Church

It’s a Sad Day…

… when Priests go around publicly comparing their Bishops to lynching mobs, “the  Klu Klux Klan” and “Monty Python”. Really unacceptable.

When I became a Priest, I well remember taking a vow of Canonical Obedience to the Bishop of the Diocese:

“Will you reverently obey your ordinary and other chief ministers of the Church, unto whom is committed the charge and government over you; following with a glad mind and will their godly admonitions, and submitting yourselves to their godly judgments?”

I answered, “Yes,” to the question that was solemnly put to me on that day. It is thus an obligation required of me.

Further, thanks for all the incoming e-mails (pointing to the above blog post). I do not however want to be drawn by my courageous colleague over in France, nor do I wish to get into a tit-for-tat mud-slinging match and that before a watching fallen world. It will only make for a pathetic and shameful Christian witness. I made my point yesterday. I stand by that until such time as those whom God has placed over me have anything else that they deem necessary for me to know.

Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow.

– Heb 13:17

Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance.

– 1 Thess 5:12

And that is what I have ‘contented’ myself in.

42 thoughts on “It’s a Sad Day…

  1. Father, grow up! When things are held in secret, we can only assume the worst, and you refuse to address the question. In this matter, it is not possible to hide behind obedience. A man has been found guilty as charge for we’re not telling you in valid juridical terms. They would have done better to put a contract out on him or go and hang him themselves!

    So until there is some recognition that there is blame all round, let them keep dividing and splitting up…

    All they have to do is publish the text of the canonical charges and their reasoned conclusion in the terms of the laws infringed.

    1. Grow up?!! Grow up?! ! So long as he does not grow up to be like you !!

      You prove you again you are a wicked little man Chadwick .. and spiritually weak !!

      Who the hell are you to demand that which has bugger all to do with you or GYPong !!++Hepworth snubbed his fellow bishops and repeatedly .. He resisted due process .. Why should you be satisfied ??! What are you aiming at ?! a TAC-LEAK ?! Behave yourself .. The process and way it was conducted HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU orany other of ++Hepworth’s sycophants !!

    2. held in secret” ? – as far as I’m aware all those entitled to be there were so, unless they declined the invitation. But Fr Chadwick is not alone in being rather “dog in the manger” about the TAC. Indeed it does have nothing to do with him. Let’s have no disingenuous crocodile tears about transparency. Fr Smut’s non – insubordinationist attitude is entirely proper.

  2. I wouldn’t worry too much, Fr Stephen. It’s only Chadwick, so what else could we expect from him. He writes for his very limited circle of cronies where he’s seen as some kind of messiah. Yawn. Let’s move on. Nothing to see there, as usual.

      1. You call yourself a priest and try and come across as all holy and good. What sort of priest calls other people the anti-Christ, Mephisto and Hirohito. If you have the decency and the guts, you should examine your conscience. You disgust me. I give thanks to God everyday that you were not accepted as a priest in the Catholic church.

  3. Dear Fr. Stephen, I can understand the bind you are in and whatever one might think of how the present leadership of the TAC came into being, it is the leadership of the TAC now.
    What I wonder though, is whether those TAC bishops were under any vow of obedience to their primate? How might things have worked out differently if they had quietly obeyed Archbishop Hepworth and the TAC had stayed in formation as a unified, Catholic-acting, ecclesial community? Would the bishops then have instructed their obedient priests to begin catechizing their people using the Catechism of the Catholic Church? What kind of a message would this have sent to Rome, that instead of a bunch of congregationalist, discredited branch theory clerics riddled with former Catholics and Freemasons, the TAC was truly Catholic in her beliefs from the top down and willing to obey in faith? I think the fact that the Anglican Catholic CHurch of Canada bishops and clergy in the Pro-diocese of Our Lady of Walsingham were prepared to surrender everything for the sake of unity and Catholic teaching got the notice of the Catholic Church and hence we have experienced great generosity ever since, not the suspicious and contempt the TAC received prior to this.

    1. Ms. Gyapong, the names-calling and ridiculing of people who are, like yourself, ordinary people seeking Salvation under the Cross, does not redound to your honour.

      You are not objective. You are also not even considering that there might be a very good reason for the TAC Bishops doing, albeit with reluctance, what needed to be done. For the good of all. Even you.

