He made the point that converting the nation is not anew thing to do, not so much a Second Spring but a Fifth. Previously there have been the conversion under the Roman Empire, the missions of St Augustine and of the Hiberno-Scottish monks to the Anglo-Saxons, the tenth century re-establishment of the Church after the Danish invasions, and then, after the playing out of the events of the Reformation and Catholic Emancipation, the “Second Spring” as outlined by Newman. Now we need a new process to approach the situation the Church and country face.
—From a talk at the Oxford Oratory given by Fr Jerome Bertram to the members of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. (HT Once I Was A Clever Boy)
Religion, opium for the people. To those suffering pain, humiliation, illness, and serfdom, it promised a reward in an afterlife. And now we are witnessing a transformation. A true opium for the people is a belief in nothingness after death—the huge solace of thinking that for our betrayals, greed, cowardice, murder we are not going to be judged.
England was converted to the faith when St Augustine of Canterbury arrived on the island of Thanet with forty companions. They might have offered service and they probably preached, but they certainly settled down to Benedictine stability and contemplated God. That is one out of thousands of examples of the mystical process of spiritual power. It is mysterious but indisputable.
When we look at our contemporary trouble spots, at violence in the inner cities, at racial hatred, or torture, murder and rape, I can muster little faith in the efficacy of ‘praying about it’. I have absolute confidence in the efficacy of planting a contemplative community in the middle of it and letting God manifest his power. Prayer, real prayer, is no last resort but the first priority.
Martin Thornton, A Joyful Heart.
/via @martin_thornton(via johnthelutheran)
He gave no command more positive than the one relating to the Holy Ordinance of which I am treating. The institution is as solemn as it possibly can be, and was made at the commencement of the most solemn period of His ministry on earth. The injunction on His Apostles to do as He had done, and thereby keep up the memorial He appointed, is as absolute as any command that ever was given. From the account the Holy Evangelists have left us, the universal and perpetual obligation of this command is very apparent.
—Samuel Seabury on the Holy Eucharist (via a-pilgrims-diary)