Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Daily Dose of Discernment: 1/23/08

Some priggish little clerk will say, "I have reason to congratulate myself that I am a civilized person, and not so bloodthirsty as the Mad Mullah." Somebody ought to say to him, "A really good man would be less bloodthirsty than the Mullah. But you are less bloodthirsty, not because you are more of a good man, but because you are a great deal less of a man. You are not bloodthirsty, not because you would spare your enemy, but because you would run away from him."
-- G. K. Chesterton, All Things Considered
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When the Creator of the universe conceived the magnificent plan of gathering up all things in Christ and restoring human nature to its original condition, he promised that along with all his other gifts he would once more give us the Holy Spirit. This was the only way for us to regain secure possession of God's blessings. By God's decree the time for this descent of the Spirit upon us was to concur with the coming of Christ. God gave his word that in those days—by which he meant the days of our Savior—he would pour out his Spirit upon the whole human race.

So it was that when the time for this great act of generosity arrived and brought God's only Son into our midst in human flesh, a man born of a woman as holy scripture says, God the Father began at once again to give the Spirit. The first to receive the Spirit was Christ, since he was the firstfruits of our renewed nature. John bore witness to this when he said: I saw the Spirit coming down from heaven, and it rested on him.
-- Cyril of Alexandria, On John's Gospel 5, 2: PG 73, 751-754.

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