The Feast of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ – Christmass 2013

Today, in the words of one of the fathers of the Anglo-Catholic movement (the Oxford movement) within Anglicanism,

Sermon 3:  The Incarnation 

By John Henry Newman

(Preached on Christmas Day)

“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” John i. 14.{26} THUS does the favoured Apostle and Evangelist announce to us that Sacred Mystery, which we this day especially commemorate, the incarnation of the Eternal Word. Thus briefly and simply does he speak as if fearing he should fail in fitting reverence. If any there was who might seem to have permission to indulge in words on this subject, it was the beloved disciple, who had heard and seen, and looked upon, and handled the Word of Life; yet, in proportion to the height of his privilege, was his discernment of the infinite distance between him and his Creator. Such too was the temper of the Holy Angels, when the Father “brought in the First-begotten into the world:” [Heb. i. 6.] they straightway worshipped Him. And such was the feeling of awe and love mingled together, which remained {27} for a while in the Church after Angels had announced His coming, and Evangelists had recorded His sojourn here, and His departure; “there was silence as it were for half an hour.” [Rev. viii. 1.] Around the Church, indeed, the voices of blasphemy were heard, even as when He hung on the cross; but in the Church there was light and peace, fear, joy, and holy meditation. Lawless doubtings, importunate inquirings, confident reasonings were not. An heartfelt adoration, a practical devotion to the Ever-blessed Son, precluded difficulties in faith, and sheltered the Church from the necessity of speaking.

He who had seen the Lord Jesus with a pure mind, attending Him from the Lake of Gennesareth to Calvary, and from the Sepulchre to Mount Olivet, where He left this scene of His humiliation; he who had been put in charge with His Virgin Mother, and heard from her what she alone could tell of the Mystery to which she had ministered; and they who had heard it from his mouth, and those again whom these had taught, the first generations of the Church, needed no explicit declarations concerning His Sacred Person. Sight and hearing superseded the multitude of words; faith dispensed with the aid of lengthened Creeds and Confessions. There was silence. “The Word was made flesh;” “I believe in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord;” sentences such as these conveyed everything, yet were officious in nothing. But when the light of His advent faded, and love waxed cold, then there was an opening for objection and discussion, and a difficulty in answering. Then misconceptions had to be explained, {28} doubts allayed, questions set at rest, innovators silenced. Christians were forced to speak against their will, lest heretics should speak instead of them.

Such is the difference between our own state and that of the early Church, which the present Festival especially brings to mind. In the New Testament we find the doctrine of the Incarnation announced clearly indeed, but with a reverent brevity. “The Word was made flesh,” “God was manifest in the flesh.” “God was in Christ.” “Unto us a Child is born,—the mighty God.” “Christ, over all, God, blessed for ever.” “My Lord and my God.” “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,—the Almighty.” “The Son of God, the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person.” [1 Tim. iii. 16. 2 Cor. v. 19. Isa. ix. 6. Rom. ix. 5. John xx. 28. Rev. i. 8. Heb. i. 2, 3.] But we are obliged to speak more at length in the Creeds and in our teaching, to meet the perverse ingenuity of those who, when the Apostles were removed, could with impunity insult and misinterpret the letter of their writings.

Nay, further, so circumstanced are we, as to be obliged not only thus to guard the Truth, but even to give the reason of our guarding it. For they who would steal away the Lord from us, not content with forcing us to measures of protection, even go on to bring us to account for adopting them; and demand that we should put aside whatever stands between them and their heretical purposes. Therefore it is necessary to state clearly, as I have already done, why the Church has lengthened her statements of Christian doctrine. Another {29} reason of these statements is as follows: time having proceeded, and the true traditions of our Lord’s ministry being lost to us, the Object of our faith is but faintly reflected on our minds, compared with the vivid picture which His presence impressed upon the early Christians. True is it the Gospels will do very much by way of realizing for us the incarnation of the Son of God, if studied in faith and love. But the Creeds are an additional help this way. The declarations made in them, the distinctions, cautions, and the like, supported and illuminated by Scripture, draw down, as it were, from heaven, the image of Him who is on God’s right hand, preserve us from an indolent use of words without apprehending them, and rouse in us those mingled feelings of fear and confidence, affection and devotion towards Him, which are implied in the belief of a personal advent of God in our nature, and which were originally derived to the Church from the very sight of Him.

And we may say further still, these statements—such, for instance, as occur in the Te Deum and Athanasian Creed—are especially suitable in divine worship, inasmuch as they kindle and elevate the religious affections. They are hymns of praise and thanksgiving; they give glory to God as revealed in the Gospel, just as David’s Psalms magnify His Attributes as displayed in nature, His wonderful works in the creation of the world, and His mercies towards the house of Israel.

With these objects, then, it may be useful, on today’s Festival, to call your attention to the Catholic doctrine of the Incarnation.

The Word was from the beginning, the Only-begotten {30} Son of God. Before all worlds were created, while as yet time was not, He was in existence, in the bosom of the Eternal Father, God from God, and Light from Light, supremely blessed in knowing and being known of Him, and receiving all divine perfections from Him, yet ever One with Him who begat Him. As it is said in the opening of the Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” If we may dare conjecture, He is called the Word of God, as mediating between the Father and all creatures; bringing them into being, fashioning them, giving the world its laws, imparting reason and conscience to creatures of a higher order, and revealing to them in due season the knowledge of God’s will. And to us Christians He is especially the Word in that great mystery commemorated today, whereby He became flesh, and redeemed us from a state of sin.

He, indeed, when man fell, might have remained in the glory which He had with the Father before the world was. But that unsearchable Love, which showed itself in our original creation, rested not content with a frustrated work, but brought Him down again from His Father’s bosom to do His will, and repair the evil which sin had caused. And with a wonderful condescension He came, not as before in power, but in weakness, in the form of a servant, in the likeness of that fallen creature whom He purposed to restore. So He humbled Himself; suffering all the infirmities of our nature in the likeness of sinful flesh, all but a sinner,—pure from all sin, yet subjected to all temptation,—and at length becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. {31}

I have said that when the Only-begotten Son stooped to take upon Him our nature, He had no fellowship with sin. It was impossible that He should. Therefore, since our nature was corrupt since Adam’s fall, He did not come in the way of nature, He did not clothe Himself in that corrupt flesh which Adam’s race inherits. He came by miracle, so as to take on Him our imperfection without having any share in our sinfulness. He was not born as other men are; for “that which is born of the flesh is flesh.” [John iii. 6.]

All Adam’s children are children of wrath; so our Lord came as the Son of Man, but not the son of sinful Adam. He had no earthly father; He abhorred to have one. The thought may not be suffered that He should have been the son of shame and guilt. He came by a new and living way; not, indeed, formed out of the ground, as Adam was at the first, lest He should miss the participation of our nature, but selecting and purifying unto Himself a tabernacle out of that which existed. As in the beginning, woman was formed out of man by Almighty power, so now, by a like mystery, but a reverse order, the new Adam was fashioned from the woman. He was, as had been foretold, the immaculate “seed of the woman,” deriving His manhood from the substance of the Virgin Mary; as it is expressed in the articles of the Creed, “conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.”

Thus the Son of God became the Son of Man; mortal, but not a sinner; heir of our infirmities, not of our guiltiness; the offspring of the old race, yet {32} “the beginning of the” new “creation of God.” Mary, His mother, was a sinner as others, and born of sinners; but she was set apart, “as a garden inclosed, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed,” to yield a created nature to Him who was her Creator. Thus He came into this world, not in the clouds of heaven, but born into it, born of a woman; He, the Son of Mary, and she (if it may be said), the mother of God. Thus He came, selecting and setting apart for Himself the elements of body and soul; then, uniting them, to Himself from their first origin of existence, pervading them, hallowing them by His own Divinity, spiritualizing them, and filling them with light and purity, the while they continued to be human, and for a time mortal and exposed to infirmity. And, as they grew from day to day in their holy union, His Eternal Essence still was one with them, exalting them, acting in them, manifesting Itself through them, so that He was truly God and Man, One Person,—as we are soul and body, yet one man, so truly God and man are not two, but One Christ. Thus did the Son of God enter this mortal world; and when He had reached man’s estate, He began His ministry, preached the Gospel, chose His Apostles, suffered on the cross, died, and was buried, rose again and ascended on high, there to reign till the day when He comes again to judge the world. This is the All-gracious Mystery of the Incarnation, good to look into, good to adore; according to the saying in the text, “The Word was made flesh,—and dwelt among us.”

