Tuesday, December 27, 2011

God Be, or Not Be: What answers our questions?

"Think about it: every function that was once performed by religion can now be done by something else. In other words, if you want to explain the world, you don’t need Genesis; you have science. If you want to control the world, you don’t need prayer; you have technology. If you want to prosper, you don’t necessarily seek God’s blessing; you have the global economy. You want to control power, you no longer need prophets; you have liberal democracy and elections.

If you’re ill, you don’t need a priest; you can go to a doctor. If you feel guilty, you don’t have to confess; you can go to a psychotherapist instead. If you’re depressed, you don’t need faith; you can take a pill. If you still need salvation, you can go to today’s cathedrals, the shopping centres of Britain — or as one American writer calls them, weapons of mass consumption. Religion seems superfluous, redundant, de trop. Why then does it survive?

My answer is simple. Religion survives because it answers three questions that every reflective person must ask. Who am I? Why am I here? How then shall I live? We will always ask those three questions because homo sapiens is the meaning-seeking animal, and religion has always been our greatest heritage of meaning. You can take science, technology, the liberal democratic state and the market economy as four institutions that characterize modernity, but none of these four will give you an answer to those questions that humans ask."

Fr. Johannes Jacobse

It is the great light of the Incarnation that brings good news. These three questions have an answer. The answer was promised, came, lived, died, and rose again. And we are called to live the answer by living in the light of the humble Christ.

LORD have Mercy. Brian+

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Celebrating Christmas

"This is our present Festival; it is this which we are celebrating, the Coming of God to Man, that we might go forth, or rather (for this is the more proper expression) that we might go back to God – that putting off the old man, we might put on the New; and that as we died in Adam, so we might live in Christ, being born with Christ and crucified with Him and buried with Him and rising with Him. For where sin abounded grace did much more abound; and if a taste condemned us, how much more does the Passion of Christ justify us? Therefore let us keep the Feast, not after the manner of a heathen festival, but after a godly sort; not after the way of the world, but in a fashion above the world; not as our own, but as belonging to Him Who is ours, or rather as our Master’s; not as of weakness, but as of healing; not as of creation, but of re-creation." (St. Gregory Nazianzos in “On The Birthday of Christ”, O Logos Publishing, pg. 3)

Thanks to Father Ted's Blog http://frted.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/celebrating-christmas/

Monday, November 28, 2011

Advent: Irrelevant or irreverent

Has Advent become irrelevant in these post-Christian times? for the today Christian in the today world? Or have we today Christians in the today world simply become irreverent towards Advent? I think we know the answer. As the Gospel reading on Sunday ended, "And what I say to you, I say to all, 'Watch!'"

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may
cast away the works of darkness, and put
upon us the armour of light, now in the time of
this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ
came to visit us in great humility; that in the
last day, when he shall come again in his glorious
Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal; through him
who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy
Spirit, now and ever. Amen.

LORD have Mercy, Brian+

Monday, November 21, 2011

Morality and Beauty

Every fruit of the Spirit, every virtue, springs from the hope and joy that cherishes and delights in the beauty of God's creation in you and me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blessed Union

From the beginning, God in His providence planned
the union of man and woman.
There is no relationship between human beings
as close as that of husband and wife
if they are united as they ought to be.

~St. John Chrysostom (349-407 AD)

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Difference Believing in the Incarnate God Makes

"For those who, on the one hand, believe that life is merely an accidental economy of matter that should be weighed by a utilitarian calculus of means and ends and those who, on the other, believe that life is a supernatural gift oriented towards eternal glory, every moment of existence has a different significance and holds a different promise. To the one, a Down syndrome child (for instance) is a genetic scandal, one who should probably be destroyed in the womb as a kind of oblation offered up to the social good and, of course, to some immeasurably remote future; to the other, that same child is potentially (and thus far already) a being so resplendent in his majesty, so mighty, so beautiful that we could scarcely hope to look upon him with the sinful eyes of this life and not be consumed."
By David Bentley Hart from his essay The Anti-Theology of the Body, HERE

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Living Bridge's

I have long enjoyed trying to 'see' spiritual allusions in various events or things. I saw one yesterday that I had to play to our Bible Fellowship group. Here is the link to the video:

Living Bridge

I especially love the allusion to Tradition. The father in the video understands the importance of teaching his daughter the ancient way of dealing with the very real and present danger of the world in which they live. He knows that the solution lays in the way of the past, carefully lived and followed in the present, for others in the future. I think that the Tradition of our faith is much the same.

Blessings, Brian+

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Anglican Reintegration

"The unification of outward order can never move faster than the recovery of inward life." Michael Ramsay in THE GOSPEL AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

How is your prayer life? Mine has been poor of late. On again and off again.

Lord have Mercy, Brian

"Effective prayer can be a struggle. So often when I approach my prayer time I find my mind distracted so that I simply go through a routine without any feelings. Usually, I memorize many of the prayers I say daily in addition to my intercessory prayers. Memorization etches the prayer in my mind making it available to me at any time.

What happens frequently, though, is that my mind takes control and begins to pray automatically This is not a good sign. Why? Because our prayers need to come from the heart with feeling and an awareness that we are engaged in a dialogue with God. We need to have the awe of His presence as we pray. An automatic prayer is not really a prayer. A prayer must come from the heart with feeling and understanding. I find I must continually remind myself of this. Too often I fall into the trap of just putting in my time to fulfill my prayer rule. It is not about the time we spend in prayer, but the sincerity with which we pray that is of the most importance."

From http://orthodoxwayoflife.blogspot.com/2011/10/my-struggle-in-prayer.html

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ego Interference

These comments by Abbot Tryphon ring with the truth of a life lived into the humility of Christ. The only thing interfering with this 'peace beyond understanding' is my selfish, demanding ego.

