Archive for November, 2012

Banning Christmas Presents?

Call me Scrooge, but Mr. Lewis of the U.K. Telegraph has it right.

We are engaged in a mutually escalating war of “holiday presents”.  I don’t wish to attach “Christmas” to the orgy of materialism that drives people to camp out waiting for “Black Friday” bargains, or, for that matter, why there should be a day on our calendar called “Black Friday”.

As “links” do not seem to be working, here is the link to the full story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/9689707/Martin-Lewis-Its-time-to-ban-Christmas-presents.html


How about a gift to the local Food Bank?  Perhaps, you can do as one of our parish girls, and make up packets of hotel toiletries to give to the homeless.  And here’s a good one: maybe give a well-bound copy of the Holy Bible to someone who doesn’t have one, or a large print edition to a senior whose eyes aren’t what they used to be?  Better still, give the gift of yourself once a week for a year to tip up and visit that senior and read to them.  Wa all have enough stuff. To many of us have not received Christ…at least not yet.

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The Sabbath lies at the foundation of all true morality. Morality flows from principle. Let the principles of moral obligation become relaxed, and the practice of morality will not long survive the overthrow. No man can preserve his own morals, no parent can preserve the morals of his children, without the impressions of religious obligation.


            If you can induce a community to doubt the genuineness and authenticity of the Scriptures; to question the reality and obligations of religion; to hesitate, undeciding, whether there be any such thing as virtue or vice; whether there be an eternal state of retribution beyond the grave; or whether there exists any such being as God, you have broken down the barriers of moral virtue, and hoisted the flood gates of immorality and crime. I need not say that when a people have once done this, they can no longer exist as a tranquil and happy people. Every bond that holds society together would be ruptured; fraud and treachery would take the place of confidence between man and man; the tribunals of justice would be scenes of bribery and injustice; avarice, perjury, ambition, and revenge would walk through the land, and render it more like the dwelling of savage beasts than the tranquil abode of civilized and Christianized men.


            If there is an institution which opposes itself to this progress of human degeneracy, and throws a shield before the interests of moral virtue in our thoughtless and wayward world, it is the Sabbath. In the fearful struggle between virtue and vice, notwithstanding the powerful auxiliaries which wickedness finds in the bosoms of men, and in the seductions and influence of popular example, wherever the Sabbath has been suffered to live, the trembling interests of moral virtue have always been revered and  sustained. One of the principal occupations of this day is to illustrate and enforce the great principles of sound morality. Where this sacred trust is preserved inviolate, you behold a nation convened one day in seven for the purpose of acquainting themselves with the best moral principles and precepts; and it can not be otherwise than that the authority of moral virtue, under such auspices, should be acknowledged and felt.  Gardiner Springer (1785-1873),  McGuffey’s Sixth Eclectic Reader, pp. 186-188.

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For those of supporting the restoration of a culture of life in America, we can be depressed about this woeful turn of events and turn turtle, or we can undrestand what it means. No more sloth in teaching traditional American values, history, and the original intent of the Constitution. No longer can parents and grandparents hand our youth over to television, internet and secularist teachers while pursuing their childish interests. Above all, no more can we sit in our churches and wait for someone else to raise up a new generation. We must embrace a new evangelism to restore Christian faith and morality amongst the people. After all, Christ never promised us this would be easy.

Today, let us begin to teach. The task has become too important to leave to those hostile to the faith and Christian values, too vital to allow us to abandon children and grandchildren to the poisonous babysitter of the media. The hour is late, and the situation difficult.

Difficult?  We sew on hard ground.  Why, though, should we have it easier than our early Christian fathers and mothers? Why should we get a pass when the Apostles, martyrs and saints do not? Ora et labora! Pray and work.

And, please, no fear anymore.  No fear that we will be ridiculed or might lose some “pledge units” offended by the true teachings of the Church!  No fear from secularists and purported “conservatives” who cannot or will not see that the moral imperative must come first and that all else proceeds from it, particularly material well-being.  We have cause for nothing but joy, and it is time to share it with others.  Tor worst that can happen is that some will turn away.

Today we lay down anger, fear and sadness and begin to practice persevance. Today is the day to commit to developing the parallel economy of ideas, of the truly good things, and teach them at the local level. Today is the day we are called to reclaim a nation.

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A Psalm for The Day

This morning, we chanted Psalms 73 and 74 for Matins. (Yes, I know they are for Evening Prayer, but, we do the whole Psalter here at St. Alban’s.).  Psalm 73 seemed most appropriate to the circumstances today.  Here it is so that you may lift up your hearts:

TRULY God is loving unto Israel: * even unto such as are of a clean heart.

Nevertheless, my feet were almost gone, * my treadings had well-nigh slipt.

And why? I was grieved at the wicked: * I do also see the ungodly in such prosperity.

For they are in no peril of death; * but are lusty and strong.

They come in no misfortune like other folk; * neither are they plagued like other men.

And this is the cause that they are so holden with pride, * and cruelty covereth them as a garment.

Their eyes swell with fatness, * and they do even what they lust.

They corrupt other, and speak of wicked blasphemy; * their talking is against the Most High.

For they stretch forth their mouth unto the heaven, * and their tongue goeth through the world.

Therefore fall the people unto them, * and thereout suck they no small advantage.

Tush, say they, how should God perceive it? * is there knowledge in the Most High?

Lo, these are the ungodly, * these prosper in the world, and these have riches in possession:

And I said, Then have I cleansed my heart in vain, * and washed my hands in innocency.

All the day long have I been punished, * and chastened every morning.

Yea, and I had almost said even as they; * but lo, then I should have condemned the generation of thy children.

Then thought I to understand this; * but it was too hard for me,

Until I went into the sanctuary of God: * then understood I the end of these men;

Namely, how thou dost set them in slippery places, * and castest them down, and destroyest them.

O how suddenly do they consume, * perish, and come to a fearful end!

Yea, even like as a dream when one awaketh; * so shalt thou make their image to vanish out of the city.

Thus my heart was grieved, * and it went even through my reins.

So foolish was I, and ignorant, * even as it were a beast before thee.

Nevertheless, I am alway by thee; * for thou hast holden me by my right hand.

Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, * and after that receive me with glory.

Whom have I in heaven but thee? * and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee.

My flesh and my heart faileth; * but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

For lo, they that forsake thee shall perish; * thou hast destroyed all them that are unfaithful unto thee.

But it is good for me to hold me fast by God, to put my trust in the Lord GOD, * and to speak of all thy works in the gates of the daughter of Sion.

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