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Spirit Touch Your Church (c) Kent Henry

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Spirit Touch Your Church (c) Kent Henry

How I miss that .Many times the singing would evolve into spontaneous spirit led songs in the language of angels .Like the ocean waves , the sound would fall to almost a whisper and rise to a crashing wave and then maybe back to whispered adoration ,over an over as the spirit led.. Everyone led by the spirit . I never heard such beauty before or sense..There are pentecostal churches ,but if there is a spirit filled ,spirit led church in this large southern city ,I do not know of it.

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Although Bucer assisted in the development of the English Reformation, he was still quite concerned about the speed of its progress. Both Bucer and Fagius had noticed that the 1549 Prayer Book was not a remarkable step forward, although Cranmer assured Bucer that it was only a first step and that its initial form was only temporary.[85] By late 1550, Bucer was becoming disillusioned. Cranmer made sure that he did not feel alienated and kept in close touch with him. This attention paid off during the vestments controversy. This incident was initiated by John Hooper, a follower of Heinrich Bullinger who had recently returned from Zürich. Hooper was unhappy with Cranmer's Prayer Book and Ordinal and he particularly objected to the use of ceremonies and vestments. When the Privy Council selected him to be the Bishop of Gloucester on 15 May 1550, he laid down conditions that he would not wear the required vestments. He found an ally among the Continental reformers in Jan Łaski who had become a leader of the Stranger church in London, a designated place of worship for Continental Protestant refugees. His church's forms and practices had taken reforms much further than Cranmer would have liked. Bucer and Peter Martyr, while they sympathised with Hooper's position, supported Cranmer's arguments of timing and authority. Cranmer and Ridley stood their ground. This led to Hooper's imprisonment and he eventually gave in. He was consecrated on 8 March 1551 according to the Ordinal and he preached before the king in his episcopal garments. Cranmer's vision of reform through careful steps under the authority of the government was maintained.[86]

And so, with this consciousness, Catholicism finds in-adequate all those descriptions of its essential nature which are based merely on the study of comparative religion. For such descriptions are superficial, they touch only the hem of its garment. They are in some sort like the naive, childish, not to say silly conceptions of certain heated controversialists, for whom Catholicism is lust of power, saint-worship and "jesuitry." Such people have not discerned that deep source whence its life in all its manifestations flows forth, and which gives the whole an organic unity. "He has the parts within his hand, but not, alack! the spirit band."[3] The attempt of the religious historian is at its best like an attempt to explain the life of a living cell by mere enumeration of all the material that forms it. To describe a thing is not to explain it fully. And so this purely descriptive research calls for something beyond itself, for a scientific investigation into the essential nature of Catholicism.

It is no mere accident that this question has become at this very hour so much alive, and that the answer to it is occupying the attention of others besides those who belong to the household of the faith. Friedrich Heiler points in emphatic terms to this growing interest in, and understanding of, Catholicism. "The Roman Church," he writes, "is exercising today a very strong attraction on the non-Catholic world. The German Benedictine monasteries, especially Beuron and Maria Laach, have become places of pilgrimage for non-Catholics, who find inspiration in the Catholic liturgy there practiced. The rising high-church movement in German Protestantism is drawing nearer and nearer to the Roman Church, and one of its leaders has already returned to her bosom. More considerable still is the conversion movement in England. Whole Anglican convents and monasteries are going over to the Church of Rome. A vigorous Catholic propaganda is promoting and intensifying the existing trend towards Catholicism. The Roman Church is today making powerful efforts to win back all Christians separated from her, in the East and in the West. There has been founded over the tomb of St. Boniface a society for the re-union of the Christian churches.... Catholic voices are already proclaiming with assurance of victory the imminent collapse of Protestantism."[4] Heiler is correct in discerning a revival of the Catholic Church even in the souls of non-Catholics. But he is wrong in speaking of that "assurance of victory" with which Catholics are alleged to be proclaiming the imminent collapse of Protestantism. The phrase is a profane and unholy one. It degrades religion and makes it a party affair. When we are treating of religion we should have humility, reverence, thankfulness and joy, but no dogmatical assurance of victory. The future of Protestantism: that is God's business. And it rests with Him whether the West is to return from its diaspora, from its dispersion and disintegration, home to the mother Church, in whose bosom all were once united as one family. All that we can do is to give testimony to the truth, to pray God to open all hearts to this truth, and to make it ever more manifest to the best minds among us, that the great and urgent task of the West is to close at long last the unwholesome breach that has divided us for centuries, to create a new spiritual unity, a religious center, and so to prepare the only possible foundation for a rebuilding and rebirth of Western civilization. We thankfully recognize that there is a daily increasing appreciation of the urgency of this task, and that the times are past in which men regarded Catholicism as a compound of stupidity, superstition and lust of power.