"We often find ourselves disappointed in life. The job we really wanted is given to another person. An associate at work doesn't invite us to the dinner party, yet invited a coworker and his wife. A person we'd love to have as a friend shows no interest and we feel rejected. The music director at church doesn't allow us to join the choir. Someone much younger gets the promotion, along with an increase in salary. You get the idea.

If we have peace in our heart, all these disappointments are meaningless. The man who has peace in his heart gives thanks to God for all things. Even illnesses and poverty can be embraced if we see all as allowed by God because He loves us and grants just what we need for our salvation.

When we approach all that comes our way with a gladsome heart, we gain that which is of the most profit. The treasure that is ours is one that nothing can take away, not even death. Glory to God for all things."
From The Morning Offering

Again, I was reminded of the paramount importance of the inner work of discipleship in this wonderful illustration:

"When an archer desires to shoot his arrows successfully, he first takes great pains over his posture and aligns himself accurately with his mark. It should be the same for you who are about to shoot the head of the wicked devil. Let us be concerned first for the good order of sensations and then for the good posture of inner thoughts."

~St John Chrysostom From Christ in our Midst HERE

It's time to go say my prayers: there is work to be done.

LORD have mercy, Brian+

Monday, October 10, 2011

Discerning Beauty

Unless we look at a person and see the beauty there is in this person, we can contribute nothing to him. One does not help a person by discerning what is wrong, what is ugly, what is distorted. Christ looked at everyone he met, at the prostitute, at the thief, and saw the beauty hidden there. Perhaps it was distorted, perhaps damaged, but it was beauty none the less, and what he did was to call out this beauty.
Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

Thanks to Salt of the Earth http://solzemli.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/metropolitan-anthony-bloom-on-seeing-the-beauty-in-each-person/

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mary Olive Freeman

In memory of
Mary Olive (Short) Freeman
January 1919 – September 25, 2011
A beautiful Christian lady

If I Could (By Mary Freeman)

If I could live a life to please my God,
And to be a friend to all mankind as well,
And do the things a Christian ought to do,
As long as I am on this earth to dwell.

If I could guide the young, support the aged,
Encourage those faint hearted and the sad,
If I could bring the wanderer to the fold,
Defend the lonely widows, make them glad.

If I could shield an orphan with a home,
Deliver one poor captive with his grief,
Help someone weary, troubled in distress,
And bring a humble heartache to relief.

If I could turn some evil hate to love,
Forgive my foes for harmful things they do,
And keep the peace when riots come my way,
And strengthen one to live a life anew.

If I could heal the sick, the blind, the lame,
And comfort some one suffering in great pain,
Have pity on the poor who come my way,
This way I’d find a heart which I could gain.

If I could slow a drunkard with his drinks,
Influence one drug addict make him tame,
If I could keep good tempered as I go,
And mend a broken home from all its shame.

If I could find no fault with those I know,
And all my thoughts were perfect pure and kind,
If I could be content and feel no fear,
In me a Christian life you then would find.

If I could toil and yet no rest would need,
And labour on and no reward would take,
If I could suffer and no pain would heed,
A true and humble person I would make.

If I could give and not count the cost,
And lend an eager ear to those who call,
If I could live without a jealous heart,
I’d have no fear and be a friend to all.

I cannot live a life that’s so devine,
But I can make an effort that’s supreme,
To live in peace and joy and gladness fine,
I’d be a worthwhile person it would seem.

I pray that while I’m on this earth to dwell,
God will protect and guide me day by day,
That I may be quite pleasing in His sight,
And lead me on to live the perfect way.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Prayers and closing comments at Gander 9-11 Tribute Service, 2011

I was privileged to be able to lead the opening prayer, and prayer of dedication, for the World Trade Center steel that was given to the Gander area for their efforts of ten years ago. I know that there was controversy in many places about praying 'in the Name of Jesus,' but these politically correct restrictions were thankfully not placed upon us.

Lord have mercy, Brian+

Opening Prayer
Loving Father, we have gathered this afternoon to remember both the tragedy and triumph experienced ten years ago today. We remember the tragedy when hatred and insanity sought to destroy, dishearten, and discourage: when violence and death forever changed the lives of children, men, and women, of families and nations. Comfort the afflicted and those who mourn, O Lord. But we also gather to recall the triumph of courage, compassion, and generosity. For the victory of valor, self-sacrifice, and those acts of beautiful humanity, that lift the heart, inspiring us to reach out to become what you call us to be, the children of God, peacemakers. This we pray in the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ the LORD. AMEN

Prayer of Dedication
Lord of all creation, we present to You these two steel memorials which are the work of our hands; both of good and evil. They exist because of good hands building a Tower, a city, and a nation. Now, fragments because of the shattering of evil hands. But today, with Your Blessing may they symbolize and remind us of both the tragedy and triumph of September 11th, 2001. May the hearts and minds of all those who see and touch these memorials, be called to sober reflection and prayer. Yet, as Christ has shown us, may they know the ultimate victory of humanity’s courageous and humble service to those in need, as was displayed in New York City, Gander, and so many other places. In memory of Captain Brian Hickey, the events September 11, 2001, and to Your purposes, we dedicate this steel; in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Closing Comments
I was still 5 years old when a neighbourhood mom told me that JF Kennedy was assassinated. Why I remember that at such a young age, I do not know. I was a teacher in Plum Point on the Northern Peninsula, standing in the staff room watching the Challenger takeoff and explode, and I was driving from Prince County Hospital Summerside PEI to my Parish office when I heard on CBC radio that “what appears to have been an airplane has crashed into the north Tower of New York’s, Twin Towers.” Fortunately such indelible events upon the collective human memory are rare, for they are all too often events of tragedy.
Today we have gathered to reflect upon the tragedy of 9-11. The images and stories that flowed from our giant neighbor to the south will forever continue to cause us somber pause, even to shudder at the horror. But here in Gander and surrounding area, (and in other places as well), we were given, God-given, an opportunity, to do something other than watch. Perhaps the Lord knew that we were too weak to merely watch the pain and confusion of that tragedy. Nevertheless, when the World came to Gander that day, we were given the privilege of revealing what we believe all people are called to do: To do unto others as you would have them do unto you; and to love your neighbor as yourself.
We are awkwardly proud of what was accomplished here ten years ago, and sincerely hope that the circumstances never come our way again. But we do pray for the continued healing of the people and great nation of the United States, and those of other nations adversely affected by 911. And we pray that people everywhere, when tragedy occurs, might give of themselves to the needs of others, for it is good, it is very very good. It is of God.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Why Go To Church??

