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    Commemoration of John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631 Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; For those, whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me. From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, Much pleasure, then from thee much more, must flow, And soonest our best men with thee do go, Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery. Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell, And poppy, or charms, can make us sleep as well, And better than thy stroke. Why swell'st thou then? One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die.

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Feast of Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops, Teachers, 379 & 389 Commemoration of Seraphim, Monk of Sarov, Mystic, read more

Feast of Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops, Teachers, 379 & 389 Commemoration of Seraphim, Monk of Sarov, Mystic, Staretz, 1833 A LETTER FROM PAUL THE MISSIONARY TO THE SOCIETY OF CHRISTIANS IN ROME (This abridged paraphrase of the Epistle to the Romans is continued from yesterday) Now I come to a difficulty. I have heard people say, "If human sin gives play to God's graciousness, let us go on sinning to give Him a better chance. Why not do evil that good may come?" (Rom. 3:8) What nonsense! To be saved through Christ is to be a dead man so far as sin is concerned. Think of the symbolism of Baptism. You go down into the water: that is like being buried with Christ. You come up out of the water: that is like rising with Christ from the tomb. It means, therefore, a new life, a life which comes by union with the living Christ. You will admit that, once a man is dead, there is no more claim against him for any wrong he may have committed. He is like a slave set free from all claims on the part of his late master. Think, then, of yourselves as dead. When you remember the death of Christ, think that you--i.e., your old bad selves--were crucified with Him. And when you remember His resurrection, think of yourselves as living with Him, a new life. And above all, bear in mind that Christ, once risen, does not die again: and so you, living the new life in Him, need not die again. I mean, the sin that once dominated you need not any longer control you; do not let it! You are freed slaves; do not sell yourselves into slavery again. Or, if you like to put it so, you are now slaves, not of Sin, but of Righteousness (a very crude way of putting it, but I want to help you out). Just as once you were the property of Sin, and all your faculties were instruments of wrong, so now you are the property of Righteousness, and every faculty you have must be an instrument of right. Freed from sin, you are slaves of God; that is what I mean. The wages your old master paid was death. Your new Master makes you a present of life. (Rom. 6:1-23) Or take another illustration. You know that by law a woman is bound to her husband while he lives; when he is dead she is free; she can marry again if she likes and the law has no claim against her. So you may think of yourselves as having been married to Sin, or to Law. Death has now released you from that marriage bond, though here the illustration halts, for it is Christ's death that has freed you! Well, anyhow, you are free--free, shall I say, to marry Christ. You had a numerous progeny of evil deeds by your first marriage; you must now produce an offspring of good deeds to Christ. I mean, of course, you must serve God in Christ's spirit. (Rom. 7:1-6) Now I admit that all this sounds as though I identified law with sin. That is not my meaning. But surely it is clear that the function of law is to bring consciousness of sin; e.g., I should never have known what covetousness was but that the law said, "Thou shalt not covet." Such is the perversity of human nature under the dominion of sin that the very prohibition provokes me to covet. There was a time when I knew nothing of Law, and lived my own life. Then Law came, sin awakened in me, and life became death for me. Of course, Law is good, but Sin took advantage of it, to my cost. I am only flesh and blood, and flesh and blood is prone to sin. I can see what is good, and desire it, but I cannot practice it; i.e., my reason recognizes the law, and yet I break it through moral perversity. If you like to put it so, there is one law for my reason, the Law of God, and another for my outward conduct, the law of sin and death. It is like a living man chained to a dead body. It is perfect misery. But, thank God, the chain is broken! The law of the Spirit of Life which is in Christ has set me free from the law of sin and death. Christ entered into this human nature of flesh and blood which is under the dominion of Sin. Sin put in its claim to be His master; but Christ won His case; Sin was non-suited, its claim disallowed, and human nature was free. The result is that all the Law stood for of righteousness, holiness, and goodness is fulfilled in those who live by Christ's Spirit. There are two possible forms of human life: there is the life of the lower nature of flesh and blood, of which I have spoken; and there is the life of the spirit. We have Christ's Spirit, and so we can live the life of the spirit. And in the end that Spirit will give new life to the whole human organism. (Rom. 7:7-8:11) You see, then, that the flesh-and-blood nature has no claim upon us. We belong to the Spirit. Those who are actuated by that Spirit are sons of God. I used a while back the expression, "slaves of God "; but really we are not slaves but sons---sons and heirs of God, like Christ; and when we come into our inheritance, how glorious it will be! (Rom. 8:12-18) This, however, is still in the future. At the present time the whole universe is in misery, and in its misery it waits for the revelation of God's sons. Now all existence seems futile in its transience; and even we still share creation's pangs. But we have hope; and the ground of that hope is the possession of God's Spirit--in a first installment only, but enough to reckon upon. The fact is that every prayer we utter--yes, even an inarticulate prayer--is the utterance of the Spirit within us. We know that all through God is working with us. His purpose is behind the whole process, and He is on our side. If He gave His Son, we can trust Him to give us everything else. He loves us, and nothing in the world or out of it can separate us from His love. (Rom. 8:18-39) (Continued tomorrow).