The brief account thus given of the Catholic doctrine {33} of the incarnation of the Eternal Word, may be made more distinct by referring to some of those modes mentioned in Scripture, in which God has at divers times condescended to manifest Himself in His creatures, which come short of it.

1. God was in the Prophets, but not as He was in Christ. The divine authority, and in one sense, name, may be given to His Ministers, considered as His representatives. Moses says to the Israelites, “Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.” And St. Paul, “He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God.” [Exod. xvi. 8. 1 Thess. iv. 8.] In this sense, Rulers and Judges are sometimes called gods, as our Lord Himself says.

And further, the Prophets were inspired. Thus John the Baptist is said to have been filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb. Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied. In like manner the Holy Ghost came on the Apostles at Pentecost and at other times; and so wonderfully gifted was St. Paul, that “from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.” [Acts xix. 12.] Now the characteristic of this miraculous inspiration was, that the presence of God came and went. Thus we read, in the afore-mentioned and similar narratives, of the Prophet or Apostle being filled with the Spirit on particular occasions; as again of “the Spirit of the Lord departing from Saul,” and an evil spirit troubling him. Thus this divine inspiration was so far parallel to demoniacal possession. We find in the Gospels the {34} devil speaking with the voice of his victim, so that the tormentor and the tormented could not be distinguished from each other. They seemed to be one and the same, though they were not; as appeared when Christ and His Apostles cast the devil out. And so again the Jewish Temple was in one sense inhabited by the presence of God, which came down upon it at Solomon’s Prayer. This was a type of our Lord’s manhood dwelt in by the Word of God as a Temple; still, with this essential difference, that the Jewish Temple was perishable, and again the Divine Presence might recede from it. There was no real unity between the one and the other; they were separable. But Christ says to the Jews of His own body, “Destroy this Temple and I will raise it in three days;” implying in these words such an unity between the Godhead and the manhood, that there could be no real separation, no dissolution. Even when His body was dead, the Divine Nature was one with it; in like manner it was one with His soul in paradise. Soul and body were really one with the Eternal Word,—not one in name only,—one never to be divided. Therefore Scripture says that He rose again “according to the Spirit of holiness;” and “that it was not possible that He should be holden of death.” [Rom i. 4. Acts ii. 24.]

2. Again, the Gospel teaches us another mode in which man may be said to be united with Almighty God. It is the peculiar blessedness of the Christian, as St. Peter tells us, to be “partaker of the Divine Nature.” [2 Pet. i. 4.] We believe, and have joy in believing, that {35} the grace of Christ renews our carnal souls, repairing the effects of Adam’s fall. Where Adam brought in impurity and unbelief, the power of God infuses faith and holiness. Thus we have God’s perfections communicated to us anew, and, as being under immediate heavenly influences, are said to be one with God. And further, we are assured of some real though mystical fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in order to this: so that both by a real presence in the soul, and by the fruits of grace, God is one with every believer, as in a consecrated Temple. But still, inexpressible as is this gift of Divine Mercy, it were blasphemy not to say that the indwelling of the Father in the Son is infinitely above this, being quite different in kind; for He is not merely of a divine nature, divine by participation of holiness and perfection, but Life and Holiness itself, such as the Father is,—the Co-eternal Son incarnate, God clothed with our nature, the Word made flesh.

3. And lastly, we read in the Patriarchal History of various appearances of Angels so remarkable that we can scarcely hesitate to suppose them to be gracious visions of the Eternal Son. For instance; it is said that “the Angel of the Lord appeared unto” Moses “in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush;” yet presently this supernatural Presence is called “the Lord,” and afterwards reveals His name to Moses, as “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” On the other hand, St. Stephen speaks of Him as “the Angel which appeared to Moses in the bush.” Again, he says soon after, that Moses was “in the Church in the wilderness with the {36} Angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai;” yet in the book of Exodus we read, “Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain;” “God spake all these words saying;” and the like [Exod. iii. 2. Acts vii. 35-38. Exod. xix. 3; xx. 1.]. Now, assuming, as we seem to have reason to assume, that the Son of God is herein revealed to us as graciously ministering to the Patriarchs, Moses, and others, in angelic form, the question arises, what was the nature of this appearance? We are not informed, nor may we venture to determine; still, any how, the Angel was but the temporary outward form which the Eternal Word assumed, whether it was of a material nature, or a vision. Whether or no it was really an Angel, or but an appearance existing only for the immediate purpose, still, any how, we could not with propriety say that our Lord “took upon Him the nature of Angels.”

Now these instances of the indwelling of Almighty God in a created substance, which I have given by way of contrast to that infinitely higher and mysterious union which is called the Incarnation, actually supply the senses in which heretics at various times have perverted our holy and comfortable doctrine, and which have obliged us to have recourse to Creeds and Confessions. Rejecting the teaching of the Church, and dealing rudely with the Word of God, they have ventured to deny that “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh,” pretending He merely showed Himself as a vision or phantom;—or they have said that the Word of God merely dwelt in the man Christ Jesus, as the {37} Shechinah in the Temple, having no real union with the Son of Mary (as if there were two distinct Beings, the Word and Jesus, even as the blessed Spirit is distinct from a man’s soul);—or that Christ was called God for His great spiritual perfections, and that He gradually attained them by long practice. All these are words not to be uttered, except to show what the true doctrine is, and what is the meaning of the language of the Church concerning it. For instance, the Athanasian Creed confesses that Christ is “God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds, perfect God,” lest we should consider His Divine Nature, like ours, as merely a nature resembling God’s holiness: that He is “Man of the substance of His Mother, born in the world, perfect man,” lest we should think of Him as “not come in the flesh,” a mere Angelic vision; and that “although He be God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ,” lest we should fancy that the Word of God entered into Him and then departed, as the Holy Ghost in the Prophets.

Such are the terms in which we are constrained to speak of our Lord and Saviour, by the craftiness of His enemies and our own infirmity; and we intreat His leave to do so. We intreat His leave, not as if forgetting that a reverent silence is best on so sacred a subject; but, when evil men and seducers abound on every side, and our own apprehensions of the Truth are dull, using zealous David’s argument, “Is there not a cause” for words? We intreat His leave, and we humbly pray that what was first our defence against pride and indolence, may become an outlet of devotion, {38} a service of worship. Nay, we surely trust that He will accept mercifully what we offer in faith, “doing what we can;” though the ointment of spikenard which we pour out is nothing to that true Divine Glory which manifested itself in Him, when the Holy Ghost singled Him out from other men, and the Father’s voice acknowledged Him as His dearly beloved Son. Surely He will mercifully accept it, if faith offers what the intellect provides; if love kindles the sacrifice, zeal fans it, and reverence guards it. He will illuminate our earthly words from His own Divine Holiness, till they become saving truths to the souls which trust in Him. He who turned water into wine, and (did He so choose) could make bread of the hard stone, will sustain us for a brief season on this mortal fare. And we, while we make use of it, will never so forget its imperfection, as not to look out constantly for the True Beatific Vision; never so perversely remember that imperfection as to reject what is necessary for our present need. The time will come, if we be found worthy, when we, who now see in a glass darkly, shall see our Lord and Saviour face to face; shall behold His countenance beaming with the fulness of Divine Perfections, and bearing its own witness that He is the Son of God. We shall see Him as He is.