As a priest I often hear the excuses of secular Christians for not attending church. You know the usual, "Don't need to be in church to pray to God," or "I feel closer to God in the woods than in a church." Or the regrettably sad moralist who says, "You do not need to go to church to be good!" For years I have generally responded with the image of a loving relationship such as a married couple rejoicing in being together. The thought that the couple might feel closer to each other while apart is silly. (I know, I know, 'Distance makes the heart grow fonder!') Thus Jesus is our Bridegroom. "This is the purpose of worship," I would say, and in many ways it is, but today my thoughts have changed. Why go to church? To receive Christ, His very Body and Blood!! I recently read a comment in this blog post, A Baptist Asks a Good Question HERE that puts it beautifully.

I shan’t comment on the veracity of the consecrated bread and wine’s transmutation into the Flesh and Body of the Savior; there is irrefutable historical evidence that the Early Church taught that during the Holy Eucharist the blessings of the clergy would determine the bread and wine to transmute into the Flesh and Body of the Lord. Ignatius of Antioch–an early Church Father and a disciple of the Apostles, and Justin the Martyr–an early Christian writer and saint who lived in the first half of the second century, state very clearly that during the Eucharist the consecrated bread and wine become the Flesh and Blood of Christ. So I really can’t comprehend why people are at variance over the veracity of the transubstantiation (or transmutation, or transformation, or whatever the term may be).

However I shall make a few remarks with respect to some statements that caught my attention while I was reading that article’s comments ; somebody stated that Christ is present in our common day-to-day lives as much as He is in the church building during the Holy Eucharist; the writer of the comment doesn’t see why God would be less present in a sunset, in a stroll through the park, in the company of a good friend, etc.

Indeed, God is everywhere and the entire world is an immense church. And yes, you can approach God by contemplating a sunset and by appreciating the attention and care that a good friend has to offer. It is true that you can feel God’s presence in everything that He has created. But the Holy Communion is THE CLOSEST you can get to God. The sunset, the flying birds, the park with its green grass, our best friends, all of these are materializations of God’s mercy and love; they are good, but to quote Saint Augustine of Hippo, He Who has made them is BETTER; and during the Holy Eucharist we receive He Who has made ALL things. The sunset, the singing birds, a conversation with a friend mirror God’s love; but the Holy Eucharist offers GOD HIMSELF; His own FLESH and BLOOD that can purge ANY sin. Can a stroll in the park, a sunset, or a sunrise, or the singing birds purge you of your sins? What would you sooner do? Go to the park or attend church and receive Christ’s Flesh and Blood?

What do you want to do? Enjoy creation, or enjoy the CREATOR ? You can do both; but in order to feel God outside the church building, you must feel His presence INSIDE the church building; if you won’t feel God’s presence in His scared place, how will you feel Him outside in the profane world ? The more you attend church and take part in its ceremonies, the more will you be able to feel God’s presence in the secular world. He who enters the church humbly will never exit it, because after he has entered the church and revered the holy place, the ENTIRE world becomes his church.

You can’t equate a sunset or a sunrise or a stroll in the park with God’s Flesh and Blood; you can’t equate the creation with its Creator.
By Archinomos

Time for me (and you?) to take the Holy Eucharist and Eucharistic preparedness more seriously.

Lord have mercy, Brian+

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Priest in Eastward Worship

“We could take a cue from Orthodoxy, whose priests stand with their backs to their congregation, leading a liturgy that is neither clever nor impassioned, but simply beautiful, like stone smoothed by centuries of rhythmic tides. It’s an austere ritual, in the sense of – there’s nothing new here; it’s sublime, in the sense of – creating a clearer view into Heaven. The priest can be any priest. Who he is, what he looks like, how he speaks, and what he thinks matter little. He hasn’t written the service that he officiates. It isn’t about him or his prowess. He’s an interchangeable functionary draped in brocaded robes, obscured by incense, and, as such, never points to himself, a flawed human, pointing ever and only to the Perfection of the Mysterious Divine. That is the role of every priest or preacher – invisibility, while making God seen.”


The more I think about it, the more I like it. Brian+

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Eucharist : Today and Forever

"For the Divine Liturgy, the Eucharist, is nothing other than the very meal at the End of the World. It is the marriage feast of the Lamb; the feast of the Kingdom of God – our participation in the very Body and Blood of God." Father Stephen Freeman

I believe this to be true. O Lord, forgive my unbelief.

LORD, have mercy, Brian

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Decay of Identity

The more I learn about the riches of liturgical Christianity, the more I lament the loss of Common worship and Identity. I see an ever increasing congregationalist attitude among clergy and bishops. It is as if we are embarrassed about our traditions and our past. We must be new and ever changing because 'change is good and inevitable." More and more we are sucked in by our egos and fallen desires. In the recent Bishop's Charge at our Synod the bishop mentioned the lament of many in the House of Bishops about the loss of Common Worship. I have said it before and I'll say it again, "The only thing boring about our liturgical worship, is my fallen heart and desires."

I saw this today in a post regarding the Book of Common Prayer from the Rectors Corner HERE

"Many ancient liturgical innovations failed; many new forms of worship tell us more about ourselves than they do about God. Often, the more “relevant” we seek to be, the more dated and shallow we become. The notion of a shared identity starts to look much more valuable when amnesia becomes more common amongst us than does anamnesis."

LORD have mercy, Brian+

Monday, June 13, 2011

What I Fear!