      You are only looking to defend a person where you have not been privy to ALL the documents relevant to the matter.

      Another “what If”: What if you just continue to be the best Christian you can, seek the Lord with all your heart and all your mind, and cease behaving in quite an unchristian way?

      P.S. Your reference to “Catholic-acting” and “former Catholics” really are ill chosen phrases!

    2. “What I wonder though, is whether those TAC bishops were under any vow of obedience to their primate?”
      No. Read the Concordat: “5.1 There shall be a Primate of this Communion who shall preside in charity among the Bishops thereof, not as a prelate, but in the Patristic sense as an elder brother.”

      It is a mistake to seek to apply a quasi-papal model to the TAC.

      And that’s all I have to say on the topic for now. I am not entering into the debate on other questions.

    1. Train wreck…an interesting analogy. But such wrecks can happen both now and in the future. Here I’m thinking about the intermediate and long-term future of the Ordinariate. Will be most interesting to see what choices it makes in various countries and how the local Latin Rite bishops come to interact with it. I wonder if problems won’t arise in regard to liturgics chosen (how liberal or conservative will they be), the hymnal, and even what Bible they’ll take their lectionary from (KJV, RSV, NAB, etc.). With Rome, the devil is always in the details. And Rome was careful not to show her cards as to what the Ordinariate would be required to do liturgically and otherwise. They climbed on board a sailing ship with blindfolds on….

      1. Pessimism tends to be closer to reality, isn’t it? I think Rome had been transparent about Anglicanorum Coetibus, and I think many people are happy with their decision to join the Ordinariates. The implementation is understandably suspect, though- (What with gossip of a dark liberal cabal meeting with a certain Cardinal to plan evil things, but that’s partly my paranoid traditional Catholicism.)

        I don’t know what details were left out or ignored to make some people go “Thanks, but no thanks”. Still, as Rome stated, the demand for the Ordinariates came from the groups of traditionalist Anglicans who wanted to be in communion with the Roman Catholic Church for one reason or another. I’m not sure where all sorts of expectations came from. Certainly, Rome did not send armed men to forcibly make people from TAC or FCC or ECUSA or whatever sign or publicly profess things to make them members of the Roman Catholic Church. The question then is: “Do these people really know what they want?”

        Hopefully, those people who joined the Ordinariates knew what they want, and know what they’ve gotten themselves into- I doubt they’re completely ignorant about it, nor do I think Rome was planning on “surprises” for newly confirmed Ordinariate Catholics.

        For the Ordinariates themselves, they have their own Ordinary, though each parish would have to work with the local bishops- No idea how that works. I think this is what groups like SSPX were afraid of- they’d be -forced- to be “liberalized” but my own opinion is that these worries are like a person running away from a tsunami, when they’re describing an organization that moves at a glacial pace. (Hence, why it’s not likely that the Archdiocese of, say, Los Angeles would suddenly be a bastion of Catholic conservatism and offer regular dailyTraditional Latin Masses overnight.)

        I remember frequenting “The Anglo-Catholic” blog, which is indefinitely on hiatus, and discussions about things like KJV, RSV, etc. caused passionate discussions so passionate it made things spontaneously combust, which is why it had to shut down for now. And they’d usually mention Fr. Stephen Smuts frequently for news. (And for some reason, I still hang around this blog despite seldom news of the Ordinariates and more of this… uh… drama with the TAC and Hepworth and all that.)

      2. I note that the Sodality of St Edmund, a tiny group of about ten in Southern Ontario, was invited to celebrate an Anglican Use mass at a local parish. Apparently 80-100 people (presumably from that parish) showed up to have a look/hear the music. This suggests a co-operative atmosphere at least in the Diocese of Hamilton.

  4. Wow! Another round of the “Hepworth” fans, indeed Michael ‘the devil is in the details” goes beyond Rome, though she is always a player, and no doubt one of the first! This whole deal does not advance episcopacy to my mind, Anglican, Rome or otherwise! In the end, we simply must see the “Spirit” of Christ in any Christian leadership, and this seems NOT to be happening too well at the moment. Lord give us pastoral leaders who have the guts to step out and stand for “truth”, even when it is not popular! And sometimes this means telling people to keep their mouth shut! And btw, the TAC is not Rome, and Rome is never transparent, just look at the Ordinariate’s, who really knows what is happening, and “who” is in charge at so many levels? I mean just what is an Ordinary? Surely not a “Bishop” strictly speaking! But then, just what is a “presbyter”? WE all should be asking that, and looking biblically! This really goes much further than ecclesiology, of itself!

