Christ, our Light

Quotations for October, 2003

Wednesday, October 1, 2003
Commemoration of Remigius, Bishop of Rheims, Apostle of the Franks, 533
Commemoration of Thérèse of Lisieux, Carmelite Nun, Spiritual Writer, 1897

Most of our conflicts and difficulties come from trying to deal with the spiritual and practical aspects of our life separately instead of realising them as parts of one whole. If our practical life is centred on our own interests, cluttered up by possessions, distracted by ambitions, passions, wants and worries, beset by a sense of our own rights and importance, or anxieties for our own future, or longings for our own success, we need not expect that our spiritual life will be a contrast to all this. The soul’s house is not built on such a convenient plan; there are few sound-proof partitions in it. Only when the conviction—not merely the idea—that the demand of the Spirit, however inconvenient, comes first and IS first, rules the whole of it, will those objectionable noises die down which have a way of penetrating into the nicely furnished little oratory, and drowning all the quieter voices by their din.
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The Spiritual Life, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1937, reprinted, Morehouse Publishing, 1985, p. 33-34 (see the book; see also 1 John 2:16; Luke 16:8; 1 Cor. 3:19-20; Jas. 3:13-17; Jude 1:17-19; more at Ambition, Anxiety, Holy Spirit, Practical Christianity, Prayer, Spiritual life)

Thursday, October 2, 2003

Is the leadership of the world-wide church in the hands of men and women who know how to lead others one by one to Jesus Christ? We are so concerned with planning and administration that there is a danger lest we allow these things to serve as an excuse for not doing the one thing on which all else depends.
... Stephen Neill (1900-1984), “The Church in a Revolutionary World”, in International Review of Mission, v. XXXVI, p. 451 (see the book; see also Acts 8:4; Matt. 10:23; John 4:21-24; Acts 11:19; 14:2-7; 1 Thess. 2:2; more at Church, Conversion, Danger, Evangelization, Gospel, Leader)

Friday, October 3, 2003
Commemoration of William Morris, Artist, Writer, 1896
Commemoration of George Kennedy Bell, Bishop of Chichester, Ecumenist, Peacemaker, 1958

The only ultimate disaster that can befall us, I have come to realize, is to feel ourselves to be at home here on earth.
... Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990), Jesus Rediscovered, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1969, p. 31 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 5:1-10; Luke 2:29; John 14:2-3; 1 Cor. 15:46-48; 2 Cor. 4:7; Phil. 1:21-24; 2 Pet. 1:3-5,13-14; more at Attitudes, Earth, Home, In the World, Judgment)

Saturday, October 4, 2003
Feast of Francis of Assisi, Friar, Deacon, Founder of the Friars Minor, 1226

The Lord called me by the way of simplicity and humility, and this way He hath shown me in truth for me and those who will believe and imitate me. And therefore I would that ye name not to me any rule, neither of St. Augustine, nor St. Benedict, nor of Bernard, nor any way or form of living, but that which was mercifully shown and given me by the Lord.
... St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), The Mirror of Perfection [c. 1280], tr. Robert Steele, London: J.M. Dent, 1903, p. 97 (see the book; see also Matt. 18:2-4; Ps. 19:7; 116:6; Mic. 6:8; Matt. 11:25; Luke 14:11; 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Pet. 5:5; more at God, Historical, Humility, Life, Mercy, Rule, Simplicity, Truth, Way)

Sunday, October 5, 2003

The Church, rightly conceived, is the whole covenant people called to serve in the world. The clergy are also part of the laity, and their true function is to help equip the laity to be the Servant People. If they turn aside to rule and to secure their own status, they have betrayed the calling of the special ministry.
... Franklin H. Littell (1917-2009) (see also Luke 22:27; 12:35-36; John 13:14-15; 2 Cor. 4:3-5; Eph. 4:11-13; more at Call, Church, Minister, People, Service, World)

