About Me – Brother Lawrence Damien (Rev John Brown)

Brother Lawrence DamienBrother John C.S.E.F. (Community of Saints Elizabeth of Hungary and Francis de Sales) was born in Maine in 1948, started teaching/preaching in 1966, and was ordained to the ministry in 1970.

I was raised in the Congregational faith and later became Church of Christ, then Pentecostal, then Episcopal/Old Catholic.

I was educated at Melodyland School of the Bible 1968-1970, San Jose Bible college one semester in 1972, and then Bethesda Bible College in San Jacinto, CA from 1999-2002.

I have served as Bible Teacher, Deacon, Elder and Pastor.

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Learning the Ceremony of Connectedness

Learning the Ceremony of Connectedness
By
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos
Muiscas Ceremony for Connectedness

“When I consider your heavens
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them]
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them] with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas,
9 LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Dear family,

Today as I was doing some studying, meditating on a new I am in the process of currently writing on peacemakers I came across a practice which I had not heard before. As monastics and Christians we spend a lot of time in meditation, prayer, alone in our prayer cells communing with God or trying to do that. For what purpose do we do this? What is the purpose of it all? Today I stumbled I stumbled onto a ritual that for lack of a better term I will call the “The Ceremony of Connectedness”. It originated with the Muiscas an indigenous people who lived in the area of present day Bogota Columbia. In this ceremony they had an important ritual they performed. It was carried out by the wise in the community. The wise person would sit on a small bench in order to connect with the earth. This was done by reflecting on one’s own, and their community’s past, present and future. This was apparently done whenever there was a feeling of disconnect between themselves and the rest of creation so everything could be back in order again.

The Psalmist tells us that when he considers all the things God has done he is amazed that God still cares about us as insignificant as we are. However we know that God does care and loves us enough to send Jesus to die for us, redeem us, restoring us back to a higher plain than we were on before. He has also opened the gates of heaven to us so we can spend eternity with him. Thus in actuality we are pretty significant and important to God. However as great as that is there is something else also which I believe the psalmist is trying to show us which is the interconnectedness of everything which brings us back to “The Ceremony of Connectedness” I mentioned earlier. The ceremony was a wise person sitting on a stool contemplating his and his community’s past, present and future. This helped them to reconnect with the earth. For us as Christians and especially monastics by looking at our past we should realize we are created by God and receive the breath of life from him. We should also realize that God also made all the animals that exist or have existed on earth as well as all plant life. He also like us gave them the breath of life without which nothing can live. Therefore we are interconnected whether we like it or not. That brings us to the present. When God created humans he gave them dominion over all the earth and everything on it. They were to tend and keep care of the garden which had been made for them and placed them in. Thus we see humans were put here to take care of the earth and everything on it. Things have gotten out of balance because we have not faithfully done that but have instead exploited the earth and others for our own gain and profit. We have sought to exalt ourselves seeking to dominate others making ourselves masters and others slaves, superior and inferiors, dominant male and inferior and submissive females traditionally rather than see us all as interconnected. To try and get what we want we have created wars, killings, destruction of our natural resources and tried to justify it and make it okay. That has brought disconnection between us and God as well as us and the rest of creation. It is time to restore that balance. It is time to once again reconnect with God, each other and all of creation.

I have made a list of four suggestions to help us get the ball rolling towards the dawning of a new day and age. It is not an exhaustive list but intended to be food for thought to hopefully spur us into some kind of action. You may have your own thoughts of things please feel free to add them to the list and share if you are so inclined. Follow me as we look at things we can think about and do.

Four Thoughts for Meditation On
1. “things that we could have done better in the past year.”
We need to start by looking where we have missed it in the past. This is so we can confess and ask forgiveness if needed, change so we don’t make the same mistakes over again. It is also to give us ideas for the future. We may have missed something in the past but can it be put into action now? God is the giver of second chances is he/she offering you another chance to get it right? Is God trying to break us free into something wonderful if we will let go of the past? If so why does he/she want to do this and how? Lets look at my second thought for us to meditate on.

