01 December 2010

Proverbs and Virtue

I have been teaching this fall through Solomon's book of Proverbs. At first I thought I would openly present the material from the Cardinal Virtues and Capital Sins and draw support from the chapter-by-chapter material. My thinking was that there should be some material somewhere that will help categorize the material of Proverbs according to the virtue and vice tradition. For each virtue or vice I had hoped to provide a list of verses from Proverbs to support the notion.

Well, so far I have been on my own in this regard. As soon as I realized this, which thankfully was before the sessions began, I decided simply to work our way through Proverbs chapter-by-chapter and insert the analogies from the Cardinal Virtues and Capital Sins when naturally applicable. Some other information is also very deferential to the Proverbs. The ways we participate in other peoples' sins...The ways to show mercy toward all people...etc. When you click through those two links be sure to read up on all the other material on that page. Thank you, fisheaters.com

Now if only I could find a book or website that has sorted the stanzas of Proverbs according to the Virtue and Vice grid. If anyone knows good resources for this I will gladly receive them and warmly thank you.

21 November 2010

Predestination and Grace

A friend of mine posted here and here recently on the issue of Eastern Orthodoxy's stance on Predestination and Grace. Click through to read his full posts.

I find it hard to agree with him, but he puts things out for everyone to examine.

He quotes from a gathering of Eastern Patriarchs that issued a statement [though not a conciliar statement]. From this Synod came the Confession of Dositheus.

“We believe the most good God to have from eternity predestinated unto glory those whom He has chosen, and to have consigned unto condemnation those whom He has rejected; but not so that He would justify the one, and consign and condemn the other without cause.”“But since He foreknew the one would make a right use of their free-will, and the other a wrong, He predestinated the one, or condemned the other.”“And we understand the use of free-will thus, that the Divine and illuminating grace, and which we call preventing [or, prevenient] grace, being, as a light to those in darkness, by the Divine goodness imparted to all, to those that are willing to obey this — for it is of use only to the willing, not to the unwilling — and co-operate with it, in what it requires as necessary to salvation, there is consequently granted particular grace.”“This grace co-operates with us, and enables us, and makes us to persevere in the love of God, that is to say, in performing those good things that God would have us to do, and which His preventing grace admonishes us that we should do, justifies us, and makes us predestinated.”“But those who will not obey, and co-operate with grace; and, therefore, will not observe those things that God would have us perform, and that abuse in the service of Satan the free-will, which they have received of God to perform voluntarily what is good, are consigned to eternal condemnation.”“We believe a man to be not simply justified through faith alone, but through faith which works through love, that is to say, through faith and works. But [the idea] that faith can fulfill the function of a hand that lays hold on the righteousness which is in Christ, and can then apply it unto us for salvation, we know to be far from all Orthodoxy. For faith so understood would be possible in all, and so none could miss salvation, which is obviously false. But on the contrary, we rather believe that it is not the correlative of faith, but the faith which is in us, justifies through works, with Christ.”“But to say, as the most wicked heretics do and as is contained in the Chapter [of Cyril's' Confession] to which this answers — that God, in predestinating, or condemning, did not consider in any way the works of those predestinated, or condemned, we know to be profane and impious.”

No one wants to be called a Heretic. Nobody likes it because it sounds like a denial of genuineness or scholarship or sincerity or that the said Heretic is not actually a Christian. I am reposting his stuff here because the ACNA has been challenged by the OCA, via His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, to eschew our Reformed Heresies. This will most likely be the very last one to drop...if it ever does.

I simply cannot read the Anglican Collects from the Book of Common Prayer without feeling the strong tap on the shoulder from Orthodoxy and Catholicism....Synergy!

16 November 2010


Reading is a strange journey for me. I have to admit that I did not read a single story, book, or assignment until I moved to Texas my senior year of high school. I hate to admit it, but it was my goal to finish with high grades while never reading any assignment. College suffered for this poor attitude. But I was rescued by the Texas high school experience. I was lumped in with others of my GPA (presumed capacity) and soon realized that these nerds where not cheating and loafing like I was. The teacher knew what she was doing too. I could simply not make it though this class unless I lost my reading virginity and got down and dirty (sorry for that crass comparison). Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies were the first two assigned books I ever read right through to the end.