Let us then, according to the light given us, praise and bless Him in the Church below, whom Angels in heaven see and adore. Let us bless Him for His surpassing loving-kindness in taking upon Him our infirmities to redeem us, when He dwelt in the inner-most love of the Everlasting Father, in the glory which {39} He had with Him before the world was. He came in lowliness and want; born amid the tumults of a mixed and busy multitude, cast aside into the outhouse of a crowded inn, laid to His first rest among the brute cattle. He grew up, as if the native of a despised city, and was bred to a humble craft. He bore to live in a world that slighted Him, for He lived in it, in order in due time to die for it. He came as the appointed Priest, to offer sacrifice for those who took no part in the act of worship; He came to offer up for sinners that precious blood which was meritorious by virtue of His Divine Anointing. He died, to rise again the third day, the Sun of Righteousness, fully displaying that splendour which had hitherto been concealed by the morning clouds. He rose again, to ascend to the right hand of God, there to plead His sacred wounds in token of our forgiveness, to rule and guide His ransomed people, and from His pierced side to pour forth his choicest blessings upon them. He ascended, thence to descend again in due season to judge the world which He has redeemed.—Great is our Lord, and great is His power, Jesus the Son of God and Son of man. Ten thousand times more dazzling bright than the highest Archangel, is our Lord and Christ. By birth the Only-begotten and Express image of God; and in taking our flesh, not sullied thereby, but raising human nature with Him, as He rose from the lowly manger to the right hand of power,—raising human nature, for Man has redeemed us, Man is set above all creatures, as one with the Creator, Man shall judge man at the last day. So honoured is this earth, that no stranger {40} shall judge us, but He who is our fellow, who will sustain our interests, and has full sympathy in all our imperfections. He who loved us, even to die for us, is graciously appointed to assign the final measurement and price upon His own work. He who best knows by infirmity to take the part of the infirm, He who would fain reap the full fruit of His passion, He will separate the wheat from the chaff, so that not a grain shall fall to the ground. He who has given us to share His own spiritual nature, He from whom we have drawn the life’s blood of our souls, He our brother will decide about His brethren. In that His second coming, may He in His grace and loving pity remember us, who is our only hope, our only salvation!

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Sunday Next Before Advent 2013

Jeremiah 23:5–8
St. John 6:5–14

+ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Today is the last Sunday of the Church Year, the Sunday traditionally known within Anglicanism as The Sunday Next Before Advent. Just as it is within nature, which has its spring time of planting, a summer of growth, and a fall season of harvest, so it is with the Church year. It is a time of reckoning accounts, of taking stock, and closing the books on another year of grace.  Another year is gone, with all its opportunities, both those taken and those missed, for growth in sanctification. It is now a part of the past, a book sealed not be opened again until the Last Day.

The prophet said, Jeremiah 8:20 (KJV)   The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. These words were spoken in the second year of the seige  by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, in his soon to be completed overthrow of his vassal, King Zedekiah, bringing an end to the Kingdom of Judah. While all who are received by Christ into His Kingdom at baptism are justified before God (saved), they still remain unsanctified and in danger of falling away.

The prophet Jeremiah lived in grim times. The Northern Kingdom, Israel, had been destroyed before his time, and now the Southern Kingdom, Judah, was politically and militarily imperiled. Paganism was rampant in the country, with altars erected on High Places to the Baals. Just before the beginning of today’s Lesson, we read, Jeremiah 23:1-2 (KJV)   1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.  2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. It sounds frighteningly like our present day. Notice particularly the strong words directed at religious leaders who have led the people astray!

But in these fearsome times, what does God say? Jeremiah 23:5-6 (KJV)   5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Look what the Lord has said to this people, those who were struggling for temporal salvation! Even amidst the vast apostasy of the land and the faithless pastors, God gives them the promise of a Saviour. He has promised them a New King, a descendant of David. When He comes, He brings salvation in His Own Person; He is OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. This has to be seen as a promise of Christ the Saviour to come. No one else can do this for us; no man is able, and neither the Father nor the Holy Ghost professes to do this for us. Jesus Christ alone is our righteousness. Even the Jews unwittingly acknowleged Him in the closing words of today’s Gospel, John 6:14 (KJV)   Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. One clear lesson that we should draw from today’s lessons is this: No matter how bad things look in the world around us, Christ, the Good Shepherd, continues to feed His flock. Are we accepting, with gratitude, that which He freely offers, to the continual progress in our own sanctification? That part is up to us, and we must avail ourselves of the grace offered to us for it to benefit us.

In the proclamation of the Lord, given by Jeremiah and quoted just above, Christ is referred to as a BRANCH. He is given this title elsewhere, in Zechariah 3:8 and Zechariah 6:12. It is symbolic of the Incarnation, Christ’s taking human nature to Himself and placing Himself in the line of descendants from Abraham, through David, and on down to His day on earth. In taking on our impoverished state in His Incarnation, He gives us the unbounded wealth of Heaven, a treasure bequeathed to Christians that they might become branches of the True Vine, extensions of Himself.

The promises of God are always fulfilled, although not necessarily when we want them to be. The fulfillment often is far more sweeping than anything imagined by the hearers when the promise is first given. This is certainly true in this case. The salvation won for us by Jesus Christ, making us justified before God, is much, much more than the temporal deliverance from warring neighbors. Rarely do we appreciate fully the scope of what the Lord says.

The First Lesson ends with the words, Jeremiah 23:8 (KJV)   But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land. The Lord is telling those who hear that a time is coming when of the ALL faithful will live in their true home, a home that is their own as a gift and not subject to an overlord, and that He will gather them into this new home. In that new home, He will provide for them, so that they will enjoy that land forever.

This leads us directly into the Gospel lesson in which Jesus is feeding the five thousand on the hillside. This is a continuation of the thought from Jeremiah, the idea of Jesus gathering His own to Himself and providing for them. St. John introduces this miracle as a preface to the comments made soon thereafter at Capernaum when He says, John 6:26-27 (KJV)   26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.  27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Here, in this passage, Jesus is identifying Himself, His Body and Blood referred to as miraculous Bread, as the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, just as they have previously seen Him feed the five thousand. Of course, the reference is veiled, and few would have understood it. It is only now, looking back, that His meaning becomes clear. He is leading our thinking towards the Holy Communion, the highest and most all-encompassing promise of Salvation.

As the Gospel Lesson begins, we have the conversation between Jesus and Philip. Jesus is testing Philip’s understanding. Philip was from Bethsaida, a nearby town, and he might be expecting to be asked, as a native, “where to we go to find food around here?” Philip fails the test — to have passed, he would have had to respond that the food would come from Christ Himself. But Philip fails the test, just as most of us would even today, and says that we have only the little that this boy has brought for his lunch on his fishing trip. His complete failure is fully evident in his final words, a plaintive plea, “But what are they among so many?” This simply points to the vast power and abundance available through Jesus Christ when He subsequently feeds the huge crowd.

The Gospel is filled with references to child-like faith, and it seems that we see this again in the young fisherman brought by Andrew and Philip to the Lord, presenting his meager lunch to Jesus for His use. What appears to us to be far too little to be of use, when placed in the hands of Jesus becomes a source of abundance for many. This is true over and over again, throughout life. If we approach Jesus, telling Him what we are going to do for Him, we will most surely be rejected. Jesus is King, and we must never tell the King what we are going to do. Instead, if we approach Him humbly, with our pitiful resources, placing them all at His disposal, then He accepts them and magnifies them into great works. This is true, both with our physical resources and also with our hearts, our souls.

When all have been satisfied, Jesus says, John 6:12b (KJV)   Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Why does Jesus add this? Is there a shortage in the Divine resources, such that nothing may be wasted? Is Jesus without the power to create far more? No, of course not. The nature of God to to be extremely generous, to give in great abundance, giving to both the just and the unjust alike in this life. But the way things look to men is not always the way God sees them. He is aware of every speck of His creation. He knows every creature throughout time by name; He is personal to each and every particle of His creation, animate and inanimate. He will have no part of His creation wasted, and most importantly for us, the soul of no man wasted. It is the souls of men that are the fragments that remain, that must not be lost. As Jesus commands, they, the souls of men, must be gathered up, that all may be saved. John 6:13 (KJV)   Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. “Twelve baskets,” corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel, including all those scattered abroad and apparently lost forever to men, but all known and loved by God.

We need to see Jesus’ command to gather in yet another light. Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. This is a warning, to them and to us, that we can be lost unless we follow the commands of our Lord. He does not will any to be lost, but it is certainly possible if we rebel against our salvation. So often, we set out to accomplish some great task, but find that we are unable to complete it. We may attempt something that simply exceeds our physical or intellectual resources, or we simply run out of time before the window of opportunity closes. But then we hear the words of Christ, and if we obey, we may well find that some good has been accomplished, often more than our original goal. But nothing, no gift of God, is ever to be wasted.

Why does this matter, if we failed in our original endeavor? Because God looks at the motives behind our actions, not at whether we succeeded or failed. He looks at the love that moved us to act, or in some cases, the lack of love that moved us to act. Have we acted out of love, or self-interest? In His service, we must always gather up the fragments, that nothing may be lost.