2. privileges that we have and ways to walk in solidarity with those who do not share the same
Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who despitefully use us. Elsewhere we are told that if our enemy is hungry feed him, if he is thirsty give him something to drink because we will be heaping coals of fire on him. This cannot be done holding on to the past as for example 911 and what a few extremists did to us on that day and blaming an entire religion for the actions of a few. Instead we have to come up with ways and ideas that enable us to walk in solidarity with all who may in fact disagree with us or are different from us. It is to recognize the things we have in common and what we have in common far outweighs the things that divide us. It is to realize we are all children of one God, Muslim, Hindu, Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, white, black, Oriental it doesn’t matter we all were created by the same God. Therefore we are all one family too. It is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless and fight injustice wherever it may be found. It is to show mercy even as Jesus did to us, It is to extend the same peace, love and acceptance we want for ourselves to everyone else so they can have it also and we can all live in peace, harmony, and acceptance of one another.

3. activities we can do to support peace initiatives around the world
We need to begin to envision a new world of peace in which there is no war but all live together in harmony as children of the one God of whatever name we may choose to call him or her by. What would a world of peace look like? What would it have in it and what would be missing? What would its main attributes be? To help us understand better where I am going with this I would like to share a vision given to me in 2004. I call it “The Vision of the Tapestry” or as “Restoring the Vision”.

Dear Family

The Vision of the Tapestry

Restoring the Image

BY

Brother Lawrence Damien aka John W. Brown

What is God doing today in the body of Christ and where does he or she want to take us? The following is a vision I believe I received from the Lord as I was praying and reflecting on retreat I had just been to in 2004. The following is that vision..

VISION

As I was seeking God I saw a tapestry faded, worn, torn, with many holes in it and which was real ragged around the edges. There was a faint image on it, which could not be clearly seen. Scattered around this tapestry were many threads of different colors lying haphazardly all over the place. As I observed further a hand appeared began picking up and weaving the threads back into the tapestry. As this happened color began to reappear, holes, tears and ragged edge disappeared. Amazingly also the image began to clear up and become plain until I could see that it was the image of Christ on the tapestry.

INTERPRETATION OF THE VISION AS I BELIEVE GOD GAVE IT TO ME

I believe the tapestry represents the body of Christ which over the centuries has been torn and ripped apart leaving gaping holes, ragged edges and a marred picture. Each thread represents a branch of Christendom that has torn away from the original tapestry and gone off to stand-alone and guard its little thread jealously lest someone come and take it from them. God is taking those threads and weaving hem back into the original tapestry restoring its original beauty and clarity.

HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO WHAT GOD IS DOING TODAY?

. As we each read the Bible and other devotions, letting God speak to us about what we are reading we receive a thread. That thread can be insight into what the reading means, what it means to us, how it can be applied or whatever. We also all come from various backgrounds and churches. We each have a thread of understanding we can bring to be woven back into the original tapestry. It is as we take those threads and bring them to be shared with the others that we can see the image of Christ restored. For it is as we listen to each other, see what God has shown to other parts of the body, and allow each of our threads to be woven back into the original tapestry that we can once begin to see the full image of Christ clearly. We help with that as we share, encourage, and pray for each other.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT THIS VISION

As I prayed further as to what steps to take to bring about what I have described as it relates to what God is doing today God began to give me understanding of the parable of the wheat and the tares. (See Matthew 25th chapter) He said that the church has been to busy trying to figure out who is wheat and who are tares so the wheat can pull them up and cast them out. God showed me that when the workers in the parable originally found the tares they wanted to go right in and yank them out. However they were told to leave them alone and let them grow together unless they pull up the wheat by mistake also. He also said at the time of harvest He (the Lord) would tell His angels to go and gather the tares up and cast them into the fire. The Lord said it was His job to pluck out the tares not ours. Our job was simply to issue the call to come, and embrace lovingly all who respond seeking to become more like Christ. Christ said also our job was to be about the Fathers business which is building His Kingdom. All who are doing that are a part of the body of Christ.

Each has its own unique way of manifesting Christ and each has received some truth from God a thread which needs to be brought back so it can be woven back into the original tapestry. When we are no longer afraid of each other and each can offer what He has freely and equally we will then see the image restored. When that happens lookout world as they see the fullness of Christ in His people shining forth brightly without a doubt. We won’t need words for it will be obvious to all what they are looking at. They may decide for Christ, against Christ but one thing for sure is they won’t be able to remain indifferent. This is where I believe God is bringing us to and calling us to be a part of.