    1. Thankfully in the USA there is the Antiochian Orthodox Western Rite supported by Metropolitan Philip. Our “details” are in the clear. We’ve got our own missal, hymnal, psalter, etc. A group (Lancelot Andrewes Presss/English Orthodox Communications) even created a complete, comprehensive Orthodox Book of Common Prayer Book. So anyone would know what joining us would be like (e.g., use KJV and have 2 liturgies, one based Anglicanism, the other based on Tridentine RC). I use my Orthodox BCP when I attend the local TAC/ACC parish, St. Aidan’s and what they do agrees with our BCP in about 95% of things liturgical.

      1. But most parishes are bzyantinized almost as soon as they enter. The vast majority of these parishes have become Greek; the two Roman rite parishes in Miami, St. Barbara’s and St Peter’s have both left protesting the forced byzantinization of their tradition. ALL the western rite parishes in England were forced to accept the byzantine rite; the parishes in the Philippines are also being forced to adopt the Greek tradition. The western rite is forbidden in Europe under Antioch, which proves that it is simply temporary.The so-called western rite in Antioch is a property grab, nothing else. It is, if anything it is, far, far more dishonest than the ordinariates.

      2. The Antiochian Western Rite may not be huge, but it is alive and well in the USA. Having worshipped at an Antiochian Western Rite parish for 15 years (St. Vincent of Lerins, Omaha), I saw nothing but support from our bishop (Bishop Basil of Wichita) over the years. I didn’t see or hear anything about “forced” Easternization, though I’m sure there are some parishes that over the years have decided to go Eastern Rite voluntarily and that is their free voluntary choice.

      3. Michael, this is simply not true. In England the parishes were forced to adopt the Greek tradition, the same is happening now in the Philippines, which has the largest number, at the present, but not for long, of western rite parishes. Holy Redeemer, Los Altos, California, was byzantinized on the personal demand of the Metropolitan and given to the Arab community as a free parish plant, paid for by the Anglicans. You may access their website, it openly admits that the byzantinization began immediately upon their submission to the Greek Church of Antioch. The BCP you mention, is not officially approved.

      4. Dale, I live in USA, not Europe. So I’m only talking about USA, not Europe. I have nothing to say about the Western Rite in Europe, only the USA. I’m talking about today, 2012, and from my own direct personal experience with the Antiochian Western Rite in USA since about 1993. I have a copy of our offficial missal, hymnal, and psalter as well as the unofficial Orthodox BCP that came out in 2009; got my copy thru my local Western Rite parish, as our priest was most assuredly encouraging us to get a copy of this wonderful work! Our Western Rite just had its annual conference in Oklahoma back in August. And yes, some Western Rite parishes went Eastern. As I’ve long said, Western Rite Orthodox need to stand up for themselves, be strong and articulate. They need to work to ensure they remain as they want to be. I have no trouble openly discussing my thoughts when I speak with my bishop when I see him. All Christians should do same for their bishops. Be polite and respectful, but also open and honest and forthright about what is important to you and your local church.

      5. Dale, You need to move into the present and out of the past! Stop with the ancient non-news. Please read the history pages of the Antichian Orthodox Church of the Redeemer, Los Altos, CA. They were St. Mark’s ECUSA who went Orthodox in 1960 and established their Western Rite Church in 1962 (1st on West Coast). This is during the Kennedy Administration. They went Byzantine Rite in 1975. That was during the Ford Administration. They have a beautiful Byzantine-style church. They just celebrated their 50th Anniversary in Orthodoxy last month. Looks and sounds like they are happy to be Orthodox. Now word about forced Byzantine re-education camp on their web site. Guess I’m missing it? 😉

      6. I was not too long ago at this parish for matins, it was all in Arabic. The original founders are not to be found, they and their descendents, attend a continuing Anglican parish in the neighbourhood.

        What happened in England is not ancient history, nor is what is happening in the Philippines as we write “ancient history.”

        The byzantines offer nothing to Anglicans but submission to Hellenism…no thank you.