My memory is so pervasive in that old vow that I actually forgot about that one night stand with Jeremiah Denton. Well, here goes another admission. While still a very underachieving Alabama youth I stole away with When Hell Was in Session by Jeremiah Denton and could not put it down. It was the first book I ever finished. And I finished it in a couple of days. It felt the same as that morning when everybody else was sleeping in--I found myself mesmerized to tears by watching Ann of Green Gables on PBS. Oh, the shame a young southern male would endure had he been caught enjoying Ann Shirley's stories (or watching PBS for that matter). At least my first book was macho.

A friend recently blogged about the risky side of reading too much internet claptrap. I have over 300 feeds coming to my GoogleReader that I check daily...throughout the day, of course. I really use them as a clipper service to dredge the internet's ocean floor for stuff I'd like to read up on. It does have a downside. I find that reading headlines reduces the amount of time that I actually READ. Oh, no! That is not the point of the clipper service.

15 November 2010

Horton hears "according to who?"

Here is the latest article asking the "age old question" of authority. If you don't subscribe to Modern Reformation just email me and I'll send you a .pdf of the thing.

Be sure to read the full response to the Michael Horton's comments here. Bryan Cross's response in the journal is truncated due to space.

26 August 2010


I think I just realized something.
If I am the only person on the planet with a particular opinion...
that rather places me in the minority.

06 August 2010

Transfiguration of Christ

Propers for The Transfiguration of Christ
August 6.

The Collect
O GOD, who on the mount didst reveal to chosen witnesses thine only-begotten Son wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistering; Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may be permitted to behold the King in his beauty, who with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle

2 St. Peter i. 13.
I THINK it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

The Gospel

St. Luke ix. 28.
AND it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.

04 August 2010


Yes, I need a vacation from my vacation. My family just returned from a grueling journey that landed us at the following spots (80 hrs driving in 9 days, 2,756 miles round trip) from Dallas:

Montgomery, AL
Savannah, GA
Tybee Island, GA
Hilton Head, SC
Hayesville, NC
Helen, GA [Cool River tubing]
Hollins, AL [took family to DeSoto Caverns]

St. Dominic

Propers for DOMINIC,
August 4.
The Collect
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, we give thee thanks for the purity and strength with which thou didst endow thy servant Dominic, and we pray that by thy grace we may have a like power to hallow and conform our souls and bodies to the purpose of thy most holy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle

Philippians 3:7-15.
HOWBEIT what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffer the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death; if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I may apprehend that for which also I was apprehended by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself yet to have apprehended: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye are otherwise minded, even this shall God reveal unto you.

The Gospel

St. Luke 12:22-37.
JESUS said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you. Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life? If ye then be not able to do that which is least, why are ye anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of anxious mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall he added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lamps burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

31 July 2010


July 31.
The Collect

O MERCIFUL God, by whose servant Joseph the body of our Lord and Saviour was committed to the grave with reverence and godly fear: Grant, we beseech thee, to thy faithful people grace and courage to serve and love Jesus with unfeigned devotion all the days of their life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle

Proverbs 4:10-18.
HEAR, O my son, and receive my sayings; And the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be hampered; And when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction: let her not go: Keep her; for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, And go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not go on it, Turn away from it, and pass on. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; And their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining light, That shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

The Gospel

St. Luke 23:50-56.
BEHOLD, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (the same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arithamaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

29 July 2010


July 29.

The Collect

O GOD, who bestowest divers gifts and graces upon thy saints: We give thee humble thanks for the examples of thy servants Mary and Martha, the friends of our Saviour Jesus Christ; and we pray thee to give us grace to love and serve thee and others for his sake, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle

Proverbs 31:10, 26-31.
WHO can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, And eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, But thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: But a woman that fearech the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; And let her own works praise her in the gates.

The Gospel

St. Luke 10:38-42.
NOW it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And the Lord answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art concerned and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

27 July 2010

Considering Radner: Is the Church a "Chaste Whore?"