On the mountain, Jesus fed the five thousand, giving them bread enough to eat and more.  Later, at Capernaum, we read, John 6:32-34 (KJV)   32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.  33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.  34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. They are saying to Him, “Lord, let us have this bread forever.” This was an especially good prayer, better than any of them realized. This prayer has been answered, for them and for us, when the Father sent His Son to be the Bread of Life for us forever. But they needed to also be praying that they might also know and understand Who this Bread is, and that they might have an enduring hunger for Him, that they, and we, might be nourished by Him forever. It is only the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ that will serve to feed us through all of this life’s journey and on into the next.

The summer is over, the harvest has been taken in for this year. The prophet was in error for our times because of the time in which he spoke, The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we ARE saved. But we are not safe, not safe as long as we continue in this life. We can never be truly safe as long as we continue to allow the things of this world to interfere with our love of God, and of His Son, Jesus Christ. As we progress toward the Lord, the importance of all worldly things must diminish to the point that Christ is all for us. Abilities, skills, knowledge, wealth, power, and yes, even other people, all must not stand in between us and Christ. He must be our all, our everything.

This year is rapidly coming to a close, just as have all the years before it, and we must press on into the uncertain future. Everything falls away, but the Word of the Lord, Jesus Christ, endures forever. We must hold fast to that which endures. He is our food for the journey; even beyond the grave, He is the Bread of Life.

+ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

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All Souls Day 2013

Epistle 1st Corinthians 15:51 – 57
Gospel St. John 5:25 – 29

+ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

This is All Souls Day, a day unfamiliar to those who are not catholic. It comes, as we know, on 2 November, the day following All Saints Day. In the minds of many today, there is a fusion of the two ideas, all Saints and all Souls. Are we not all Saints? Doesn’t everyone go to Heaven? Would a loving God deny entrance into Heaven to anyone at all? When we die, don’t we just go straight to Heaven?

Let us consider briefly the question, “When we die, don’t we just go straight to Heaven?” In order to consider this, think about the readings from yesterday, All Saints Day, in which St. John describes in the Book of Revelation, what he saw in Heaven. Revelation 7:9 After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 and they cry with a great voice, saying, Salvation unto our God who sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11 And all the angels were standing round about the throne, and about the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12 saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. As St. John makes abundantly clear, the Saints in Heaven are IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD. If you died this very instant, are you prepared to go to Heaven and stand before the throne of Almighty God? Think about that for a minute.

What do we know about God? The Bible is full of information about the nature of God, but let me identify just a few attributes of God here. We know from Holy Scripture that God is all knowing, all powerful, and present everywhere at all times. Perhaps most importantly, we know that God is both Just and Holy. These last two attributes ought to be enough to completely terrify us. We cannot afford to receive justice, because it would mean our utter and eternal destruction. God is Holy, and He hates uncleanness. We are unclean. Are we ready to go forth and stand before God?

Some will say, “Oh, but I am saved by Jesus Christ,” and they are not incorrect. But they only have a part of the story. When we are baptized, we enter into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and are then destined for eternal salvation. Christ marks us as His own, and are indeed saved. But when you look at your life, are you really clean, pure, and ready to stand before Almighty God? Most of us are not. Even though we have not rejected Christ, and we try to follow Him, we remain fallen people, saved only through the sacrifice of Christ. We fail over and over again, but Christ picks us up, brushes us off, and forgives our sin. But we still have a long way to go in the development of personal holiness. Assuming that we do not reject Christ, our salvation is indeed assured, but our holiness in this life is not. I find no place in the Bible where we are assured that we will be able to lead holy lives here before our death. It is the mercy of God, extended through His Son, Jesus Christ, that satisfies our need for justification before God, but what are we to do about sanctification?

Do you recall the following verse from St. Paul? Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. What is he talking about? When he says, “ work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” is he saying that we have to save ourselves? Not at all!! St. Paul would be just about the last one to deny the saving work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross, and yet, look what he wrote to the Corinthians!

Becoming holy, the process called sanctification, is just that, a process. It does not happen instantaneously, but rather it takes time. That time is intended to be our time here on earth, so that by the time we die, we should have achieved full sanctification. How many of us do that? I think it is safe to say that most do not, but they are still saved by the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. So what happens to them (and us) when we die?

We do not go straight into the presence of God the Father; we are not ready even though our time here below comes to an end. We have to go somewhere else. The Romans call it Purgatory, but I prefer another term, given by Jesus Christ Himself to the penitent thief on a cross: Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. Whether we call it Purgatory or Paradise, it is the place of the departed Christians after death, a place with Jesus Christ. Roman theology sees it as a place of punishment, a payment for sins committed during life, a purging of sins. I do not see it that way. I call it Paradise, and I see it more like a school, a school where our education in sanctification is completed. Now you will recall that, many students initially don’t like the idea of school before they begin. I recall, as a small boy, being told what a horrible place school was, how they made you sit still in one place for the whole day, made you raise your hand to be recognized before you could speak, and so on. School did not sound like fun at all, and I was not looking forward to going to school. But then, I went any way, rather like the way we will all die some day. After the initial shock, I found that I liked school. The further I went, the more I liked it. (My Dad used to despair of ever seeing the end of my education.) In my mind, this is the way it will be in Paradise. We will have to complete our learning to be holy. It will be fairly easy for some, and more difficult for others. But all will eventually make it through, we will all become holy, because they will have Jesus Christ, right there to guide them every step of the journey. Only after we become holy, under the direct guidance of Jesus Christ in Paradise, will we be ready to go to Heaven.

All Souls Day is the day we remember those who are now in Paradise with Christ. We do not know exactly who is there, and who may have finished the course and gone on to Heaven itself. But remember, the idea of time, of something happening sooner, or something else happening later, is irrelevant in eternity. Eternity is outside of time. Time is for this life only.

So, to briefly address a few of the other points raised at the beginning, let me say first that, no, not everyone goes to Heaven. Only those who have been brought into Christ’s Kingdom through baptism and remained faithful to the end are assured of eventual salvation. We can most definitely reject salvation as a part of our free will, given to us by God, and some in fact do just that. Now some will say, “But what about those who have never heard the message of Christ?” In that regard, we can only say that such a matter is in the hands of a loving and merciful God, and it is not up to us to make that judgement. But for all of us, and those around us where we live, where the Word of God is preached and the Sacraments are administered, we can say with certainty that the only way we will attain Heaven is through continued faith in the mercy of God expressed in the saving work of Jesus Christ. Those who reject the offer of salvation on the terms of God, will most surely be turned away.

We are all called saints in Holy Scripture, meaning that all faithful Christians are on the path to salvation. It does not mean that we are there yet.

Today, we give thanks for the life and witness of the vast numbers of Christians who have gone on before us. We know that their future is secure, that they are progressing towards Heaven itself, if they are not already there. This includes many of our own families, our friends, and others that we have known through the years. It also includes all of our Fathers in the faith, the ones who have handed on to us intact the faith that is so precious to us all.  It is because of their faithfulness that we have the Church today with the intact deposit of faith first delivered to the saints by Jesus Christ Himself.

We pray for their eternal welfare, for their rapid advance toward the gates of Heaven itself. We pray that their experience of Paradise is not painful, not torment, but instead a place of grace, of coming progressively closer to Jesus Christ Himself.

Let me close with the words of a Collect for this day, taken from the Scottish Prayer Book:

 O Eternal Lord God, who holdest all souls in life: We beseech thee to shed forth upon all the faithful departed the bright beams of thy light and heavenly comfort; and grant that they, and we with them, may at least attain to the joys of thine eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and rise in glory.

+ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

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All Saints Day 2013

Revelation 7:2 – 4, 9 – 17
St. Matthew 5:1 – 12

+ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen

Today is All Saints Day, 2013. For most of us, this is a day of solemn obligation, a day when we must attend Mass. But what is All Saints Day?

We have with us yet today, a sermon from St. Gregory the Wonder-Worker (d. c. 270 A.D.) in which he declares a Feast of All Martyrs, although we do not have a date for this feast. About the year 360 A.D., the Church in Edessa began to celebrate a Feast of All Martyrs on 13 May. This day remains as All Saints with the Greek Orthodox. The first definite evidence for a 1 November observance is contained in a letter from Pope Gregory IV to the Holy Roman Emperor, Louis the Pious, urging that this day be observed as a commemoration of All Saints throughout his dominions. This was adopted in 835 A.D.

But what is All Saints Day? We have in the Book of Common Prayer 1928 and the American Missal a most wonderful group of Propers that will help us to answer that question. I would like to comment briefly on each one, not quite in their usual sequence.

