Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Life Giving Presence of the Incarnate Savior

Some theology by James de Koven:
"The one great question of the day is how they may be made at one again. If the presence of Christ is the hope of the world, if this presence is found in the Church and through the Sacraments, then the question of the restoration of the lost unity of the Church becomes the most practical one into which they who are interested in the real progress of mankind can enter. Ay, and it will come. When, in His last priestly intercession, our Saviour prayed on the very night of His Passion that "they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they all may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou has sent Me," it could have been no fruitless prayer. It must be yet fulfilled. The day may tarry long, and obstacles be many; but already the cock-crow gives signal of the morning, and the watchman on the walls of Zion, as the cry goes round, "Watchman, watchman, what of the night?" makes answer, "The morning cometh!"

"Better than all other unions, mightier than all other victories, will be that glorious uniting, that bloodless conquest, when the Church of God shall be at one again. Then will the knowledge of the Lord cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea; then, mightier will be the triumphs regenerated man will make over sin and sorrow, disease and death; then, more and more, will he assert his true lordship over nature; then will the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of the Lord; then, face to face with the powers of evil, will the last battle be fought, and the victory won. Then, in bridal array and vesture of needle-work, will the New Jerusalem descend like a bride adorned for her husband. Then, indeed, will the "tabernacle of God be with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people."

"Ah! my brethren, what better words of counsel can I give you than to bid you to hold fast to that Saviour into whom you were grafted in Baptism, who has fed you with Himself in the Blessed Eucharist? Live for Christ; live in Christ; seek Him by penitence; find Him in His Eucharist. Die in Him; die for Him! Count no labor worth the effort which has not His mark upon it; fight His battles, gain His victories. Then in the shadow of death He will support you, and in the day of Judgment succor you, and make you reign with Him in that newborn earth for which the weary world is waiting."

-Father James de Koven, D.D., from a sermon preached on Commencement Sunday, 1867 in Racine, WI.

(Archer's note: I spent my summer vacation at the de Koven Center in Racine, which is still an Episcopal retreat center.)

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