Considering Radner: Is the Church a "Chaste Whore?": "
Ecclesiologists and theologians who follow Radner would be prone to echo this term as a preferred mode of reference for the Church, with regard to the simultaneou reality of her total holiness even while her members persist in human sins. This fact is of course an important theologial problem, although the Catholic Church does not view it as a paradox; rather, as Pope John Paul II puts it in a decree for the Jubilee of 2000, 'the Church, strong in the holiness which she receives from her Lord, should kneel before God and implore forgiveness for the past and present sins of her sons and daughters.' (John Paul II, First Sunday of Lent 'Day of Pardon,' 2000).) The Church's definitive summary here bears witness to her identity as the creature which subsists unceasingly in her Lord alone, such that en toto she always enjoys, participates in, and extends His holiness without hinderance; and while her sons and daughters do commit sin, she exercises the authority that is hers in her very essence as 'bone of (Christ's) bone and flesh of His flesh' by interceding for them, representing them to their Judge to ask for pardon, and extending His remission of their guilt and punishment. In other words, sinners are within her; but she, by God's grace, stands over and above them in His own perfect righteousness.

However thorough the Protestant attempt to construe the holiness+sinfulness problem, the Protestant's persistent denial of the Church's authority and essential holiness before her Lord requires recourse to the paradox of two contradictory states with regards to the Church as a whole, such that she would be said to be, as Luther said of the individual baptized, 'simul justus et peccator,' at once justified and sinful- or, as Radner finds helpful, she might be said to be 'a chaste whore.'

Given the great reverence with which the Christian tradition has always treated the figure of the whole Church, regardless of the sins of her members, 'the chaste whore' reference needs to be qualified much more carefully, particularly since Hans Urs Von Balthasar, as the only contemporary Catholic theologian to utilize the term, refers strongly to its contradictory meaning as being “blasphemous” on its face in his work Sponsa Verbi, 'Bride of the Word.' (There is some suggestion that Hugo Rahner may have made reference to this term as well, but I've not yet found it if that is the case)

There are in fact two Patristic allusions to the Church as a casta meretrix, 'chaste whore,' but these references do not relate to the problem of the simultaneous 'sinfulness' and holiness of the Church. Both St. Augustine and St. Ambrose (In Lucam VIII) use the casta meretrix term with reference to the repentant Rahab, in order to illustrate the Gentile’s former status as idolaters, who have become a chaste body (and a whore no longer) in their reception of the sacraments, such that they have emerged from 'whoredom' into espousal with their Savior, and as such, they constitute His Body in the world as His chaste bride, just as the Gentile Rahab, who significantly provided her house as a place of refuge and protection for God's people was incorporated into Israel in her repentance. Apparently, it was in this regard of Gentiles' transition in time- from 'whores' prior to baptism and conversion, to saints afterwards- that Rahab was cast as a type of the Church by Justin, Clement, Cyprian, Irenaeus, and Origen. By the 9th century, Rabanus Maurus clarifies that “we are not saying that the Church remained a prostitute, but simply that she used to be.'

Taken in this way, it seems that these references do not directly pertain to the problem of the fomes of sin which remain in the Church’s structures and baptized members- and in light of Catholic theology’s post- Vatican II references to the Church as the present spouse of Christ, the “whore” language construed as a general reference seems... dialogically 'unhelpful.'

26 July 2010

ST. ANNE, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary

ST. ANNE, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary
July 26.
The Collect for the Day

O GOD, who didst vouchsafe to bestow grace upon blessed Anne, that she might become the mother of the parent of thy Only-begotten Son: Mercifully grant that we who celebrate her festival may be partakers with her of thy heavenly grace; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle

Hebrews 12:1-2.
SEEING we also are compassed about with so great a of cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Gospel

St. Matthew 25:31-40.
WHEN the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the lease of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

25 July 2010

Propers for Saint James the Apostle
July 25.

The Collect

GRANT, O merciful God, that, as thine holy Apostle Saint James, leaving his father and all that he had, without delay was obedient unto the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him; so we, forsaking all worldly and carnal affections, may be evermore ready to follow thy holy commandments; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle
Acts xi. 27, and part of Chap. xii.

