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(NYT Op-ed) David Wallace-Wells–Europe’s Energy Crisis May Get a Lot Worse

I don’t think many Americans appreciate just how tense and tenuous, how very touch and go the energy situation in Europe is right now.

For months, as news of the Ukraine war receded a bit, it was possible to follow the energy story unfolding across the Atlantic and still assume an uncomfortable but familiar-enough winter in Europe, characterized primarily by high prices.

In recent weeks, the prospects have begun to look darker. In early August the European Union approved a request that member states reduce gas consumption by 15 percent — quite a large request and one that several initially balked at. In Spain, facing record-breaking heat wave after record-breaking heat wave at the height of the country’s tourist season, the government announced restrictions on commercial air-conditioning, which may not be set below 27 degrees Celsius, or about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In France, an Associated Press article said, “urban guerrillas” are taking to the streets, shutting off storefront lights to reduce energy consumption. In the Netherlands a campaign called Flip the Switch is asking residents to limit showers to five minutes and to drop air-conditioning and clothes dryers entirely. Belgium has reversed plans to retire nuclear power plants, and Germany, having ruled out the possibility of such a turnabout in June, is now considering it as well.

Read it all.

Posted in Energy, Natural Resources, Europe, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Russia

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Clare of Assisi

O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us, we pray thee, from an inordinate love of this world, that, inspired by the devotion of thy servant Clare, we may serve thee with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Lionel Edmund Howard Stephens-Hodge (1914-2001)

Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, that as a tree is known by its fruit, so we may be recognized as thy children by our obedience to thy will. Help us to put away all hypocrisy and self-seeking, that we may truly set forth thy glory and extend thy kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

When he summoned a famine on the land,
and broke every staff of bread,
he had sent a man ahead of them,
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
His feet were hurt with fetters,
his neck was put in a collar of iron;
until what he had said came to pass
the word of the Lord tested him.
The king sent and released him,
the ruler of the peoples set him free;
he made him lord of his house,
and ruler of all his possessions,
to instruct his princes at his pleasure,
and to teach his elders wisdom.

–Psalm 105:16-22

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Telegraph) Rhine close to running dry in German energy nightmare

Germany’s Rhine river will become impassable for barges carrying coal, oil and gas later this week, in a devastating blow to factories upriver.

Levels at Kaub, a key point along the waterway west of Frankfurt, are predicted to fall to below 40cm on Friday, according to the German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration.

At that chokepoint, the river becomes effectively impassable for many barges, which use the Rhine to move a range of goods including coal, oil and gas.

Water levels will then fall further to 37cm on Saturday, officials warned.

The river runs from Switzerland through France and Germany to the Netherlands, where it joins the North Sea.

Read it all (registration or subscription).

Posted in Climate Change, Weather, Ecology, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Germany, Science & Technology

(Church Times) Bishop Dyer is suspended from duty in Aberdeen & Orkney

The Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney, the Rt Revd Anne Dyer, has been suspended from duty, it was announced on Wednesday, after two formal complaints alleging misconduct were made.

An official statement from the Scottish Episcopal Church said: “Due process will now follow, through the clergy disciplinary canon. . . The suspension will be kept under regular review. It does not constitute disciplinary action and does not imply any assumption that misconduct has been committed.”

The Bishop of Edinburgh, Dr John Armes, will serve as Acting Bishop of the diocese during this suspension, in addition to his normal duties.

Bishop Dyer’s tenure has been troubled since early in her time in office. She is the first woman bishop in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and was elected by the College of Bishops after the diocese failed to agree a candidate….

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Latest News, Ethics / Moral Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church

(TLS) Rhodri Lewis reviews Helen Hackett’s new book ‘The Elizabethan Mind’

As the second Elizabethan age drifts towards its close, Gloriana’s subjects sit uneasily with themselves – distanced from the senses of cultural, social, political, religious and even existential security that earlier generations could, it sometimes seems, take for granted. One of the many virtues of Helen Hackett’s new book is to remind us that, grim as all of this may be, there is little new under the sun.

