Church

Your List of Lenten Bible Verses on Penance

Courtesy of Dr Taylor Marshall:

If you’re like me, the commitments of Lent are becoming a bit more difficult. To keep your eyes on the prize, here are the Top Ten Bible verses on Penance. In Greek, we often find in Scripture the Greek term “metanoia” which is a deep “transformation of mind” of conformity to God. In Latin, we find “agite paenitentiam” or “do penance.” Protestant commentators beginning with Martin Luther criticized this translation because they felt that it emphasized outward acts and not an inward transformation. The Church responded by arguing that “agite paenitentiam” or “do penance” is a perfectly sound interpretation because inward repentance always leads to an outward expression. Moreover, in secular texts “agere paenitentiam” often refers to simple inward remorse. Nevertheless, just as faith without works is dead, so also repentance without penance is dead.

So here are the “top ten” penance passages in Sacred Scripture. I’m leading off with Luke 13:3 because, for me, that is the most powerful passage regarding penance.

Luke 13:3
No, I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish.
{This is a solemn promise of Christ to all of us. Unless we do penance, we will “perish.”}

Job 42:6
Therefore I reprehend myself, and do penance in dust and ashes.

Ecclesiasticus 2:22
If we do not penance, we shall fall into the hands of the Lord, and not into the hands of men.
{If we don’t experience discipline in this life, we shall experience it in the next.}

Jeremiah 31:19
For after thou didst convert me, I did penance: and after thou didst shew unto me, I struck my thigh: I am confounded and ashamed, because I have borne the reproach of my youth.
{Notice here, that penance comes after conversion.}

Lamentations 2:14
Thy prophets have seen false and foolish things for thee: and they have not laid open thy iniquity, to excite thee to penance: but they have seen for thee false revelations and banishments.
{Here the spiritual leaders of Israel have wrongly induced the people to follow after false revelations or apparitions. Instead, they should have led the people to penance. Incidentally, Saint Francis is the perfect example of the right leader. He doesn’t appeal to apparitions or even to his stigmata. He appeals to the power of prayer, fasting, and penance.}

Ezekiel 18:21
But if the wicked do penance for all his sins which he hath committed, and keep all my commandments, and do judgment, and justice, living he shall live, and shall not die.
{This is the great promise for Lent. If we humble ourselves and live sacrificially, we will have life. God is merciful and loving and He desires our transformation into the image of Christ His Son.}

Matthew 3:8
Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of penance.
{Here we find that true repentance requires fruit – it requires outward acts that conform to the inward reality.}

Matthew 11:20
Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein were done the most of his miracles, for that they had not done penance.
{This is a sobering verse. Christ doesn’t work miracles where the people don’t repent. Divine power is restricted by human pride.}

Romans 2:4
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and patience, and longsuffering? Knowest thou not, that the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance?
{The love, mercy, and benignity of God brings us to a true repentance. Notice that being mean and hateful does not bring others to penance.}

Apocalypse 2:5
Be mindful therefore from whence thou art fallen: and do penance, and do the first works. Or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou do penance.
{Here “do penance” and “do the first works” are paired together. Penance has an outward dimension, because sin also has an outward dimension. The horrifying truth is that Christ will snuff out the Church of any region if they don’t live a life of penitence.}

Advertisements
Church

Some More Out of America on the College of Bishop’s Meeting in South Africa

This time via Bishop Stephen Strawn as a pdf. which has been here for a while. Perhaps before I go on – just in case – you should read my disclaimer. Right?

All of the above is publicly and freely available on the Internet [on the website of the Anglican Church in America]. They put it there, not me…

Okay? Then, let’s continue…

Standing out in his commentary:

I sent you the press release regarding the College of Bishops (COB) meeting of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). (included elsewhere in this newsletter) However, I do want to share a few thoughts regarding the meeting because we all know that bloggers will have a field day posting their opinions regarding something they know little or nothing about. Additionally, the former Secretary of the College of Bishops has already conducted an interview regarding the meeting. So I feel that is necessary to update you regarding what actually happened…

[As a ‘blogger’ I speak for myself when I say that I blog in and for the cause of Christ and the furtherment His Gospel.]

