Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Triumph of Grace

I seem to have depressed some of you yesterday, I 'm sorry.
Bare facts are often depressing, "...but we rely on the Lord Jesus Christ".
The theological virtues, are that, "theological", based on our understanding of God.
Charity is not just being kind to one's neighbour but loving God first and foremost.
Hope is not just wishful thinking but a deep knowledge that God will triumph.
Faith isn't a peripheral intuition about God but an ability to trust Him, even we are crucified and feel nothing but His absence, and cry out with Christ, "My God, my God why have you forsaken me".

Today's readings, beautifully express the nature of Hope.
The disciples are overcome by what they don't have, by their lack. There are so many people and they have no food, dispondent they want to send the crowds away. Christ asks what they do have, they find "five loaves and two small fish". The point out the fish are small. They are so overwhelmed by their inability they forget Christ and his blessing. He takes the meagre ration they have, blesses it, and by his power all is transformed, the hungry are fed, sorrow is turned to joy.

It is so easy for us to see what we lack, to be overcome by wreck and ruin about us. The Church in ruin, nothing but gloom and disaster around us. We can do the same in our spiritual lives, nothing but sin and addiction to vice, a downward spiral to damnation. This is Pelagianism and its ugly daughter Jansenism, both are the spawn of Arianism, the denial that God has come amongst us. Real Christianity believes God has come among us and we have seen his Glory. It is not our sin that matters, or even the chaos around us, because ultimately it isn't about us, but about God, and not our love for Him but His love for us.

The story of the Incarnation is about the triumph of Grace and our living in a sacramental existence fill by Grace!


Delia said...

Off topic, but a heartwarming story, I think. A friend's mother who lives in Stornaway (Isle of Lewis) was burgled on Christmas Eve. Her post-box got mangled in the process. The police caught the burglar, but despite their entreaties (they'd been trying to catch him for ages, apparently), my friend's mother absolutely refused to charge him, because it was Christmas Eve.

But he turned up yesterday at her house with a cake to thank her, and said he was going to try to find a job in Glasgow, and would send her a replacement post-box when he'd earned enough money!

Matthias said...

"Pelagianism and its ugly daughter Jansenism" but there is a step sister to Jansenism that is Calvinism. I did not know the depth to which Calvinists question Luther's stance on grace until i read some of their Confessions.
oh and Delia your friend's Mum by exercising Grace has put the thief on the Road to Christ.I posted before but it got lost in my jubilation at the Aussies winning a Test match.Yes that's right I'm an Aussie

John Martyn said...

May I make two comments, I hope encouraging, on this and on the earlier post about priests?

First, no-one can tell what small(ish) acts will have big effects. Nicholas of Myra secretly gave some dowries to the daughters of a man in finacial difficulty. I suspect the cost was not overwhelming to his diocese, or to him. The effects were overwhelming!

Second, as an Anglican I am used to worries about the future, and treat them with reserve. When in the middle of the seventeenth century the Rev.Dr. Fuller told a friend that he was going to write a "History of the Church of England", the friend told him to "make haste, lest the Church of England be finished before the history thereof."

umblepie said...

Encouragement, hope, good cheer, and absolute faith in God - thanks Father for this post, I feel better already!

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