Introit   The Introit for All Saints begins, “Gaudeamus — Rejoice we all, and praise the Lord, celebrating a holy day in honor of all the Saints …” Gaudeamus – Rejoice we all in English, gives us a clue. This is a day of rejoicing, a celebration of the victory of the Saints that have already been received into Heaven. This is a reminder to us that there are at this very moment, souls in Heaven, souls of persons who once walked the earth just as we do. These were not “super-heroes” but simply ordinary Christians who were devoted and faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ, and who have won the crown of glory.

Collect    The Collect for All Saints was composed by Abp. Cranmer specifically for the BCP 1549. It reads as follows:

O Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son, Christ our Lord; Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys which thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through the same thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect is reminding us, the Church here on earth, of our unity with the Church Eternal, the Church in Heaven. We are united  in the mystical body of thy Son, Christ our Lord. It is our faith, and our identification with Christ through the Church that makes us one with Him, and with all the Saints who have gone on before us.

The Collect also reminds us how they have conquered in this life when it says, “Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, …” We cannot hope to attain Heaven on our own, but we can most certainly throw it away. Godly and virtuous living in this life is a starting point. It is not sufficient, but it is necessary. And it is only through the grace of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, that we can live godly and virtuous lives here below. We pray that we may be empowered thus, so that we may eventually join the Saints in Heaven.

The Gospel    The Gospel lesson is from the Sermon on the Mount, the familiar passage known to many as the Beatitudes. This is not simply a “check list” of virtues required in order to enter Heaven, but rather it is an overall description of the sort of person who will be received into Heaven. It describes the humble person who, through struggle in this life, seeks to keep their hearts pure and to live out the will of God on earth. Let me comment on just a few points, picking and choosing.

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. This is a verse that is very often misread as, “Blessed are the poor,” but that is not what Christ said. The phrase, “poor in spirit” often throws us off the track, because that is not quite the way most of us speak today. To be “poor in spirit” means to be aware of our poverty before Almighty God, our wretchedness in His eyes. It is recognizing our proper position before the Lord. It does not say that the wealthy will not be blessed, although we all know that wealth has distracted many from God. Nor does it say that the poor, those poor in material things, will be blessed. Poverty has caused many to give up on God, and to seek their own way through theft, murder, and other things contrary to the Law of God. It tells us, “blessed are those who know in their hearts their proper place before God.”

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. This has much to say to us today, a day in which filth and corruption are rampant in our society. The things that are accepted in television, radio, comedy acts, the internet, advertising, etc. today are often utterly degrading to us, and we must steel our hearts against these things. We must not be like the Pharisees of Christ’s day who maintained the outward appearance of purity (by keeping ALL of the 613 points of the Law), while their hearts were evil and corrupt. They deceived only themselves; God is not deceived.

Jesus closes this reading with these words: Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you. The person who fits the description that Jesus has just laid down can expect to be rejected and persecuted in this world. This sort of life does not fit in with the world at large, and the world rejects it.  But Jesus says very clearly,  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: this is the sort of person who will be received is Heaven, just as the Father has received those who came before Him, the Prophets.

Offertory Prayer    In the Gospel, Jesus was speaking to a crowd of Jews. The Offertory Prayer for All Saints gives us an insight into the understanding of these people. It is a direct quote from the 3rd Chapter of the Wisdom of Solomon:

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God; and there shall no torment touch them: in the sight of the unwise they seemed to die, but they are at peace.

To be righteous in the Jewish understanding meant to stand justified before God. They understood being justified as being found to have kept the Law, while we know that we are justified only by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross for our salvation. To be unwise meant to be one who did not know God. Thus the offertory prayer, taken directly from a pre-Christian Jewish source, means that the those that are justified, will be eternally cared for by God, protected and at peace. It says that only those who do not know God think that death is the end. Nothing has changed; these things are still just as they were then. Well, there has been one great change; we are not justified by our efforts to keep the Law, but we are justified by Jesus Christ our Lord. That is a huge change!

The Epistle    The Epistle Lesson is taken from the Revelation of St. John, the 7th Chapter beginning at the second verse. This is a part of the continuing vision of Heaven given to John, and in it, he describes those who are saved: Revelation 7:9 After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands; St. John is making it clear at this point that salvation is not limited to the 144,000 from Israel that had be described in the omitted verses. Rather, salvation is for all mankind, for every nation, tribe, and clan upon the earth. He begins a conversation with an Elder who tells him, Revelation 7:14b These are they that come of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. The Elder is telling St. John that these are souls that have lived lives of faith in the world, they have survived the persecutions that come with being faithful Christians, and they have been made clean by the Blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. These were once apparently ordinary people on earth, but they have persevered, they have fought the good fight and remained true. They have achieved the crown of righteousness, not at all by their own efforts (that is futility), but by the Blood of Jesus Christ, shed for each of us.

What St. John saw should be a source of great encouragement to us. God has not set an impossible task before us in order to enter Heaven. It is entirely impossible if we attempt to do it on our own, to do it our way, to use the popular phrase of today. It is only possible through faith in Jesus Christ, faith in His Body and Blood, given for us. If that faith is real, it will become evident in our lives, leading to good works. But it is not the works that save us, but only the sacrifice of Jesus. The works are simply our own assurance that our faith is real. They are not there for anyone else to see.

Post Communion Prayer   Finally we come to the Post Communion Prayers, the prayers of thanksgiving offered after the Holy Communion is completed and the vessels cleansed and properly assembled. I would like to focus particularly on a Post Communion Prayer taken from the Scottish Prayer Book:

O God the King of Saints, we praise and magnify they holy Name for all thy servants who have finished their course in thy faith and fear, for the Blessed Virgin Mary, for the holy Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, and Martyrs and for all thy righteous servants; and we beseech thee that, encouraged by their example, strengthened by their fellowship, and aided by their prayers, we may attain unto everlasting life; through the merits of thy Son Jesus  Christ our Lord. Amen.

This Post Communion prayer reminds us again of the overall theme of the day, namely that others who have gone on before us have indeed achieved the crown of glory, the blessedness of eternal joy, and the security of life everlasting with Jesus Christ, the Father, and the Holy Ghost. Let us rejoice for them, and take heart in our own lives. Jesus loves us, and we will be with Him, provided we persevere in the Faith.

+ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

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The Litany of the Saints

This is a re-post of an item first posted several years ago in 2010. It is particularly timely for a repeat today on All Saints Day.

At this time of year, when we consider the Church as the whole Communion of Saints, both those here with us today and those gone on to glory, it is helpful to have a means to focus our attention on those who have gone on before us. We tend to forget the giants of the Faith who have gone before, and we lose our sense of connection to them. This is unfortunate, and it is our great loss. They are still just as much a part of the Church as we are, and we are in communion with them. We should pray for them, and solicit their prayers for ourselves, just as we ask our friends and family to pray for our concerns.

The Litany of the Saints helps to bring the whole long list of great saints of the Church back into focus. This is not to say that every important saint is included there by name; our own St. Frideswide is not included. But the point is to give us some sense of the scope of the Church that has gone before our time. I encourage you to use this Litany for All Saints’, All Souls, and at other times when you need to focus on the wider Church. (Responses are in bold face.)

Let us pray:

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

O Christ, hear us.
O Christ, graciously hear us.

O God, the Father in Heaven,
Have mercy upon us.
O God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy upon us.
O God, the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy upon us.
O Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy upon us.

Holy Mary,
Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins,
Pray for us.
St. Michael,
Pray for us.
St. Gabriel,
Pray for us.
St. Raphael,
Pray for us.
All ye holy angels and archangels,
Pray for us.
All ye holy orders of blessed spirits,
Pray for us.
St. John Baptist,
Pray for us.
St. Joseph,
Pray for us.
All ye holy patriarchs and prophets,
Pray for us.
St. Peter,
Pray for us.
St. Paul,
Pray for us.
St. Andrew,
Pray for us.
St. James,
Pray for us.
St. John,
Pray for us.
St. Thomas,
Pray for us.
St. James,
Pray for us.
St. Phillip,
Pray for us.
St. Bartholomew,
Pray for us.
St. Matthew,
Pray for us.
St. Simon,
Pray for us.
St. Thaddeus,
Pray for us.
St. Matthias,
Pray for us.
St. Barnabas,
Pray for us.
St. Luke,
Pray for us.
St. Mark,
Pray for us.
All ye holy Apostles and Evangelists,
Pray for us.
All ye holy disciples of the Lord,
Pray for us.
All ye holy innocents,
Pray for us.
St. Stephen,
Pray for us.
St. Lawrence,
Pray for us.
St. Vincent,
Pray for us.
St. Fabian and St. Sebastian,
Pray for us.
St. John and St. Paul,
Pray for us.
St. Cosmas and St. Damian,
Pray for us.
St. Gervase and St. Protase,
Pray for us.
All ye holy martyrs,
Pray for us.
St. Sylvester,
Pray for us.
St. Gregory,
Pray for us.
St. Ambrose,
Pray for us.
St. Augustine,
Pray for us.
St. Jerome,
Pray for us.
St. Martin,
Pray for us.
St. Nicholas,
Pray for us.
All ye holy Bishops and Confessors,
Pray for us.

