heavenly Father hath not planted. For my part, I must not only say, but plead whilst I live in this world, and leave this testimony to the present and future ages, if these papers see the light and do survive, that if I have ever seen any thing in the ways and worship of God wherein the power of religion or godliness hath been expressed, any thing that hath represented the holiness of the gospel and the Author of it, any thing that hath looked like a preludium unto the everlasting Sabbath and rest with God, which we aim through grace to come unto, it hath been there and with them where and amongst whom the Lord's day hath been had in highest esteem, and a strict observation of it attended unto, as an ordinance of our Lord Jesus Christ.

by John Owen Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of the Naming & Circumcision of Jesus A LETTER FROM PAUL THE MISSIONARY TO THE SOCIETY OF CHRISTIANS IN read more

Feast of the Naming & Circumcision of Jesus A LETTER FROM PAUL THE MISSIONARY TO THE SOCIETY OF CHRISTIANS IN ROME The following abridged paraphrase of the Epistle to the Romans aims at presenting in a plain way the continuous sequence of the argument, while suggesting the free epistolary form of the original: My DEAR FELLOW-CHRISTIANS OF ROME, Wherever I go I hear of your faith, and I thank God for it. It is a part of my daily prayers that I may be permitted to visit you. I believe such a visit would do you good, and I am sure it would do me good. In fact, I have tried again and again to get to Rome, but hitherto something has always turned up to prevent me. I shall not feel that my work as missionary to the Gentiles is complete until I have preached in Rome. My mission is a universal one, knowing no bounds of race or culture--naturally, since my message is a universal one. It is a message of God's righteousness, revealed to men on a basis of faith. (Rom. 1:1-17) Apart from this, there is nothing to be seen in the world of today but the Nemesis of sin. Take the pagan world: all men have a knowledge of God by natural religion; but the pagan world has deliberately turned its back upon this knowledge, and, for all its boasted philosophy, has degraded religion into idolatry. The natural consequence is a moral perversity horrible to contemplate. (Rom. 1:18-32) But you, my Jewish friend, need not dwell with complacency upon the sins of the pagan world. You are guilty yourself. Do not mistake God's patience with His people for indulgence. His judgments are impartial. Knowledge or ignorance of the Law of Moses makes no difference here. The pagans have God's law written in their conscience. If they obey it, well; if not, they stand condemned. And as for you--you call yourself a Jew and pride yourself on the Law. But have you kept all its precepts? You are circumcised and so forth: that goes for nothing; God looks at the inner life of motive and affection. An honest pagan is better than a bad Jew in His sight. I do not mean to say there is no advantage in being a Jew: of this more presently ; but read your Bible and take to yourself the hard words of the prophets--spoken, remember, not to heathens, but to people who knew the Law, just as you do. No, Jew and pagan, we are in the same case. No one can stand right before God on the basis of what he has actually done. Law only serves to bring consciousness of guilt. (Rom. 2:1-3:20) But now, Law apart, we have a revelation of God's righteousness, as I was saying (Rom. 1:17). It comes by faith, the faith of Jesus Christ; and it comes to every one, Jew or Gentile, who has faith. We have all sinned, and all of us can be made to stand right with God. That is a free gift to us, due to His graciousness. We are emancipated in Christ Jesus, who is God's appointed means of dealing with sin--a means operating by the devotion of His life, and by faith on our part. It is thus that God, having passed over sins committed in the old days when He held His hand, demonstrates His righteousness in the world of to-day; i.e., it is thus that He both shows Himself righteous, and makes those stand right before Him who have faith in Jesus Christ. No room for boasting here! No distinction of Jew and Gentile here! (Rom. 3:21-31) But what about Abraham? you will say. Did not he win God's graciousness by what he did? Not at all. Read your Bible, and you will find that the promise was given to him before he was circumcised; and the Bible expressly says that "he had faith in God, and that counted for righteousness." The same principle applies to us all. (Rom. 4:1-25) To return to the point, then, we stand right with God on the ground of faith, and we are at peace with Him, come what may. God's love floods our whole being--a love shown in the fact that Christ died for us, not because we were good people for whom anyone might die, but actually while we were sinners. He died, not for His friends, but for His enemies. Very well then, if while we were enemies Christ died for us, surely He will save us now that we are friends! If He reconciled us to God by dying for us, surely He will save us by living for us, and in us. There is something to boast about! (Rom. 5:1-11) Christ died and lives for us all, I say. But, you ask, how can the life and death of one individual have consequences for so many? You believe that we all suffer for Adam's sin; and if so, why should we not all profit by Christ's righteousness? Of course there is really no comparison between the power of evil to propagate itself, and the power of good to win the victory, for that is a matter of God's graciousness. However, you see my point : one man sinned--a whole race suffers for it; one Man lived righteously--a whole race wins life by it. But what about Law? you say. Law only came in by the way, to intensify the consciousness of guilt. (Rom. 5:12-21) (Continued tomorrow).

by C. Harold Dodd Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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There were ten lepers healed, and only one turned back to give thanks, but it is to be noticed that read more

There were ten lepers healed, and only one turned back to give thanks, but it is to be noticed that our Lord did not recall His gift from the other nine because of their lack of gratitude. When we begin to lessen our acts of kindness and helpfulness because we think those who receive do not properly appreciate what is done for them, it is time to question our own motives.

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