Monday, October 6, 2003
Feast of William Tyndale, Translator of the Scriptures, Martyr, 1536

To hold your truth, to believe it with all your heart, to work with all your might, first to make it real to yourself and then to show its preciousness to other men, and then—not till then, but then—to leave the questions of when and how and by whom it shall prevail, to God; that is the true life of the true believer. There is no feeble unconcern and indiscriminateness there, and neither is there any excited hatred of the creed, the doctrine, or the Church which you feel wholly wrong. You have not fled out of the furnace of bigotry to freeze on the open and desolate plains of indifference. You believe, and yet you have no wish to persecute.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), Sermons, v. III, New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1883, Sermon XII, p. 257 (see the book; see also Acts 5:34,38-39; Job 39:1; Eccl. 9:1; John 7:16,17; more at Attitudes, Belief, Church, Heart, Indifference, Persecution, Truth)

Tuesday, October 7, 2003

When we once begin to form good resolutions, God gives us every opportunity of carrying them out.
... St. John Chrysostom (345?-407), quoted in Catena aurea, v. IV, part 1, Thomas Aquinas, Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1845, p. 67 (see the book; see also Matt. 25:14-30; Luke 10:40-42; John 1:37-40; 15:2; more at Action, God, Goodness, Opportunity, Repentance, Resolve)

Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Nails were not enough to hold God-and-man nailed and fastened on the Cross, had not love held Him there.
... Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), Saint Catherine of Siena as seen in her letters, J. M. Dent, 1906, p. 42 (see the book; see also Heb. 12:1-2; Matt. 27:35-50; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 2:13-14; Heb. 2:10; more at Cross, Easter, Love, Shame, Strength)

Thursday, October 9, 2003
Commemoration of Denys, Bishop of Paris, & his Companions, Martyrs, 258
Commemoration of Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, Philosopher, Scientist, 1253

Holy Orders is not a profession which we enter expecting an advance, or some sort of recognition as a right after so many years of work. But it is rather the giving up of self into the hands of God, without stint and without reserve, and letting Him set the work. It is the recognition of the fact that God has many kinds of work to be done, and that the best paid are not always the most honourable... To enter or exercise the ministry with a view to preferment is like marrying for money and not for love.
... W. C. E. Newbolt (1844-1930), Speculum Sacerdotum, London: Longmans, Green, 1894, p. 112-113,144 (see the book; see also 1 Pet. 5:2-3; John 3:34; 10:12-13; more at Church, Giving, God, Minister, Self, Work)

Friday, October 10, 2003
Feast of Paulinus, Bishop of York, Missionary, 644

In conversion you are not attached primarily to an order, nor to an institution, nor a movement, nor a set of beliefs, nor a code of action—you are attached primarily to a Person, and secondarily to these other things... You are not called to get to heaven, to do good, or to be good—you are called to belong to Jesus Christ. The doing good, the being good, and the getting to heaven, are the by-products of that belonging. The center of conversion is the belonging of a person to a Person.
... E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), Conversion, New York: Abingdon Press, 1959, p. 244 (see the book; see also John 10:4; 8:47; Rom. 6:11; 8:1-2; 1 Cor. 3:21-23; more at Call, Christ, Conversion, Goodness, Heaven, Jesus)

Saturday, October 11, 2003
Commemoration of Ethelburga, Abbess of Barking, 675

This, of course, is what religion is about: this adherence to God, this confident dependence on that which is unchanging. This is the more abundant life, which in its own particular language and own particular way, it calls us to live. Because it is our part in the one life in the whole universe of spirits, our share in the great drive towards Reality, the tendency of all life to seek God, Who made it for Himself, and now incites and guides it, we are already adapted to it, just as a fish is adapted to live in the sea. This view of our situation fills us with a certain awed and humble gladness. It delivers us from all niggling fuss about ourselves, prevents us from feeling self-important about our own little spiritual adventures; and yet makes them worth while as part of one great spiritual adventure.
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The Spiritual Life, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1937, reprinted, Morehouse Publishing, 1985, p. 22-23 (see the book; see also Ps. 90:2; John 10:10; Jas. 1:17; 1 John 4:1; Rev. 1:8; more at Dependence, Faith, Gladness, God, Guidance, Life, Religion, Spiritual life)