      7. IDale, f you want to talk about a religous apocolypse…just look what Rome did between 1962 and 1975. I was born in 1963. By 1975 Rome had destroyed its liturgy, music, architecture, vestments, hymnal, seminaries, and more. Was a real “protestant” Reformation! Out with the old wholesale and in with the new, hip, and modern. Love that funky folk music? In 1962 RCs were all speaking Latin in their Latin-rite churches in USA. By 1975 Rome had forceable forced them against their will to use English. And turn the priest around and destroy the communion rails. Now you’ve got altar girls, female eucharistic ministers, cremations for anyone and everyone, Limbo limboized, and much much more. Guess this would be radical re-education camps Roman style?

      8. I have been informed — I do not know how truly — that the Western Rite Orthodox parishes in the Philippines actually use the modern Roman Rite (Novus Ordo Missae), and that in as loose and lax a “style” as many contemporary Catholics, in the Philippines and elsewhere. *If* that is true, then on what basis can one object to their “byzantinization,” and that as rapidly as possible?

      9. That is all very interesting, Mr. Frost, but neither the link which you provided, nor you yourself, have answered the question which I asked about the “Novus Ordo” liturgy and “liturgical style” of these Philippine Western-Rite Orthodox.

      10. Michael, I fail to see how the liturgical revolution in the Roman Catholic church justifies the actions of the Antiochian property grab.

        Dr Tighe, I also researched the supposed use of the novus ordo in the Philippines and it was explained to me by a priest in Australia who is involved in this mission that although the rite looks like the novus ordo (the only liturgical tradition found there for all intents and purposes), the communities were using a Syrian Catholic rite; and the last time I attended a Syrian rite Catholic church all of the traditions, including facing the people, was employed; but most certainly, they are not using, nor were they using, the novus ordo. But in the end, none of this really matters, they are quickly adopting the Greek liturgy.

      11. Dr Tighe, not all of the parishes used a Latinized Syrian rite, some were far, far more traditionalist. One would have hoped that the Greek Church might have been catholic enough that when thousands became Orthodox they would return to their ancient, Latin traditions, but instead they are being made into little brown Greek bothers (to slightly misquote President McKinley).

      12. Dale, were you ever an Orthodox convert? I recall you saying that you had spent several years in an Orthodox seminary, back on Fr Chadwick’s old blog, but I don’t think you said whether you attended as an Orthodox seminarian or as something else.

      13. Nor can you Mr.Tighe answer the question definitively! (As you admit) So what’s the point here? All this quest for ecclesiastical liturgical purity, where does that get us? And does God In Christ really care and favor one over the other? But can we as Paul said: “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” (Acts 20: 27) Here of course St. Paul speaks of God’s “whole purpose”, and this is simply quite biblical and theological! My point sir is pastoral, in our theology and teaching!

      14. Note, I think the subject of our post here was “Pastoral” and the “authority” therein! So again, why not judge by the authority of the Gospel itself, and if one in ministerial effect has (knows) or is using that Gospel of the Grace of God … Perhaps if the former Archbishop was more pressed here, we could have known if he was a man of that Gospel or not? But then we are pressed back to the great question: what is the Gospel? And sadly, we no doubt it appears, will get different answers here!

      15. Again, I quote St. Paul, “It pleased God, by the foolishness of the “preaching” (kerygma) to save them that believe.” (1 Cor. 1:21) And here of course that “kerygma” signifies not the action of the the preacher, but that “message” which he preaches. And herein is the Gospel itself! And here certainly the Gospel preached itself, is no mere moral instruction or exhortation, but the message or the kerygma of Christ Himself: Christ crucified, risen & ascended: Who is “Christ Jesus” on the throne of God, in the glory above! When we loose the “present” Christ, in the glory above, then we really loose the Gospel! Who is always Himself, prophet, priest & king … The Mediator!

    2. An Ordinary in ecclesiastical language, denotes any person possessing or exercising ordinary jurisdiction, i.e., jurisdiction connected permanently or at least in a stable way with an office, whether this connexion arises from Divine law, as in the case of popes and bishops, or from positive church law. Ordinary jurisdiction is contrasted with delegated jurisdiction, a temporary communication of power made by a superior to an inferior; thus we speak of a delegated judge and an ordinary judge. A person may be an ordinary within his own sphere, and at the same time have delegated powers for certain acts or the exercise of special authority. The jurisdiction which constitutes an ordinary is real and full jurisdiction in the external forum, comprising the power of legislating, adjudicating, and governing. Jurisdiction in the internal forum, being partial and exercised only in private matters, does not constitute an ordinary. Parish priests, therefore, are not ordinaries, though they have jurisdiction in the internal forum, for they have not jurisdiction in the external forum, being incapable of legislating and acting as judges; their administration is the exercise of paternal authority rather than of jurisdiction properly so called.

