Friday, December 30, 2011

A Personal Relationship

From A.W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God:
"The modern scientist has lost God amid the wonders of His world; we Christians are in real danger of losing God amid the wonders of His Word. We have almost forgotten that God is a Person and, as such, can be cultivated as any person can. It is inherent in personality to be able to know other personalities, but full knowledge ofone personality by another cannot be achieved in one encounter. It is only after long and loving mental relationship that the full possibilities of both can be explored."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Living Out Christian Unity

This can apply not just to East and West, but to any division in the church: High Church and Low, Liturgical and Free, Evangelical and Charismatic, etc ...

"If I can unite in myself, in my own spiritual life, the thought of the East and the West, the Greek and the Latin Fathers, the Russians with the Spanish mystics, I will create in myself a reunion of the divided Church. From that secret and unspoken unity in myself can eventually come the exterior and visible unity of all Christians."
-- Thomas Merton

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Old and New in One

From a devotion by James H. Kurt:
"Jesus will be born of a woman from whom it seems no child could come -- a consecrated virgin -- and this of the Holy Spirit, who is with Him and even before time. He is a new testament, however, signified by His birth of a woman of youth and not old age. Though hailed by the old, he brings the newness of God into our midst. His birth fulfills all the births and words and wisdom of the prophets and judges and kings of the Old Testament."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bearing the Cross

from St. Thomas a Kempis:

"If thou willingly bear the Cross, it will bear thee, and will bring thee to the end which thou seekest, even where there shall be the end of suffering; though it shall not be here. If thou bear it unwillingly, thou makest a burden for thyself and greatly increaseth thy load, and yet thou must bear it. If thou cast away one cross, without doubt thou shalt find another and perchance a heavier."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Athanasius on Resurrection

"Before the Savior came, death was terrible to the saints. Everyone wept for the dead as though they perished. But now that the Savior has risen, death isn't terrible anymore. For everyone who believes in Christ tramples over death. They would rather die than deny their faith in Christ. For they know that when they die they aren't destroyed, but actually begin to live."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Augustine on Charity

"That bread which you keep belongs to the hungry; that coat which you preserve in your wardrobe, to the naked; those shoes which are rotting in your possession, to the shoeless; that gold which you have hidden in the ground, to the needy. Wherefore, as often as you are able to help others, and refuse, so often did you do them wrong."

Friday, October 28, 2011

Einstein on Charity

Albert Einstein: "More and more I come to value charity an dlove of one's fellow being above everything else ... All our lauded technological progess -- our very civilization -- is like the axe in the hannd of the pathological criminal."

Thursday, October 13, 2011


From John Calvin:

"Now this word, which Christ employs, well deserves our attention; for it shows that the whole accomplishment of our salvation, and all the parts of it, are contained in his death ... the meaining therefore is that everything which contributes to the salvation of men is to be found in Christ and ought not to be sought out anywhere else."

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Cross

From Saint Theodore the Studite:

How precious the gift of the Cross. How splendid to contemplate. In the Cross, there is no mingling of good and evil as in the tree of paradise. It is wholly beautiful to behold and good to taste. The fruit of this tree is not death but life, not darkness but light. This tree does not cast us out of paradise, but opens the way for our return.

This was the tree on which Christ, like a king on a chariot, destroyed the devil the lord of death and freed the human race from his tyranny. This was the tree upon which the Lord like a brave warrior wounded in hands, feet and side, healed the wounds of sin that the evil serpent had inflicted on our nature.

A tree once caused our death, but now a tree brings life.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Problem With Protestants

... of which I am one ...
"The diversity of belief within even so small a segment of Christianity ... illustrates one of the frustrating aspects of Protestantism in general. No one agrees with anyone else, becasue there is no final authority. This has led to the formation of literally hundreds of denominations, with more being added continually."

-- David B. Currie

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Religious Man

From Thomas A Kempis
"A religious man who exercises himself seriously and devoutly in the most holy life and passion of our Lord shall find there abundantly all things that are profitable and necessary for him, neither is there need that he shall seek anything better beyond Jesus. Oh! If Jesus crucified would come into our hearts, how quickly and completely should be have learned all that we need to know!"