Although Hackett is a professor of English, The Elizabethan Mind is a work of cultural and intellectual history. In it she reconstructs the nature and scope of the human mind as the sixteenth century understood them. Her source materials are what the early moderns referred to as “poetry” and what she calls “literature”: fictional writing in all its forms. As such, she has written a literary history too – one in which she juxtaposes the canonical and extra-canonical (the translator Anne Lock, the poet Isabella Whitney and the autobiographer Thomas Whythorne, among too many others to list) to illuminating and persuasive effect. But there is no disciplinary inwardness here. It is just that, as Hackett explains, “for the Elizabethans … it is arguable that greater advances were made in understanding the mind through literature than through science”.

By the end of this book the claim seems more than merely arguable. This is partly thanks to Hackett’s compendiousness, but chiefly because she shows that early modern works of literature were capable of grasping a problem theoretical accounts of the human mind worked hard to obscure: amid a range of competing and ostensibly authoritative explanations for the origins and nature of human cognitive power, it was all but impossible to determine which ones were true. In 1611 John Donne famously claimed that “new philosophy calls all in doubt”, but in 1599 Sir John Davies had already channelled a century or more of learned opinion in declaring that “All things without, which round about we see, / We seeke to know, and have therewith to do: / But that whereby we reason, live, and be, / Within our selves, we strangers are theretoo”. Hackett makes it clear that the early modern English had no need of Galileo to feel dazed and confused by their place in the world.

The concluding two chapters are marked by a change in focus. Rather than early modern beliefs about what the mind is or could be said to be, their subject is one of the things that it does – and that the early moderns helped it to do better. That is, the form of applied cognition that we call writing. One chapter looks at the experimental forms of selfhood made possible through autobiography, sonnet sequences and prose fiction such as Sidney’s Arcadia; Hackett is especially strong on the Christian inflections of writing the mind, as the pious subject seeks introspectively to write his or her way to cognizance of having been touched with grace. The last chapter turns to Hamlet. It was Matthew Arnold who first proposed that, in the play’s soliloquies, we observe “the dialogue of the mind with itself”. Hackett is interested both in the dynamics of this dialogue, and in the ideas that it seeks to articulate. If she sometimes treats the soliloquies as if they can be abstracted from the dramatic whole of which they are a part, her approach never feels gratuitous. She needs Hamlet to do certain things in rounding out her history, and she ensures that it does them.

One surprise is that Hackett largely overlooks the debate about the boundary between human beings and, to borrow a phrase, beasts that want discourse of reason. After Vesalius had demonstrated that there was nothing distinctive about the anatomy of the human brain (no special place for the rational soul), this dividing line came to look ever more porous. Montaigne could amuse himself with the notion that his cat was playing with him because he knew that only one of them would be writing essays about their time together; because only one of them enjoyed the liberating benefits of language and Christian belief as Montaigne construed them. Others were less sure of the exceptionalism with which the human condition was conventionally framed. Lear’s anguished “Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life / And thou no breath at all?” is a fine case in point; Descartes’s cogito (like his bête machine) is another.

As it stands, The Elizabethan Mind is an outstanding achievement: broad-ranging, intelligently synthetic and written in unflaggingly lucid prose.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History, Psychology

(BBC) Loire Valley: Intense European heatwave parches France’s ‘garden’

The Loire Valley is known as “the Garden of France”. But the garden is withering.

France’s worst drought since records began has turned lush vegetation into arid fields of brown crops, shrivelling under what is now the fourth heatwave of the year.

In Vincent Favreau’s vegetable farm, where he produces food for a hundred families in the area, the parched earth has stunted the growth of the cabbages. His potato plants are burnt out, producing just half the crop of a normal year.

