Magazine – October 2019

My Dear People

St John of the Cross wrote: “Do not believe that pleasing God lies so much in doing a great deal; it lies in doing all things with good will, without selfishness, and without seeking the approval of men.

St John of the Cross died over 400 years ago, but these words are as important now as they were then, most especially the last phrase: that pleasing God is impossible for people who seek the approval of their fellow humans.

If you want to think on that and apply it to your life, I am happy if you read no further. But if you are interested in why I think the Church in the West is in the mess it is in, by all means read on.

Many church member s in the comfortable ‘First World’ seem intent on seeking the approval of our present society, despite the comparably recent warning of Archbishop Temple (Archbishop of Canterbury 1942–44) that ‘the church that is married to the spirit of the age will find itself widowed in the next’. We already find ourselves widowed from being married to the spirit of the 60s and 70s, and in a desperate bid to boost numbers, they are now trying to marry the remnant to the spirit of the present age.

Adjusting one’s beliefs, morals and practices to the outside world may lessen criticism but encourages no one to commit to themselves to Christ. Keeping firm to the truths handed down to us and being willing to be criticised and even persecuted for holding them, does. The proof is out there for anyone to see in Africa, South America, Asia, China.

Yours in Christ,

Fr John

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