      If you’re going to have a giant organization, you better have articulated laws. (Apparently, this is “legalism” and is therefore invalid somehow. It only makes sense to dispense of “legalism” if you’re as big as the Amish.)

    3. Dale,

      Concerning what you wrote here:

      “all of the traditions, including facing the people, was employed”

      “facing the people” is not an authentic part of any rite of the Catholic Church (nor of the Early Church or of the Orthodox Church or of the Oriental Orthodox churches); it has all come in since the late 1960s. Among the Eastern Catholic churches, no Byzantine-rite church ever adopted it, but the Chaldeans, the Ethiopians, the Maronites and (from what I infer from your comment) the Syrian Catholics did so. At their synod in November 2005 the Chaldean Catholics decided to get rid of “Liturgy facing the people” as foreign to their tradition and ethos. I wish the others would follow, but they seem devoted to following even the sillinesses of the Roman Rite since 1969 (“Iovis nutu totus tremescat Olympus”).

      I fear that any group that decides to use a Syrian Catholic rite, a Maronite Catholic rite or (especially) a Malabari Catholic rite will be taking up something that is, in some measure, a revised rite compounded with some looking-over-the-shoulder at the Novus Ordo.

      1. Dr Tighe, I have attended several Byzantine rite parishes that had/have mass facing the people, all in Europe. But I do know that the one Byzantine rite Catholic parish in Alaska, was also having mass facing the people. In the Italo-Greek parish in Las Vegas, Nevada, the priest would, during the words of institution, which is for Greek Catholics the “moment” of consecration, come out from the altar and stand in the middle of the church with the chalice and diskos and sing the words of institution; he also communicates the people, several times a year, by having the whole community prance through the royal doors and received at the altar! The first time I ever saw altar girls was at the Melkite and the Syrian Catholic parish in Paris. All of the “lesser” eastern rites have adopted the Mass ad populum; especially the Maronites and Malabars. The march of latinization marching onward. Only now it is modernism and not Latinism.

        I would posit that mass facing the people is not only foreign to the traditions and ethos of the eastern rites, but our western rites as well.

  5. Fr Stephen wrote of “sad days”.

    There have been many sad days in the life of the Anglican Communion, the first of which were those dreadful days when the Church in England was nationalised and turned into a creature of the English state, the Church of England setting in place a schism which has now lasted for half a millenium. Evan Daniel, Vice Principal of Battersea College produced in 1892 a notable commentary on the Book of Common Prayer in which he wrote:-

    “Schism may originate with dissatisfaction with the teaching or the government of the Church. Its sin lies in its disruption of “the one body (Eph iv, 4,5)….Heresy leads to schism, and schism, in its turn, has a tendency to encourage heresy. Moreover, experience teaches us that schism begets schism. The child naturally manifests the disloyal and unfilial spirit of the parent.”

    For me, that’s a pretty compelling observation, particularly since it comes from within the CofE – itself a schismatic body. But it is certain that recent developments in the “official” churches of the Anglican Communion in the developed world, have led to numbers of clergy and laity concluding that their dissatisfaction with both teaching and governance required them to consider their positions.

    The idea of a separate “Continuing Anglican Church” did not really catch on in England. There is a body calling itself the “Anglican Catholic Church” which claims to have 8 parishes and there was a branch of the Traditional Anglican Communion, but it also had a very limited appeal. Numbers of the clergy and laity of the embryo TAC in the UK have now joined the OLW Ordinariate and it is not at all clear that very much remains.

    As for the rest, in England, there is still the issue whether the CofE will proceed to sanction women bishops. That is due to be considered again by the CofE General Synod on 20th November next. The recent meeting of Forward in Faith seemed rather subdued and the so-called “Catholic” Bishops within the CofE are still touting The Mission Society of St Hilda and St Wilfred – rather cruelly dubbed by others the Society of Hinge & Bracket.