"I do not fear the God who is Holy Trinity. I fear my own freedom to turn from this God, to hide myself in an impenetrable egotism and despair which will forever close me to the roar of his love. I fear that my self-will will ultimately triumph over my desire for the supreme and ultimate Good. I fear that I am becoming, have become, a person who declares to infinite Love, “My will, not thine, be done.” I fear also the purifying suffering that I must endure, both in this life and beyond, to free me from my bondage to self and the goods of this world. But I do not fear the God of Jesus Christ. I know that if God does truly exist, then at the moment of my death he will meet me as the Crucified, still bearing the marks of his sacrifice on his hands. Judge and Judged, Priest and Victim, absolver of sins and victor over death—to this Jesus I entrust my future; to his Father I commend my spirit. Amen."

Fr. Al Kimel - recently ordained priest in the eastern Orthodox Church after stint in the Episcopal Church, then Roman Catholic.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dehumanizing Mission VS Christ-like Witness

I find these two answers from an Eastern Orthodox bishop to a group of Protestant pastors regarding Western Evangelism and mission profoundly interesting, especially the comment about the dehumanizing aspect of it. It certainly juxtapositions 'witness' with 'evangelize.' I would have liked to have had him expand his statements, but something about it sits right with me.

1st Question: What is your understanding of missionary activities in the Orthodox Church?

Answer: To start with, the term “mission” does not express the spirit of the Orthodox Church. We use it compromisingly because it has universal prevalence. Instead we prefer the term “witness.” The term mission, which derives from Western theology, does not exist in Holy Scripture, while the corresponding term, witness, is found many times. The teaching of the Gospel does not mean to say beautiful words about Christ but to give a daily witness of Christ with one’s words and with one’s silence, with works and by example. And if need be, if necessary, to martyr for Christ, namely, to spill one’s blood for Christ, as was done by millions of martyrs and confessors of the faith.

2nd Question: What is your opinion on proselytism?

Answer: In the Orthodox Church we consider proselytism a great sin because it does not honour man. It tramples upon the precious divine gift of freedom and debases man’s personality. Proselytism means to impose on someone else your beliefs by lawful and unlawful means, while confessing Christ means to struggle, to live according to Christ and to repeat by one’s words and life, the perennial “come and see” of the Apostle Philip to any well-intentioned “Nathanael” – your neighbour. The disastrous results of proselytism of the so-called missionary countries by Western Christianity, which we face to this day, I believe, does not leave any margin for the indefinite condemnation of the proselytising process.


Saturday, April 30, 2011

True Anglicanism

“One canon, two testaments, three creeds, four general councils, five centuries and the series of the Fathers in that period determine the boundaries of our faith.”

Lancelot Andrewes

The only fresh expression that is needed, as far as I am concerned, is mine and your changed heart. Ancient liturgy and worship is only boring because I am bored. Open my eyes, ears, mind, and heart to what you are saying in worship and life, O LORD. I want to see Jesus. LORD have mercy, Brian+

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Anglicanism: A Spiritual System

Why I love the Book of Common Prayer more than ever. Forgive me for misplacing the author of this wonderful quote. I believe it was Robert Darwin Crouse (1930 - 2011)

The Book of Common Prayer is not conceived (as are its current alternatives) as a kind of resource-book for worship, from which one may choose elements according to one’s tastes or inclinations, or have them chosen for one by the clergy or by some “worship and spirituality” committee, more or less ad hoc. The Prayer Book is, rather, a spiritual system, biblical, traditional, and logical, which includes, but at the same time transcends and corrects the subjective inclinations of the worshipper or the spirituality committee. It is the common prayer of priest and congregation, and corporate in a way in which the self-conscious “gathering of the community” can never be.

Liturgical resource books will not do. The prayer of the Church becomes the common prayer of the people only when its variants are few enough that they can become thoroughly familiar and habitual, and thus can be genuinely prayed. William Beveridge, several centuries ago, put the matter cogently:

… If I hear another pray, and know not beforehand what he will say, I must first listen to what he will say next; then I am to consider whether what he saith be agreeable to sound doctrine, and whether it be proper and lawful for me to join with him in the petitions he puts up to Almighty God; and if I think it is so, then I am to do it. But before I can well do that, he is got to another thing; by which means it is very difficult, if not morally impossible, to join with him in everything so regularly as I ought to do. But by a set form of prayer all this trouble is prevented; for having the form continually in my mind, being thoroughly acquainted with it, fully approving of everything in it, and always knowing beforehand what will come next, I have nothing else to do, whilst the words are sounding in my ears, but to move my heart and affections suitably to them, to raise up my desires to those good things which are prayed for, to fix my mind wholly upon God, whilst I am praising of him, and so to employ, quicken, and lift up my soul in performing my devotions to Him.

Anglican spirituality is basically a liturgical piety, nurtured by the Book of Common Prayer.

Friday, March 25, 2011

We Live on the Edge

We live in a world wracked by the consequences of the fall and of ongoing human choices to sin against God and one another. No one escapes these consequences, the more spectacular of which fill the news cycles of the various media outlets. But the less spectacular of these consequences are what fills our lives – the petty conflicts, the lies, the unfaithfulnesses, the addictions, the abuses, the accidents and illnesses and deaths.

Lent reminds me that I live on the edge, that I live in a world fatally marred by sin, that I myself bear the marks and scars of my own wrongs and those done to me by others, that I need a savior, that we need a savior.

I must be in a dark mood. Perhaps on another day I can write rapturously on the glories of baroque organ masters such as Bach. But today, as I look out and look in, I think all I can manage is ‘Lord, have mercy.’

By Joseph Black from his blog Onesimus Online HERE

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Orthodoxy: Get Serious

I wonder if I am serious enough about working out my salvation. I think many of us (me included) pussyfoot around the seriousness of our brokenness. Found this today.

