Eucharistic Lessons from “To Sir, With Love”

My wife and I are self-confessed Anglophiles and “Celtophiles.”  If it’s British, etc., generally, we’re hooked.  BBC rules in our household media choices.  Additionally, even though just a child in the Sixties, I love the music of the British Invasion, thus, I am constantly listening to the Beatles, the Kinks, and other groups and performers of the era.  A few years ago I purchased the movie, To Sir, With Love (1967 trailer).  “Blimey, I ‘ad to!”  It was set in the mid-sixties!  In London!   Read the rest of this entry »

Interior Landscaping

Rare is the person who cannot appreciate the beauty of nature, especially in its wild, untouched forms and settings.  It is blindness when the beauty of a creature cannot be appreciated.  Such beauty exists in the flower il-flower, the forest, the mountain, the stream, and the animal.  There is the harsh beauty of the desert, and, I suppose, of the arctic as well.  Nature’s gifts of beauty are to be found in all climates, temperate and tropical.  Just step outside, open your eyes and marvel at the creation around you!

There is also a “natural” beauty that is created by human endeavor.  An idea or vision can transform the natural landscape of creation into works of art.   Here, we have the cultivation of something previously barren, or wild, into something habitable and enjoyable, and equally pleasing to the senses.

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To Become, You Must Do

St. George the dragon-slayer

St. George the dragon-slayer

An axiom is set forth: “to do you must become, to become you must do.” An axiom is a proposition. The worth of it is self evident. I have used this axiom in sermons, papers, and as a guide for my own life for many years.

Let’s look at its first half: “to do you must become…” This involves an initiation. The initiation for the Christian is baptism. St. Paul informs us:

Therefore, we were buried together with him through baptism [dia tou baptismos] into death, in order just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, that also we might walk in newness of life (Romans 6: 4).

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By This Sign Conquer!

September 14 commemorates the Elevation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross, or commonly known as the Feast Elevation of the Crossof the Holy Cross in the western church. In short, Emperor Constantine sent his mother, Empress Helen, to the Holy Land to find the Cross of Christ in Jerusalem in the year 326. The site was nearly forgotten due to the shameful desecration at the hands of previous pagan emperors. But, by Helen’s actions and those of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, St. Macarius, the site was located and the Cross of Christ was identified. Once again the Cross of Christ was elevated, but now to be venerated by the faithful.

However, St. Constantine had his own encounter with the Cross when he was a younger man, and not yet a Christian. Read the rest of this entry »

…And Become Thankful.

In his letter to the Colossians, St. Paul writes,

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which [peace] you were also called in one body: and become thankful [kai eucharistoi ginesthe]. (Colossians 3:15)

Being thankful and having the peace of Christ go hand in hand.  Though it may seem an afterthought in the above verse, St. Paul likely puts emphasis on thanksgiving. In fact it can be argued that with thanksgiving first being given, peace comes with it, and both will reside in one’s heart in unison.  Read the rest of this entry »

Life-Giving Grains

In the twelfth chapter of St. John’s gospel we read these words of Jesus:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless the Grain of wheat falling into the earth should die, it remains alone. But if it should die, it bears much fruit.” (John 12: 24)

grainsJesus says these words as he enters into the very last days of his earthly life in human flesh. His betrayal, trial, and crucifixion await him. The Grain of Wheat dies and is entombed. Three days later he rises from death in a glorified physical body. His death leads to the fruit, the new Grain, of eternal life for all who place their faith in Christ and follow him.

Our knowledge of the Eucharist should make us think of the eucharistic Bread when we read John 12: 24. Jesus is the Grain. In His resurrection all life is  Read the rest of this entry »

A Commentary on a Prayer for the Eucharistic Life

Father, I pray this day I would be living the eucharistic life which is in accordance to your will for me in Christ Jesus. Thus, by the Holy Spirit may I be giving thanks in, with, and for all things, in order that I might bear Christ to all and all things, and that I might bear all and all things to Christ Jesus; that I might be self-giving and other-receiving; that I might live as broken bread and poured out wine for the life of the world and the sake of all things to the praise and glory of your name.

1 Thes 5: 18 reads, “Give thanks in all things: for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” St. Paul writes in all things (en panti) in the Greek dative case. The dative case, essentially, shows relationship. Read the rest of this entry »