.
We can bring our thread back to be woven into the tapestry. As we do this I believe we will begin to see a clearer vision of Christ and what He is doing today and our part in it. I also believe we will be changed more into the image of Christ as we listen, learn, receive and apply what God is saying to the entire body through its various members. There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer but different ways of looking at the same passage. I believe the Word is made up of many layers and as we meet and share we begin to remove those layers, see it more fully, come to see God more clearly, grow in our understanding and appreciation of Him, and are changed as we apply what we learn.

Again I repeat this is what I believe to be a word from the Lord. However the Word says that out of the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established. So it is here presented as a platform from which to begin to see what God is doing and wanting to do and for the prayers of all who read this as we seek to be a part of what God is doing in these last days. . Any questions or comments may be addressed to me at

God Bless You All
John W. Brown

pastorjohnwbrown@yahoo.com

In summation then I believe God is taking to the place foreseen by the prophets of old. It will be a time when all will know the Lord and go to the mountain of the Lord to be taught by him in his ways. A time when everyone will dwell securely in their own place and none shall make them afraid. It will also be a time when the lamb shall lie down with the lion and all of creation be reconnected again and operating in perfect harmony. It will be the healing of the nations spoken of by John the Revelator in the last chapter of the Bible. Any programs which can help ensure and bring that about we should get behind and support which brings us to a fourth point for us to meditate on

4. and how to be agents of transformation of violence and oppression in our own communities

This is where everything we have been discussing brings us to. It is for us to become agents of transformation of the violence and oppression in our communities and agents for the new world we want to see become reality. It is to become the living embodiment of what we say we believe and want. It is to become the living hands and feet to a dying world letting them see Christ in us not through our words but are actions. It is to witness by our actions using words if only absolutely necessary. It is to celebrate and live The Ceremony of Connectedness every day until we finally go home to the Lord especially when we may feel disconnected. Let us pray that in this year new hopes for a better world will begin to arise

“May the winds, the oceans, the herbs, and night and days, the mother earth,
the father heaven, all vegetation, the sun, be all sweet to us.
Let us follow the path of goodness for all times,
like the sun and the moon moving eternally in the sky.
Let us be charitable to one another.
Let us not kill or be violent with one another.
Let us know and appreciate the points of view of others. And let us unite.

United we stand and are strong and no foe can stand against us

Any comments welcomed

Brother Lawrence Damien Cos”

Is God an Environmentalist?

Is God and Environmentalist?

By
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Dear Family

On Saturday April 22 we will be celebrating Earth Day here in the USA. That got me to thinking about what God might think of Earth Day? What would God think of our handling of the earth? Would he or she care? Many believe that it doesn’t matter what we do to the earth as God will be making a new heaven and earth at some point in the future anyway so go ahead and exploit it for maximum profit for the greedy and the upper echelons of society. They would deny climate change is really happening despite much evidence to the contrary and want to go on despoiling the environment so the rich can get richer while all the rest get exploited quite often for the benefit of the few. However is that a Christian attitude or is there something else which reflects the true feelings of God on this issue? If the latter then what is God’s views on the environment and are part as Christians in it all? I would like to look at those questions as we think and pray about Earth Day and what if any part we should play in the celebration of it. Before we start I need to state the views I will express here are my own and are presented here as food for thought as we prepare for Earth Day tomorrow.

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Why Did Israel Want a King and Were The Consequences?

Why Did Israel Want a King and What Were The Consequences?

By

Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Dear Family

I participate in a conference call on Monday nights where several of us gather to discuss what we have been reading in the Bible and sharing any insights God may have shown us so all can be blessed, This past week we were in I Samuel 23 looking at Saul and his trying to kill David and does in fact kill seventy of God’s priests. The question was raised as to why Israel wanted a king in the first place, why Saul and what were the consequences of that action? We know God regrets ever making Saul king. His reign seems to be nothing more than one big disaster. Yet could something good come out of all this? Could one simple act of kindness change the course of history forever? I would like to address those questions here and see what we can find and learn. Enclosed find the article I wrote Monday night in response. Pray you all will enjoy and would love to hear any comments or thoughts any of you may have on what I will be sharing.

