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    Feast of Commemoration of Helena, Protector of the Faith, 330 The cross is laid on every Christian. It begins with the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with His death -- we give over our lives to death. Since this happens at the beginning of the Christian life, the cross can never be merely a tragic ending to an otherwise happy religious life. When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow Him, or it may be a death like Luther's, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time -- death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at His call. That is why the rich young man was so loath to follow Jesus, for the cost of his following was the death of his will. In fact, every command of Jesus is a call to die, with all our affections and lusts. But we do not want to die, and therefore Jesus Christ and His call are necessarily our death and our life.

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Feast of Agnes, Child Martyr at Rome, 304 That is where they meet, the Upper Room, scene of read more

Feast of Agnes, Child Martyr at Rome, 304 That is where they meet, the Upper Room, scene of the Last Supper, scene of the Resurrection appearances when the doors were shut, scene now of their waiting for the Spirit. Whose is it? The clue lies in Acts 12, where St. Peter, strangely freed from Herod's prison, knows at whose house they will be gathered for prayer. He knocks, startles the gate-girl Rhoda. It was "the house of Mary the mother of John whose surname was Mark" -- the young man who was to write the earliest of the gospels. The first meeting place of any Christian congregation was the home of a woman in Jerusalem. Something of the sort happens everywhere. The church in Caesarea centres upon Philip the Evangelist. "Now this man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy." ... Joppa church depends on Tabitha, "a woman full of good works and almsdeeds which she did". Follow St. Paul about the Mediterranean. He crosses to Europe because he dreams of a man from Macedonia who cries, "Come over and help us". But when he lands at Philippi it is not a man, but a woman. "Lydia was baptized and her household" -- his first convert in Europe, a woman. Everywhere women are the most notable of the converts, often the only ones who believe. In Thessalonica there are "of the chief women not a few"; Beroea, "Greek women of honourable estate"; Athens, only two names, one of them, Damaris, a woman. At Corinth Priscilla and Aquila come into the story, the pair always mentioned together, and four times out of the six with the wife's name first, a thing undreamed of in the first century. Why? Because she counted for more in church affairs -- hostess of the church in her houses in Corinth, Ephesus and Rome, chief instructress of Apollos the missionary, intimate of the greatest missionary of all, St. Paul. Six times in the Epistles greetings are sent to a house-church, and in five cases the church is linked with a woman's name.

by John Foster Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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So long as a man confines his ideas of Christ to a rather misty hero figure of long ago who read more

So long as a man confines his ideas of Christ to a rather misty hero figure of long ago who died a tragic death, and so long as his ideas of Christianity are bounded by what he calls the Sermon on the Mount (which he has almost certainly not read in its entirety since he became grown-up), then the living truth never has a chance to touch him. This is plainly what has happened to many otherwise intelligent people. Over the years I have had hundreds of conversations with people, many of them of higher intellectual calibre than my own, who quite obviously had no idea of what Christianity is really about. I was in no case trying to catch them out: I was simply and gently trying to find out what they knew about the New Testament. My conclusion was that they knew virtually nothing. This I find pathetic and somewhat horrifying. It means that the most important Event in human history is politely and quietly bypassed. For it is not as though the evidence had been examined and found unconvincing: it had simply never been examined.

by J. B. Phillips Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Commemoration of Anne & Joachim, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary God is none other than the Saviour of read more

Commemoration of Anne & Joachim, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary God is none other than the Saviour of our wretchedness. So we can only know God well by knowing our iniquities... Those who have known God without knowing their wretchedness have not glorified him, but have glorified themselves.

by Blaise Pascal Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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God, though present everywhere, has His special residence, as being a pure Spirit, in our minds -- "In Him we read more

God, though present everywhere, has His special residence, as being a pure Spirit, in our minds -- "In Him we live, and move, and have our being". He is somewhere in the recesses of our soul, in the springs of our existence, a light in that mysterious region of our nature where the wishes, feelings, thoughts, and emotions take their earliest rise. The mind is a sanctuary, in the center of which the Lord sits enthroned, the lamp of consciousness burning before Him.

