March 15th, 2015

he who loves Christ is bound to imitate him to the best of his ability

It is in the flow of being alive in the world 7:56 AM Sunday morning. It is the Christian Sabbath. I no longer keep the Christian Sabbath. Am I a Sabbath breaker?

I got up this morning with my wife around 6:33 AM. I got up made coffee and then messed with our main computer. Carol read her Bible and then I made us oatmeal for breakfast. Now I am writing in my blogs and Carol is looking through the Sunday morning newspapers. Outside this morning it looks like it is going to be a sunny day. Every day I remind myself Spring is going to be here this week finally. My favorite seasons of the year are Spring, Summer, and Autumn.

Carol plans to go to church this morning and sleep this afternoon. She goes back to work tonight.

I have no plans for the day. I decided not to write anymore about Jonathan Edwards and Revivalism. I am too tired to go over all stuff. I am no longer deep into 17th century English Puritan Theology/Spirituality. I do not know where I am at these days. I am just seeking to live according to the Bible.

I plan to read this morning from these two books for morning devotions-

"Luke" New Testament III [Reformation Commentary On Scripture] Edited By Beth Kreitzer

"We Believe in the Crucified and Risen Lord" Volume 3 [Ancient Christian Doctrine] Edited By Mark J. Edwards

Last night I watched television with Carol till she went to bed. I stayed up and messed with our main computer and went to bed around 10:25 PM. Now it is another day.

I will close to read and seek the face of God.

Louisa Mae is one years old today
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    Lightning Bolt 'Fantasy Empire'

unbelievers are enemies of Christ and the Gospel

"Unbelievers Are Enemies Of Christ And The Gospel. John Calvin: Therefore it did not take away from the main point that Simeon prophesied that Christ was "set forth for the ruin of many in Israel." What it means is that he was divinely ordained to throw down and destroy many. But it should be noted that this ruin happens because unbelievers push against him. This is expressed a little later, when Simeon calls Christ "a sign that is opposed." Therefore, because unbelievers are rebels against Christ, they dash themselves against him, which causes their ruin. This metaphor is based on the target at which shooters aim, as if Simeon had said, "Here the evil of human beings is perceived-the deepest depravity of all human nature-that, as if they had made a great conspiracy, they all roar and cry out against the Son of God." The world would not have reached such a consensus to oppose the gospel if there was not a certain natural disagreement between the Son of God and those people. Their ambition or fury pushes them in different directions, so that factions are split into different parties and a great variety of superstitions separate the idolaters from each other. But even if these enemies of the gospel disagree among themselves, nevertheless they all agree that they oppose the Son of God. For this reason it is truly said that the fact that people speak against Christ everywhere is obvious proof of human depravity. It is a terrible sign that the world should rise up against its creator, but Scripture predicted that this would happen in the future. . ." pg. 63,64 "Luke" NT III Reformation Commentary On Scripture

"[25] And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
[26] And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
[27] And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
[28] Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
[29] Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
[30] For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
[31] Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
[32] A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
[33] And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
[34] And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
[35] (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." Luke 2:25-35
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One of the signs around here that Spring is coming soon is the appearance of chipmunks under our bird feeder.

  • Current Music
    Lightning Bolt 'Fantasy Empire'

shut the door behind you

It is 3:50 PM Sunday afternoon. The sun has been shining all day, which is nice.

I have been reading today, "The Spiritual Canticle" by St. John of the Cross. One of the first Christian books I read was "The Spiritual Canticle" by St. John of the Cross back in 1971. I still have that old paperback copy of "The Spiritual Canticle" in my book collection. I love St. John of the Cross. He has stood by me through thick and thin.

Carol has been sleeping this afternoon, because she goes back to work tonight. It is a new week. This coming Friday is the first day of Spring 2015.

Well I suppose I will close to read and prepare for the Day of Resurrection.

"8. It brings special happiness to a person to understand that God is never absent, not even from a soul in mortal sin (and how much less from one in the state of grace).

What more do you want, O soul! And what else do you search for outside, when within yourself you possess your riches, delights, satisfaction, fullness, and kingdom - your Beloved whom you desire and seek? Be joyful and gladdened in your interior recollection with him, for you have him so close to you. Desire him there, adore him there. Do not go in pursuit of him outside yourself. You will only become distracted and wearied thereby, and you shall not find him, or enjoy him more securely, or sooner, or more intimately than by seeking him within you. There is but one difficulty: Even though he does abide within you, he is hidden. Nevertheless, it is vital for you to know his hiding place so you may search for him there with assuredness. And this, soul, is also what you ask, when with the affection of love you question: "Where have you hidden?"

9. Yet you inquire: Since he whom my soul loves is within me, why don't I find him or experience him? The reason is that he remains concealed and you do not also conceal yourself in order to find and experience him. If you want to find a hidden treasure you must enter the hiding place secretly, and once you have discovered it, you will also be hidden just as the treasure is hidden. Since, then, your beloved Bridegroom is the treasure hidden in a field for which the wise merchant sold all his possessions [Mt. 13:44], and that field is your soul, in order to find him you should forget all your possessions and all creatures and hide in the secret inner room of your spirit and there, closing the door behind you (your will to all things), you should pray to your Father in secret [Mt. 6:6]. Remaining hidden with him, you will experience him in hiding, that is, in a way transcending all language and feeling.