“Either the vegetables will die of thirst, or they won’t develop enough during this crucial period of growth,” he said, sifting through the dry soil, which he hasn’t been able to water since restrictions came in two weeks ago.

“With this heat and wind, we can’t compensate for what the sun is evaporating. I’ve never seen something like this in my twenty-two years here. If it doesn’t rain within two months, it’ll be a disaster.”

Read it all.

Posted in Climate Change, Weather, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, France

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Laurence, Deacon and Martyr

Almighty God, by whose grace and power thy servant Laurence didst triumph over suffering and didst despise death: Grant, we pray, that we, steadfast in service to the poor and outcast, may share with him in the joys of thine everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Saint Alcuin

O King of glory and Lord of valours, our warrior and our peace; Who hast said, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world,” be Thou victorious in us Thy servants, for without Thee we can do nothing. Give us both to will and to perform. Grant Thy compassion to go before us, Thy compassion to come behind us: before us in undertaking, behind us in our ending. And what shall I more say, unless that Thy will be done, Who dost will that all men should be saved? Thy will is our salvation, our glory, and our joy.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Proch′orus, and Nica′nor, and Timon, and Par′menas, and Nicola′us, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them.

And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

And Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyre′nians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cili′cia and Asia, arose and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they secretly instigated men, who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, and set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place, and will change the customs which Moses delivered to us.” And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

—-Acts 6:1-15

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(TLS) Nat Segnit–Our new Gilded Age–Exploring the strange world of the modern rich

Again and again, Knowles’s stories attest to a money machine devoted to nothing but its own perpetuation. She cites “no less a figure than UK Financial Services Authority Chairman Adair Turner”, who has described banks as engaged in “‘economically and socially useless activity’.” Big finance is a closed system designed by bankers to redistribute money among themselves. And to what end? The way Knowles tells it, having loads of money is not much fun at all. Jean-Paul Sartre described being rich as an “inherently nervous condition”; the plutocrats Knowles meets, along with their stay-at-home wives and spoilt children, are paranoid, bored or prima donna-ish to the point of mental breakdown. A Colombian woman who organizes VIP services in top-end London hotels tells Knowles that she once had to turn down a request to refloor a suite with turf: “the guest was bringing their dog and the dog would only use the toilet on real grass”.

Money begets purposelessness, particularly in the case of inherited wealth. An assistant to a billionaire’s son notes the “suffocating vacuity” and “emptiness” of lives spent making social occasions – invariably with other, identically aimless members of the super-rich – “last and shape the day”. Parties become an entirely recursive – and exhausting – means of establishing and maintaining one’s status. The spectre of transactionality – are they just after my money? – engenders a profound isolation, entrenched by security arrangements that are as extensive as they are largely absurd. London is not Iraq or Afghanistan. Former SAS soldiers are hired to drive the super-rich to their hair appointments or to carry out “pre-location sweeps” at fancy restaurants. “Spontaneous travel” is discouraged because it causes “severe security concerns”. Like so much in the world of the UHNWIs, security is self-perpetuating, seemingly provided for no other reason that, apart from propelling the CEOs of the security companies to UHNWI status themselves, it stands as a marker for the vast wealth it purports to protect.

Private tutoring operates in much the same way….

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Personal Finance & Investing

(UMNS) Some large Texas Methodist churches vote on disaffiliation

Texas has long been a stronghold of The United Methodist Church in the U.S., boasting the most annual conferences (five) and ranking at the top in number of local churches and prevalence of megachurches.

But this summer has seen many traditionalist congregations in the state weighing whether to leave the denomination.

On Aug. 7, in votes taken within hours of one another, The Woodlands Methodist Church and Faithbridge — both large, traditionalist churches in suburban communities north of Houston — chose to disaffiliate.