Initially, I want to say that every Bishop, including retired Bishops was invited to attend this meeting. As per Section 6.1 of the TAC Concordat, the invitation clearly stated that active Bishops would have voice and vote and that retired Bishops would have voice only.

Section 6.1 of the Concordat clearly states that “Bishops actively holding Episcopal Office are eligible for voice and vote within the College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion.” If retired Bishops were to be considered “active” then there would be no need for the reference “active Bishops” in Section 6.1 as everyone would be considered “active Bishops. But the Concordat does make that distinction. Therefore, retired Bishops are clearly not “active Bishops.” This was verified by the Chancellor of South Africa and all of the Chancellors in the Anglican Church in America (ACA). It is also consistent with precedence in that retired Bishops were not afforded vote in previous meetings of the COB, but were given only voice. While we were indeed disappointed that the other active members of the COB chose not to attend, the Bishops who attended the meeting, still constituted the majority of Bishops with voice as well as vote.

As I mentioned, every Bishop was invited to attend. Of those who chose not to attend, some sent their apologies and some chose not to respond, and a few sent their “proxies.” One Bishop who plans to enter the Ordinariate in Australia did attend and fully participated. Another Ordinariate bound Bishop from Puerto Rico initially considered attending. Indeed, he inquired about the flight arrangements of the ACA Bishops indicating a desire to meet up with them in the USA and join them on their flight to South Africa. There were no further contacts with him and he did not attend the meeting. The important thing is that he initially indicated that he might attend and inquired about flight arrangements but then later chose of his own accord not to attend. I cannot and will not speculate on the reasons he  reconsidered. So the point is that everyone was invited and no one was shut out. If they were not there, it was of their own choice. Secondly, the determination as to who had voice and vote and who had voice only was determined strictly in accord with Section 6.1 of the Concordat. Whether or not they were going to the Ordinariate at some point in the future had nothing to do with it as evidenced by the one Bishop who has declared for the Ordinariate attending and participating fully with both voice and vote.

Not only was the Concordat adhered to regarding Section 6.1, but the entire meeting was conducted in the most professional way by the new Acting Primate, Archbishop Samuel Prakash, adhering to the minutest details of the provisions of the Concordat. It was transparent, and open to scrutiny. The agenda was open to all, with invitations for items for discussion to have been received at least 14 days prior to commencement of the meeting. Care was taken to have interpreters and stenographers present, and in addition voice recordings were kept of the proceedings. Once we came together, the meeting was unanimously constituted as a College of Bishops Meeting. The majority of Bishops within the TAC holding voice and vote attended, and proxy votes were obtained from some who were not able to attend. It is also documented that the meeting was concluded in a spirit of prayer and discernment. Votes on all resolutions were overwhelmingly unanimous. Therefore, the resolutions passed at the meeting are, as a result, legal and binding…

The TAC could not be allowed to be left in a vacuum come Eastertide when Archbishop Hepworth purportedly would step down. Therefore, his resignation as Primate, which he chose to submit, was unanimously accepted effective immediately. This is accepted business practice when the Board of Directors of any company determine it is best for all parties to move on immediately. He was not “deposed” as several “bloggers” have reported. He offered his resignation and the COB felt it was best for all to accept that resignation effective immediately. As a result of the resignation, the offices and positions held by appointment were vacated. New appointments will be announced by the Acting Primate in the very near future. I am aware of those appointments; however, I feel that I must leave the announcement of those appointments to Abp. Prakash…

Of course, as part of the consideration on moving into the future, the COB had to deal with the Patrimony of the Primate here in the USA as well as similar structures instituted by the former Primate. The COB rightly concluded that the Concordat did not authorize the former Primate to unilaterally create any Patrimony or other entity within any member Church without the approval of the respective member Church. Therefore, no “Patrimony of the Primate” exists within the TAC. If you are in the TAC, you must be within the National Church and Diocese thereof. In the case of the ACA, permission was granted to create a “Patrimony” that was intended to be a “holding tank” for those intending to become a part of the Ordinariate. Minutes of the ACA House of Bishops at which this agreement was made, clearly indicated that the agreement expired upon the creation of the Ordinariate in the USA. Therefore, no Patrimony currently exists within the ACA beyond that date (January 1, 2012)…

As we move into that future, may God Bless those who have chosen to take a new journey with the Roman Catholic Church in the Ordinariates around the world. May God bless all of us in the TAC, and may God grant us the ability to move on, with less derogative comments and opinions from the “bloggers” and more proclamation the Gospel of Christ to a broken world…

There is more and some really good photos too!

