26 November 2009

A homily by St John Chrysostom

If we are sheep, we overcome; if wolves, we are overcome
As long as we are sheep, we overcome and, though surrounded by countless wolves, we emerge victorious; but if we turn into wolves, we are overcome, for we lose the shepherd’s help. He, after all, feeds the sheep not wolves, and will abandon you if you do not let him show his power in you... (more)

14 November 2009

Why God does not give quick rewards for righteousness

None of the righteous receive the fruits of their goodness instantly, but all have to wait for them. If it were otherwise, if God gave quick rewards for righteousness, then it would not be piety that drove us to good acts but a simple matter of business. We would see virtue not as a good thing but as a profitable thing. For this reason the judgement of God shakes a spirit that is not filled with righteousness and loads chains upon it.

09 November 2009

Sacred and Profane Love, Titan

04 November 2009

More from Willard

"I want to be living in Christ's teaching, yes. And the thing that is so often missed is that it requires understanding....when I am blessing this person who is cursing me, I'm not doing it just because Jesus told me to do it. I'm doing it because I've discovered how good it is. And in discovering that, I've come to admire Jesus even more."

This explains the mechanism that will perpetually increase our confidence in Jesus' authority and superiority.

On only teaching what we know

Here is Willard when asked what he would do if he were entering the ministry today knowing what he knows now: "...I would want to make sure that I had first-hand knowledge of the spiritual life, and that I was learning how to live that life for myself. Then I would share with my people the things I had learned so they could put it into practice in their lives."

Compare this with a sermon given by St. Charles Borromeo, "Be sure that you first preach by the way you live. If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise, and your words will bring only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head."

02 November 2009

Sermon on All Souls: St. Bernard, abbot

Let us make haste to our brethren who are awaiting us
Why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this feast day mean anything to the saints? What do they care about earthly honours when their heavenly Father honours them by fulfilling the faithful promise of the Son? What does our commendation mean to them? The saints have no need of honour from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning.
Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself
. We long to share in the citizenship of heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed, to join the assembly of patriarchs, the ranks of the prophets, the council of apostles, the great host of martyrs, the noble company of confessors and the choir of virgins. In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the saints. But our dispositions change. The Church of all the first followers of Christ awaits us, but we do nothing about it. The saints want us to be with them, and we are indifferent. The souls of the just await us, and we ignore them. (more)