The main reason why Orthodoxy is so attractive to converts, at least to this convert, is its seriousness about sin. I don’t mean that it’s a dour religion – it is very far from that! – but rather that Orthodoxy takes the brokenness of humankind with appropriate seriousness. Orthodoxy is not going to tell you that you’re okay. In fact, it will require you to call yourself, as St. Paul described himself, the “chief of sinners.” And Orthodoxy is going to tell you the Good News: Jesus died and returned to life so that you too might live. But in order to live, you are going to have to die to yourself, over and over again. And that will not be painless, and cannot be, or it’s not real.

Because of that, for all its dramatic beauty and rich feasting, Orthodoxy is far more austere and demanding than most American Christianity. The long liturgies, the frequent prayers, the intense fasts – all make serious demands on the believer, especially comfortable middle-class Americans like me. They call us out of ourselves, and to repentance. Orthodoxy is not interested in making you feel comfortable in your sins. It wants nothing less than for you to be a saint.

Rod Dreher

From Creedal Christian

Saturday, March 19, 2011

BCP Re-think

"So it is no surprise that when contemporary liturgists speak about the Book of Common Prayer they bemoan its direct appeal to the mind. They complain that it is “too cerebral”, “too intellectual”; they object to its “didactic” and “catechetical” qualities. For them, in contrast, liturgical prayer should be a thing of ‘rich imagery’ and ‘metaphor’, not of theological statement which appeals to reason. I think we know what they mean. Living in the TV age, we are all affected by the contemporary taste for entertainments with immediate impact on our emotions and appetites. We are not predisposed to liturgies which expect us to think, and will."

From Bishop Anthony Burton's Blog HERE It is a magnificent appeal for the BCP which in many Anglican Diocese has gone the way of the dinosaur. Many parishes in my own Diocese have ceased using it. I feel this is a great tragedy, and in many respects a failure of leadership.

LORD have Mercy, Brian+

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lenten Hiatus

As part of my Lenten discipline this year I am greatly limiting my use of the internet. I hope to return after the great celebration of the Resurrection.

May you have a blessed Lent.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Inner Arguments

I found this quote from Fr Stephen Freeman's Blog, Glory to God For All Things. It is an interesting insight into the inner thought life of the fallen, and broken. Lately I have found myself struggling with 'inner arguments.' My inner peace is fragile, and so very often broken by conflict, whether caused by my sinfulness, or inflicted upon me by another's sinfulness. Either way, my peace is disrupted by my lack of love, and faith. I forget God, and this prevents me from walking in love and peace. Lord, forgive me for forgetting you.

The story is told of a an old woman who came to the Elder Thaddeus (Serbian), and complained about a neighbor whom she did not like. He told her, “You are arguing with her all day. You should stop.” She replied, “Argue with her? I make it a point never to see her and never to speak to her.”

“Nevertheless, the elder said, “You argue with her in your mind all day long.” Pray for her and this will disappear.”

LORD have mercy, Brian+

The Wonderful posting by Father Stephen that this quote was found in called "The Unreal Land," is found HERE. Magnificent and well worth a read.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Your Church: Is it too Small?

This is the final of three short writings that I did after the General Synod 2010 in Halifax. Forgive the terse statement at the end, but it is how I often feel about the liberal alterations to a once great Church. Brian+

Your Church: Is it too Small?

One of the aspects of the crisis facing the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) relates to how we understand the inter-relations of the different bodies (members) of the Anglican Communion. During my attendance at the General Synod of our Church in Halifax it was obvious that part of the problem rests in how ‘big,’ or ‘catholic and apostolic’ as we say in the Creed, our church is. This is important because our understanding of the bigness of our church directly impacts how we understand our relationship with each other.
While in Halifax, it was obvious that those of the liberal persuasion who were inviting changes in the doctrine and polity of our ACoC understood the church to be what I call ‘small church’, whereas those of traditional/conservative/orthodox views saw the church as ‘big church.’ By ‘small church’ I mean that each diocese, and even parish, if one takes the premise of smallness to its logical conclusions, can determine its own doctrinal and polity positions over practically any matter. This smallness was frequently expressed at the General Synod through disapproval of ‘interference’ from the rest of the Anglican Communion regarding what was perceived as local issues (cultural context). For ‘small church’ thinkers, the local church/diocese should have the right to determine how they should act within their local context.
‘Big church’ thinkers, on the other hand, feel that the local church draws its doctrine and polity, even identity, from the larger or wider church. The more important or difficult the issue that is facing the local diocese/church, greater would be the need for wider consensus on that decision. Thus, given the significant struggle of the current issue facing our church and our internal difficulty of having a clear understanding of a Biblically based doctrinal rational for liberal innovations, ‘big church’ thinkers would reserve judgment to the wider, catholic and apostolic church.
Recent comments by Archbishop Rowan Williams reflected the struggle to balance the autonomous diocesan structure of the Church with the ‘bigness’ that is belonging to the ‘catholic and apostolic’ church. He said that the Church, at this time, is not able to make a consensus decision on the matter of same-sex blessings, nor the ordination of persons living in a same-sex relationship. The Saint Michael’s Report, The Galilee Report, and the Council of General Synod reflect that it was not clear that the ACoC should move on these liberal innovations. Still, some bishops and dioceses have already acted upon their ‘small church’ perception, where ‘big church’ thinkers have said no, or not yet.
Many conservative/orthodox/traditional thinkers have not articulated this point of the ‘bigness’ of the church very well. However it is an important component in the overall understanding that though each diocese is local and ‘autonomous,’ we do not have the right to change any significant doctrinal or church polity that adversely impacts the identity and mission of the rest of the members. Though the Biblical rational for changing our doctrine on human sexuality is debatable for liberal thinkers, what ‘big church’ thinkers do not often understand in the debate is the expression of our wider unity when we consecrate a new bishop. Given innovations unwelcomed or unwanted within some dioceses of our national church, does a conservative, ‘big church’ diocese welcome an innovating ‘small church’ diocesan bishop to participate in the consecration of a new bishop where these matters are deemed critical to their understanding of the church? Does this sully the ‘catholic and apostolic’ witness of the new bishop? I believe all bishops of the Eastern Orthodox persuasion would say yes; all bishops of the Roman Catholic Church would say yes; Our Anglican rites of ordination and Consecration say yes, at least within the nation.
Now, we live in an age of relativism and individualism, where ‘small church’ thinking seems to be correct, but I would put forth the understanding that the ‘big church’ thinking is the thinking of the historic church, and thus should be the thinking of the Anglican Church of Canada. To think less of our church is to risk its reason for being and reduce it to a localized social/religious organization with pleasant language about social justice and good works salvation. It was interesting to note that during the recent General Synod we heard constant lauding of all of our ‘good works’ in mission, but virtually nothing of our being personally and corporately transformed into the image and likeness of Christ.
The essential reality of the ‘big church’ is why the general Secretary of the Anglican Communion, The Rev. Cannon Kenneth Kearon said to our General Synod, that we are not the Anglican Church OF Canada, rather we are the Anglican Communion IN Canada. That’s ‘big church.’ That is the church I want to belong to, and that is the church that I believe we are confessing when we say the Creed. Local option, ‘small church’ thinking is a sign of the declining, dying, and decaying great church we once were. We pretty up the dying with pleasant language of respecting diversity within unity, but let’s not kid ourselves, we are meant to belong to the holy, catholic, and apostolic church, not some little aberration of a Gnostic cult that will soon be all that is left of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Roots among the Rocks: Self-identity versus Identity-transformation