    One of the “Catholic” CofE Bishops, Jonathan Baker, presently the Bishop of Ebbsfleet (one of the two Canterbury Provincial Episcopal Visitors) was nominated yesterday as Suffragan Bishop of Fulham, a post which in the past provided alternative episcopal oversight for Anglo Catholic parishes in the Dioceses of London, Southwark and Rochester. The appointment was formerly held by Mgr Broadhurst (now in the OLW Ordinariate) and since then has been kept vacant – the Bishop of London making it fairly clear that he was not sympathetic to Anglo-Papalists. This delayed appointment may be seen as a sop to traditionalists in advance of the Synod.

    if, as expected, the General Synod does vote to ordain women, I somehow don’t think there will be any sudden mad rush for the OLW Ordinariate. I think the issue will be sufficiently fudged so that numbers of the CofE “Catholic” clergy will opt for “terminal care” in the Society.

    Outside England, the alphabet soup of recent so-called “continuing” or “traditional” Anglican jurisdictions does seem to have rather more traction with the clergy. Fr Ed Bakker, who recently weighed in on this site on the “affaire Hepworth” has a blog Fr Ed Bakker’s Blog which is instructive. He describes himself as a priest of the Anglican Catholic Church/Original Province – Missionary Diocese of Australia. His web site shows him to be a friendly-looking white haired clerical gentleman dressed in the “abito piano” of a Catholic priest rather than the usual cassock of an Anglican clergyman. He does not set out his ecclesisastical career, but he does mention “Old Catholicism” and his web site carries a slogan not all catholics are roman. In a post for the Vigil of All Saints, he writes of “saying Mass” and makes references “St Teresa of Lisieux”. So it seems that he considers himself “Catholic” in the Anglican sense of that word.

    But those who have that belief need to be in communion with a bishop and so I suppose it
    is inevitable that for him and for many others unwilling to contemplate reunion wih the Catholic Church the only alternative is some kind of “continuing Anglican” jurisdiction. Fr Bakker has chosen his and the last line of a recent post was “It will be likely that I will give the TAC a miss, sad as it may be.”

    I have no brief for the former TAC Primate but equaliy I did not think much of the way the present TAC went about dealing with him. That may be a relevant consideration for those who are now considering where they might go.

    1. I always find it interesting Mr. Mourad, that you always try to speak somewhat historically, but then your history is always skewed by your traditionalist Roman Catholic Doctrine! And Anglicanism must be defined by Anglican history and Anglican doctrine and theology, which btw was never really Anglo-Catholic at all until the 19th century! In fact, if historical Anglicanism is sought, we simply must see Thomas Cranmer, and the Anglican Articles, which during the reign of Edward VI (1552) were the ‘Forty-Two Articles’, which btw reached the fulness of Calvinist thought in its influence in the English Church. But later in 1563 were the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, and the historic defining of Anglican doctrine in relation to the English Reformation, with Calvinist doctrine and too the answers to the Roman Catholic practices and Church. So both continental Protestants and Roman Catholics were in sight in the doctrinal positions of the Thirty-Nine Articles; which of course the document was seen as both “catholic” and “protestant”, as Reformed and Anglican itself! And too, the articles were later finalized in 1571, and were to have the lasting effect on religion in the UK and elsewhere thru their incorporation into the Book of Common Prayer. This along with the King James Bible has had the largest effect on the British people, and too many of the American people. Note Reformation Sunday! 😉 Long live the Reformation!

      1. Oh I know it is very small, especially in England, but as we both know the Western Church has been greatly influenced by Postmodernity, and Roman too is losing churches and people and attendence at mass! Note our friend Ioannes is here going crazy!. The whole point is what Fr. S has been saying for quite sometime, where is truth? Biblical and theological! And are we as disciples of Christ engaged here, i.e. seekers, or to use protestant words, are we “persevering in truth”, growing in the likeness of Christ, i.e. Christ-like? These are always doctrinal questions, but ones that should also press us into ourselves, and do as St. Paul asked: “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail the test.” (2 Cor. 13:5) And as Paul also said: “To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope (certain hope) of glory (glorification).” …. “so that we may present every man complete in Christ.” (Col. 1: 27-28).

        In the end, this is always by God’s purpose & glory, in and by faith, which is always God’s gift, (Eph. 2: 8).

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