Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Courtesy once again of my sacerdotal and biological brother, Father Brandon Jones, and the RC Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina: this video discusses the Ecce Agnus Dei, the traditional form of which is also found in the Anglican Rite. Another restoration back to the Anglican translation!
Saturday, May 14, 2011
That’s when, according to some predictions, Jesus will return.
Last year, WeCanKnow .com, a Christian-based website in North Carolina, selected metro Atlanta as the site for dozens of billboards proclaiming Christ’s imminent return and the Rapture of Christian believers. In Nashville, similar billboards were paid for by Harold Camping, a Christian author and radio broadcaster in California, who is pushing the idea that May 21 is the date. He mistakenly predicted the same series of events in 1994. He bases that date on an analysis of Scripture.
With so many people skeptical about the date for various reasons, what’s behind the choice of May 21?
Tom Evans, media representative for Family Stations Inc., of which Camping is president and general manager, said, “All the signs that Jesus warned of in the Bible that would precede his return have taken place, and are evident in our world. For example, the re-establishment of the nation of Israel; the complete decay of the church; the dismal state of our world; and the moral breakdown of all of society.”
The belief holds that not only will the Rapture occur next Saturday, but the end of the world will occur on Oct. 21.
Bishop Chandler Jones, however, won’t be holding his breath. Instead, the rector at St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Dunwoody will be performing a wedding May 21 “that will go on exactly as planned.”
“I think it’s very presumptuous to try to predict the time and hour of Jesus’ return because our Lord says in the Gospel that even the Son does not know the hour of his return,” he said.
Jones said he thinks some people may buy into that theory, though, because of the recent number of natural disasters around the world, including earthquakes, tsunamis and floods, and the “anxiety of our times,” including the economy, politics and society....
Friday, May 13, 2011
They are promises he cannot possibly keep on his own. So by blessing the marriage God says, "As long as you have the will to keep these promises, I will give you the grace and the help you need to do it."
Today's wedding points out a custom which the Church of England and her lineal descendents share which is unlike the custom of any other Catholic church on earth. That is the custom that her clergy may marry. In the Roman Communion priests are not to marry, but married men can in some cases serve as priests. In Eastern Orthodoxy a married man may be ordained priest, but no priest may get married.
Our church's rule is that, since Holy Scripture in no way forbids it, the clergy are permitted to apply to themselves the same standards which St. Paul lays out for all Christians in his First Epistle to the Corinthians. St. Paul says some people are called to be married, and some people are called not to be married. Each state of life is a gift which carries its own advantages and disadvantages.
God doesn't think that either of the states is superior to the other. He leaves it to you and the Holy Ghost to figure out which gift you have and then act accordingly.
Father Chad stood before me when I made him a deacon and ordained him a priest, and he promised that his home and his family would be wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Christ. Today he and Megan are taking a momentous new step in that direction.
Article of Religion XXXII, titled "Of the Marriage of Priests," says that it is lawful for the clergy as it is "for all other Christian men, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness."
Let us pray that the marriage begun here today will indeed serve Megan and Father Chad better to their own personal godliness, and that it will always stand as a wholesome example and pattern to us.
-The Most Reverend John Thayer Cahoon, Junior
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Monday, May 09, 2011
On the eve of His passion and death, on the first Maundy Thursday, Our Lord Jesus Christ instructs His Apostles about the Holy Ghost, and He does this to comfort them in their sorrow. Our Lord has announced that He is to leave them; to reassure them and give them hope, He tells them that it is good for Him to be departing, for only by His death and resurrection, only by His glorification, can the Holy Spirit come to the Church. The Holy Ghost’s coming, the gift of the Spirit, is the completion of Our Lord’s mission: Jesus Christ comes in order to communicate the Holy Ghost to His Body, risen, glorified, mystical, corporate.
We await the coming of the Holy Ghost liturgically as we approach the mysteries of Christ’s Ascension into Heaven and the outpouring of the same Spirit at Pentecost, or Whitsunday. The Holy Ghost, according to Christ, is not a replacement for Jesus, not an ‘extra frill’ for the Christian. Our Lord’s entire Incarnation and Sacrifice is provided so that we may receive the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost makes Christ within us. He reproduces the life of Jesus the Head in the members of His Body. He makes us one with God.