This reflection was printed in the Newfoundland Anglican Life: September 2010 Issue

During the General Synod we were presented with the first presentation of the wonderful play called “Roots Among the Rocks.” This powerful drama, presented by the Anglican/Lutherian youth under the direction of Jenny Salisbury, portrayed the struggles of a number of youth with their issues of identity and acceptance in the Church. It displayed the various ‘common’ spiritual struggles of youth and their feelings of acceptance in the church as a solution for their identity struggle. It was not without forethought that the drama included a scene of ‘intimacy’ between two females, who then sought the acceptance of their relationship in the church. When they were ‘received/accepted’ they were happy and well.
The problem with all of the ‘solutions’ of acceptance in the Church was what I call the entrenchment of identity. There was no sense of repentance, in that one states, “This is where I am today,” rather than, “I desire to be more in You, LORD Jesus.” The lack of repentant, penitent, confessional language, not only in the drama of ‘Roots Among the Rocks’, but also in the whole of the Anglican General Synod, is a reflection that the Anglican Church of Canada has truly lost its way. We are demanding that God accept us were we are and as we are, rather than in the confession of our brokenness and our need to be more deeply found in the fullness of Christ by the empowering of the Holy Spirit. The classical, Biblical, and traditional language of Anglicanism was noticeably absent during General Synod. Our crisis today is profoundly rooted in the quest for self-identity rather than the quest to be found in the Christ-identity through self-denial and personal transformation. Perhaps the ‘weak’ confession of the BAS needs to be strengthened by the sturdy words of the Book of Common Prayer:
“ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, We
have erred and strayed from thy ways like
offended against thy holy laws, We have left
undone those things which we ought to have
done, And we have done those things which we
ought not to have done; And there is no health
in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God,
which confess their faults. Restore thou them that
are penitent; According to thy promises declared
unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord. And grant,
O most merciful Father, for his sake, That we may
hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.”

A Prophet with nothing to say to nobody who could hear!

Last year I attended the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, held in Halifax. I wrote three comments that I forwarded to our provincial Anglican publication, the Anglican Life. Only one was printed, so I have at long last decided to post the three here. I know that this is not entirely connected to the general theme of this Blog, so my apologies,as you allow these three postings. For your consideration.
Lord have mercy, Brian+

A Prophet with nothing to say to nobody who could hear!

During the Synod meetings in Halifax delegates became acquainted with a young man who stood outside of the Conference Hall. Each day we were greeted with his warm, kind face, though he wore a robe giving the appearance of a rather serious Biblical figure, and he held a large sign with an ominous message:

Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it? “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and cereal offerings, I will not accept them, and the peace offerings of your fatted beasts I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5.20-24)

Well, this was curious. Then unfolded what may have been an even more prophetic parable for our society. Two young lads around the age of 12 passed by holding their skateboards, and one stopped to observe the young prophet. He asked him what he was doing, standing there with a sign. The young prophet replied that he felt that he was called to stand there with a sign for the people of the meeting. The lad then asked what the sign said. To this the prophet replied that it would mean different things to the people coming out of the meeting. Puzzled, the lad rubbed the sign with his hand and asked what it meant to him. To this the prophet said, “A cat has gotten my tongue, I cannot say.”

I could hardly believe what had just transpired. This was a ‘play’ revealing the fundamental problem facing our society today – relativism. Now we might not be awake to the daily implications of relativism, but within the Church relativism destroys the witness of the Gospel and the purpose of the Church. Sounds ominous, but it is true. You see if the Gospel of Christ contains no content that can be communicated, and that nobody can understand what that message is then we are truly lost, both the messenger and the hearer. The plight of relativism is played out in those conversations when a person presents a fact, and the hearer responds with, “Whatever. That’s how you see it!” or “Whatever makes you happy.” In contrast to such relativism, St. John writes:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. (1 John 1.1-4 NKJV)

In our Anglican Church of Canada we are witnessing the ravages of relativism as we grapple with the many issues. Within relativism the only ‘truth’ that is valid is that of experience, even to the extreme of individual experience: there is no unity, no common voice, just appearances. We are left with nice religious language as we do nice justice things, which gives us nice feeling experiences. Let’s agree to disagree, but have a good time together anyway. Real truth need not apply, or be of concern. Sadly the lauding of good works was the main course at the General Synod in Halifax. And why not, after all, when we relativize the reality of Jesus and the witness of the Truth within the Church, we can only offer good works, good feelings. We have nothing to say to each other, or anybody else for that matter, about sacrificial holiness and bearing a cross unless it feels good. The young prophet reveals that we have nothing to say of real salvation.