I hope that posting and informing others of the above does not constitute ‘derogative comments and opinions from the “bloggers”’.

BTW.  Priests should blog! Don’t be scared to embrace this popular medium and proclaim the Gospel through the latest generation technology.

Please do take a moment to read more on The Question of clerical bloggers. I would encourage Bishop Strawn to also give the article a read. It includes:

… a short list of a few bishops who contribute regularly to blogs. I provide them as an authoritative witness to the legitimacy of clerical blogging. If any want to discredit or dismiss priests who blog simply because of the nature of the blogosphere, such persons will also be dismissing and discrediting these bishops as well.

 

Culture

Israel: Army Chief Cancels IDF-wide Passover Vacation

For first time in many years, all IDF units to be on full alert during Passover holiday; army officials insist decision not related to any planned military operations

Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has ordered all IDF units to cancel their traditional Passover breaks so that they can operate in full capacity over the upcoming holdiay, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday.

The implication of the decision is that for the first time in many years, all IDF units will maintain their regular operations and remain on full alert throughout the holiday.

As result of the unexpected decision, thousands of soldiers at various IDF headquarters and bases will have to report for duty as usual in order to allow their units to operate with no interruption…

Read more here.

 

Church

Disclaimer

I sense the need for a disclaimer coming on. It’s stock standard. Already assumed to be in operation here. But for posterity’s sake:

The opinions expressed here (by the author, i.e. Fr Stephen Smuts) and those providing the comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and/or official position of the Traditional Anglican Communion (in South Africa, or greater), the  Catholic Church, or any other organisation for that matter.

The author is not responsible, nor will be held liable, for anything anyone says in the blog comments section. The author reserves the right however to exclude comments that are deemed to be objectionable and/or otherwise inappropriate.

The content of this weblog is provided for your personal use.

Links to external websites are provided for your convenience and do not necessarily signify an endorsement of the linked content.

Content, sources, information and links here do change over time.

THIS IS A CHRISTIAN BLOG and will reflect as such.

Please also feel free to revisit the Comments Policy in operation here.

Now, having taken the time to read all that, Fr Anthony Chadwick has a post up this morning entitled: Australia? In it, he says:

I didn’t want to mention this sickening stuff before, but some days ago an article appeared on Fr Smuts’ blog – TAC Latest News: Official Statement to Holy See on Anglicanorum Coetibus; Archbishop Hepworth; Archbishop Falk; Bishop Campese; Bringing Order to the Church….

It referred to a meeting that recently took place in America, where one or more bishops or other clergy gave their explanations for events going on in the TAC. I have a copy of transcripts concerning Archbishop Hepworth and others, and I can at my discretion send copies by e-mail on request. However, this kind of thing revolts me to the core…

In my original post – which I took down (when asked so to do) – I wrote as a conclusion (perhaps sensing a coming storm):

At this point, let me simply conclude with a plea: Don’t blame (or get mad) at the messenger. Don’t blame the blogs! All of the above is publicly and freely available on the Internet [on the website of the Diocese of the North East of the Anglican Church in America]. They put it there, not me…

I stand by that.

In any event, what was or was not said at the Clericus in America, was or was not said. I only looked at and listened to two of the many recordings that were posted on the Internet. Who put it there? I don’t know. Go ask the Webmaster (over there). Mine, in any event, is a mere insignificant little blog by comparison to the official ACA / Diocesan website where this information was so liberally posted. I therefore bear no responsibility.

So in conclusion here, a quick quote:

We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth… For my part, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst; and to provide for it – Patrick Henry.

