Thursday 24 July 2014

"Nothing else is worth our living for...." Obedience and The Will of God

I am writing this as the American Anglophile in the Guild. With all the bad news in Europe and in the Middle East, I am not sure those in Great Britain have become aware of the huge sea-change in America.

Not only are laws being presented in Congress to curb online news, such as silencing Drudge Report, but a draconian executive order has been responded to by the USCCB regarding serious risks to religious freedoms.

One may read about that here--

Many Catholics are feeling that "time is speeding up" and that some great wave of evil has struck the West in a way unprecedented since WWII. Those who have discernment and reflect can see clearly, as we all should, the increasing bombardment against the Catholic Church in America, as well as the increasing pressures on freedom of speech and freedom of religion for all persons.

The Catholic Church is the only international organization which is counter-cultural. The Catholic Church is the only institution created by Christ while He was on earth, which stands against the evils of all nations full of men and women who hate or ignore the Living, Trinitarian God.

We have to stand up to these growing threats to the independence and freedom of the one, true, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

This is not a time for petty squabbling, but a time for all Catholics to examine their consciences to see whether they are orthodox. Only those in obedience to the Church can grow in holiness.

I rarely share the same thing on this blog as I do on mine, but here is a post I feel this audience would understand, from England's own Cardinal Manning.

Here it is:
I have been looking at the actual sermons of young Cardinal Manning in his handwriting. His handwriting and mine are so similar, I was taken aback by the comparison.

I am reading "Obedience The Only Reality". It is superb, especially coming from a very young curate.

One of his points is that the great intellectual and reasoning powers we have been given by God to often become separated from the soul, the spiritual part of man. When this happens, Manning clearly states that anxiety, pain, sorrow and "the season of death" face men and women with the abolishing of these gifts they have refused to use.

The only "thing" we actually have in this world is our own spiritual life, which we take into the next world, he writes.

Everything we have done or spoken, states Manning, will either harm or help our spiritual life. He writes, "Of all the encumbrances, goings on of this busy life, of all its deeds and achievements, and possessions, how small a remainder shall be found after that fiery trial has done its work." He is referring to the final judgment, the keen accounting of God of our lives.

Manning asks how shall our works, our thoughts, our imaginations, self-persuasions and other deceits stand up to the sight of God's scrutiny.

The clergyman then goes on to say that the disobedient are condemned already. And, those who take part in the eternal obedience of Christ, the following of the will of God, use the gifts of grace given to them.

Here is another direct quotation: "Nothing else is worth our living for....Obedient or disobedient, we must be real or unreal, unperishable or perishing."

Manning states that the first step in holiness is to see what it is what God's will is for each one of us; then, to abandon everything else.

"What we are is a revelation of His will towards us. Our lot is a reality, the works of our calling are real, as long as they are done as a service to obedience. Within these bounds there is nothing which does not bear upon Eternity....Obedience to the will of God is work of direct and simple consciousness. It is to be wrought in us by its own self-confirming power. It is by doing the will of God, by recognizing it in all the changes of life; by reading it in the course of this troubled world; the Expression of the Divine Mind; by bowing ourselves down before it, it whatsoever guise it might reveal itself; by yielding ourselves in gladness of mind both to do and to suffer it, counting it a holy discipline, and a loving correction of our own willfulness, and by praying Him ever to stay His hand, till the mind of self be abolished from our regenerate being;--by this means it is that we are changed from a shadow of a fleeting life to the abiding realities of the Eternal world, being made partakers of the will of God."

Would that we heard sermons like this today! If you want to read more of this thrilling sermon, go here.

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