31 July 2021
30 July 2021
Feelings cannot exist in anything but a living soul. These events show that just as Jesus had a human body he had a human soul. We read about the diversity of his feelings in the reports of the Evangelists: Jesus was astonished, was angered, was grieved, was elated, and similar emotive responses without number.—St. Augustine, Against the Apollinarians, 80.
If faith receives forgiveness of sins because of love, forgiveness of sins will always be uncertain, because we never love as much as we ought to. Indeed, we do not love unless are hearts are firmly convinced that forgiveness of sins has been granted to us.—Ap IV:110.
29 July 2021
28 July 2021
27 July 2021
26 July 2021
25 July 2021
23 July 2021
22 July 2021
21 July 2021
[We abuse the name of God] when a person forgets the blessings of God and does not thanks Him for them. When a person will not acknowledge that God the Lord imparts to us every good thing in body and soul, but instead ascribes them simply to natural causes or even also to blind luck.—Johann Gerhard, Schola Pietatis, III:284.
A true Christian is a new creation, a new person who has been inwardly changed, in both heart and mind by the Holy Spirit. This change shows itself chiefly in his attitude toward sin. A true Christian wants to recognize ever more thoroughly and vividly everything is sin according to God’s Word, and he hates and fears even the seemingly smallest sins in word, in deed, and in desire.—C. F. W. Walther, God Grant It!, p. 589.
20 July 2021
[Gerhard lists out a number of abuses of the divine name]: When a person uses many words in prayer and think a person will be heard on that account (Matt. 6:7). When a person with his prayer relies on his own merit and worthiness. When a person does not pray in accordance with God’s will (1 Jn 5:14). When a person prays for that which runs counter to God’s command. When a person prays because he is consumed with his own sensuality (James 4:3). When a person prescribes in prayer to God the Lord the time and hour He is to help (Judith 8:11). When a person binds the power of prayer to particular places apart from, and contrary to, God’s Word (John 4:21). All of this applies to the abuse and desecration of the Name of God.—Johann Gerhard, Schola Pietatis III:279.
Who can be happier than the one who has God on his side, even if the whole world is against him?—C. F. W. Walther, God Grant It!, p. 587.
19 July 2021
18 July 2021
17 July 2021
16 July 2021
15 July 2021
14 July 2021
13 July 2021
12 July 2021
11 July 2021
10 July 2021
09 July 2021
To earth, must slumber free from pain
A little while, that it may gain
The spirit's fellowship once more.
The years will pass with rapid pace
Till through these limbs the life shall flow,
And the long-parted spirit go
To seek her olden dwelling-place.
Then shall the body, that hath lain
And turned to dust in slow decay,
On airy wings be borne away
And join its ancient soul again.
Therefore our tenderest care we spend
Upon the grave: and mourners go
With solemn dirge and footstep slow--
Love's last sad tribute to a friend.
08 July 2021
07 July 2021
06 July 2021
05 July 2021
02 July 2021
For us, indeed, it is an occasion to thank God for the glorious revelation which occurred on this day, that Elisabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit; and although till now she knows nothing about Christ and his conception, she here declares and openly confesses that Mary is in truth the mother of her Lord and God. And John leaps in his mother's womb in witness to his Lord, while Mary sings her beautiful song of praise, the Magnificat, showing most excellently the profundity of her understanding. We still repeat it after her. It expresses the reason for us to celebrate, to learn it, and thank God for it. The purpose for the pope's celebration is to invoke Mary; but our purpose is to praise and thank God in accordance with the example of the beloved Virgin, so that we celebrate just as she did.
On this day, we pray in our churches:
Almighty God, You chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of Your Son and made known through her Your gracious regard for the poor and lowly and despised. Grant that we may receive Your Word in humility and faith, and so be made one with Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
01 July 2021
30 June 2021
29 June 2021
28 June 2021
25 June 2021
24 June 2021
The rabbi was preparing to give the little one the name of his father when Elizabeth interrupted. “No, he shall be called John.” John, which means Yahweh is gracious. The people in the room look at the women in amazement and the rabbi frowns: “None of your relatives is called by that name!” he exclaims. All eyes fix on the old man, Zechariah, still silent, nary a word escaping his lips since his vision in the temple. They make signs to him to ask what he should be named (signs? He’s dumb, not deaf!). He motions for a writing tablet and writes upon it: his name is John.
And then it stopped, as suddenly as it had started. His mouth was opened, his tongue loosed, and he spoke. What did he speak? St. Luke strongly hints at it by saying that he was “blessing God.” That is, the words that we know as the Benedictus. He opens his lips in a canticle of praise to the God of Israel, who has visited and redeemed His people. What is amazing about the canticle is that most of it isn’t about John at all; there’s a bigger miracle in the room!
Zechariah shouts to one and to all that the time of the great fulfillment foretold by the prophets was at hand. The God of Israel had visited His people to rescue them. He was showing mercy, remembering the covenant and oath He swore to Abraham. Now all God’s people would be set free to serve God without fear in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life. And if God was now in the flesh, his beloved little John would be the prophet of the Most High, going before the Lord to prepare His way, the way of Him who came to bring light to those sitting in the shadow of death, guiding feet into the very way of peace. The people marveled and wondered at the astonishing words that they heard.
You may wonder too. For this is what you have been created for: to serve, to worship, to praise God, and to do so without fear because God has come in the flesh to clothe you in a holiness and righteousness that can stand in the presence of the All Holy without trembling, fear or shame. A holiness and righteousness that force death and Satan to back away from you. For your holiness and your righteousness IS the Child who was in Mary’s womb and on Calvary’s tree and is risen from the dead. He has answered for all your sin. He has died the death for you and lives to give salvation too you. Marvel and wonder indeed, people loved by God. He has visited you and shows you great mercy. Open your mouth with Zechariah, and with Mary, and bless His holy name! Amen.
23 June 2021
22 June 2021
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays;…
Whatever a person pursues in this world that hinders him from the pursuit of Christ is eventually taken from him so he can become embittered toward the world and awakened to the love of Christ.—C. F. W. Walther, God Grant It!, p. 522 [Weedon notes: a remarkably similar thought to that expressed by Francis Thompson in his “Hound of Heaven”:
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child’s mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!’]