As a man enters into the deeper pools of the Christ-life he enters into the process of self-conquest, it is there that he finds a conquest which is far different than any other conquest he has pursued up to that point. Previously, such a man has endeavored to overcome, transform, and simplify his outward appetites. But now he begins to focus on his interior life. It is one thing to command his emotions, but it becomes another thing entirely to command his inner most thoughts and bring them into submission to Christ. Only then will Christ become the fullness of his thought life, at which point he perceives what is the true substance of an imperishable Principle. He sees that the righteousness for which he has been searching is never-changing and fixed, that it cannot respond with any capitulation or accommodation to men, but that a man must submit to it and obey it. It calls for an unwavering line of conduct apart from all consideration of loss or gain, of reward or punishment. In reality it consists of full and complete self-abandonment to all sins of self-interest, desire, and opinion, upon which he once placed the whole of his identity. Only then can such a man begin to live a blameless life of perfect love towards all. Such a life is spiritually fixed and mature; it is without turning, compromise, or preconceived qualifications, and it exacts a blameless conduct out of the man as he stands among fellow men. It brings forth, without question, a life of peace that is the direct antithesis of a worldly life. In fact, it is then that such a man has overcome the world.
~ Fr. Richard+
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
There comes a time and place along the path of our Christian journey when we arrive at a crossroad and are being forced to make a choice. The choice becomes whether we are willing to lay down our own lives so that we might pick up the burden of another, or to let another suffer while we go about living our daily life pretending that we are not responsible for helping them in the midst of their suffering; that they are somehow the one responsible for their own miserable condition. This is the greatest test of our faith! It is easy to walk past those who suffer, and to turn a blind eye to their suffering. But to look at the suffering of others through the loving and compassionate eyes of Christ means we are being called to die on the cross with Him in order that those who are suffering might live. And if we see Christ Himself in the suffering soul, then we are fulfilling the call of Christ by truly ministering unto Him.
~ Fr. Richard+
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
When we begin to understand how it is that God knew each of us before we were created in our mother's womb, and how He infused our soul from out of the unseen realm into a living body that has form and substance in this realm, we can begin to see each other as having equal value and worth to Him who created us and who loves us. Christ, who was both the Eternal and the Incarnate Word, He who was both fully God and fully man, came into the world to walk through our human experience, not so He could understand our human toil and struggles (although He was acquainted with our griefs and our sorrows), but for us to come in contact with His Divine nature, which is Love, and to be made partakers of that Divine nature. He spoke in human parables about God's kingdom so that we would understand in some small way that there is an eternal existence beyond our corporeal (fleshly) existence. He demonstrated the eternal kingdom of God before our very eyes for our benefit, all so that those with eyes to see and ears to hear might have hope of the life to come and understand that Christ was showing us the way back home to the Father who loves us and created us for His Love. However, because of sin, none of us deserve to be in His presence, nor deserve His grace. Yet, so valuable to God is each life and soul which He created, that the Holy One from heaven came down and walked the earth with sinners. He sat with sinners, He dined with sinners, He healed sinners... He saved sinners. Each one of us, no matter what lot in life we've been dealt, can reach out to be touched by the Divine, and be united with the Divine, the Holy One who is not from this world, the One who sets us completely free from the things of this temporal life which bind us to the world. And once set free from the world and all the things in it, there is no thing that can keep us from fulfilling our Divine and eternal purpose for which we were created.
~ Fr. Richard+
2 Peter 1:2-4
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his Divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine nature (love), having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Priest and Vicar of The Uprising ~ Ancient:Modern:Anglican Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Uprising is an Incarnational and Sacramental Anglican mission community seeking the spiritual renewal of our city through the grace, love, truth, and power of Christ.