IN these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also.

The Gospel
St. Matthew xx. 20.

THEN came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

22 July 2010


July 22.

The Collect
O ALMIGHTY God, whose blessed Son did sanctify Mary Magdalene, and call her to be a witness to his Resurrection: Mercifully grant that by thy grace we may be healed of all our infirmities, and serve thee in the power of his endless life; who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle

2 Corinthians 5:14-18.
FOR the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ.

The Gospel

St. John 20:1, 11-18.
THE first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

29 June 2010

28 June 2010

St. Irenaeus

Today is the Feast of St. Irenaeus, martyred Bishop of Lyons.

For the readings click here.

The tag below for Anglican Lesser Feasts does not mean that this day is not important. It signifies that this observance is not in the 1928 BCP. I hope to comment on more of these important feasts in future.

25 June 2010

The nasty side of Roman life

Article today from Roger Pearce..

The nasty side of Roman life:

A horrific story is reported by the BBC News here. A mass burial of 97 new-born children, all 40 weeks old, next to a Roman villa at Hambleden in Buckinghamshire, has been excavated, and identified as waste products of a Roman brothel.

Imagine the story of human misery that lies behind these mute remains. The women were slaves, little more than children themselves. Raped incessantly until they got pregnant, then forced to provide whatever services they could in that condition until they gave birth. Then the child was killed, and the woman, still sore, sent back to lie on her back again. And so on, again and again, until death released them.

We take for granted so much that Christianity brought into the world. An end to the casual infanticide of the Roman era was one of those things. Another was the casual toleration of such evil. The emperor Constantine closed few temples, but one exception was that at Heliopolis in Lebanon, or Baalbek as it is now known. Travelling to Jerusalem he reached the town, and found that the whole place was dedicated to temple prostitution, and that there was not a married couple in the town. He closed the “temples” that had supported such, forced the inhabitants to marry, and did what he could to put an end to the trade.

Doubtless it continued in some form. It was very profitable, as the magnificence of the architectural remains today is witness. The trade was never to be extirpated. But a line had been drawn in the sand — morality had come into the world. The casual evil of the Hambleden brothel could no longer exist in broad daylight.

21 June 2010

Girl, you have no idea...

"I believe in a wounded yet holy Catholic and Apostolic Church..."

A friend attended the local seminar by Ephraim Radner. Radner's ecclesiology centers around the idea that woundedness, or division, is the foundation for the Church's being. Wow, that's strange, the Nicene Creed states that Oneness, or Unity, is one of the four marks for the Bride of Christ.

Protestant scholars have the tendency to eschew Creedal language. They shoot the arrow first, then draw a target around the entry point. We are divided...so that must be a good thing! Let's build an ecclesiology around that chaos and then erect covenants to hold us together (cough, because the unity of Christ's person obviously isn't cohesive enough to do that).

"honey, are you wounded?"

"Girls, you have no idea"

15 June 2010

Final Update on My Depression (I Hope)

Modern drugs are wonderful! They also have completely unseen side effects. I wish I could swear that I will never take them. I know so many people that have ruined their lives because they have self-medicated. The side effects are disaster.
Here is a case from a close friend that went through an unexpected depression only to discover later that it was induced by withdrawal from pain meds.
Add Michael's blog to your roster for daily posts and enjoy his entry from today.

Final Update on My Depression (I Hope): "

It has been some time since I had an episode of depression. I cannot be sure, but I am fairly certain I know what caused it.

Neither my circumstances nor the pressures of my life have changed but I feel really good. I can be motivated, encouraged, and I am enjoying the things I normally enjoy. Yes, I did almost cry today when I listened to an old country classic with my wife, “Don’t Take the Girl” by Tim McGraw, but that is only to be expected! No more sadness over bizarre things like the aging of Matthew Mcconaughey, the memories of watching Justice League with my son Will, or my days at seminary. I think it is over.