All ye holy Doctors,
Pray for us.
St. Anthony,
Pray for us.
St. Benedict,
Pray for us.
St. Bernard,
Pray for us.
St. Dominic,
Pray for us.
St. Francis,
Pray for us.
All ye holy Priests and Levites,
Pray for us.
All ye holy Monks and Hermits,
Pray for us.
St. Mary Magdalene
Pray for us.
St. Agatha,
Pray for us.
St. Lucy,
Pray for us.
St. Agnes,
Pray for us.
St. Cecilia,
Pray for us.
St. Katherine,
Pray for us.
St. Anastasia,
Pray for us.
All ye holy virgins and widows,
Pray for us.

All ye holy servants and handmaids of God,
Make intercession for us.
Be favorable,
Spare us, O Lord.
Be favorable,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.

From all evil,
O Lord, deliver us.
From all sin,
O Lord, deliver us.
From thy wrath,
O Lord, deliver us.
From a sudden and unprepared death,
O Lord, deliver us.
From the snares of the devil,
O Lord, deliver us.
From anger and hatred and all evil will,
O Lord, deliver us.
From the spirit of fornication,
O Lord, deliver us.
From lightening and tempest,
O Lord, deliver us.
From the scourge of earthquake,
O Lord, deliver us.
From pestilence, famine, and war,
O Lord, deliver us.
From everlasting death,
O Lord, deliver us.
By the mystery of thy Holy Incarnation,
O Lord, deliver us.
By thine Advent,
O Lord, deliver us.
By thy Nativity,
O Lord, deliver us.
By thy Baptism and holy Fasting,
O Lord, deliver us.
By thy Cross and Passion,
O Lord, deliver us.
By thy Death and Burial,
O Lord, deliver us.
By thy glorious Resurrection,
O Lord, deliver us.
By thy wonderful Ascension,
O Lord, deliver us.
By thy gift of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter,
O Lord, deliver us.
In the day of Judgment.
O Lord, deliver us.

We sinners beseech thee to hear us,
That it may please thee to spare us,
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to pardon us,
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to bring us to true repentance,
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to govern and preserve thy holy Church,
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to keep the Bishops and all Orders of the Church in holy religion,
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to humble the enemies of holy Church,
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to give true peace and concord to Christian kings and princes,
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to give and preserve to our use the fruits of the earth,
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to strengthen and preserve us in thy holy service,
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please the lift our minds to heavenly desires,
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to reward with eternal blessings all our benefactors,
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to deliver our souls, and the souls of our brethren, kinsfolk, and benefactors from everlasting damnation,
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed,
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please the graciously to hear us,
We beseech thee to hear us.
Son of God,
We beseech thee to hear us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy upon us.
O Christ, hear us.
O Christ, graciously hear us.
Lord, have mercy upon us,
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Collect for All Saints’ Day
O Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys which thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Pastor Peters on Chastity

The article  below is from the blog Pastoral Meanderings, written by Pastor Larry Peters of Grace Lutheran Church – MS, in Clarksville, TN (used with permission). I think he does an outstanding job of getting at the true meaning of the term Chastity. There is so much more to this concept than is usually recognized by most folks. Read and ponder.

Fr. D+

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chastity is not simply physical. . .

In several conversations I found that for most folks, celibacy and chastity constitute pretty much the same thing.  I find that curious.  Although I presume that chastity will result in a celibate life, I do not at all think of being chaste as primarily a sexual thing.  I think of it as a matter of the heart.  To live a chaste and pure life has profound implications upon matters of sex but it goes well beyond physical things.

The word “chaste” comes from the Latin castus meaning “pure”. Though it has always included sexual purity, the virtue we call chastity has come to be more associated with abstention from unlawful sexual intercourse when it entered the English language in the mid 1200s than the Latin root implies.

To be chaste does not mean to enter into a duty imposed against the will.  There is no virtue in keeping a rule that one does not believe to be good and true.  Chastity has to do with the heart, with reason, with the will, and with desire.  It is the exercise of self-control for a higher purpose.  It begins with desire and when chastity works well, the whole of the person is in united in this virtue to do what is good, right, and true.

It is not just that sex within marriage is lawful.  Sex within marriage is to be chaste and pure just as those outside of marriage are called to purity of heart and life.  It is here that we seem to have grown confused.  The presumption is that whatever a husband and wife choose to do sexually is pure because it is lawful, that is, within the bounds of marriage.  Such a presumption is indeed false.  What is lawful is not always what is beneficial or good.  Indeed, that is the point.  What marks sexual purity within marriage has been replaced by sexual license that too often mirrors the distorted values and purposes of the world.  There is no goodness in this.  The Church is not merely concerned for what which is lawful.  The counsel of the Word and the witness of the Church has always been for that which is chaste, that is, pure.  This is the counsel of Ephesians 5 and its call to Christ-like love that creates holy respect.  The Church’s moral teaching is not about rules broken or kept but about the purity of love, desire, and life.

There are those who would suggest that opening marriage to homosexuals will encourage such purity but it is intrinsically impossible for this to take place.  Purity is not some principle.  It is the shape or order of relationships within creation and one of the fruits of redemption is learning again to find contentment and peace within that creative order for it reflects God’s holy design and purpose.  If anything what the Church fears is that abdication of the creative will of God in marriage will permanently change both the nature of marriage and what is means to love.  Sadly, the Church has done much to encourage the false understanding of purity by making the concern legality.  In addition, the wink and nod the Church has given of late to the heterosexuals who cohabit have created the issue of justice.  Our witness to the world is not merely “no” to this sexual behavior or that.  Our witness to the world is purity of heart, the chaste love that is learned from God in Christ, in which self and desire do not control or define us.

Sadly we have told ourselves and our children, if you cannot be chaste, be cautious.  When we do this we automatically assign the higher morality to caution than to purity.  True love waits but the emphasis is not upon the wait; it is upon the true (pure) love.  Surely we will fail what Christ has shown to us but love does not abandon us to even our failures.  Love redeems us, forgives us, and restores us that we might sin no more.  It is this last phrase that we seem to have forgotten.  We are forgiven only to erase any remnant of guilty feelings we might have and to assure us that we can do what we want as long as seek forgiveness afterwards.  Our antinomian character flaw has led us down a twisted path that offers us little that is comforting or good.  It is as if we Christians can only understand freedom in terms of a life of Rumschpringe or perpetual adolescence.

I think it is high time that we reclaim the fuller meaning of chastity.  It is not merely about refraining from sexual activity or intercourse.  It is about the desire of the heart, the heart created a new in baptism, so that Christ may live in us.  Love is not license and we do not suspend the call to purity simply because a piece of paper makes the relationship legal in the eyes of the law.  We proclaim a sacramental love which, though not sacrament per se, is sacramental in that it always points to the blessed union betwixt Christ and His Church, a union of purity, love, and desire.  We have been redeemed body and soul; the transformation of the mind and shaping of the desire of the heart bear fruit in the set apart life.  This is what we need to preach and teach.  We have said “no” often enough that people know where we stand.  It is high time we began saying “yes” to the noble endeavor of Christian life, rooted in baptism, understood as vocation, and manifest as those who are in but not of the world.

Colossians 3:12-17 (ESV)

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

– See more at: http://pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com/#sthash.xxCWlGf8.dpuf

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Comment on Muslims from the Internet

The following comment came from elsewhere on the Internet. It speaks directly to our problem of having a muslim sympathetic (muslim led?) government. The author is HTCM USNRET James A Graham. It is a wake-up call for Americans. While rather long and rambling, it pulls together a number of events that I have seen documented separately in other places. It should be read with great interest by all who are concerned with freedom and faith in America. Some repetitions have been edited out.