Two reasons may be given for this revival of the Catholic ideal in the Western soul, the one external the other internal. The first reason lies in the direct impact on our minds of the appalling consequences of the Great War. We have witnessed the collapse of great states and traditions of culture. On the battlefields of the Great War lie strewn the ruins of former political and economic greatness. The eye turns inevitably from this sight to that world-embracing society which in the midst of this ruin stands out like some unshaken rocky peak, serene and untouched by the catastrophe, and which alone of all the political, economic and religious structures of the world has suffered no collapse, but is as young today as on the day of its birth. We are experiencing today before our very eyes, we are seeing realized before us, that irresistible, unconquerable, living might of the Catholic Church, which the great English historian, Macaulay, once described in the eloquent words: "There is not, and there never was on this earth, a work of human policy so well deserving of examination as the Roman Catholic Church. The history of that Church joins together the two great ages of human civilization. No other institution is left standing which carries the mind back to the times when the smoke of sacrifice rose from the Pantheon, and when camelopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian amphitheater. The proudest royal houses are but of yesterday, when compared with the line of the Supreme Pontiffs. That line we trace back in an unbroken series, from the Pope who crowned Napoleon in the nineteenth century to the Pope who crowned Pepin in the eighth; and far beyond the time of Pepin the august dynasty extends, till it is lost in the twilight of fable. The republic of Venice came next in antiquity. But the republic of Venice was modern when compared with the Papacy; and the republic of Venice is gone, and the Papacy remains. The Papacy remains, not in decay, not a mere antique, but full of life and youthful vigor. The Catholic Church is still sending forth to the farthest ends of the world missionaries as zealous as those who landed in Kent with Augustine, and still confronting hostile kings with the same spirit with which she confronted Attila.... Nor do we see any sign which indicates that the term of her long dominion is approaching. She saw the commencement of all the governments and of all the ecclesiastical establishments that now exist in the world; and we feel no assurance that she is not destined to see the end of them all. She was great and respected before the Saxon had set foot on Britain, before the Frank had passed the Rhine, when Grecian eloquence still flourished at Antioch, when idols were still worshipped in the temple of Mecca. And she may still exist in undiminished vigor when some traveler from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's?"[5] That is the vision that amid the desolation of the present holds our gaze spellbound. We discern the immortality, the vigorous life, the eternal youth of the old, original Church. And the question rises to many lips, and to the lips of the best among us: What is the source of this strong life? And can the Church impart it, and will she impart it, to the dying western world?

And the worship of the Church breathes the same spirit, and is as much interwoven with Christ and full of Christ as is her morality. Just as every particular prayer of the liturgy ends with the ancient Christian formula: "Per Christum Dominum nostrum," so is every single act of worship, from the Mass down to the least prayer, a memorial of Christ, an "anamnesis Christou". Nay, more, the worship of the Church is not merely a filial remembrance of Christ, but a continual participation by visible mysterious signs in Jesus and His redemptive might, a refreshing touching of the hem of His garment, a liberating handling of His sacred Wounds. That is the deepest purpose of the liturgy, namely, to make the redeeming grace of Christ present, visible and fruitful as a sacred and potent reality that fills the whole life of the Christian. In the sacrament of Baptism—so the believer holds—the sacrificial blood of Christ flows into the soul, purifies it from all the infirmity of original sin and permeates it with its own sacred strength, in order that a new man may be born thereof, the re-born man, the man who is an adopted son of God. In the sacrament of Confirmation, Jesus sends His "Comforter," the Spirit of constancy and divine faith, to the awakening religious consciousness, in order to form the child of God into a soldier of God. In the sacrament of Penance Jesus as the merciful Savior consoles the afflicted soul with the word of peace: Go thy way, thy sins are forgiven thee. In the sacrament of the Last Anointing the compassionate Samaritan approaches the sick-bed and pours new courage and resignation into the sore heart. In the sacrament of Marriage He engrafts the love of man and wife on His own profound love for His people, for the community, for the Church, on His own faithfulness unto death. And in the priestly consecration by the imposition of hands, He transmits His messianic might, the power of His mission, to the disciples whom He calls, in order that He may by their means pursue without interruption His work of raising the new men, the children of God, out of the kingdom of death. 041b061a72

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