When I wrote before, I said that I was not sure what triggered the depression. I only assumed that it was many things that had built up in my life that I failed to deal with properly. While those thing were factors during the depression, I do not believe that they caused it. So what did?

I mentioned about six months ago that I had been having trouble with my tail-bone. I have a fractured vertebra in my lower back from many years ago. Over the years it has given me lots of trouble. This time, according to the doctor, the trouble was “referred pain” into my tail-bone. I could not hardly sit down for a long time. After going to many doctors, the only solution they had was to get on pain meds until the inflammation went down. I have never been on pain meds before. I don’t even like to take aspirin (tough guy syndrome). But the pain was too bad this time. So I started taking Hydrocodone (Vicodin), which, as I understand it, is a powerful narcotic. It took the edge off and allowed me to function. It also put me in a pretty good mood.

I was taking about 30 per week under the supervision of my doctor. I knew that it was addictive, but I read up enough on it that I felt comfortable with my dosage and plans to get off. I was on it for about three months before the doctor started scaling down. I read up on side effects for coming off it and found that those who were addicted to it were taking much more than I was. Some of them took one hundred a day and did this for over a year! I figured I was safe.

After three and a half months, I decided to just quit cold turkey and skip any further scale downs. It was a week later that I went into the serious depression/panic. I know what you are thinking: “Duh . . . of course that was the cause.” I thought the same thing but dismissed it after I searched across the web looking for side effect of coming off the drug. Only rarely did they mention depression. Most of the time it was severe physical pain. I had none of that so I looked for other reasons. Plus, I watch House and know what he went through!

As you know, after about seven weeks, the depression symptoms disappeared completely. Since then I have talked with a few people who described the exact same thing after coming off the same drug. Because of this, even though I have not had any physical or mental inclination or drive to take the drug again, I have concluded that my depression was because I was addicted to the pain meds. I was going through withdrawals.

I think that there is a sufficiency in the probability that this was the cause due to the available evidence. Alternative theories are possibilities, but not probabilities! (Okay, inside stuff going on there.)

To be truthful, I am glad it was the drugs. I feel as if I don’t have to be timid and avoid emotionally distressing situations or thoughts. I had gotten to the point that I was scared to do certain things I needed to do fearing it would cause another collapse.

While in many ways it is “back to business” in my life, in other ways it will never be. I have said it before and I will say it again: that was the worst thing I have ever been through. I am glad it is over and I hope that I am right about the cause. Either way, my heart is with those who are there right now. Also, be careful with those pain meds. Count the cost for the small amount of relief (and euphoria) they provide. Right now, I will take tailbone pain a thousand times over rather than experience one day of the crash the drugs facilitate!


14 June 2010

Catholic Chant Done...Anglican Style?

File under Patrimony!

Thanks to Sonitus Sanctus!
Catholic Chant Done...Anglican Style?: "So this is a bit embarrassing. Some of the finest free Catholic chant on MP3 I've found is here, on an Anglican website. Awkward!
Here's a sample, but hit the jump for the rest:
  • Kyrie eleison, Mass in G - Franz Schubert: Download
  • Gloria in excelsis, Mass in G - Franz Schubert: Download
  • Credo, Mass in G - Franz Schubert: Download
  • Sanctus, Mass in G - Franz Schubert: Download
  • Benedictus, Mass in G - Franz Schubert: Download
  • Agnus Dei, Mass in G - Franz Schubert: Download
  • Motet, Panis angelicus - César Franck: Download
  • Motet, O Salutaris Hostia - César Franck: Download
  • Motet, Tantum ergo Sacramentum - Maurice Duruflé: Download
  • Motet, Laudate Dominum - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Download
Very nice. Enjoy!

Very Positive Developments in the ACNA!

clipped from a Fr. Foster in Ft. Worth. Add his blog to your list and enjoy this entry from last Saturday.

Very Positive Developments in the ACNA!: "The Living Church has a report on the recently concluded ACNA annual meeting. It reports a number of encouraging bits of news (italicized emphasis added by me).

Officials of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which launched a year ago as an alternative to the Episcopal Church, are reporting significant progress in their efforts to share Eucharist with other churches and to do evangelism alongside messianic Jews.