by C. Harold Dodd Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of Timothy and Titus, Companions of Paul Commemoration of Dorothy Kerin, Founder of the Burrswood Healing Community, 1963 read more

Feast of Timothy and Titus, Companions of Paul Commemoration of Dorothy Kerin, Founder of the Burrswood Healing Community, 1963 Social enthusiasms have such power today, they raise people so effectively to the supreme degree of heroism in suffering and death, that I think it is as well that a few sheep should remain outside the fold in order to bear witness that the love of Christ is essentially something different.

by Simone Weil Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Continuing a short series on education: What are the gifts of biblical faith to the secular university? Education read more

Continuing a short series on education: What are the gifts of biblical faith to the secular university? Education can receive from the Bible a faith concerning man far more realistic than the naive faith by which education has tried to live. Not man as "pure reason": his reason is not pure. Not man as incipient angel: he can turn any structure... to good or to demonic purpose. Not man with his steps on the highroad called evolution: he is relatively free and, therefore, can and does wreck any evolution unless some Grace constantly renews his onward journey. Not man who by his science is sure to fashion a "brave new world"; by science he can destroy the world. Not man as centrally and characteristically a reasonable creature who needs only that his mind shall be educated to build a reasonable world. Not man regarded in any naive faith, but man as potentially divine and potentially unworthy, who stands always in need of help from beyond the confines of the natural order. If education confronts this faith, education will know that the mind's adventure also, like all things human, stands in need of redemption; and it can then proceed with lowliness, and thus with the power and light which are the reward of the lowly.

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Feast of Stephen, Deacon, First Martyr The Mother sits by the rough-hewn byre where her Baby smiles, and the secret read more

Feast of Stephen, Deacon, First Martyr The Mother sits by the rough-hewn byre where her Baby smiles, and the secret fire shines on her face. Her hand rests by an iron spike from the wood thrust high ("The nails in His hands!" ) An open chink in the rude, cold shed lets in the sky, and the Star that led shepherds and kings pours down its light: a silver shaft through the frosty night ("The spear in His side!") Her hands reach out, as to push away the cross-crowned hill and the bloody day; they touch a rough, unyielding wall: the stable side, of stone piled tall ("The stone -- rolled away!").

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Feast of Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely, c.678 Continuing a short series on authenticity: For the preacher's merit or demerit, It read more

Feast of Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely, c.678 Continuing a short series on authenticity: For the preacher's merit or demerit, It were to be wished the flaws were fewer In the earthen vessel, holding treasure, Which lies as safe in a golden ewer; But the main thing is, does it hold good measure? Heaven soon sets right all other matters.

by Robert Browning Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of William Law, Priest, Mystic, 1761 Commemoration of William of Ockham, Franciscan Friar, Philosopher, Teacher, 1347 Commemoration of read more

Feast of William Law, Priest, Mystic, 1761 Commemoration of William of Ockham, Franciscan Friar, Philosopher, Teacher, 1347 Commemoration of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Priest, Scientist, Visionary, 1955 No creature can be a child of God but because the goodness of God is in it; nor can it have any union or communion with the goodness of the Deity till its life is the Spirit of Love. This is the one only band of union betwixt God and the creature... Here the necessity is absolute; nothing will do instead of this will; all contrivances of holiness, all forms of religious piety, signify nothing without this will to all goodness. For as the will to all goodness is the whole nature of God, so it must be the whole nature of every service of religion that can be acceptable to him.

by William Law Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of François de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Teacher, 1622 Our business is to love what God would have read more

Feast of François de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Teacher, 1622 Our business is to love what God would have us do. He wills our vocation as it is: let us love that, and not trifle away our time in hankering after other people's vocation.

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Pride has a greater share than goodness of heart in the remonstrances we make to those who are guilty of read more

Pride has a greater share than goodness of heart in the remonstrances we make to those who are guilty of faults; we reprove, not so much with a view to correcting them, as to persuade them that we are exempt from those faults ourselves.

by Jeremy Taylor Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Commemoration of Frederick Denison Maurice, Priest, teacher, 1872 It is better, safer, truer language to speak of individual depravity read more

Commemoration of Frederick Denison Maurice, Priest, teacher, 1872 It is better, safer, truer language to speak of individual depravity than of universal depravity. By individual depravity, I mean my own. I find it out in myself; or, rather, He who searcheth me and trieth my ways, finds it out in me. That sense of depravity implies the recognition of a law from which I have broken loose, of a Divine image which my character has not resembled. It is the law and the order which are universal. It is this character of Christ which is the true human character. It is easy enough to own to a general depravity; under cover of it, you and I would escape.

by F. D. Maurice Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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