The Woodlands Methodist is among the denomination’s very largest churches, ranking fourth in membership and second in worship attendance in 2018. The church is known for its ties to Good News, a longtime traditionalist caucus within The United Methodist Church that has opposed same-sex marriage and ordination of [non-celibate] LGBTQ people.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Methodist, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Economist) Almost nothing seems to be working in Britain. It could get worse

In southampton 20-odd people are picketing Red Funnel, a ferry company that carries people to and from the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. The strikers complain about their pay and treatment. But they are most exercised by the rapidly rising cost of living. One young woman says that she went into debt to attend a friend’s wedding. A man describes watching his electricity meter in horror, knowing that a big bill is coming. “Everyone’s just had enough,” he says.

The sun pours down on the strikers. Britain as a whole has had a hot, dry summer; southern England extremely so. A weather station west of Southampton recorded no precipitation in July—the first zero monthly reading since it began operating in 1957. On August 5th Southern Water, the local supplier, banned residents from watering their gardens or washing their cars with hoses. Other water companies will follow.

It has not been a long, hot summer in the American sense—the country has thankfully seen no large-scale disturbances. Instead it is a season of drift and dysfunction. Dry weather has combined with inflation, industrial disputes, transport snafus and political paralysis. As Michael Gove, until recently a cabinet minister, admitted last month, parts of the state are barely functioning. It is Britain’s summer of discontent.

For the middle-aged and old, the inescapable comparison is with the summer of 1976. That year saw a lower peak temperature but a worse drought—in parts of Wales the water was turned off every day at 2pm. It was also a period of high inflation, industrial unrest and political turmoil: the prime minister, Harold Wilson, had unexpectedly resigned in the spring. The weather fused in people’s minds with other problems. Bernard (now Lord) Donoughue, a political adviser, lay awake at night, “too hot to sleep”, worrying about the pound….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, England / UK, History, Politics in General

(World) Al Mohler–Norman Lear, Television’s boundary-smashing pioneer turns 100

As Lear would observe, television did not yet exist when he was born, and he has lived long enough to see broadcast television lose its central place in the American imagination. But when television was dominant, Lear was dominant, and he had a big agenda. He wanted to change America, and he did.

Historian Kathryn Montgomery once observed, “In the war for the American mind, entertainment programs have become political territory.” But it was not always so. The most watched television program of the 1960s was The Beverly Hillbillies. In a study of American television, Dennis Tredy points to the fact that 1960s programming was dominated by two genres: rural comedies (The Andy Griffith ShowGomer PyleGreen AcresPetticoat Junction) and odd-ball comedies that strictly avoided politics and often avoided reality as well (Mister EdMy Mother the CarI Dream of JeannieMy Favorite MartianThe Munsters, and The Addams Family).

When television was dominant, Lear was dominant, and he had a big agenda. He wanted to change America, and he did.

Driven by his liberal passions and a determination to force political change through television, Lear built a progressivist empire, eventually championing causes that ranged from abortion to sexual liberation, feminism, and the welfare state. Lear was also insistent upon pushing boundaries in terms of what broadcast standards would allow and the public would accept. In one famous episode, he deliberately poked at both standards and conventions by using the noise of a loud flushing toilet on All in the Family before his character Archie Bunker entered the room. It was so shocking that critics named it “the flush heard round the world.” It would be heard again and again.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Movies & Television

(NYT op-ed) Julia Yost–New York’s Hottest Club Is the Roman Catholic Church

As senior churchmen seek to make Catholicism palatable to modernity, members of a small but significant scene are turning to the ancient faith in defiance of liberal pieties. The scene is often associated with “Dimes Square,” a downtown Manhattan neighborhood popular with a pandemic-weary Generation Z — or Zoomer — crowd, but it has spread across a network of podcasts and upstart publications. Its sensibility is more transgressive than progressive. Many of its denizens profess to be apolitical. Others hold outré opinions, whether sincerely or as fashion statements. Reactionary motifs are chic: Trump hats and “tradwife” frocks, monarchist and anti-feminist sentiments. Perhaps the ultimate expression of this contrarian aesthetic is its embrace of Catholicism.