Sunday, October 12, 2003
Commemoration of Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, Bishop of York, Missionary, 709
Commemoration of Elizabeth Fry, Prison Reformer, 1845

Accustom yourself gradually to carry Prayer into all your daily occupation. Speak, act, work in peace, as if you were in prayer, as indeed you ought to be.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Selections from Fénelon, ed. Mary Wilder Tileston, Boston: Roberts Bros., 1879, p. 54 (see the book; see also Ps. 88:1; 5:3; 55:17; Mark 11:24-25; Luke 6:12; 1 Thess. 5:17; more at Action, Peace, Prayer, Work)

Monday, October 13, 2003
Feast of Edward the Confessor, 1066

Our wills are not ours to be crushed and broken; they are ours to be trained and strengthened. Our affections are not ours to be blighted and crucified; they are ours to be deepened and purified. The rich opportunities of life are not held out to us only to be snatched away by an invisible hand patiently waiting for the hour when the cup is sweetest; they are given to us that we may grow, alike through their use or their withdrawal. They are real, they are sweet, and they are worthy of our longing for them; we gain nothing by calling them dross, or the world an illusion, or ourselves the victims of deception, or by exalting renunciation as the highest virtue. When these opportunities are denied us, it is a real, not an imaginary, loss which we sustain; and our part is not that of bare renunciation, of simple surrender; our part is to recognize the loss, to bear the pain, and to find a deeper and richer life in doing the will of God.
... Hamilton Wright Mabie (1846-1916), The Life of the Spirit, New York: Dodd, Mead, 1901, p. 131 (see the book; see also Phil. 4:8; Gen. 1:31; Amos 5:15; John 7:18; Rom. 8:22-23; 12:9; 1 Pet. 1:22; more at Illusions, Obedience, Opportunity, Purity, Renunciation, Virtue, Will of God)

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

[God’s] patience is infinite. Men, like small kettles, boil quickly with wrath at the least wrong. Not so God. If God were as wrathful, the world would have been a heap of ruins long ago.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), Reality and Religion: meditations on God, man, and nature, London: Macmillan, 1924, p. 24 (see the book; see also Ps. 86:15; Ex. 34:6-7; Ps. 103:8-10; Isa. 49:15; Luke 20:9-16; more at Desolation, God, Infinite, Patience, World)

Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Feast of Teresa of Avila, Mystic, Teacher, 1582

The love of Jesus is at once avid and generous. All that He has, all that He is, He gives; all that we are, all that we have, He takes.
... Jan van Ruysbroeck (1293-1381), quoted in The Path of Eternal Wisdom: A Mystical Commentary on the Way of the Cross [1911], Evelyn Underhill, London: John M. Watkins, 1911, p. 47 (see the book; see also Matt. 9:35-36; Isa. 40:11; Eze. 11:19; John 6:27; 10:11; 13:34; 14:23; Rom. 6:13; 8:32; 12:1; 2 Cor. 8:5; Gal. 2:20; 2 Pet. 1:3; 1 John 3:16; more at Dedication, Generosity, Giving, Jesus, Love)

Thursday, October 16, 2003
Commemoration of the Oxford Martyrs, Hugh Latimer, Nicolas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer, bishops and martyrs, 1555