In a report delivered at the ACNA’s annual meeting in Amesbury, Mass., on June 9, ecumenism task force chairman Ray Sutton listed a series of recent milestones that show how the ACNA is forging connections outside mainline Protestantism.

Dialogues with the Orthodox Church in America have reportedly knocked down one of the centuries-old barriers that have kept Anglican and Orthodox Christians from sharing Eucharist. The big concession: when sharing Eucharist, the ACNA would confess that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and not add the phrase and the Son, as Western Christians traditionally do in a formulation called the Filioque.

RWF: When I appeared before the Commission on Ministry to receive final approval to be ordained a priest the chairman asked me if I believed everything in the Nicene Creed. (It is good that they ask that question around here multiple times during the ordination process!) I told him I believed every single word of it with all my heart. But, I added, if the price of unity was the Orthodox Churches was our jettisoning the Filioque clause I would do it in a heartbeat as the West really had no business adding it unilaterally in the first place. So I consider this a great step in the right direction. May God hasten their efforts!

What’s more, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod has lined up four meetings with ACNA representatives at seminaries later this year as the two denominations explore potential for Eucharistic sharing.

RWF: After I came to know Christ our Savior in my twenty-third year among the first works of theology I read were Luther's three great essays of 1521. Brother Martin's thought has deeply marked my own. (I will wager that I am the only clergyman in the diocese of Fort Worth who has taken a four-week 'Footsteps of Luther' study tour in Germany.) I would be absolutely delighted if this dialogue with the Missouri Synod bore fruit.

The ACNA is also inviting 17 messianic Jewish groups to a September summit to explore “how we can do ministry together,” Sutton said.

“We could get their congregations together with our congregations to fellowship, to pray and to seek ways that we be able to evangelize together among Jews and Gentiles,” said Sutton, rector of the Church of the Holy Communion in Dallas. “I think it will be a powerful witness for Jew and Gentile to stand together and proclaim Christ to our constituencies. It’s what happened in the New Testament.”

RWF: Interesting. May many people of all backgrounds coming to saving faith through this initiative.

Sutton’s report, which delegates received with rousing applause, comes as former Episcopal congregations now affiliated with the ACNA seek to establish a distinct, non-Episcopal identity. In addition to building bridges with other Christian communities, the ACNA aspires to define itself as a dynamic movement by planting 1,000 new churches within its first five years.

The ACNA is growing, albeit not as fast as some would like. Archbishop Robert Duncan, in his state-of-the-church address to about 100 delegates and bishops from across North America, noted that the church has swelled from 703 congregations a year ago to 811 now.

RWF: And now the bombshell:

Prospects for further growth, Sutton said, include welcoming as many as 150 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregations that are considering a move to the ACNA.

RWF: WOW! I wonder how this affects plans for the North American Lutheran Church.

The theologically conservative ACNA continues to tread in controversial waters as it carves a niche. Evangelizing Jews, for example, would put the ACNA at odds with most mainstream Jewish groups, which oppose the practice as an affront to Jewish identity. Also, whether to ordain women to the priesthood remains “an issue that divides us,” Duncan acknowledged in his address. Women’s ordination was on the agenda for panel discussion at the June 10-11 College of Bishops meeting, which was closed to lay delegates and press.

For now, the ACNA shows little appetite for internal conflict. Content to tolerate diversity of practice on women’s ordination, delegates to the Provincial Council avoided the issue and characterized their movement as more about unification, rather than fragmentation, within Anglicanism.

“We’re coming together, not splitting apart,” said the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, founding missionary bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a mission of the Province of Nigeria. “The Reformed Episcopal Church is now here after having been apart for 130 years. So we’re actually seeing the reversal of the fragmentation thing.”

Preserving certain strong relationships within the Anglican Communion proved to be a priority at All Saints Anglican Church, Amesbury, as the ACNA marked its first anniversary. The Rev. Lynne L. Ashmead, a deacon and the ACNA’s registrar, cautioned that dioceses need to follow specific record-keeping protocol in conformity with Communion-wide standards. Delegates likewise signaled deference to the Province of Rwanda when they affirmed the Anglican Mission in the Americas as a “ministry partner” that would remain under Rwandan jurisdiction rather than the ACNA’s.

