Upon one occasion, Jesus told a parable in which there was a father who had two sons, and the younger of the sons approached his father to receive his share of the inheritance before his time, and he took it off in a far land, wasted it, and was living in utter misery, upon which he came to himself and returned to his father, begging to be made a servant in his father’s household, but his father took him back as his son saying, “This son of mine was dead, but now he is alive,” and far from holding any consequences or punishment over his head, threw a great feast in celebration of his returning. The elder son, however, refused to take part in the feast, unhappy that his younger brother was being taken back into the household without any account of his wrong-doing being taken. Continue reading “Does Punishment Really Have Anything to Do With Justice?”
“Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it entered into the mind of man, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
“I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”
“Father, I want them to see My Glory, the Glory I had with You before the world began.”
“Now we see as in a mirror dimly, then we shall see face to face.”
“I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
Heaven is real. Heaven is life. God invites us, created and limited, to share in the fullness of His infinite and uncreated being – utter life, fantastic (that is, unbounded) freedom, perfect joy, bliss, truth.
People sometimes ask questions, and then try to answer them, which are inappropriate. The mindset, prevalent in the West, of asking questions and defining and exploring “possibilities” – however well it may do science – is not suited to thinking of God and of the real shape of reality, of His creative relationship with His creatures. Thus, people have asked questions such as, “Can the Blessed in Heaven choose to sin – leave Heaven?” and proposed answers, all of which are, at best, misleading and, at worst, blasphemy. In so many ways, so much is cast in a way which is wrong from start to finish, precluding even the possibility of not thinking wrongly, until we shed that way of thinking, of assuming, of dissecting, of analyzing. Continue reading “Real Life is Heaven”
“Christ is risen from the dead, having trampled down death by death, and having upon those in the tombs life bestowed!”
“This is the night on which Christ broke the prison-bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld!”
“This Jesus God has raised up again – to this we are all witnesses.”
“Because I live you also will live.”
This is our faith! This is Christianity! That Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Son of God and Son of Man, is risen from the dead. This is our hope. This is our salvation. This is our love. This is our life. This is our joy. We are summoned to share in His Resurrection! It is this that gives us strength, that gives us that which renders courage meaningless and unnecessary, it is this that is our sure and certain victory.
It seems that this – that He rose – is what is most hated by the world. That Jesus died the world can accept. Continue reading “Christianity is the Resurrection”
There are so many things that considering that Christians as the brides of Jesus Christ, God the Son and true Man, spotless and worthy by His Blood, makes plain and clear.
Such a thought so perfectly fits and describes so much of the glory of our faith and salvation. St. Paul writes that the woman and man who unite are made one flesh, and the soul saved by the Lord, united with Him, is married to Him as one spirit with Him – the union, far closer, far all-permeating, far more encompassing, far more transformative, of which the marriage of the man and the woman is the shadow, the echo, the illustration.1 There is such a similarity between this thought (and this passage in St. Paul’s Epistles) and the prayer of Jesus on the night before He died, that He would be in us as the Father in Him and that we would be united in Him as He and the Father are one. Continue reading “Thinking like the Brides of God”
“God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son… this is the testimony He has given us concerning His Son: whoever has the Son has eternal life. Whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. Little children, I am writing these things to you who believe in the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
It is all about the Son. It is all in the Son, the Son who is the All in All. There is not and never shall nor can be any assurance of salvation that is separable from assurance of Christ: assurance that God’s testimony is truth, that His Son is who He claimed to be, the Savior of the world.
When the Apostle John wrote that he wanted us to know that we have eternal life, this is what he meant: not some test to determine whether we are in fact “saved” Continue reading “Ask Not About Assurance: Know the Son (Thoughts on 1st John)”
God is Love.
The wrath of God is what His Love looks like from the vantage point of evil, of that which would threaten or destroy the beloved. Thus, there is no conflict at all between the wrath of God and the Love of God. God’s wrath demands nothing other than what His love demands. Justice demands the very thing which mercy demands. Indeed, one might say that the wrath of God is the demand and judgment of His Love that His beloved must be rescued, must be kept or re-made good and whole and perfect, the demand and judgment of His Love that all the imperfections and evils which threaten or mar His beloved must be destroyed. Continue reading “The Wrath of the Love of God”
“You are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, provided you share in His sufferings so that you may also share in His glory.”
“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God and they shall reign upon the earth.”
“All things are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”
Salvation is union with God in the Incarnation of the Word. It is called salvation because we have fallen from that union, because being restored to that union for us now means being saved from sin, being healed from the disease of sin. Continue reading “Salvation: Atonement is Union”
To be saved is to enter into union with the Crucified God. The discipline of the Father is not in first purpose chastisement for sin, but chastisement to bring us into the likeness of – into union with – His Crucified Son.
Salvation is the marriage of the soul to Christ. Shall she not then accompany her Beloved, her Divine Spouse, on His way to Calvary and to the Cross? Continue reading “The Discipline of the Father and the Cross of Jesus”
I cannot stop thinking about what I can only term “The Liturgy of Heaven.”
Revelation forms the greater part of the imagery, of this thought of mine, but other passages of the Bible and some of my experiences with Nature contribute.
I see all the angels and saints arrayed around the Throne, in the midst of which is the Slain and Victorious Lamb, before which is the sea of glass intermingled with fire. It is not, to me, mere imagery I read in a book: it is full of life and meaning. Even the sea of glass intermingled with fire means to me something which I have begun to know but cannot utter. Continue reading “The Church: Participation in Heaven on Earth”
“Take, eat, this is My body, broken for you.”
“Take, all of you. This cup is My blood of the New Covenant, shed for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
“Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood will live because of Me, even as I live because of the living Father who sent Me, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
“Whoever comes to Me will never be hungry and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.”
In the beginning was God the Word, the eternal Self-Revelation of the Father, His perfect Image, true God from true God. They made man and woman in Their image, after Their likeness. This, alone, is tremendous: think about it for a moment, until you stand over-awed by it: God Himself made a creature in His own likeness. It is overwhelming. But, this is only the beginning. This man and woman sin, choose lonely death over the Divine Life, by believing a lie over their Creator, the Truth. They choose to eat of the forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, of which their Creator had told them that if they eat of it they will surely die, instead of eating the fruit of the Tree of Life, which God had given to them along with all the other trees of the Garden. Continue reading “The Living Bread is Real: Real Justification and Life by the Real Death of Jesus”