The Comforter, or the Paraclete in Greek, means ‘Strengthener,’ ‘Helper,’ ‘Advocate,’ ‘Guide,’ ‘Witness,’ ‘Counsellor,’ ‘Defender,’ ‘Pleader.’
The Holy Ghost has often been called the ‘neglected Person of the Trinity.’ He seems sometimes ignored, because He does not appear as concrete to us as the Jesus of the Gospels. ‘The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit’ (Saint John 3.8). And yet, He is just as real and just as divine and alive. He is the Conglorified One, the One who proceeds from the Father through the Son, and is worshipped with the Father and the Son. The Holy Ghost is God. ‘We know the Holy Ghost is God, because only God can make man partake of the divine nature, and that is what the Holy Ghost does for man,’ says Saint Basil the Great. In other words, the Holy Ghost, the Third Person of the Godhead, makes man godlike, thus proving His own divinity. Jesus teaches His disciples that the mission of the Holy Ghost is to reveal the Father and to glorify the Son. And the Holy Ghost has a mission towards us: to make us the Likeness of God, the children of God, God’s Saints!
We believe in the Indefectibility of the Church. Our Lord’s promise of the Holy Ghost to His Body, the Church, is given so as to preserve her from error and keep her always in the truth. The Church is the Home of the Holy Ghost, the permanent abode of the Spirit of God. The Church is the unique sphere in which the Holy Ghost now lives, works and sanctifies. ‘Where there is the Church there is the Spirit, and where the Spirit is, there is the Church and all grace,’ proclaims Saint Irenaeus of Lyons (AD 150), Bishop of Lyons, France, one of the most eminent of the earliest apologists for orthodox Christianity. Jesus Christ promised the Holy Ghost to the Church, to be hers forever, the Source of union with the Father and the Son.
The Holy Spirit comes with a two-fold purpose. First, He will judge the world, convicting the world of its sin. He shows us the truth about sin - that sin consists of the rejection of Jesus Christ as God and Saviour – and about righteousness - which is demonstrated by Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension into glory - and judgement - for Christ the King has destroyed the power of the devil. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth.
Second, the Holy Spirit is the Teacher of the Church. He does not teach a new revelation of a new truth, but deepens and extends the Church’s understanding of the Faith once delivered unto the Saints (Saint Jude 3). The Holy Comforter, our Teacher, shows us the import of the ‘things to come’ of Christ’s death and glorification, and of the end of the world, death and judgement day. Christ shows Himself through His Spirit.
We can be certain, therefore, when the Holy Catholic Church of the Creeds, to which we as Anglicans belong, teaches a doctrine through her unbroken two-thousand year continuous Tradition, tradition with a capital T, that doctrine is absolutely, positively true. The Church’s very existence and teaching authority rest in the existence and teaching authority of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit guarantees that our Faith is that found in all places, in all times, faithful to the Apostles and Fathers, and acknowledged by the consent of the whole Church. The Scriptures and Creeds hold a stamp of divine approval and dependability. We have Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Word, Himself the Word of God, on it - literally.
Our Blessed Lord did not leave us without guidance or direction for the application and practice of the Christian Faith. His most precious gift to us, the Holy Ghost who bears revelation, commends to us the Faith by which we are saved and come to God, which Faith is perpetually ensured and offered to us. We can be assured that Christ lives and saves through His Body, the Church, into which we have been wonderfully incorporated. This Body, the Church, is the Spirit-possessed Body of Christ; in this Body, the Holy Ghost lives, moves and now has His being. The Holy Ghost is the Soul of the Church. The Holy Ghost is Christ’s divine authentication that the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church will be faithful to what Christ is and has taught, not by her own merits and power, but by the promise of Christ and the power of Him Who is the Spirit of Truth. Bishops, who succeed the Apostles and inherit the fullness of the priesthood and the Apostolic Ministry, possess as a collective body, an episcopal college, this Comforter who was first given to the Apostles, the Charism of truth, that they may faithfully teach and defend the Catholic, or universal Faith.
‘Holy Scripture is interpreted, fulfilled and completed by Holy Tradition.’ ‘Holy Tradition is the Life of the Holy Ghost in the Church’ (Saint Basil the Great). The Church trusts utterly in the omnipotent promise of Jesus Christ and in the Person and Work of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit takes all those things which belong to the Eternal Son, which are in turn the Father’s, and makes them known to us, to the Church. Our faith calls this divine teaching and preservation indefectibility, safety from error and false doctrine.