Obama’s “RICH HERITAGE” Muslims have in America.

HTCM USN RET James A Graham

: A GOOD LOOK at The MUSLIMS !!!!!!

Genesis 47:13-27

RECENT VIRGINIA CHURCH SERVICE – STIMULUS SERMON

I would love to give the Pastor of this predominantly black church in Virginia three cheers. This guy is obviously a leader. Perhaps we should each decide who our real leader is. It is amazing to see that very little has changed in 4,000 years.

Good morning, brothers and sisters; it’s always a delight to see the pews crowded on Sunday morning, and so eager to get into God’s Word. Turn with me in your Bibles, if you will, to the 47th chapter of Genesis. We’ll begin our reading at verse 13, and go through verse 27.

Brother Ray, would you stand and read that great passage for us? … (reading) … Thank you for that fine reading, Brother Ray. So we see that economic hard times fell upon Egypt , and the people turned to the government of Pharaoh to deal with this for them. And Pharaoh nationalized the grain harvest, and placed the grain in great store-houses that he had built. So the people brought their money to Pharaoh, like a great tax increase, and gave it all to him willingly in return for grain. And this went on until their money ran out, and they were hungry again.

So when they went to Pharaoh after that, they brought their livestock- their cattle, their horses, their sheep, and their donkey – to barter for grain, and verse 17 says that only took them through the end of that year. But the famine wasn’t over, was it? So the next year, the people came before Pharaoh and admitted they had nothing left, except their land and their own lives. “There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our land. Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we with our land will be servants to Pharaoh.” So they surrendered their homes, their land, and their real estate to Pharaoh’s government, and then sold themselves into slavery to him, in return for grain.

What can we learn from this, brothers and sisters?

That turning to the government instead of to God to be our provider in hard times only leads to slavery? Yes… That the only reason government wants to be our provider is to also become our master?

Yes. But look how that passage ends, brothers and sisters! Thus, Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen . And they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied greatly.” God provided for His people, just as He always has! They didn’t end up giving all their possessions to government, no, it says they gained possessions! But I also tell you a great truth today, and an ominous one.

We see the same thing happening today – the government today wants to “share the wealth” once again, to take it from us and re-distribute it back to us. It wants to take control of healthcare, just as it has taken control of education, and ration it back to us, and when government rations it, then government decides who gets it, and how much, and what kind. And if we go along with it, and do it willingly, then we will wind up no differently than the people of Egypt did four thousand years ago – as slaves to the government, and as slaves to our leaders.

What Mr. Obama’s government is doing now is no different from what Pharaoh’s government did then, and it will end the same. And a lot of people like to call Mr. Obama a “Messiah,” don’t they? Is he a Messiah? A savior? Didn’t the Egyptians say, after Pharaoh made them his slaves, “You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be servants to Pharaoh”? Well, I tell you this – I know the Messiah; the Messiah is a friend of mine; and Mr. OBAMA IS NO MESSIAH! No, brothers and sisters, if Mr. Obama is a character from the Bible, then he is Pharaoh. Bow with me in prayer, if you will…

“Lord, You alone are worthy to be served, and we rely on You, and You alone. We confess that the government is not our deliverer, and never rightly will be. We read in the eighth chapter of 1 Samuel, when Samuel warned the people of what a ruler would do, where it says “And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day…”

‘And Lord, we acknowledge that day has come. We cry out to you because of the ruler that we have chosen for ourselves as a nation. Lord, we pray for this nation. We pray for revival, and we pray for deliverance from those who would be our masters. Give us hearts to seek You and hands to serve You, and protect Your people from the atrocities of Pharaoh’s government. In God We Trust…”

This is by far the best explanation of the Muslim terrorist situation I have ever read. The author’s references to past history are accurate and clear. It’s not a lengthy read, it’s easy to understand, and it’s well worth the read. The author of this email is Dr. Emanuel Tanya, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist.

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When he was asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.

‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.’

We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.

– It is the fanatics who march.

– It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide.

– It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave.

– It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque

– It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals.

– It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.

China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

Now Islamic prayers have been introduced into Toronto and other public schools in Ontario, and, yes, in Ottawa too while the Lord’s Prayer was removed (due to being so offensive?) The Islamic way may be peaceful for the time being in our country until the fanatics move in.

In Australia, and indeed in many countries around the world, many of the most commonly consumed food items have the halal emblem on them. Just look at the back of some of the most popular chocolate bars, and at other food items in your local supermarket. Food on aircraft have the halal emblem, just to appease the privileged minority who are now rapidly expanding within the nation’s shores.

In the U.K, the Muslim communities refuse to integrate and there are now dozens of “no-go” zones within major cities across the country that the police force dare not intrude upon. Sharia law prevails there, because the Muslim community in those areas refuse to acknowledge British law.

As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts – the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue, is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand.

And we are silent……

Supreme Court Hears Case Arguing Federal Gov’t Power to Rule Citizens ‘From Cradle to Grave’

Social Sec? VERY IMPORTANT READ

WHO died before they collected Social security? THIS IS SURE SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT!!!!

THE ONLY THING WRONG WITH THE GOVERNMENT’S CALCULATION OF AVAILABLE SOCIAL SECURITY IS THEY FORGOT TO FIGURE IN THE PEOPLE WHO DIED BEFORE THEY EVER COLLECTED A SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK!!!

WHERE DID THAT MONEY GO?

Remember, not only did you and I contribute to Social Security but your employer did, too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that’s close to $220,500.

Read that again. Did you see where the Government paid in one single penny? We are talking about the money you and your employer put in a Government bank to insure you and I that we would have a retirement check from the money we put in, not the Government.

Now they are calling the money we put in an entitlement when we reach the age to take it back.

If you calculate the future invested value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer’s contribution) at a simple 5% interest (less than what the Government pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working you’d have $892,919.98.

If you took out only 3% per year, you’d receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years (until you’re 95 if you retire at age 65) and that’s with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit!

If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.

Another thing with me…. I have two deceased husbands who died in their 50′s, (one was 51 and the other one was 59 before one percent of their social security could be drawn. I worked all my life and am drawing 100% on my own social security). Their S.S. money will never have one cent drawn from what they paid into S.S. all their lives.

THE FOLKS IN WASHINGTON HAVE PULLED OFF A BIGGER PONZI SCHEME THAN BERNIE MADOFF EVER DID.

Entitlement my foot, I paid cash for my social security insurance! Just because they borrowed the money for other government spending, doesn’t make my benefits some kind of charity or handout!!

Remember Congressional benefits? — free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days.

Now that’s welfare, and they have the nerve to call my social security retirement payments entitlements?

We’re “broke” and we can’t help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, or Homeless. Yet in the last few months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile and Turkey.

And now Pakistan……home of bin Laden. Literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!! And they can’t help our own citizens in New York and New Jersey!

They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives, and now, when it’s time for us to collect, the government is running out of money. Why did the government borrow from it in the first place? It was supposed to be in a locked box, not part of the general fund.

Sad isn’t it.

CAN MUSLIMS BE GOOD AMERICANS/CANADIANS?

Maybe this is why our American/Canadian Muslims are so quiet and not speaking out about any atrocities.

Can a good Muslim be a good American or Canadian?

This question was forwarded to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years.

The following is his reply:

Theologically – no. …
Because his allegiance is to Allah, The moon god of Arabia ……

Religiously – no.. . ..
Because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam … (Quran, 2:256) (Koran)

Scripturally – no. .. ..
Because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Quran.

Geographically – no ..
Because his allegiance is to Mecca , to which he turns in prayer five times a day..

Socially – no. . .
Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews …

Politically – no… Because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America , the great Satan.

Domestically – no. .. .
Because he is instructed to marry four Women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34 )

Intellectually – no…
Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.

Philosophically – no. . .
Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran does not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.

Spiritually – no…

Because when we declare ‘one nation under God,’ The Christian’s God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran’s 99 excellent names.

Therefore, after much study and deliberation …. perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both ‘good’ Muslims and good Americans/Canadians. Call it what you wish, it’s still the truth. You had better believe it. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future. The religious war is bigger than we know or understand.

Footnote: The Muslims have said they will destroy us from within. SO FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.

