Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Spirit, delivered by Service

A month ago, I was reading two books:
Lee, The Religious Thought of St. John. (1962)
Howard, Christianity according to St. John. (1943)

I found a quote that I liked, but I didn't have any paper to mark it, or write it down.
It was so good and spot on, and relevant, there was no possible way I was going to forget it.

I forgot what it was. I had read on into other subject matter, and.....
I would look through and find it.
However, because of the two books having a similar subject and layout, finding it was somewhat of a random search.

"man is not a pure spirit,
and that to have full effect,
spiritual teaching must be combined with the visible and material"
Gardner, The Ephesian Gospel, 1915, p. 210
quoted in:
Lee, The Religious Thought of St. John, 1962

I think this means that man needs symbolism (liturgy) and physical (Eucharist) to gain a full understanding of Christianity, or more succinctly in the words of Richard Hooker:
a sacrament is "an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace."

More recently been thinking about mysticism and spiritual development. I believe that any form of true higher spiritual experience is either meaningless, or impossible without a large element of service. Christianity's humanitarianism is also part of it's way toward God, by the example of Jesus.

We know that,
if he shall be manifested,
we shall be like him;
for we shall see him even as he is.
1 John 3:2 RV

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