The Holy Ghost comes to each of us personally. Christ redeems our nature. By His Incarnation, the Eternal Word has assumed all that makes us human and has raised it to God. God has put on our flesh and made it divine. Now, the Holy Ghost comes to our persons, individually, through the divinised humanity of Jesus we share, to fill us with God’s very Life and to make us godlike, so that we may participate in the Communion of the Holy Trinity and partake of the divine nature. The Church and Sacraments are the covenanted means of grace by which we are given the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth.
The Holy Ghost is Jesus’ Gift to us, to make us holy. Our Holy Baptism causes us to become one Body by one Spirit and to ‘drink of one Spirit’ (I Corinthians 12.13). By Baptism we receive the Holy Ghost for the remission of sins (Acts 2.38). Our Holy Confirmation serves as our own ‘personal Pentecost.’ Confirmation is the single moment in our lives when the Holy Spirit enters into us in His fullness, in a new and profound way, and seals us with His own Presence. It is the Sacrament by which the strengthening Sevenfold Gift of the Comforter is given to us by the imposition of Apostolic hands (Acts 8.14-25). The Holy Ghost is Christ’s Sacramental Gift to us, by Whom we become the Temple and dwelling-place of God.
The Holy Ghost is our Sanctifier and our Teacher. Let us forever adore Him our God, with the Father and the Son, and with ceaseless gratitude celebrate the coming Pentecost solemnity. ‘Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire, and lighten with celestial fire...’
Friday, May 06, 2011
Wonderful news indeed that two brothers of the Society of the Holy Cross have been appointed to serve as bishops for the traditional constituency of the Church of England... and Father Hope Patten must be rejoicing to see his successor as Rector of the parish of Saint Mary's Walsingham raised to the episcopate. Surely that would have been unthinkable in 1931 when the Shrine of Our Lady was restored. Congratulations to Father Baker and Father Banks - our prayers are with you as you begin your new ministries.
In line with the 1993 Act of Synod, the Archbishop of Canterbury has commissioned the Provincial Episcopal Visitors to work with the diocesan bishops to provide extended pastoral care and sacramental ministry, as well as acting as spokesmen and advisors, to ensure that ‘the integrity of differing beliefs and positions concerning the ordination of women to the priesthood should be mutually recognised and respected’.
The Revd Jonathan Baker who is currently Principal of Pusey House succeeds Bishop Andrew Burnham as Bishop of Ebbsfleet.
Commenting on his appointment, Jonathan Baker said:
‘The appointment of two new PEVs for the Southern Province is a real sign of commitment by the Church of England to the growth and renewal of every aspect of its common life, particularly its catholic tradition which I know and love. I look forward immensely to serving as Bishop of Ebbsfleet and to leading the clergy and lay people in my care to have confidence in their faith and in proclaiming the Gospel to all.’
The Revd Norman Banks who is currently Vicar of Walsingham, Houghton and Barsham, succeeds Bishop Keith Newton as Bishop of Richborough.
Commenting on his appointment, Norman Banks said:
‘One of the real pleasures and privileges of being Vicar of S. Mary’s is getting to know so many of the people who visit Walsingham regularly and make the Parish Church part of their pilgrimage.
I am both delighted and honoured that for those in the Richborough area I am about to have the opportunity and privilege of becoming their bishop and visiting them where they regularly worship. From the many recent conversations I have had, I believe that there is real desire across the Church of England to find a way for us to hold together with integrity and generosity. I hope the appointment of two new PEV’s will be seen as both ‘gift’ and ‘sign’ at this crucial time in the life of our Church.’
Welcoming the news, Dr Williams said:
‘I am very happy to welcome two such faithful and gifted priests as colleagues. They are taking up a very demanding pastoral ministry at a time of much upheaval and uncertainty, and will need our prayers and friendship as we work in the Church of England for a future in which there is full mutual respect and constructive work in mission to be undertaken together.
I am deeply grateful to those who have exercised pastoral care for traditionalist priests and parishes in recent months, especially Bishops John Ford, Mark Sowerby and Lindsay Urwin.’
Monday, May 02, 2011
Let us pray for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and for their union, that it may be blessed, happy and holy.
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