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A third way

From Simon Ponsonby:

"It strikes me that the charismatic and Pentecostal tradition has the right experience but a flawed doctrine, while the conservative evangelicals have the right doctrine but often a flawed doctrine. All Christians, by faith in the finished work of Christ, have drunk of that living water and have ben baptized in the Spirit, into Christ ... The Pentecostals and charismatics may have expressed what they have experienced wrongly, but at least they have experienced it. Many evangelical Christians know biblically that they have been na[tized in the Spirit, but do not know it existentially."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Augustine on our suffering

I love it when church fathers show such wisdom. Reading this, it is humbling to know that 1600+ years ago, St. Augustine was preaching a sermon that could just as well be preached today.
"Our Holy Scriptures themselves do not promise us peace, security, and rest. On the contrary, the Gospel makes no secret of the troubles and temptations that await us. But it also says that he who perseveres to the end will be saved. What good has there ever been in this life since the time when the first man received the just sentence of death and the curse from which Christ our Lord has delivered us? Is there any affliction now endured by mankind that was not endured by our fathers before us? What sufferings of ours even bear comparison with what we know of their sufferings? And yet you hear people complaining of this present age because things were so much better in former times."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tozer's teachings on the Cross

"The cross is rough, and it is deadly, but it is effective. It does not keep its victim hanging there forever. There comes a moment when its work is finished and the suffering victim dies.

After that is resurrection glory and power, and the pain is forgotten for joy that the veil is taken away and we have entered in actual spiritual experience the Presence of the living God."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Absurdity of the Passion

From Tertullian:

"The Son of God was crucified. I am not ashamed because mankind must be ashamed of it. And the Son of God died. It is, by all means, to be believed because it is absurd. And He was buried and rose again. The fact is certain, because it is impossible. But how will all this be true if He wasn't true Himself, if He hadn't had within Himself that which might be crucified, might die, might be buried, and might rise again?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jesus vs. Pharisees

From Simon Ponsonby:

The Pharisees' holiness made much of rule -- Jesus' holiness made much of God.

The Pharisees' holiness made much of themselves -- Jesus' holiness made much of others.

The Pharisees' holiness kept company with the scrupulously clean -- Jesus' holiness kept company with the notoriously wicked.

The Pharisees' holiness viewed God primarily as a lawgiver -- Jesus' holiness depicted God primarily as a love giver.

The Pharisees' holiness led them to be murderers -- Jesus' holiness led him to martyrdom.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pascal's fire

This is the revelation of God's Spirit to Pascal, that was discovered after his death, sewn into his doublet, next to his heart:
God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob.

Not of the philosophers and scientists
Certitude, certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace.
My God and your God.

You shall be my God.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Becoming Holy

From Simon Ponsonby:

"Sanctification is an internal work evidenced externally through personal Christlike character and good works to the benefit of others. It becomes a holy habit through the habitation of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is a journey, as we know in practice what we are called to be when we first believe. Entire sanctification, though only realized at the end of like or the end of history, must be the passionate aim and tenacious work of every believer."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

from Origen

"Jesus, however, is continually attacked by false witnesses and, while wickedness remains in the world, is continually exposed to accusation. Yet, even now, He remains silent in the presence of these things and makes no audible answer. Instead, He places His defense in the lives of His genuine disciples. They are an outstanding testimony, one superior to all false witnesses, that refutes and overthrows all unfounded accusations and charges."

Friday, June 10, 2011

The spiritual man and the natural man

From Simon Ponsonby:

* The spiritual man has his minds on things that God desires.
* The natural man has his mind on things the flesh craves.

* The spiritual man has a mind that brings life and peace.
* The natural man has a mind that brings death.

* The spiritual man has a mind that lives to please God and submit to his law.
* The natural man has a mind hostile to God tha rejects God's law.

* The spiritual man's mind is filled with the things of the Spirit.
* The natural man's mind is filled with the things of this world.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Way Truth Life

From St. Hilary of Poitiers:


"He who is the Way doesn't sidetrack us or lead us into spacious wastelands. He who is the Truth doesn't mock us with lies. He who is the Life doesn't betray us with deathly delusions. Christ chose these names for Himself to indicate His methods for our salvation. As the Way, He will guide us to the Truth. And the Truth will root us in in the Life. Therefore, it is vital that we know the mysterious way (which He reveals) of attaining this life."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tertullian on Prayer

"Prayer is the wall of faith. It arms us and hurls missiles against the enemy who watches us on all sides. So we never walk unarmed. By day, we are aware of our post -- by night, of our vigil. Under the armor of prayer, we guard the banner of our General."

Sunday, May 15, 2011


From Simon Ponsonby's The Pursuit of the Holy:

"Christ is sinless, and as we allow ourselves to be led bythe Spirit, something of that sinless nature rubs off on us. As we devote ourselves to Jesus, constantly looking to him, meditating on his sublime words, his sinless life, his grace-filled acts, his agonizing substitutionary death, his victorious resurrection, his glorious ascension, his majestic reign, his anticipated glory, his unassailable power, his matchless beauty, his breathtaking wisom -- oh, as we look face-to-face with Jesus, so we are transformed, perfected, like a caterpillar changed into a butterfly. But we must make time to meditate on Christ and allow the Spirit to mold us into his likeness."