 

Church

Why Women Can Be Protestant Ministers

Writes Fr Dwight Longenecker (a former Anglican):

My post on why women cannot be priests has received plenty of interesting comments, but most of those who objected to my post were not Catholics.

I think what they heard me say is that women should not be ordained at all. This is not my point. I’m quite happy for an Anglican Bishop to ordain women. If a Methodist Bishop ordains women ministers in his or her church I’m good. I really don’t mind at all if a Mennonite Bishop or a Bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church or the Lutheran Church ordain women ministers. If the Praise Cathedral Holiness and Happiness Church ordains women–you go for it! It’s fine by me if a Mormon Bishop chooses to ordain women or if the Bishop of the Church of the Foursquare Gospel of the 1928 Revision ordains women ministers. May the women ministers of the Apostolic Tabernacle of Light enjoy a full and fruitful ministry. It the Temple Television Worldwide Church of God wants to have a lady preacher, let her proclaim the word of the Lord!  If a Bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Episcopal Church of North America wants to ordain women, let them live long and prosper.

A Protestant minister is not a Catholic priest. My post really had nothing at all to say about Protestant Churches choosing to ordain women as ministers. They can do as they like.

Furthermore, I’m quite happy to accept that there are good sentimental, utilitarian and even Biblical or theological arguments for women to be ordained to the Protestant ministry.  So let us examine what the Protestant ministry actually is…

Read on here.

For his post on why women cannot be priests, click here. It seems to be generating a lot of comment and debate.

 

Church

Dawkins and US Atheists Prove it’s Not About Reason, it’s About Hate

Writes Deacon Nick:

Last Saturday’s gathering of 8,000 – 10,000 US atheists and agnostics in Washington for the Reason Rally was billed as seeking to ‘unify, energize, and embolden secular people nationwide, while dispelling the negative opinions held by so much of American society’.

It was also billed “the largest gathering of the secular movement in world history’, but only managed about the same low numbers as 2010 Protest the Pope demonstration, around 8,000.

The Reason Rally was supposed to be a “positive experience” to celebrate “secular values” and motivate atheists to “become more active”, but it soon degenerated into the New Atheists’ usual hate fueled ridicule of religion, particularly Catholicism.

Tim Minchin, originator the vile anti-Catholic Pope Song, thrilled the crowd with his refrain ‘F— the motherf—-, f— the mother—- pope’.

Bill Maher did his usual sneering comedy routine,  playing up to the atheists sense of teenage superiority, “When it comes to religion, we’re not two sides of the same coin and you don’t get to put your unreason on the same shelf as my reason. Your stuff has to go over there on the shelf with Zeus and Thor and the Kracken.’

Richard Dawkins chose the Eucharist as the focus of his attack on Faith, calling on atheists and agnostics to “ridicule and show contempt” for the Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation:

“Do you really believe that when a priest blesses a wafer, it turns into the body of Christ? Are you seriously telling me you believe that?  Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood?”

“Mock them, ridicule them in public, don’t fall for the convention that we’re far to polite to talk about religion. Religion is not off the table. Religion is not off limits. Religion makes specific claims about the universe, which need to be substantiated.  They should be challenged and ridiculed with contempt.”

Charlie Spiering of Crisis Magazine concludes:

‘The speakers that drew the loudest applause were not the people who praised reason, but persecuted faith. Unchallenged and in like-minded company, the cultural and political leaders of the atheist movement freely mocked and dismissed people of faith.  The brash superiority preached by atheists such as Dawkins shows that they are not content with a right to “unreligious freedom,” but seek suppression of religious expression.

If people of faith allow themselves to be bullied into silence, we can expect this sentiment to grow in our society. The existence of such a society requires submission from people of faith.’

Protect the Pope comment: Tim Minchin mouthing mindless obscenities to rapturous applause shows the extent to which these new atheists have abandoned reason.

And this is the company that  Richard Dawkins, emeritus professor of Oxford, now chooses to keep. He has become such a diminished and shrill figure that he invites sympathy but for the fact that his hatred of faith, and the Catholic Church in particular, is destroying other people’s lives with bitterness and anger and the denial of God.