I left General Synod wondering if the Anglican Church of Canada was able to say anything that meant anything. Sadly, the Sexuality Discernment Statement will be much like the Young Prophet’s sign: it will mean different things to different people, and nobody really knows what it says. After all, to agree to disagree, and to live with our differences of understanding is just another way of saying, “Whatever. That’s how you see it!” or “Whatever makes you happy.”

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lenten Fasting

Fasting, neither above nor below your ability, will help you in your vigil. One should not ponder divine matters on a full stomach, say the ascetics. For the well-fed, even the most superficial secrets of the Trinity lie hidden. Christ Himself set the example with His long fast; when He drove out the devil He had fasted for forty days. Are we better than He? Behold angels came and ministered to Him (Matthew 4:11) they are waiting to minister to you too.
Tito Colliander, Way of the Ascetics

Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works.
If you see a poor man, take pity on him.
If you see a friend being honoured, do not envy him.
Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice.
Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin.
Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful.
Let the ear fast by not listening to evil talk and gossip.
Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism
For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers?
St. John Chryostom

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's Hard to be Humble

“Humility is, when the other person is at fault, for us to do a bow to him saying, ‘Forgive me, my brother, I am sorry!’ before he has time to seek forgiveness. This should not seem difficult and burdensome to you. It is nothing in comparison to what Christ the Master did for us. Before the angels He stooped down and did a bow from heaven to earth; ‘He bowed the heavens and came down’ (Ps. 17:9) – God to men! Whereas you turn the world upside-down so that you don’t say one ‘sorry’! So then, where is your humility? When you humble yourself, everyone will seem saintly to you; when you are proud, everyone will seem bothersome and bad.

~Elder Joseph the Hesychast

Thanks to Christ in our Midst

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Return to the Daily Office

Many of us clergy know of the Daily Office. I often wonder how diligent we are in keeping the rhythm of the prayers. That said, I wonder too, of how diligent the people of the Church are in Daily prayer and Scripture reading - not that I have done a good job in teaching it, and holding the benefits of its practice up to the people. In honesty, I have to say that I am generally very good about saying the Morning Office, so much so that I know most of it by memory. I am not so good at the Evening Office. I came across this wonderful reflection by Bishop Anthony Burton, who used to be the Bishop of Saskatchewan before taking up a new position in Dallas, Texas. From A Tribe Called Anglican, specifically HERE

When I first started this Blog I had the daily readings listed along the side of the postings. I shall try to return to the practice for those who might like to avail themselves of the resource. Lord have mercy, Brian+

Some thoughts about the daily office by Bishop Anthony Burton:

Prayer is a participation in the priestly ministry of Christ and is not a consequence of some external rule but springs from the very nature of our vocation as Christians. It is not the preserve of the clergy but is a vocation common to clergy and laity alike. This is a Biblical teaching which the Reformers understood well: it underlies Cranmer’s insistence that the daily work of prayer be taken out of the monastery and placed in the parish church.

Its daily character also underscores this high view of the priesthood of all believers. Time itself is ordered, sanctified and offered through Christ to the Father. Hooker had this to say:

“Now as nature bringeth forth time with motion, so we by motion have learned how to divide time, and by the smaller parts of time both to measure the greater and to know how long all things else endure.” (Laws, V, lxix.2)The whole Prayer Book is designed to enable the laity to fulfil their priestly vocation of prayer: the responses are to be returned by the people and not by the choir only; the prayers are generally short and contain one thought; they are in a language that all can understand; the laity are exhorted to receive their communion; the rubrics demand audibility and visible ceremonial…

and this:

The offices of the Prayer Book proceed from the belief that baptism issues in a vocation to pray in two ways. As a member of the Church, the body of Christ, we are to pray the prayers of the whole Church, publicly if possible, otherwise privately.

We are not members of the Body only at “The Gathering of the Community”. As an individual Christians, we should also have a domestic prayer life, which pertains to the particular needs and circumstances of our life as individuals and, if we have one, as part of a family. No amount of extemporary petition, barked from the back of the Church on Sundays can substitute for this. The distinction between public and private is a problem for the modern world generally. The Prayer Book tradition can help us recover the distinction.

The Prayer Book as a system of spiritual discipline is invaluable in helping us to grow to maturity in Christ. It continually reminds us that the good of the Kingdom of Heaven lies not in the devices and desires of our own hearts but in living in and by the Word of God. And it helps us to grow in community in the Body of Christ by enabling us to pray and adore in the Gospel in common.

Charles Simeon wrote that “The finest sight short of heaven would be a whole congregation using the prayers of the liturgy in the true spirit of them.” The recovery of that spirit has never been needed more than today, and yet if conferences like these are any indication, we have reason to hope that the golden age of Anglican spirituality lies not in the past but in, God willing, His the future.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Getting Ready for LENT

Reminder of some older posts on the theme of LENT

The Agesimas

Lenten Discipline

Earnest Prayer

I Also found this podcast by Matthew Gallaton helpful this morning. He speaks form an Eastern Orthodox perspective, but he gets to the matter of being a prodigal. HERE

Blessing to all as we prepare for a holy Lent. Brian+

Lost and Found


1. Theology is not a static set of understandings which are always true in every age and every place.
2. Theology, in order to be vital living thing, must always be open to re-thinking, and re-configurations
3. The time in which we live is a new time and requires new formulations of the Christian Faith
From: "Should being Baptised be a Pre-requisite for Receiving Communion" by Yme Woensdregt in LITURGY CANADA (Issue 50, volume XIII


The Church, though dispersed through our the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith:

[We believe] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father “to gather all things in one,” and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race; in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord and God and Savior and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, “every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess” to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all; that He may send “spiritual wickednesses,” and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting fire; but may, in the exercise of His grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept His commandments, and have persevered in His love — some from the beginning [of their lives], and others from [the day of] their repentance, and may surround them with everlasting glory.

