Friday, February 27, 2009

a matter of the heart

This people draws near with words only and honors me with their lips alone; though their hearts are far from me (Isaiah 29:13).
So rend your hearts and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He relents from doing harm (Joel 2:13).
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart -- these, O God, You will not despise (Psalm 51:17).
Only He who endured the cross can heal the wounds of our hearts.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

words of promise in an evil time

(Book of Sirach) Has anyone perservered in his commandments and been forsaken? Has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed? Compassionate and merciful is the LORD; he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble and he is a protector to all who seek him in truth. (Psalm 37) Take delight in the LORD and he will grant you your heart's requests. The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted; their inheritance lasts forever. They are not put to shame in an evil time; in days of famine they have plenty.

Friday, February 20, 2009

preparing for Lent

Two things should be uppermost in our minds and hearts this Great Lenten Season which is about to begin: first, God’s love is given in abundance, so if we don’t feel it deeply, it is our own lack of receptivity and openness that causes this loss of understanding and feeling of love. Secondly, “the Kingdom of God is within” said the Lord. We must go deeper and deeper inwardly in prayer and heartfelt petition, in silence and in self-restraint, and in the spirit of generosity in order to touch and find this inward Kingdom where Christ is manifest. As we move through this Holy Season, let us open ourselves in our inner poverty, and ask persistently that Christ come to teach us the sacrifice of a contrite heart which He will not despise. O Lord of Life, teach us how to prepare for Thy sacrificial and life-giving Death, and Thy glorious and most bright day of Thy Holy Resurrection.
(Fr. Simeon, Abbot of St. Isaac of Syria –

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Precious Remedies

(Taken from Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices by Thomas Brooks, first published 1652.)
The second device that Satan hath to draw the soul from holy duties, and to keep them off from religious services, is, By presenting to them the danger, the losses, and the sufferings that do attend the performance of such and such religious services.
The first remedy against this device of Satan is to consider, That all the troubles and afflictions that you meet with in a way of righteousness shall never hurt you, they shall never harm you. 'And who is he that shall harm you, if you be followers of what is good?' saith the apostle, i.e. none shall harm you ( I Peter 3:13)....the treasures of a saint are the presence of God, the favour of God, union and communion with God, the pardon of sin, the joy of the Spirit, the peace of conscience, which are jewels that none can give but Christ, nor none can take away but Christ....why, a believer's treasure is always safe in the hands of Christ; his life is safe, his soul is safe, his grace is safe, his comfort is safe, and his crown is safe in the hand of Christ (2 Timothy 1:12).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Darwin, cont.

Several quotes from the same issues of ICR:
The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. -- Issac Newton
When I study the book of nature I find myself oftentimes reduced to exclaim with the Psalmist, How manifold are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom hast Thou made them all!
-- Robert Boyle, Father of Modern Chemistry
Yet even in earthly matters I believe that the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead. -- Michael Faraday, Father of Electromagnetism.
True men of science are humble men of God. "The beginning of pride is man's stubborness in withdrawing his heart from his Maker" (Sirach 18).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin

From the monthly publication of the Institute of Creation Research (
Life is Godless: Darwinism removed the whole idea of God as the creator of organisms from the sphere of rational discussion (Sir Julian Huxley).
Life is Purposeless: Life has no higher purpose than to perpepuate the survival of has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference (Rihard Dawkins).
Life is Meaninglss: There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death...There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans (William Provine).
Judge a tree by its fruit.

they're not listening, they never will (?)

For those who don't read Imprimis (and there's no reason why you shouldn't -- it'e FREE --, this quote from Henry Morgenthau, FDR's Treasury Secretary, should be read in every home that still loves liberty: We have tried spending money; we are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work...We have never made good on our promises...I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started...and an enormous debt to boot!
What was that definition of insanity again?!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

God's dealings

There is in God's dealings, both in nature and in grace, a clearness of plan which is truly part of our Christian view of God. We think of him as having definite thoughts, definite schemes for his actions. He is the supreme Master, and may, in the profundity of his own divine counsels, do this or that as he chooses. Not every man is expected to do all things. Paul is not to preach in Asia; however holy a work that might be, it is forbidden to him. You might say: were there no souls there waiting for the Gospel? That is not the concern of the individual. The concern of the individual is to know what the Holy Spirit asks of him, and, whether it be in a higher or a lower plane, to do that thing with all his might.
(Dom Anscar Vonier, O.S.B., +1906)

holy communion

I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord (Philippians 3:8). Where do we get to know Jesus as the supreme good anywhere better than in the Eucharist, the Holy Communion of the Christ's body and blood given and shed for us?! Where else can we come to know the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings any better? What good news if only we truly believed it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

church father of the day

Saint John Chrysostom beautifully observes:

“The Jews of the Old Testament wept for Jacob and for Moses for forty days. Today, however, during the funeral of the faithful, the Church raises hymns and prayers and psalms. We glorify and thank God, because “He crowned the departing,” because “He relieved the pains,” because “He expelled the fear,” and has the deceased believer near Him. This is why the hymns and psalms reveal that in the event of death there is pleasure and joy following the glorious Resurrection of the Savior Jesus Christ. For the psalms and hymns are symbols of joy, according to the Apostolic word: “Is any cheerful? Let him sing praises” (James 5:13). This is why we sing psalms over the dead—psalms which move us to have courage and not to despair over the death of our brother.” (St. John Chrysostom, On the Holy Martyrs Bernice and Prosdoke the Virgins and their Mother Domnina)

Monday, February 2, 2009

God's disposition toward mankind

"St. Isaac writes: “Accordingly the kingdom and Gehenna [hell] are matters belonging to mercy; they were conceived of in their essence by God as a result of His eternal goodness …. That we should further say or think that the matter is not full of love and mingled with compassion would be an opinion laden with blasphemy and an insult to our Lord God. By saying that He will even hand us over to burning for the sake of sufferings, torment and all sorts of ills, we are attributing to the Divine Nature an enmity towards the very rational beings which He created through grace; the same is true if we say He acts or thinks with spite and with a vengeful purpose, as though
He were avenging Himself.” With this in mind, St. Isaac’s reference of God being in hell, still trying to draw the demons and those there to love Him, is humanly fathomable. Based on his “mystical union with the love of God” (Alfeyev, 2000), St. Isaac would consider the final judgment as described in the Parable of the Last
Judgment (Matthew 25:31–4), that is, the separation of the sheep from the goats, to be the state of the soul at death. But it is a state not final or irreversible. Both demons and sinners would still have the possibility to respond, by God’s eternally
enduring merciful loving grace, so that “they will gaze towards God with the desire of insatiable love ….” This is not saying universal salvation will occur; it merely describes the disposition of God, Who is ever eternally loving, merciful and ready
to forgive." (Fr. George Morelli, WORD Magazine, February 2009)

more climate change!

Just in case you didn't read the news from merry old England today, here goes:

"The heaviest snowfall in 20 years has closed thousands of schools and caused transport chaos up the eastern side of Britain, with London and the surrounding areas the hardest hit.

Six million bus passengers were left in the lurch as all London's bus services were halted because of dangerous driving conditions, and every Tube line except the Victoria line was at least partially suspended.

Many mainline commuter rail services were also cancelled or seriously delayed, and flights at London's airports were decimated, with both of Heathrow's runways shut, Luton and London City closed, and Gatwick and Stansted flights subject to delays and short-notice cancellations."

My question: Who will tell Al Gore?