by Adolph Saphir Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Continuing a short series on forgiveness: With this sweet hope of ultimate acceptance with God, I have always read more

Continuing a short series on forgiveness: With this sweet hope of ultimate acceptance with God, I have always enjoyed much cheerfulness before men; but I have at the same time laboured incessantly to cultivate the deepest humiliation before God. I have never thought that the circumstance of God's having forgiven me was any reason why I should forgive myself; on the contrary, I have always judged it better to loathe myself the more, in proportion as I was assured that God was pacified towards me (Ezekiel 16:63).

by Charles Simeon Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of Mary, Martha & Lazarus, Companions of Our Lord Ideological notions are strongest amongst people who have lost read more

Feast of Mary, Martha & Lazarus, Companions of Our Lord Ideological notions are strongest amongst people who have lost their traditional religious faith, and they provide a kind of pseudo-religion to take its place. Ideology may well be defined as religion-substitute. The fact that religious faith expresses itself in the particular ideological forms current in any given period is no reason why we should confuse religion with ideology; and, even though it requires a penetrating and candid investigation to distinguish between the genuinely religious and the merely ideological elements in the outlook of a particular period or individual, this does not mean that religion itself is an aspect of ideology. The core of religious belief is not ideological, whatever may be said of the soft pulp in which it is wrapped up.

by Alan Richardson Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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What is the relation of a secular, this-worldly unification of mankind to the biblical promise of the summing up of read more

What is the relation of a secular, this-worldly unification of mankind to the biblical promise of the summing up of all things in Christ? Is it a total contradiction of it? Is it some sort of a reflection of it? or perhaps a devil's parody of it? Or has it nothing to do with it at all? Perhaps there will be many Christians to whom it would not occur to pose the question whether the process of secularization has anything to do with the biblical understanding of the goal of history. The Bible, for them, belongs to a religious world which is not admitted to belong to the world of secular events -- the world in which we are when we read the daily newspaper. But this is to read the Bible wrongly. Whatever else it may be, the Bible is a secular book dealing with the sort of events which a news editor accepts for publication in a daily newspaper; it is concerned with secular events, wars, revolutions, enslavements and liberations, migrants and refugees, famines and epidemics and all the rest. It deals with events which happened and tells a story which can be checked. We miss this because we do not sufficiently treat the Bible as a whole. When we do this, we see at once that the Bible -- whatever be the variety of material which it contains: poetry, prayers, legislation, genealogy, and all the rest -- is in its main design a universal history. It is an interpretation of human history as a whole, beginning with the saga of creation and ending with a vision of the gathering together of all the nations and the consummation of God's purpose for mankind. The Bible is an outline of world history.

by Lesslie Newbigin Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Commemoration of Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, Teacher, 1901 The idea of "conviction" is complex. It involves the read more

Commemoration of Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, Teacher, 1901 The idea of "conviction" is complex. It involves the concepts of authoritative examination, of unquestionable proof, of decisive judgment, of punitive power. Whatever the final issue may be, he who "convicts" another places the truth of the case in dispute in a clear light before him, so that it must be seen and acknowledged as truth. He who then rejects the conclusion which the exposition involves, rejects it with his eyes open and at his peril. Truth seen as truth carries with it condemnation to all who refuse to welcome it.

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Commemoration of Mary Slessor, Missionary in West Africa, 1915 I compare the troubles which we have to undergo in read more

Commemoration of Mary Slessor, Missionary in West Africa, 1915 I compare the troubles which we have to undergo in the course of the year to a great bundle of fagots, far too large for us to lift. But God does not require us to carry the whole at once. He mercifully unties the bundle, and gives us first one stick, which we are to carry today, and then another, which we are to carry tomorrow, and so on. This we might easily manage, if we would only take the burden appointed for each day; but we choose to increase our troubles by carrying yesterday's stick over again today, and adding tomorrow's burden to the load, before we are required to bear it.

by John Newton Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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