10. Come, then, O beautiful soul! Since you know now that your desired Beloved lives hidden within your heart, strive to be really hidden with him, and you will embrace him within you and experience him with loving affection. Note that through Isaiah he calls you to this hiding place: Come, enter into your inner rooms, shut the door behind you (your faculties to all creatures), hide yourself a little, even for a moment [Is. 26:20], for this moment of life on earth. If, O soul, in this short space of time you keep diligent watch over your heart, as the Wise Man advises [Prv. 4:23], God will undoubtedly give you what he also promises further on through Isaiah: I will give you hidden treasures and reveal to you the substance and mysteries of the secrets [Is. 45:3]. The substance of the secrets is God himself, for God is the substance and concept of faith, and faith is the secret and the mystery. And when that which faith covers and hides from us is revealed - that which is perfect concerning God, spoken of by St. Paul [1 Cor. 13:10] - then the substance and mysteries of the secrets will be uncovered to the soul.

However much the soul hides herself, she will never in this mortal life attain to so perfect a knowledge of these mysteries as she will possess in the next. Nevertheless, if like Moses she hides herself in the cavern of the rock (in real imitation of the perfect life of the Son of God, her Bridegroom), she will merit that, while he protects her with his right hand, God will show her his shoulders [Ex. 33:22-23], that is, he will bring her to the high perfection of union with the Son of God, her Bridegroom, and transformation in him through love. In this union she experiences such closeness to him and is so instructed and wise in his mysteries that, as for knowing him in this life, she has no need to say, "Where have you hidden?"

11. You have been told, O soul, of the conduct you should observe if you want to find the Bridegroom in your hiding place. Still, if you want to hear this again, listen to a word abounding in substance and inaccessible truth: Seek him in faith and love, without desiring to find satisfaction in anything, or delight, or desiring to understand anything other than what you ought to know. Faith and love are like the blind person's guides. They will lead you along a path unknown to you, to the place where God is hidden. Faith, the secret we mentioned,[3] is comparable to the feet by which one journeys to God, and love is like one's guide. In dealing with these mysteries and secrets of faith, the soul will merit through love the discovery of the content of faith, that is, the Bridegroom whom she desires to possess in this life through the special grace of divine union with God, as we said,[4] and in the next life through the essential glory, by which she will rejoice in him not in a hidden way, but face to face [1 Cor. 13:12].

In the meantime, even though the soul reaches union in this life (the highest state attainable here below), she always exclaims; "Where have You hidden?" For even in the state of union he is still hidden from her, in the bosom of the Father, as we said,[5] which is how she wants to enjoy him in the next life." St. John of the Cross "The Spiritual Canticle" Stanza 1
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he is content with nothing less than God

It is in the flow 5:26 PM Sunday evening. Soon my wife will be up getting ready to go back to work.

I have been messing with our main computer and reading from a book titled, “The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross” translated by Kieran Kavanaugh & Otilio Rodriguez. In this volume I have been reading “The Spiritual Canticle” by St. John of the Cross. Today in reading this treatise I keep telling myself St. John of the Cross is setting forth what it means to be a Christian/a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I should give our daughter-in-law Emily a volume of “The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross”. I thought about buying her Jonathan Edward’s famous work “On Religious Affections”, but decided not to. I doubt if Emily has time these days to read serious spiritual works, She is a full time wife/mother and also works 32 hours a week as a Nurse Practitioner.

Tonight there is nothing on TV worth watching, so I will read my books and go to bed early. Tomorrow is a Monday in the flow of time.

Well I suppose I will close with this quote from “The Spiritual Canticle”-

“Some call the Bridegroom beloved, whereas He is not really their beloved because their heart is not wholly set on Him. As a result their petition is not of much value in His sight. They do not obtain their request until through perseverance in prayer they keep their spirit more continually with God, and their heart with its affectionate love more entirely set on Him. Nothing is obtained from God except by love.

14. It is noteworthy of her next remark, “and left me moaning,” that the absence of the Beloved causes continual moaning in the lover. Since she loves nothing outside of Him, she finds no rest or relief in anything. This is how we recognize the person who truly loves God: if he is content with nothing less than God. But what am I saying, if he is content? Even if he possesses everything, he will not be content; in fact the more he has, the less satisfied he will be. Satisfaction of heart is not found in the possession of things, but in being stripped of them all and in poverty of spirit. Since perfection consists in this poverty of spirit, in which God is possessed by a very intimate and special grace, the soul, having attained it, lives in this life with some satisfaction, although not complete. For David, in spite of all his perfection, hoped to have this fullness in heaven, saying: When your glory appears, I shall be filled. [Ps. 16:15].

As a result, the peace, tranquility, and satisfaction of heart attainable in this life is insufficient to prevent the soul from moaning within itself-although this moan may be tranquil and painless-hoping for what it lacks. Moaning is connected with hope, and the Apostle affirmed that he and others moaned even though they were perfect: We ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit moan within ourselves, hoping for the adoption of the sons of God. [Rom. 8:23].

The soul, then, bears this moan within herself, in her enamored heart. For there where love wounds is the moan rising from the wound, and it ever cries out in the feeling of His absence; especially when the soul, after the taste of some sweet and delightful communication of the Bridegroom, suffers His absence and is left alone and dry. ” pg. 421,422 St. John of the Cross
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