Urban trends can shape a culture, as millennial Brooklyn did in its heyday. The Dimes Square scene is small, but its ascent highlights a culture-wide shift. Progressive morality, formulated in response to the remnants of America’s Christian culture, was once a vanguard. By 2020, the year of lockdowns and Black Lives Matter protests, progressivism had come to feel hegemonic in the social spaces occupied by young urban intellectuals. Traditional morality acquired a transgressive glamour. Disaffection with the progressive moral majority — combined with Catholicism’s historic ability to accommodate cultural subversion — has produced an in-your-face style of traditionalism. This is not your grandmother’s church — and whether the new faithful are performing an act of theater or not, they have the chance to revitalize the church for young, educated Americans.

Honor Levy, the fresh-out-of-Bennington writer who co-hosts the trendy podcast “Wet Brain,” recently converted to Catholicism and lets you know when she has unconfessed mortal sins on her conscience. The podcast’s beat is pop culture, literature, politics and religion — including practical tips for warding off demons. Dasha Nekrasova, a Catholic revert and actress with a recurring role on HBO’s “Succession,” is a co-host of the scene’s most popular podcast, “Red Scare.” On an episode during Lent this year, Ms. Nekrasova focused on esoteric Catholic topics such as sedevacantism, the ultra-traditionalist notion that the popes since the Second Vatican Council are illegitimate.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Urban/City Life and Issues

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Edith Stein

Pour out thy grace upon thy church, O God, that like thy servant Edith Stein we may always seek what is true, defend what is right, reprove what is evil, and forgive those who sin against us, even as thy Son hath commanded. All this we ask through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Day from Henry Martyn

Send out Thy light and Thy truth, that I may live near to Thee, my God. Let me feel Thy love, that I may be – as it were – already in heaven, that I may do all my work as the angels do theirs; and let me be ready for every work, be ready to go out or go in, to stay or depart, just as Thou shalt appoint. Lord, let me have no will of my own, or consider my true happiness as depending in the smallest degree on anything that can befall me outwardly, but as consisting altogether in conformity to Thy will.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.

–Psalm 97:1-6

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(NPR) 1980s pop goddess Olivia Newton-John has died at age 73

“I wanted this girl bad,” Travolta told Merv Griffin on TV in 1981. “The perfect Sandy, the ultimate Sandy, would be Olivia Newton-John.”

But the 28-year old Australian singer was skeptical about playing a high school student.

“I couldn’t do an American accent, and I was too old,” she told the Today show in 2019. “And I had all these reasons why I couldn’t do it. We did a screen test. The chemistry was there. It worked and when John came to see me at my house — how could you say no to John Travolta?”

No one, it seemed, could say no to Grease. The soundtrack was wildly successful. A duet with Travolta ended up as a best-selling single.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Australia / NZ, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Movies & Television, Music, Women

(CEN) Peter Mullen on the Partial Lambeth Gathering of 2022–we can see already what the outcome will be

The Global South Christians still hold to the old-time religion.

Christians in the West have so imbibed secular values and swallowed them whole that they have brainwashed themselves into believing that secular values are Christianity.

They are not.

So what will happen? There is much talk of ‘agreeing to differ’ and ‘two integrities.’ But agreeing to differ is a meaningless term:for to differ is to disagree. And ‘two
integrities’ is a similar absurdity: for integrity means the unity of a single body.

It is fairly obvious to see what the outcome will be when the Lambeth talking shop is over and done with: the Christians will return to Africa and the secularised post-Christian churches in the West will get back to their being…well, secularised post-Christian churches, the transitioning clinics and net-zero.

Read it all (subscription) from the Church of England newspaper, August 5, 2022, page 7.

Posted in - Anglican: Analysis

David McCullough, master chronicler of American history, dies at 89

His biographies of two underappreciated presidents, John Adams and Harry S. Truman, shone a light on their achievements and earned him two Pulitzer Prizes.