Whatever may be our differences of colour, culture, and class, the unity that is ours in Christ is given visible expression at every Synod. Here we all gather around the one Altar, here we all share in shaping the policy of the Church in this diocese; here we all take part in making provision for carrying on the work of the Church during the coming year. At this time, year by year, we are specially conscious of our unity in Christ, and are made aware afresh that we are members of this new race of human beings which is made up of all those of every ethnic group who have been added to Christ. We are members of that Kingdom in which all human antagonisms are transcended. Yet we shall not interpret aright this unity which is ours in Christ Jesus unless we continually remind ourselves that it has its origin in His death and resurrection. The Church springs out of the deeds of Jesus done in the flesh, and we can only fulfil our destiny in the Church as we learn that we are utterly dependent upon the whole Body of Christ.
... Ambrose Reeves (1899-1980), Bishop of Johannesburg [1956], in Church and Race in South Africa, David M. Paton, London: SCM Press, 1958, p. 30-31 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 12:13; John 17:20-21; Gal. 3:28; 1 Pet. 2:9; more at Altar, Body of Christ, Christ, Church, Jesus, Kingdom, Unity)

Friday, October 17, 2003
Feast of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, Martyr, c.107

Grace is the incomprehensible fact that God is well pleased with a man, and that a man can rejoice in God. Only when grace is recognized to be incomprehensible is it grace. Grace exists, therefore, only where the Resurrection is reflected. Grace is the gift of Christ, who exposes the gulf which separates God and man, and, by exposing it, bridges it.
... Karl Barth (1886-1968), The Epistle to the Romans, translated from the 6th edition by Edwyn C. Hoskyns, London: Oxford University Press, H. Milford, 1933, 6th ed., Oxford University Press US, 1968, p. 31 (see the book; see also Rom. 5:1-2; Matt. 3:17; John 1:17; Rom. 1:1-4; 3:22-24; Eph. 2:8-9; Jas. 1:17-18; more at Christ, Easter, God, Grace, Resurrection)

Saturday, October 18, 2003
Feast of Luke the Evangelist

No man dares to condemn the Christian faith today, because the Christian faith has not been tried. Not until men get rid of the thought that it is a poor machine, an expedient for saving them from suffering and pain; not until they get the grand idea of it as the great power of God present in and through the lives of men, not until then does Christianity enter upon its true trial and become ready to show what it can do.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), Addresses, Philadelphia: Henry Altemus, 1895, p. 23 (see the book; more at Condemnation, Faith, God, Pain, Poverty, Power, Salvation, Social)

Sunday, October 19, 2003
Feast of Henry Martyn, Translator of the Scriptures, Missionary in India & Persia, 1812

I hear no one boast, that he hath a knowledge of the Scriptures, but that he owneth a Bible written in golden characters. And tell me then, what profiteth this? The Holy Scriptures were not given to us that we should enclose them in books, but that we should engrave them upon our hearts.
... St. John Chrysostom (345?-407), The Life of St. Chrysostom, Johann August W. Neander, London: Seeley & Burnside, 1838, p. 253 (see the book; see also Matt. 11:15; Jer. 31:33; Rom. 2:14-15; more at Bible, Boasting, Book, Heart, Knowledge, Scripture)

Monday, October 20, 2003

Drop, drop, slow tears, and bathe those beauteous feet
Which brought from Heaven the news and Prince of Peace.
Cease not, wet eyes, His mercies to entreat;
To cry for vengeance sin doth never cease;
In your deep floods drown all my faults and fears,
Nor let His eye see sin, but through my tears.
... Phineas Fletcher (1582-1650), The Spenser of his Age, J. R. Totin, 1905, p. 46 (see the book; see also Luke 7:37-38; Isa. 9:6; Luke 18:10-13; 19:1-10; more at Fear, Heaven, Jesus, Mercy, Sin, Tear, Vengeance)

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and bring Him nearer to our own image.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God [1948], Christian Publications, 1982, p. 95 (see the book; see also Jas. 4:7-8; 2 Chr. 30:8; Ps. 46:10; 66:3; 145:18; Hos. 6:1-2; Matt. 11:29; Rom. 10:3; 14:11; Heb. 12:9; Jas. 1:6-8; more at Apologetics, Apprehension, Knowing God, Life, Understanding)

