When a sunbeam falls on a transparent substance, the substance itself becomes brilliant, and radiates light from itself. So too Spirit bearing souls, illumined by Him, finally become spiritual themselves, and their grace is sent forth to others. From this comes knowledge of the future, understanding of mysteries, apprehension of hidden things, distribution of wonderful gifts, heavenly citizenship, a place in the choir of angels, endless joy in the presence of God, becoming like God, and, the highest of all desires, becoming God.
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What is the benefit of fasting in our body while filling our souls with innumerable evils? He who does not play at dice, but spends his leisure otherwise, what nonsense does he not utter? What absurdities does he not listen to? Leisure without the fear of God is, for those who do not know how to use time, the teacher of wickedness.
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When our Lord says, 'I have not spoken of Myself' (Jn. 12:49), and again, 'As the Father said to Me, so I speak' (Jn. 12:50), and 'The word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's Who sent Me' (Jn. 14:24), and in another place, 'As the Father commanded Me, even so I do' (Jn. 14:31), it is not because He lacks deliberate purpose or power of initiative, nor yet because He has to wait for the preconcerted key-note, that He employs language of this kind. His object is to make it plain that His own will is connected in indissoluble union with the Father.
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Do not despise the fish because they are absolutely unable to speak or to reason, but fear lest you may be even more unreasonable than they by resisting the command of the Creator. Listen to the fish, who through their actions all but utter this word: 'We set out on this long journey for the perpetuation of our species.
Human life is but of brief duration. 'All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God shall stand forever' (Isa. 40:6, 8). Let us hold fast to the commandment that abides, and despise the unreality that passes away.
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Reprimand and rebuke should be accepted as healing remedies for vice and as conducive to good health. From this it is clear that those who pretend to be tolerant because they wish to flatter---those who thus fail to correct sinners---actually cause them to suffer supreme loss and plot the destruction of that life which is their true life.
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You have heaven adorned, earth beautified, the sea populated with its own creatures, the air filled with birds which scour it in every direction. Studious listener, think of all these creations which God has drawn out of nothing; . . . recognize everywhere the wisdom of God; never cease to wonder, and, through every creature, to glorify the Creator.
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All these stupendous objects are daily around us; but because they are constantly exposed to our view, they never affect our minds, so natural is it for us to admire new, rather than grand objects. Therefore the vast multitude of stars which diversify the beauty of this immense body does not call the people together; but when any change happens therein, the eyes of all are fixed upon the heavens.
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Through the Holy Spirit comes our restoration to paradise, our ascension into the kingdom of heaven, our return to the adoption of sons, our liberty to call God our Father, our being made partakers of the grace of Christ, our being called children of light, our sharing in eternal glory, and, in a word, our being brought into a state of all "fulness of blessing," both in this world and in the world to come, of all the good gifts that are in store for us, by promise hereof, through faith, beholding the reflection of their grace as though they were already present, we await the full enjoyment.
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O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, even our brothers, the animals, to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us. We must remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to thee in song, has been a groan of pain. May we realize that they live, not for us alone, but for themselves and for Thee and that they love the sweetness of life.
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I have learned from Jesus Christ Himself what charity is, and how we ought to practise it; for He says: "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye love one another." Never can I, therefore, please myself in the hope that I may obtain the name of a servant of Christ if I possess not a true and unfeigned charity within me.
What is the mark of a Christian? That he be purified of all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit in the Blood of Christ, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God and the love of Christ, and that he have no blemish nor spot nor any such thing; that he be holy and blameless and so eat the Body of Christ and drink His Blood; for 'he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgement to himself.' What is the mark of those who eat the Bread and drink the Cup of Christ? That they keep in perpetual remembrance Him who died for us and rose again.
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Our Savior was crucified for our sakes that by His death He might give us life and train and attract us all to endurance. To Him I press on, and to the Father and to the Holy Spirit. I strive to be found true, judging myself unworthy of this world's goods; and yet not I because of the world, but the world because of me. Think of all these things in your heart; follow them with zeal; fight, as you have been commanded, for the truth to the death: For Christ was made 'obedient' even 'to death'
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Liberated from the error of pagan tradition through the benevolence and loving kindness of the good God with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the operation of the Holy Spirit, I was reared from the very beginning by Christian parents. From them I learned even in babyhood the Holy Scriptures which led me to a knowledge of the truth.
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As we were baptized, so we profess our belief. As we profess our belief, so also we offer praise. As then baptism has been given us by the Savior, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, so, in accordance with our baptism, we make the confession of the creed, and our doxology in accordance with our creed.
Men whose sense of taste is destroyed by sickness, sometimes think honey sour. A diseased eye does not see many things which do exist, and notes many things which do not exist. The same thing frequently takes place with regard to the force of words, when the critic is inferior to the writer.
To Whom does our God say, 'in our image' (Gen. 1:26), to whom if it is not to Him who is 'the brightness of His glory and the express image of His Person' (Heb. 1:3), 'the image of the invisible God' (Col. 1:15)? It is then to His living image, to Him Who has said 'I and My Father are one' (Jn. 10:30), 'He who has seen Me has seen the Father' (Jn. 14:9), that God says, 'Let us make man in our image'.
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