When he turned his attention to the great forces and figures in American history, such as the American Revolution (“1776”) or President Theodore Roosevelt (“Mornings on Horseback”), he brought to life the grand sweep of time and place, as well as the colorful, minute historical details that characterized his widely lauded storytelling skills.

With his sonorous and somber voice, commanding presence and shock of white hair, Mr. McCullough appeared frequently on television series such as PBS’s “American Experience.” He often collaborated with filmmaker Ken Burns and narrated Burns’s Emmy Award-winning documentary series “The Civil War.”

“He’s had a profound influence on all I’ve done because he taught me how to tell a story,” Burns told an audience in 2015.

Mr. McCullough’s honors included two National Book Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented in 2006 by George W. Bush.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, History

(NYT) In an Unequal Economy, the Poor Face Inflation Now and Job Loss Later

For Theresa Clarke, a retiree in New Canaan, Conn., the rising cost of living means not buying Goldfish crackers for her disabled daughter because a carton costs $11.99 at her local Stop & Shop. It means showering at the YMCA to save on her hot water bill. And it means watching her bank account dwindle to $50 because, as someone on a fixed income who never made much money to start with, there aren’t many other places she can trim her spending as prices rise.

“There is nothing to cut back on,” she said.

Jordan Trevino, 28, who recently took a better paying job in advertising in Los Angeles with a $100,000 salary, is economizing in little ways — ordering a cheaper entree when out to dinner, for example. But he is still planning a wedding next year and a honeymoon in Italy.

And David Schoenfeld, who made about $250,000 in retirement income and consulting fees last year and has about $5 million in savings, hasn’t pared back his spending. He has just returned from a vacation in Greece, with his daughter and two of his grandchildren.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Dominic

Almighty God, whose servant Dominic grew in knowledge of thy truth and formed an order of preachers to proclaim the good news of Christ: Give to all thy people a hunger for your Word and an urgent longing to share the Gospel, that the whole world may come to know thee as thou art revealed in thy Son Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Henry Alford

O God, who hast given us not the spirit of bondage, but the Spirit of adoption into thy family: Grant us the witness of thy Spirit within our hearts, testifying that we are thy children; and give us that fellowship with the sufferings of Christ which shall end in our being glorified with him; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

And all the assembly kept silence; and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brethren, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written,

”After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
and I will set it up,
that the rest of men may seek the Lord,
and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
says the Lord, who has made these things known from of old.’

Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood. For from early generations Moses has had in every city those who preach him, for he is read every sabbath in the synagogues.”

–Acts 15:12-21

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Prayers for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina This Day

Posted in * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Lancelot Andrewes

O GOD our Father,
let us find grace in thy sight
so as to have grace
to serve thee acceptably
with reverence and godly fear,
and further grace
not to receive thy grace in vain,
not to neglect it and fall from it,
but to stir it up and grow in it,
and to persevere in it
unto the end of our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Daily Prayer, Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs, eds. (London: Penguin Books 1959 edition of the 1941 original)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”

–Mark 4:35-41

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(NYT) In Turbulent Times, Xi Builds a Security Fortress for China, and Himself

Over informal, private meals with American leaders, China’s Xi Jinping let his guard down a little. It was a decade ago, relations were less strained, and Mr. Xi, still cementing his power, hinted he worried about the Chinese Communist Party’s grip.

Speaking privately with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Mr. Xi suggested that China was a target of “color revolutions,” a phrase the party adopted from Russia for popular unrest in the name of democracy and blamed on the West. The recent “Arab Spring” uprisings across the Middle East had reinforced his concerns that China was vulnerable to public anger over corruption and inequality, both of which the country had in abundance.

“Xi couldn’t have been more forthright that China is beset by malevolent forces and internally prey to centrifugal forces,” said Daniel R. Russel, a former senior American diplomat who accompanied Mr. Biden to China in 2011.

Read it all.

Posted in China