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

In the days of His earthly ministry, only those could speak to him who came where He was. If He was in Galilee, men could not find Him in Jerusalem; if He was in Jerusalem, men could not find Him in Galilee. But His Ascension means that He is perfectly united with God; we are with Him wherever we are present to God; and that is everywhere and always. Because He is “in Heaven” He is everywhere on earth: because He is ascended, He is here now. Our devotion is not to hold us by the empty tomb; it must lift up our hearts to heaven so that we too “in heart and mind thither ascend and with Him continually dwell;” * it must also send us forth into the world to do His will; and these are not two things, but one.
* from the collect for Ascension, Book of Common Prayer, 1662, 1928
... William Temple (1881-1944), Readings in St. John’s Gospel, London: Macmillan, 1939, 1952, p. 382 (see the book; see also John 20:17; Matt. 28:20; Luke 24:1-6; Acts 1:9-11; more at Ascension, Devotion, Heaven, Jesus, Omnipresence, World)

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Whatever gifts we possess belong to the Body, and are useful only as they are used in the common life of the Church. All this is made very plain in the New Testament Epistles, for in them we are taught that in each local Christian community is a fellowship in which every member is to live in humility and in love to the brethren. Yet no local church is to live to itself. Again and again, local churches are reminded of their close relationship to one another, in life, work, worship, pain, and death. Not that such a relationship is to be regarded either as a matter of convenience or as a question of organization. On the contrary, this intimate relationship is seen as the direct outcome of the saving work of Christ. This unity with one another, and of local churches with each other, is the unity which belongs to the Body of Christ, arising from the unity of God Himself, uttered in the dying and rising again of Jesus, and now expressed in the order and structure of the Church.
... Ambrose Reeves (1899-1980), Bishop of Johannesburg [1956], Church and Race in South Africa, David M. Paton, London: SCM Press, 1958, p. 31 (see the book; see also Rom. 12:4-5; 1:11-12; 15:5-7; Gal. 6:10; 1 Pet. 2:17; 1 John 1:3; more at Body of Christ, Church, Gifts, Humility, Jesus, Love, Unity)

Friday, October 24, 2003

Faith, if it be a living faith, will be a working faith.
... John Owen (1616-1683), An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, ch. VI-VII, in Works of John Owen, v. XXII, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1855, p. 163 (see the book; see also Jas. 2:14-17; 1 Thess. 1:3; Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Tim. 1:5; 2 Pet. 1:5-9; more at Faith, Life, Work)

Saturday, October 25, 2003
Commemoration of Crispin & Crispinian, Martyrs at Rome, c.285

Jesus, thou joy of loving hearts,
Thou fount of life, thou Light of men,
From the best bliss that earth imparts
We turn unfilled to Thee again.
We taste Thee, O Thou living Bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still;
We drink of Thee, the Fountain-head,
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.
O Jesus, ever with us stay,
Make all our moments calm and bright;
Chase the dark night of sin away,
Shed o’er the world Thy holy light.
... Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), ascribed, included in Masterpieces of Religious Verse, James Dalton Morrison, ed., New York: Harper & Bros., 1948, p. 248 (see the book; see also John 6:51; Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; more at Bread, Heart, Holiness, Jesus, Joy, Light, Love)

Sunday, October 26, 2003
Feast of Alfred the Great, King of the West Saxons, Scholar, 899
Commemoration of Cedd, Founding Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of the East Saxons, 664

When God would make His name known to mankind, He could find no better word than “I AM”... “I am that I am,” says God, “I change not.” Everyone and everything else measures from that fixed point.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God [1948], Christian Publications, 1982, p. 94 (see the book; see also Ex. 3:14; Mal. 3:6; John 8:58; Heb. 13:8; Rev. 1:8; 4:8; more at God, Knowing God, Man)