11 June 2010

News Feeds

Stories about the Reformed Episcopal Church are more common than you probably think. I will begin to publish many of these stories here on my blog.

I hope my reader* will appreciate the clipper service.

*yes, singular.

25 March 2010

Spiritual but not Religious

People often believe that they don't need to go to Church to 'worship' God. There must be many levels to their internal resistance. Suffice it to say that Church doesn't meet their expectations. Neither does God. Their answer is to ignore His expectations and insist upon their own with tunnel-vision.
They might be shocked to read His expectations:

GOD spake these words and said; I am the LORD thy God: Thou shalt have none other gods but me.

Lord have mercy upon us,

and incline our hearts to keep this law.

Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them;
For I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, and visit the sins of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shew mercy unto thousands in them that love me and keep my commandments.

Lord have mercy upon us,

and incline our hearts to keep this law.

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;
For the LORD will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his Name in vain.

Lord have mercy upon us,

and incline our hearts to keep this law.

Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath-day.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all that thou hast to do; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God. In it thou shalt do no manner of work; thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant, thy cattle, and the stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it.

Lord have mercy upon us,

and incline our hearts to keep this law.

Honour thy father and thy mother;
that thy days may be long in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Lord have mercy upon us,

and incline our hearts to keep this law.

Thou shalt do no murder.

Lord have mercy upon us,

and incline our hearts to keep this law.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Lord have mercy upon us,

and incline our hearts to keep this law.

Thou shalt not steal.

Lord have mercy upon us,

and incline our hearts to keep this law.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Lord have mercy upon us,

and incline our hearts to keep this law.

Thou shalt not covet
thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his servant, nor his maid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his.

Lord have mercy upon us,

and write all these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee.

04 March 2010


Since I rarely post my own articles please remember to scroll down and check the Fireflies section at the right hand banner. It contains articles that I have enjoyed reading. Some are noteworthy, some nutty, & others are nonsense.

17 February 2010

Ash Wednesday

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know again
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again
And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us
Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.


Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
Worried reposeful
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
Terminate torment
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied
End of the endless
Journey to no end
Conclusion of all that
Is inconclusible
Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends.

Lord, I am not worthy
Lord, I am not worthy
but speak the word only.


Made cool the dry rock and made firm the sand
In blue of larkspur, blue of Mary's colour,
Sovegna vos

Here are the years that walk between, bearing
Away the fiddles and the flutes, restoring
One who moves in the time between sleep and waking, wearing
The silent sister veiled in white and blue
Between the yews, behind the garden god,
Whose flute is breathless, bent her head and signed but spoke no word

But the fountain sprang up and the bird sang down
Redeem the time, redeem the dream
The token of the word unheard, unspoken

Till the wind shake a thousand whispers from the yew

And after this our exile



Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
Not on the sea or on the islands, not
On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
For those who walk in darkness
Both in the day time and in the night time
The right time and the right place are not here
No place of grace for those who avoid the face
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice



Although I do not hope to turn again
Although I do not hope
Although I do not hope to turn

Wavering between the profit and the loss
In this brief transit where the dreams cross
The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying
(Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things
From the wide window towards the granite shore
The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying
Unbroken wings

And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
Quickens to recover
The cry of quail and the whirling plover
And the blind eye creates
The empty forms between the ivory gates
And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth This is the time of tension between dying and birth The place of solitude where three dreams cross Between blue rocks But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away Let the other yew be shaken and reply.

Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
Sister, mother
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated

And let my cry come unto Thee.

Excerpts from T.S. Eliot's Ash-Wednesday

28 January 2010

No News

Well, of course, that is silly. There is plenty of news. I just haven't found time to comment on any of it.

Right now I'm reading Robert Llewellyn's How Green Was My Valley.

Besides that I'm just trying to take the future as it comes.

Some Chinese outfit tried to post a Porno comment which reminded me that I have a blog. That is how bad it is.

So....no news.