QotD – Cheap or Costly Grace – 2.16.2016

“The world finds a cheap covering for its sin; no contrition is required, still less any real desire to be delivered from sin.  Cheap Grace therefore amounts to … a denial of the Incarnation of the Word of God. … Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession.  Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. … [Cheap grace is] the grace that we bestow ourselves … [Costly grace is] the treasure hidden in the field … the pearl of great price … the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knockSuch grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. … Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son … and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.  Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The Cost of Discipleship. 46-48).

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QotD – There is no Why – 2.2.16

“This answer to the ‘why’ of Christ’s passion is really final and allows no further questions.  He loved us because he loved us—that’s all there is to it!  In fact, there is no ‘why’ to God’s love; it is a free gift.  It is the only love in the world that is truly and totally free, and that asks nothing for itself (he already has everything!) but only gives.” (Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap., Raniero, The Fire of Christ’s Love: Meditations on the Cross, 17)

Revolution of Grace

Remember, remember the 5th of November,
The gunpowder treason and plot,
I can think of no reason, the gunpowder treason,
Should ever be forgot.

I don’t give weight to the revolutionary that sneaks under the places of authority, but is raised above them.
Nor do I follow a revolutionary that calculates the right time to destroy, instead I follow one who sought the right time to fulfill and restore.
I reject the revolutionary that factors how many to kill, but follow the revolutionary that held back his whole host.
I turn from the revolutionary that views death as an instrument, and pursue the revolutionary that sees death as the enemy.

In remembering the Gunpowder Treason, I don’t see merely Guy Fawkes, but our human revolutions and they stand in stark contrast with the revolution of the Incarnation, Divine Love become Flesh; a revolution not merely from the bottom up, but from the top down to the bottom and back up again.  This was a revolution that didn’t result in victory through death, but victory over death!

There have been so many revolutions in history, many indeed.  Yet none of them has had the force of this revolution that brought Jesus to us: a revolution to transform history, a revolution that changes the human heart in depth.  The revolutions of history have changed political and economic systems, but none has changed the human heart.  True revolution, the revolution that radically transforms life, was brought about by Jesus Christ through his resurrection.  Benedict XVI said of this revolution that “it is the greatest mutation in the history of humanity.” … In this day and age, unless Christians are revolutionaries, they are not Christians.  They must be revolutionaries through grace! (Papa Frank, Address to the Participants in the Ecclesial Convention of the Diocese of Rome, 17 June 2013).

Shackles & Chains

Last time when we reflected upon Mark 5:1-20 we stayed in the beginning.  Primarily we reflected on the fact that the man Christ met was possessed.  That reflection can be found in this post.  Our previous reflection took us through Mark 5:1 & 2.  Now we’ll continue on to verses 3-6.  Here is 3-5 in full: Continue reading “Shackles & Chains”

Remind Me of My Forgetfulness, O Lord!

Thank the Lord for my wife, Bess.

Really, I didn’t do anything wrong, I’m honestly starting this way because I am truly grateful for her. Bess is, as I told Immaculate Conception’s Youth Ministry, my prophetess. She doesn’t predict the future, but she does challenge me as prophets in the Biblical sense are supposed to do. To put it in the words of my father, “She seems really good, she calls him on his crap.” Continue reading “Remind Me of My Forgetfulness, O Lord!”