Have you ever been to a Muslim hospital, heard a Muslim orchestra, seen a Muslim band march in a parade, witnessed a Muslim charity, shaken hands with a Muslim Girl Scout, seen a Muslim Candy Striper, or seen a Muslim do anything that contributes positively to the American way of life ????

The answer is no, you did not. Just ask yourself WHY ?

Barack Obama, during his Cairo speech, said:

“I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America ‘s history.”

AN AMERICAN CITIZEN’S RESPONSE:

Dear Mr. Obama:

Were those Muslims that were in America when the Pilgrims first landed? Funny, I thought they were Native American Indians.

Were those Muslims that celebrated the first Thanksgiving day? Sorry again, those were Pilgrims and Native American Indians.

Can you show me one Muslim signature on the United States Constitution? Declaration of Independence ? Bill of Rights?

Didn’t think so.

Did Muslims fight for this country’s freedom from England? No.

Did Muslims fight during the Civil War to free the slaves in America ? No, they did not. In fact, Muslims to this day are still the largest traffickers in human slavery. Your own half-brother, a devout Muslim, still advocates slavery himself, even though Muslims of Arabic descent refer to black Muslims as “pug nosed slaves.” Says a lot of what the Muslim world really thinks of your family’s “rich Islamic heritage,” doesn’t it Mr. Obama?

Where were Muslims during this country’s Woman’s Suffrage era? Again, not present. In fact, devout Muslims demand that women are subservient to men in the Islamic culture. So much so, that often they are beaten for not wearing the ‘hajib’ or for talking to a man who is not a direct family member or their husband. Yep, the Muslims are all for women’s rights, aren’t they?

Where were Muslims during World War II? They were aligned with Adolf Hitler. The Muslim grand mufti himself met with Adolf Hitler, reviewed the troops, and accepted support from the Nazi’s in killing Jews.

Finally, Obama, where were Muslims on Sept. 11th, 2001? If they weren’t flying planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, or a field in Pennsylvania killing more than 3,000 citizens on our own soil, they were rejoicing in the Middle East.

No one can dispute the pictures shown from all parts of the Muslim world celebrating on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and other cable news network’s that day. Strangely, the very “moderate” Muslims who’s asses you bent over backwards to kiss in Cairo, Egypt on June 4th were stone cold silent post 9-11. To many Americans, their silence has meant approval for the acts of that day.

And THAT, Obama, is the “rich heritage” Muslims have here in America.

Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot to mention the Barbary Pirates. They too were Muslim.

And now we can add November 5, 2009 – the slaughter of American soldiers at Fort Hood by a Muslim major who is a doctor and a psychiatrist who was supposed to be counseling soldiers returning from battle in Iraq and Afghanistan and 2012 when these peaceful religious believers invaded our embassies – American soil, by the way – and killed our ambassador while you Obama, refused to order military help (one hour away) in to save these people.

That, Obama is the “Muslim heritage” in America.

Muslim Heritage, my foot.

Lt. Col Matthew Dooley, a West Point graduate and highly-decorated combat veteran, was an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College at the National Defense University. He had 19 years of service and experience, and was considered one of the most highly qualified military instructors on Radical Islam & Terrorism.

He taught military students about the situations they would encounter, how to react, about Islamic culture, traditions, and explained the mindset of Islamic extremists. Passing down first hand knowledge and experience, and teaching courses that were suggested (and approved) by the Joint Forces Staff College. The course “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism,” which was suggested and approved by the Joint Forces Staff College, caught the attention of several Islamic Groups, and they wanted to make an example of him.

They collectively wrote a letter expressing their outrage, and the Pro-Islamic Obama Administration was all too happy to assist. Dooley received a negative Officer Evaluation Report almost immediately (which he had aced for the past 5 years). He was relieved of teaching duties, and his career has been red-flagged.

“He had a brilliant career ahead of him. Now, he has been flagged.” – Richard Thompson, Thomas More Law Center

“All US military Combatant Commands, Services, the National Guard Bureau, and Joint Chiefs are under Dempsey’s Muslim Brotherhood-dictated order to ensure that henceforth, no US military course will ever again teach truth about Islam that the jihadist enemy finds offensive, or just too informative.” – Former CIA agent Claire M. Lopez (about Lt. Col Dooley)

The Obama Administration has demonstrated lightning speed to dismiss Military brass that does not conform to its agenda, and not surprisingly, nobody is speaking up for Lt. Col. Dooley.

IT’S A SAD DAY FOR THIS COUNTRY WHEN GOOD LOYAL MEN LIKE THIS GET THROWN UNDER THE BUS BECAUSE NOBODY HAS THE COURAGE TO STAND UP!

Share this if you would. Lets bring some attention to this.

HTCM USN RET J A Graham

This is the lady (barnhardt.biz) who used bacon strips as bookmarks while reading from the Koran and then she ripped out the pages and burned them……. all on a video. GOD BLESS HER!

Ann Barnhart is described as “a livestock and grain commodity broker and marketing consultant, American patriot, traditional Catholic, and unwitting counter-revolutionary blogger. ” She has taken on Islam and they have noticed.

Here is her response to a death threat.

DEATH THREAT:

To: annbarnhardt

I’m going to kill you when I find you. Don’t think I won’t, I know where you and your parents live and all I’ll need is one phone call to kill you all ….. mufcadnan123

ANN’S RESPONSE:

Re: Watch your back.

Hello mufcadnan123!

You don’t need to “find” me. My address is 9175 Kornbrust Circle, Lone Tree, CO 80124.

Luckily for you, there are daily DIRECT FLIGHTS from Heathrow to Denver. Here’s what you will need to do. After arriving at Denver and passing through customs, you will need to catch the shuttle to the rental car facility. Once in your rental car, take Pena Boulevard to I-225 south. Proceed on I-225 south to I-25 south. Proceed south on I-25 to Lincoln Avenue which is exit 193. Turn right (west) onto Lincoln . Proceed west to the fourth light, and turn left (south) onto Ridgegate Boulevard . Proceed south, through the roundabout to Kornbrust Drive .. Turn left onto Kornbrust Drive and then take an immediate right onto Kornbrust Circle . I’m at 9175.

Just do me one favor. PLEASE wear body armor. I have some new ammunition that I want to try out, and frankly, close-quarter body shots without armor would feel almost unsporting from my perspective. That and the fact that I’m probably carrying a good 50 I.Q. points on you makes it morally incumbent upon me to spot you a tactical advantage.

However, being that you are a miserable, trembling coward, I realize that you probably are incapable of actually following up on any of your threats without losing control of your bowels and crapping your pants while simultaneously sobbing yourself into hyperventilation. So, how about this: why don’t you contact the main mosque here in Denver and see if some of the local musloids here in town would be willing to carry out your attack for you?

After all, this is what your “perfect man” mohamed did (pig excrement be upon him). You see, mohamed, being a miserable coward and a con artist, would send other men into battle to fight on his behalf. Mohamed would stay at the BACK of the pack and let the stupid, ignorant suckers like you that he had conned into his political cult do the actual fighting and dying. Mohamed would then fornicate with the dead men’s wives and children. You should follow mohamed’s example! Here is the contact info for the main mosque here in Denver :

Masjid Abu Bakr

Imam Karim Abu Zaid

2071 South Parker Road

Denver, CO 80231

Phone: 303-696-9800

I’m sure they would be delighted to hear from you. Frankly, I’m terribly disappointed that not a SINGLE musloid here in the United States has made ANY attempt to rape and behead me. But maybe I haven’t made myself clear enough, so let me do that right now.

I will NEVER, EVER, EVER submit to islam. I will fight islam with every fiber of my being for as long as I live because islam is pure satanic evil. If you are really serious about islam dominating the United States and the world, you are going to have to come through me. You are going to have to kill me. Good luck with that. And understand that if you or some of your musloid boyfriends do actually manage to kill me, The Final Crusade will officially commence five minutes later, and then, despite your genetic mental retardation, you will be made to understand with crystal clarity what the word “defeat” means. Either way, I win, so come and get it.

This is Father D again at this point. I do not agree with everything that is said above, only about 95% of it. It was posted largely intact to preserve the integrity of the original poster, HTCM USN RET J A Graham. While rambling, it does point to many of the problems that Americans have with islam and our government that has chosen to “stand with islam” as Obama famously said. It is clear that he meant “stand with islam against America and its native population.”

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