“To be a teacher was an excellent thing. Those vacant looks might be inwardness. The young might have been restless around any primal fire where an elder was saying, Know this. Certainly they would have been restless. Their bodies were consumed with the business of lengthening limbs, sprouting hair, fitting themselves for procreation. Even so, sometimes she felt a silence in the room deeper than ordinary silence. How could she have abandoned that life? For what had she abandoned it?”—
“You cannot understand a Christian without witness. We are not a ‘religion’ of ideas, of pure theology, beautiful things, of commandments. No, we are a people who follow Jesus Christ and bear witness – who want to bear witness to Jesus Christ - and sometimes this witness leads to laying down our lives.”—Pope Francis (via oratio-ad-astra)
“There are some who seek knowledge for the sake of knowing, and this is unseemly curiosity. And there are some who seek knowledge in order to be known, and this is unseemly vanity. And there are those who seek knowledge in order to sell their knowledge, and this is unseemly quest for gain. But there are also those who seek knowledge in order to edify, and this is charity. And there are those who seek knowledge in order to be edified, and this is prudence.”—Bernard of Clairvaux
“This modern intimacy and transference of friendship to the private sphere is quite foreign to Jesus’ friendship with his disciples and with people who were publicly known as tax-collectors and sinners. In order to live in his friendship today, Christians must acquire the character of public protection and public respect. The friendship of Jesus cannot be lived and its friendliness cannot be disseminated when friendship is limited to people who are like ourselves and when it is narrowed down to private life. The messianic feast which Jesus celebrates with his own and with the despised and unregarded is not merely ‘the marriage of the soul with God’; it is also ‘the festival of the earth’…When we compare the ancient and the modern concept of friendship it becomes clear that Christians must show the friendship of Jesus in openness for others, and totally. In his Spirit they will become the friends of others. They will spread friendliness through a sane passion for humanity and the freedom of man… Open friendship prepares the ground for a friendly world.”—Moltmann (via azspot)
“There is no blueprint on file for becoming a pastor. In becoming one, I have found that it is a most context-specific way of life: the pastor’s emotional life, family life, experience in the faith, and aptitudes worked out in the actual congregation in the neighborhood in which she or he lives — these people just as they are, in this place. No copying. No trying to be successful. The ways in which the vocation of pastor is conceived, develops, and comes to birth is unique to each one.”—Eugene Peterson (via bethmaynard)
“There is no greater contribution that can be made by the tiny people of God in the revolution of our age than to be that people, both separate from the world and identified with its needs, both the soul of society (without which it cannot live) and its conscience (without which it cannot be at peace).”—John Howard Yoder (via benghini)
“It is totally impossible to solve anything with the world’s fixation on “rights.” … Christianity consists in being right and conceding, and in doing so letting victory triumph: Christ on the Cross and “truly, this is the Son of God.””—Alexander Schmemann (via bethmaynard)
“Nothing does so establish the mind amidst the rollings and turbulences of present things, as to look above them and beyond them - above them, to the steady and good hand by which they are ruled, and beyond them, to the sweet and beautiful end to which, by that hand, they will be brought.”—Jeremy Taylor
“What is at issue here is a species of vision that breaks down the rigid lineaments of a world that interprets itself principally according to the brilliant glamour and spectacle of power, the stable arrangement of all things in hierarchies of meaning and authority, or the rational measures of social order and civic prestige … The scale of the reversal cannot be exaggerated: when Jesus stands before Pilate for the last time, beaten, derided, robed in purple and crowned with thorns, he must seem, from the vantage of all the noble wisdom of the empire and the age (which wisdom Nietzsche sought to resuscitate), merely absurd, a ridiculous figure prating incomprehensibly of an otherworldly kingdom and some undefined truth, obviously mad, oblivious of the lowliness of his state and of the magnitude of the powers into whose hands he has been delivered. But in the light of the resurrection, from the perspective of Christianity’s inverted order of vision, the mockery now redounds upon all kings and emperors, whose finery and symbols of status are revealed to be nothing more than rags and brambles beside the majesty of God’s Son, beside this servile shape in which God displays his infinite power to be where he will be; all the rulers of the earth cannot begin to surpass in grandeur this beauty of the God who ventures forth to make even the dust his glory. There is a special Christian humor here, a special kind of Christian irreverence: in Rome the emperor is now as nothing, a garment draped over the shoulders of a slave and then cast aside. Christianity is indeed a creed for slaves, but in neither the subtle Hegelian nor the crude Nietzschean sense: in contrast to Hegel and Nietzsche—to dialectic and diatribe alike—Christian faith speaks of the slave as God’s glory, the one who lies farthest out in the far country, to whom tidings of joy are sent from before the foundation of the world, and from whom the free and infinite God cannot be separated by any distance, certainly not that between the high and low, because he is the distance of all things. Indeed, the beauty of God reveals itself with its most incandescent intensity among those who suffer, who are as children, who are powerless, because—for all they lack—the ultimate privation of violence often has not entered into them, for the simple reason the they do not occupy the position of coercive force. Not that the weak are not sinners, or that spite and cruelty cannot make even of weakness a weapon, but nevertheless, the weakness of sinners is the strength of God, and when he dwells among the suffering, God is most truly known as the God he is.”—David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite, pp. 337-8 (via bluedollar)
“What I remember of that Sunday, though, and of the Sundays that immediately followed, is less the services themselves than the walks we took afterwards, and less the specifics of the conversations we had about God, always about God, than the moments of silent, and what felt like sacred, attentiveness those conversations led to: an iron sky and the lake so calm it seemed thickened; the El blasting past with its rain of sparks and brief, lost faces; the broad leaves and white blooms of a catalpa on our street, Grace Street, and under the tree a seethe of something that was just barely still a bird, quick with life beyond its own. I was brought up with the poisonous notion that you had to renounce love of the earth in order to receive the love of God. My experience has been just the opposite: a love of the earth and existence so overflowing that it implied, or included, or even absolutely demanded, God. Love did not deliver me from the earth, but into it.”—
The five-year-old son of a founding member of Baghdad’s Anglican church was cut in half during an attack by the Islamic State1 on the Christian town of Qaraqosh.
“I’m almost in tears because I’ve just had somebody in my room whose little child was cut in half,” [Canon Andrew] said. “I baptized his child in my church in Baghdad. This little boy, they named him after me – he was called Andrew.”
Those wanting to assist the church in Baghdad can find more information here.
pray for us, oh holy mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.