Monday, October 27, 2003

He who desires to become a spiritual man must not be ever taking note of others, and above all of their sins, lest he fall into wrath and bitterness, and a judging spirit towards his neighbors.
... Johannes Tauler (ca. 1300-1361), “Sermon for St. Peter’s Day,” in The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler of Strasbourg, Charles Kingsley, pref. & Susanna Winkworth, tr., New York: Wiley & Halsted, 1858, p. 462 (see the book; see also Luke 6:37-38; Rom. 9:22-23; 2 Tim. 4:2; more at Attitudes, Bitterness, Fall, Judgment, Neighbor, Sin, Spirit, Spiritual life)

Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Feast of Simon & Jude, Apostles

Every man hath greater assurance that God is good and just, than he can have of any subtle speculations about predestination and the decrees of God.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. VI, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon CXXX, p. 311 (see the book; see also Matt. 7:11; Gen. 18:23; Matt. 5:48; Luke 24:38; Gal. 1:8; 1 John 4:8; more at Assurance, God, Goodness, Knowing God, Man, Predestination)

Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Commemoration of James Hannington, Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, Martyr in Uganda, 1885

In our Ashrams of East and West, places of spiritual retreat, we begin with what we call “The Morning of the Open Heart,” in which we tell our needs... We give four or five hours to this catharsis. The reaction of one member, who listened to it for the first time, was: “Good gracious, have we all the disrupted people in the country here?” My reply was: “No, you have a cross section of the church life honestly revealed.” In the ordinary church, it is suppressed by respectability, by a desire to appear better than we really are.
... E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), Conversion, New York: Abingdon Press, 1959, p. 10-11 (see the book; see also Mark 2:15; John 15:1-8; 2 Cor. 4:1,2; 5:11,12; Tit. 1:15,16; Jas. 1:8,22-27;4:8; 1 John 1:10; more at Beginning, Church, Hypocrisy, Listening, Morning, Need, People)

Thursday, October 30, 2003
Commemoration of Martin Luther, Teacher, Reformer, 1546

It must have been a most blessed discovery, that of an old Latin Bible which he found in the Erfurt Library about this time. He had never seen the Book before. It taught him another lesson than that of fasts and vigils... Luther learned now that a man was saved not by singing masses, but by the infinite grace of God: a more credible hypothesis. He gradually got himself founded, as on the rock. No wonder he should venerate the Bible, which had brought this blessed help to him. He prized it as the Word of the Highest must be prized by such a man. He determined to hold by that, as through life and to death he firmly did.
... Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), On Heroes, Hero-worship and the Heroic in History, New York: Wiley, 1859, p. 116 (see the book; see also Matt. 7:24-27; Rom. 3:21-22; Eph. 2:8-9; more at Bible, Death, Discovery, Grace, Historical, Life, Salvation)

Friday, October 31, 2003
Reformation Day

One good man,—one man who does not put his religion on once a week with his Sunday coat, but wears it for his working dress, and lets the thought of God grow into him, and through and through him, till everything he says and does becomes religious, that man is worth a thousand sermons—he is a living Gospel—he comes in the spirit and power of Elias—he is the image of God. And men see his good works, and admire them in spite of themselves, and see that they are Godlike, and that God’s grace is no dream, but that the Holy Spirit is still among men, and that all nobleness and manliness is His gift, His stamp, His picture; and so they get a glimpse of God again in His saints and heroes, and glorify their Father who is in heaven.
... Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), Twenty-five Village Sermons, London: John W. Parker, 1858, p. 197-198 (see the book; see also Matt. 5:14-16; John 6:56; 14:16-17,23; Rom. 8:29-30; Col. 3:17; Tit. 2:9-14; more at Church, Father, God, Good works, Gospel, Grace, Heaven, Holy Spirit, Life, Man, Power, Religion, Saint, Spirit, Sunday)


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