Friday, May 06, 2011


From The Sign of the Cross, by Andreas Andreopolous:

"The repercussions of the fall of our forebears were so grim not because humans introduced sin to the world but because of the special position God gave humanity. According to the tradition of the church, the human being stands in the middle of all creation, participating in the spiritual as well as in the material world. The place of humanity is therefore above that of angels, who are normally limited to the invisible world. The cosmic dimensions of humanity exceed anything we might imagine. In perfected creation, humans would stand in the center, transmitting the will and the love of God to every corner of the world."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Changed for the Better

From Gregory of Nyssa:

"The Divine Word doesn't want us to be slaves of anything; our nature has been changed for the better. He has taken everyuthing that was ours with the agreement that He will give what is His to us in return. Justr as He took diseasse, death, condemnation, and sin, He also took our bondage.

There won't be disease, condemnation, sin, or death in the life that we hope for. Anbd bondage will also vanish. The Truth Himself testifies to this. Let all now, as never before, look up at the truth and see that He who owns allt he Father's things is Lord of all and isn't a servant."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jesus' sepulchre

From Pascal's Pensees #560:

"Jesus was dead but seen on the cross. He was dead and hidden in the sepulchre.
Jesus was buried only by saints.
Jesus peformed nio miracles in the sepulchre.
Only saints went into it.
It was there that Jesus took on a new life, not on the cross.
This is the supreme mystery of the Passion and Redemption.
Jesus teaches alive, dead, buried, risen again.
Jesus had nowhere on earth to rest except in the sepulchre.
His enemies only ceased tormenting him in the sepulchre.

Saturday, April 02, 2011


From Thomas a Kempis:

"Give, therefore, place to Christ and refuse entrance to all others. When thou hast Christ, thou art rich, and hast sufficient. He shall be thy provider and faithful watchman in all things, so that thou hast no need to trust in men, for men soon change and swiftly pass away, but Christ remaineth for ever standeth by us firmly even to the end."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Earthly & Divine Wisdom

from Clement of Alexandria:

"The Savior teaches nothing in a merely human way, but teaches His own with Divine wisdom. Therefore, we must not listen to His words with worldly ears. We must search out and lern the meaning hidden in them. For what the Lord seems to have simplified for the disciples requires even more attention than puzzling statements because of its overabundance of wisdom. In addition, the things He explained to His children require even more consideration than the things which seem to have been simply stated."

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Sin & Forgiveness

From St. Augustine:

"For if He who neither has, nor had, nor will have any sin, prays for our sins, how much more ought we to pray for one another's in return! And if He forgives us, whom we have nothing to forgive, how much more ought we, who are unable to live here without sin, to forgive one another!"

Friday, February 18, 2011

From the (late) Internet Monk

"Gospel honesty. That's what Jesus gives us. The Good News that we aren't good enough to be Christians. The truth is that we are so messed up that we have no other choice but to be Christians." -- Michael Spencer, Mere Churchianity

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pascal on Adam & Jesus

Pensees # 590:

"Six days to create one, six ages to create the other. The six days which Moses represents for the creation of Adam are only an image of the six ages for creating Christ and the Church. If Adam had not sinned and Christ had not come, there would have been only one covenant and one age of man, and creation would have been represented as accomplished at a single moment."

Saturday, February 05, 2011

From the (late) Internet Monk

"Religion is our negotiation with God to try to get his help in exchange for our good behavior. We promise to do what we're told, and we expect God to reward us. This is a straightforward business arrangement, and we fully expect it to work. Meanwhile, we talk about being God's child as if we're family. But in our performance-for-reward arrangement, things don't operate on grace. Under the rules of religion, God is kept at arms length and expected to be involved only to the degree that he gives us what we think we deserve." -- Michael Spencer, Mere Churchianity

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Invitation to Contemplation

"Let us take Jesus at his word and we will be contemplatives at the heart of the world, because if we have faith then we are his permanent presence. In contemplation the soul draws directly from God's heart the graces that the active life has been entrusted to distribute. Our very existence is to be intimately bound to the living Christ within us. If we do not live in God's presence, we cannot keep going ... Our lives and our contemplation are one. It's not a question of doing but of being. In fact it is about the complete happiness of our spirit through the Holy Spirit who breathes God's fullness into us and send us into all creation as his own, personal message of love." -- Mother Teresa

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

disguise, falsehood & hypocrisy

The conclusion of Pascal's Pensees #978:

"Man is therefore nothing by disguise, falsehood, & hypocrisy, both in himself and with regard to others. He does not want to be told the truth. He avoids telling it to others, and all those tendencies, so remote from justice and reason, are naturally rooted in his heart."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Faith & Reason

From Pascal's Pensees #589:

"Faith is a gift of God. Do not imagine that we describe it as a gift of reason. Other religions do not say that about their faith. They offered nothing but reason as a way to faith, and yet it does not lead there."