If you like Mark Steyn as much as I do, you will like this interview he did with Brian Lilley of The Rebel. Here he talks about Trump, Brexit, Marine Le Pen, and Canadian politics.
I wanted to mention a series of Lenten meditations that Fr. Dennis of the A BCP Anglican blog did last year; they were quite good and worthy of another look. Read one or two of these a week and you will find them most edifying.
From the good people of Jesmond Parish Church in the United Kingdom, here is a sermon by the Rev. Jonathan Redfearn – the sixth in a series on 1 Timothy, and titled “Being Good Servants of Christ.” Here, Rev. Redfearn preaches on 1 Timothy 4:6-16, reminding us to cling to God, not man.
From Faith and Life, here is another reading for the First Sunday in Lent, this one being from Augustine of Hippo:
Our Lord’s will has been to prefigure us, who are His body, in that Body of His in which He has already died and risen, and ascended into Heaven; that whither the Head has gone before, thither the members may trust to follow. Therefore He represented us in Himself, when He willed to be tempted by Satan. For in Christ you were tempted, since Christ had flesh for Himself from you, salvation from Himself for you; death for Himself from you, life from Himself for you; insults for Himself from you, honours from Himself for you; therefore temptation for Himself from you, victory from Himself for you. If in Him we have been tempted, in Him we overcome the devil. Do you observe that Christ was tempted, and not also that He conquered? Recognize yourself as tempted in Him, and recognize yourself as conquering in Him.
–St. Augustine, on Psalm lx.
Indeed, it is only by His Spirit that we can conquer temptation.
This is a repost from previous years – from the book Faith and Life: Readings Compiled from Ancient Writers, here is a selection for the First Sunday in Lent, by St. John Chrysostom:
I. THE ACCEPTED TIME.
“BEHOLD, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” Let us not then throw away the opportunity, but exhibit such earnestness as is worthy of the grace bestowed. “See that ye receive not the grace in vain.” For lest they should think that reconciliation to God consisted simply in believing in His summons, he adds this requirement of earnestness of life. For if a man has been released from his sins, and made a friend, and then again plunges into his former evils, this is to return to envy, and, as far as conduct goes, to receive the grace in vain. For if we live impurely, we are not much helped by grace in regard to salvation; on the contrary, we are all the more injured, being weighed down by it in the midst of our sins, seeing that after such a recognition and such a bounty we have returned to our former evil deeds. But he does not as yet express this thought, for fear of making his discourse repulsive; he only says, grace, in this case, does us no good. Then he reminds them of prophecy, urging and pressing them on to start up and lay hold on salvation. “For the Scripture says, In a time accepted I heard thee, and in a day of salvation I succoured thee; behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” What is the accepted time? It is the time of bounty, the time of grace, when we are not called upon to answer for our sins nor to suffer punishment; but, besides being released from it, to enjoy innumerable blessings, righteousness, sanctification, and every thing else. Let us draw near and show forth goodness of life; for this is easy. For he who enters on the contest at such a time as this, in which such exuberant bounty is poured forth, in which such fulness of grace, will easily win the prize. Let us then enter on our contest in the time of this bounty; it is a day of grace, of Divine grace; therefore we shall easily win the crown.
–St. Chrysostom, Hom. xii. on 2 Cor.
Indeed. now is the accepted time, and this is a great reminder that we are truly in “a time of bounty, a time of grace” in this season: will we “not then throw away the opportunity”?
This month’s free audiobook from christianaudio: “The Gospel Call and True Conversion” by Paul Washer
In The Gospel Call and True Conversion, Paul Washer challenges the real meaning of things like faith, repentance, and receiving Christ. He also deals extensively with the effects of saving grace that God promises in the new covenant; namely, the creation of new hearts and new people.
Sometimes we need to be awakened from complacency and this book, The Gospel Call and True Conversion, might be one that can accomplish this. Paul Washer is known for stressing true repentance as opposed to “easy believism”, and that is a message much needed in our day – see what you think.
This is another repost from past years – a quote for Ash Wednesday from Faith and Life: Readings Compiled from Ancient Writers, and it is from St. Leo:
WE have come, dearly beloved, to the beginning of Lent, that is, to the more earnest service of our Lord ; and as we are entering on a kind of contest of holy exertion, let us prepare our souls for strife with temptation, and understand that exactly in proportion to our greater heartiness in pursuing our salvation will be the vehemence of our enemies’ assault. But stronger is He that is in us than he that is against us, and we have force through Him in whose power we confide; for it was to this end that our Lord allowed Himself to be tempted by the Tempter, that, as we are guarded by His aid, we should be instructed by His example. For He conquered the adversary by authorities from the Law, not by the exertion of superior might; that by this means He might at once put a higher honour on man, and inflict a heavier punishment on the adversary, in that the foe of mankind was conquered not as it were by God, but by man. He therefore fought then, that we too might fight afterwards; He conquered, that we too might conquer likewise. For there are no works of virtue without the trials of temptation, no faith without probation, no conflict without a foe, no victory without an engagement. This life of ours lies in the midst of snares, in the midst of battles. If we do not mean to be deceived, we must keep watch; if we do mean to conquer, we must fight.
–St Leo, First Sermon on Lent.
As J.C. Ryle said, “True Christianity is a fight.” Lent is a reminder of that.
One edifying series of Lenten posts is going to be 40 Days in the 39 Articles by the Rev. Dr. Lee Gatiss. As he notes, “This year, with it being the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we turn to the Church of England’s own Reformational basis of faith — the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion.” I would say this will be very much worth following along as Dr. Gatiss leads us in discovering what the Articles really say – not a bad Lenten discipline at all. (Hat tip: EFAC USA’s Facebook page)