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Listening to Tradition, Sunday, January 25, 2009


Now in dealing with these matters it is necessary first to recall what has already been said. You must understand why it is that the Word of the Father, so great and so high, has been made manifest in bodily form. He has not assumed a body as proper to His own nature, far from it, for as the Word He is without body. He has been manifested in a human body for this reason only, out of the love and goodness of His Father, for the salvation of us men. We will begin, then, with the creation of the world and with God its Maker, for the first fact that you must grasp is this: the renewal of creation has been wrought by the Self-same Word Who made it in the beginning. There is thus no inconsistency between creation and salvation for the One Father has employed the same Agent for both works, effecting the salvation of the world through the same Word Who made it in the beginning.

ST. Athanasius, On the Incarnation

Listening To Tradition, Tuesday, January 20, 2009



It was only infinite goodness that moved Almighty God to create the world of nothing, and particularly in this inferior visible world, to create man after His own image and similitude, consisting of a frail earthly body, which is the prison of an immortal, intellectual spirit, to the end that by his understanding, which is capable of an unlimited knowledge, and by his will, which cannot be replenished with any object of goodness less than infinite, he might so govern and order himself, and all other visible creatures, as thereby to arrive unto the end for which he was made, to wit, eternal beatitude both in soul and body in heaven, the which consists in a returning to the divine principle from whom he flowed, and an inconceivably happy union with Him, both in mind, contemplating eternally His infinite perfections, and in will and affections eternally loving, admiring, and enjoying the said perfections.


Venerable Augustine Baker, OSB

Listening to Tradition, Sunday, January 18, 2009


Our creation to the Image and Likeness of God. Awake, my soul, awake; bestir thy energies, arouse thy apprehension; banish the sluggishness of thy deadly sloth, and take to thee solicitude for thy salvation. Be the rambling of unprofitable fancies put to flight; let indolence retire, and diligence be retained. Apply thyself to sacred studies, and fix thy thoughts on the blessings that are of God. Leave temporal things be hind, and make for the eternal.

What, then, in so divine an occupation of the mind, canst thou conceive more useful or more salutary than to recall in delighted musing thy Creator's boundless benefits to thee? Consider what grandeur and what dignity He bestowed on thee in the very beginning of thy creation, and ponder well what loving and what adoring worship thou shouldest therefore pay Him.


St. Anselm, Prayers and Meditations

Listening to Tradition, Thursday, December 18, 2008


"Beloved, how should we regard the loving-kindness of our Savior? We should cry out and praise His goodness with power and with trumpets! Not only should we appear like Him, but should follow Christ's example for heavenly conversation. We should carry on what He began. In suffering, we shouldn't threaten. When we are verbally abused, we shouldn't berate in return. Instead, we should bless those that curse us and commit ourselves to God in everything. For He judges righteously. Those who do this adapt themselves to the Gospel. They will have a part with Christ, and, as imitators of apostolic conversation, He considers them worthy of praise. They will receive the praise Paul gave the Corinthians when he said, 'I praise you that in everything you are mindful of me.'"


Listening to Tradition, Sunday, December 14, 2008


"If we confess Christ, we will become like Peter. We will be considered blessed as he was. Flesh and blood haven't revealed to us that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the Living God, but the Father in heaven has, so that we can become citizens of heaven. This revelation carries to heaven those who unveil their hearts and receive "the spirit of the wisdom and revelation" of God. And if we say like Peter, 'Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God,' not because flesh and blood revealed it to us, but because our heavenly Father's light has shone in our hearts, we become a rock, or a Peter . . .Christ is the spiritual Rock from whom His people drank and every disciple of Christ is a rock. Every word of the church and its government is built upon every such rock."


Listening to Tradition, Tuesday, December 2, 2008


No one is free from the risk of persecution . . . But how serious it is for Christians who are unwilling to suffer for their own sins when He who had no sin suffered for us!  The Son of God suffered in order to make us children of God, but people won't suffer to continue being children of God!  If we suffer from the world's hatred, Christ first endured the world's hatred.  If we suffer rebukes in this world, if exile or torture, the Maker and Lord of the world experienced harder things than these.


St. Cyprian

Anglican Angst


Anglican Angst

The remaining Anglican (Episcopalian, for us Americans) bishops are holding the Lambeth Conference this year. As you are probably aware, there has been a serious split within the Anglican communion over such questions as the ordination of women, gays, and whatever. Liberal bishops have taken over the denomination over the last 10 years or so. As Jordan Hylden writes on the First Things blog, the difficulty lies, essentially, with these liberals' firm dedication to the idea of licentiousness:

Unfortunately, there are several factors in play that will make the Lambeth bishops' task very difficult. Most fundamentally, the bishops will have to confront a theology, held by many of their own members, which places little value on doctrinal unity and scriptural authority and instead exalts near-unbounded freedom and diversity in matters of faith and ethics. Liberal Anglican modernists, many of them from North America, believe that doctrinal latitude is central to what it means to be Anglican. They argue that the 2003 consecration to the episcopate of Gene Robinson, an actively gay man, was fully in keeping with Anglican tradition, even though the 1998 Lambeth conference had held homosexual practice to be incompatible with scriptural norms. Several American and Canadian bishops continue to publicly bless same-sex unions, in defiance of the repeated requests of the international organs of Anglicanism and the canons of their own churches.

It seems an impossible task to bring full, Christian communion back to the Anglican church, and this is both sad and trying for those who remain members. As Mr. Hylden writes,

Two weeks ago, many conservative Anglicans met at GAFCON to produce their own statement of doctrinal foundations and to begin their own way forward. It is not difficult to see why many faithful Anglicans felt that such a move was needed. But it should be no less difficult to see why the GAFCON path will only lead to further schism. In essence, if it is followed as an alternative to the existing structures of Anglicanism, it amounts to the creation of a new evangelical church in the Anglican tradition. Many orthodox Anglicans will not in good conscience be able to join them, and where there is one split, more are sure to follow.

The prayers of all Christians over this matter are much needed.

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