As I have already observed, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered throughout the whole world, yet, as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it. She also believes these points just as if she had but one soul, and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, and teaches them, and hands them down, with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth. For, although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of the tradition is one and the same. For the Churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe or hand down anything different, nor do those in Spain, nor those in Gaul, nor those in the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions of the world. But as the sun, that creature of God, is one and the same throughout the whole world, so also the preaching of the truth shines everywhere, and enlightens all men that are willing to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Nor will any one of the rulers in the Churches, however highly gifted he may be in point of eloquence, teach doctrines different from these — for no one is greater than the Master; nor, on the other hand, will he who is deficient in power of expression inflict injury on the tradition. For the faith being ever one and the same, neither does one who is able at great length to discourse regarding it, make any addition to it, nor does one, who can say but little diminish it.

Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 130-202 AD), in “Against Heresies” 1:10:1-2

Monday, February 21, 2011

Remembering God

Lately I have been preaching and reflecting upon the Remembrance of God, and that such remembrance is vital in spiritual transformation. I came across these thoughts regarding the remembrance of God and the use of the Jesus Prayer in aiding the exercise. Brian+

From The Orthodox Way of Life

The true path to union with God is one that involves the continual remembrance and God and always acting on the guidance of our conscience. It is only in this way that we can do as we pray in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." One of the most fundamental practices to make this a reality in ones life is prayer. Saint Theophan says prayer is "a spiritual barometer for self-observation." In prayer we find out how "high or low our spirit has gone." A sound prayer life involves regular morning and evening prayers. This is supplemented with the ongoing repetition in our minds of the Jesus Prayer so that we attain continual remembrance of God through unceasing prayer.

Saint Theophan offers us some advice about prayer.
He says,

The essence of prayer is the raising of the heart and mind to God...You must train yourself in remembrance of God, and the means for doing this... is short prayer, in which you continually repeat the thought, "Lord have mercy!" "Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!"

In addition we need to train ourselves to focus on pray and not to let our minds wander. Saint Theophan address this as follows:

Make this your rule: always be with the Lord in mind and heart; never allow the thoughts to wander, but when they do, call them back again and force them to stay at home in the house of the heart and speak with the most sweet Lord. Once you have made this rule, you must force yourself to carry it out faithfully.

My own spiritual father gave me this simple advice when I discussed this common problem with him, "Just decide to reject them! When you do, they will stop." Prayer involves giving your full attention to God alone.

From my personal experience, the practice of the Jesus Prayer in conjunction with controlling the thoughts is the essence of a fundamental spiritual practice that will lead you continually closer to God. Everything will follow with ease once you have engaged in a regular practice of the Jesus Prayer. Once the mind has been conditioned to remember the prayer in all situation, then God will be in your presence and there is time for you to listen to your conscience and to act with wisdom instead of passion.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Candlemas vs Groundhog Day

This is an article that I wrote for the Anglican Life publication (Newfoundland and Labrador's Anglican paper). It will appear in the March issue

Rev. Greg Mercer recently (February 2011 Issue) presented his impassioned displeasure of a Biblical literalist publication dropped into many mailboxes throughout the Province, that denounced Christmas as Biblically unjustifiable and even pagan in origins: thus true Christians should not celebrate it. I couldn’t help but to connect the whole affair with the recent celebration of Groundhog Day. That might seem to be a strange twist, but hear me out.
Many of our parents would be able to relate to us this old poem, or some closely related version of it:
If Candlemas Day is cold and glum, the rest of Winter is yet to come.
If Candlemas Day is fair and fine, the worst of Winter is left behind.
Not that long ago, Candlemas day was what today’s Groundhog Day is, but that the day, in folklore had become a predictor of the weather is not important. What needs to be noted is that February 2 was known in the mind of the people as Candlemas Day, NOT Groundhog Day. In other words, the day was rooted in Christian memory. Now it has been ‘paganized,’ for no good purposes than a silly news story and mid-winter humor.
Candlemas, in its origins, is rooted in the development of the Church Year. It is exactly forty days after Christmas, and celebrates the Presentation of Christ in the Temple and the Purification of the Virgin Mary. The feast became known as Candlemas after the development of the Blessing of the Candles to be used in the Church for the coming year. This arose from the Gospel reading for the Feast Day where St. Simeon says that Jesus would be, “…a Light to lighten the Gentiles.” Celebrating such an event is of far greater benefit to those of the Christian faith than wondering if a groundhog in the United States will cast a shadow.
I agree with the Biblical Literalists that Christmas is not established by the Scriptures, but because they do not have a developed understanding of the living witness of the Body of Christ, His Church, they cannot understand the validity and importance of the Nativity Feast in the Life of the Church and Christian formation. Any brief research of the origins of Christmas will reveal that it was a very deliberate placement by the Church of the celebration of the Nativity of Christ at the same time of the Roman Pagan festival of the Sun. Thus Christmas is not a feast of Pagan origins: it is a supreme example of how a Christian Feast can and did replace a pagan feast. The Church Year with its rhythms of Feasts and Fasts developed very quickly throughout Christianity, and for the express purpose of keeping Christ and the Biblical witness in the minds and hearts of those who would come to Christ in and through His Church. Let us understand that when we forget God and His Christ we become pagans, or worst, but when we remember Him we are transformed. Knowing this the Church very deliberately overshadowed a pagan festival with a Christian Festival, and good on the Church!
That being said, the Biblical Literalists are making a good point in noting that Christmas is very quickly becoming pagan, not unlike Candlemas Day is now Groundhog Day. And this is because we are forgetting Christ as revealed in the Church and the Bible. As Anglican’s I believe we must return to the roots of our Biblical and Liturgical witness, to deliberately engage in the Feasts and Fasts of the Church because they help us to remember Christ, and thus be transformed into His likeness, and light.
Lord have Mercy, Brian