Does word-and-sacrament ministry (or Sunday worship) have a shelf life? Put differently, do you go to church to have your spiritual batteries recharged? If so, will the charge last for an entire week? Or do we need a mid-week service to revive our spiritual energy?
This may be one reason for spiritual retreats or mid-week Bible studies. It may even explain the reason some people have daily quiet times. You never want to be too far away from the spiritual outlet.
This is not simply an evangelical Protestant problem. Turns out the mechanical calculations of the Mass’s effects also turn up among those loyal to the Bishop of Rome:
How long does the fullness of the sacramental presence last? To assert that it perdures for life would be to deny that the Holy Eucharist is our daily bread, and would be inconsistent with our nature as finite, mutable mortals. If one Holy Communion sufficed for life, our time of trial would be an anticipation of Heaven, when our souls will be so transformed, so glorified in the rapturous consciousness of their eternal union with God, as to be invulnerable to change.
At the moment of Holy Communion, we have a very definite sense of the complete possession of Christ — a calm, heavenly absorption of His divine life quickens our souls. But if this condition continued, it would not accord with our spiritual development, which, because we are finite beings, is gradual; and the Holy Eucharist would not be the pledge of eternal life.
Does union with Christ in the Mass totally transform the believer? It better not since humans can’t handle a full blast of grace (or one that makes purgatory unnecessary). It needs to be partial, even daily, if it is going to sanctify the ordinary work a Christian does:
Even if we are not vividly conscious of the presence of our Divine Guest during the performance of our daily duties, it will influence us both interiorly and exteriorly, sanctifying the most trifling commonplace of our unobtrusive lives. It will urge us to imitate His eucharistic life, cost what it may, for the spirit of Christ will sustain us, and His light will not only illumine our own souls, but will also enlighten those “sitting in the darkness and shadow of death.”
Maybe it’s just mmmmeeeeEEEE, but the Protestant doctrine of vocation sure looks a lot less complicated and a whole lot more compelling. By the Holy Spirit Christians offer up sacrifices to God through the duties they perform as part of God’s providential care for his creation. By the Holy Spirit, Christians are priests. By the Spirit, they perform a small imitation of the priestly responsibilities that God gave to Adam in garden when work was synonymous with worship.
No need for a pit stop at the parish before going to the office. Family worship will do.
6 thoughts on “The Amazing Holy Spirit – He Goes Wherever You Do”
Does purgatory have sacraments for the people already there now?
As long as “immortal souls” are “living some place for eternity”, who knows?
“The divine Word did not overcome death so that we may be struck dumb with no words of prayer or hope for the dead. It is precisely to overcome death whereby the hope of the Gospel was revealed. Therefore, the dead are not beyond the pale or hope of the Gospel, but the dead are more especially the hope of the Gospel. Prayers for the dead are therefore not only permissible, but intrinsic to the Gospel which proclaims the victory of the Word over death, which Word cannot and should not be silenced, but be enacted in prayers for the victims of death.”
Being truly Reformed means meeting twice on Sunday (the day after Abraham’s Sabbath). But sacrament twice on one day would not be kosher if you have an office other than being mediator of the hocus. Not only the means of grace but grace is for the cultus only. Grace is not for when Christians with the high calling of killing for their countries are supposed to be killing other Christians with the vocation of killing for their country. And grace is not for the classroom where the strikes are already strikes even before the teacher/umpire hands out the facts. Summer news—it’s a strike.
John 4: 21 Jesus told her, “Believe Me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem… an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.
Do not retreat. You can work in both Satan’s and Christ’s kingdoms.
“At a conference sponsored by the Church Federation Office in 1932, Bonhoeffer vigorously attacked the idea of the “orders of creation” introduced by traditional Lutherans. Creation simply cannot be self-validating because Christians have no knowledge of creation separate from redemption. “The creation is a picture of the power and faithfulness of God, demonstrated to us in God’s revelation in Jesus Christ. We worship the creator, revealed to us as redeemer.”
“Bonhoeffer soon returned to the issue of the “orders of creation” in a address to the Youth Peace Conference in Czechoslovakia in July 1932. Again he attacks those who believe that we must accept certain orders as given in creation. Such a view entails the presumption that because the nations have been created differently each one is obliged to preserve and develop its own characteristics. He notes this understanding of the nation is particularly dangerous because “just about everything can be defended by it.”
“Not only is the fallenness of such order ignored, but those that use the orders of creation to justify their commitment to Germany fail to see that “the so-called orders of creation are not revelations of the divine commandment, they are concealed and invisible. Thus the concept of orders of creation must be rejected as a basis for the knowledge of the commandment of God.”
“This distinction between private person and bearer of an office as normative for my behavior is foreign to Jesus. The Lord Jesus does not say a word about it. The Lord Jesus addresses his disciples as people who have left everything behind to follow him. ‘Private’ and ‘official’ spheres are all completely subject to Jesus’ command.”
View at Medium.com
So glad that Woodrow Wilson followed through on his vocation, instead of coming out from the other kingdoms.
“This may be one reason for spiritual retreats or mid-week Bible studies. It may even explain the reason some people have daily quiet times.”
And perhaps even family worship, too?
Mark, nah. The Divines wrote a directory on family worship. Puritan up!