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What is the Real Story About Easter

What is the Real Story of Easter?
By
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Today is Easter Sunday the day when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ from the dead. If you come from a traditional, fundamentalist either Protestant or Catholic background you may as I was taught that God was mad at humankind because of their sins and alleged rejection of him. He was so angry that he was going to send us all to hell to burn for eternity unless something was done to placate his wrath. Therefore he sent his son Jesus to die for us so he can be satisfied and let us into his kingdom to spend eternity with him. However is that what Easter is all about making an angry, wrathful God happy? Does God get a kick out of watching his son suffer? If any parent had allowed or did half of what is alleged God allowed his son to go through even though he could have prevented it they would permanent custody of their children at the minimal and end up be hauled to jail for a good long while. So is God the big child abuser in the sky is that who we worship? Is that the story of Easter that God allows his son to be tortured and killed so he can be satisfied and turn his alleged wrath from us and grant mercy to us instead? Did God actually abandon Jesus on the cross allegedly because he couldn’t look on sin? If so then might God if he did it once do it again because of our sins? Again I ask “What is the Real story of Easter”?

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What is Good Friday All About?

What is Good Friday All About?
 
By
Brother Lawrence Damien
 
Dear Family
 
Today is Good Friday so what is it and why do we celebrate it? This is day that Christians throughout the world commemorate the crucifixion of Christ. Church services recall the account of Jesus death given in Christian scriptures especially the gospel of John. It covers the period from the arrest of Jesus, his trial and conviction, being stripped of his clothing and flogged, receives a crown of thorns to mock him with, to his crucifixion on Calvary. They day ends with Christ’s body being laid in the tomb.

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What is Maundy Thursday/Holy Thursday?

What is Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday?
By
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Dear family
Palm Sunday has come and gone. Holy Week has begun and we are about to witness and be a part of the last few moments of Christ’s life. The first major event of that week comes on Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday if you are from a Catholic tradition. It celebrates two main events foot washing and the institution of the Eucharist or Communion. The term Maundy comes from the Latin and means command. It is taken from the command of Jesus at the last supper when he says
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

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What is Chrism Mass?

What is Chrism Mass
By
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Dear Family,

We are approaching Holy Week. At some point during Holy Week the priests, bishops and the faithful will gather for a Chrism Mass. This mass has two purposes. First it is the time for the blessing of the oils which will be used in the various sacraments of the church during the year. The second is it is when the ordained clergy renew their promises for another year. It is done at the local cathedral which is a building where the bishop resides. It is a practice that has its roots in the Old Testament. In the book of Exodus is instructed to make a special holy oil to be used to anoint things with. Only a priest could make it and if a common person tried to reproduce the Holy Oil they were to be put to death, The practice of Chrism Mass goes back to the times of Theophilus (died 181 CE) and Tertullian (died 220 CE) where the practice is explained in the Apostolical Constitutions. St. Cyril of Jerusalem describes how holy oil or ointment was symbolically applied to the forehead and other organs of sense. He also mentions the anointing of the ears, nostrils, and breast. According to Cyril “ointment is the seal of the covenants of baptism and God’s promise to the Christian who is anointed.” He also taught that being “anointed with the Holy anointing oil of God was the sign of a Christian and a physical representation of having the gift of the Holy Spirit. That is the meaning that is understood in Catholicism and Orthodoxy today. St. Cyril further states “Having been counted worthy of this Holy Chrism, ye are called Christians, verifying the name also by your new birth. For before you were deemed worthy of this grace, ye had properly no right to this title, but were advancing on your way towards being Christians.”(On the Mysteries 3.5)[3]”. This tradition is also rooted in the early Church as noted in the Gelasian Sacramentary (named after Pope Gelasius I, d. 496), but was later absorbed into the Holy Thursday evening Mass; Pope Pius XII issued a new Ordinal for Holy Week, which reinstituted a special Mass of the chrism distinct from the evening Mass.

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Why Do We Celebrate Palm Sunday?

Why Do WE Celebrate Palm Sunday?
By
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos
Dear family,
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday when the Christian Church celebrates Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is the last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week. Jesus is coming fresh from raising Lazarus from the dead. While many believed in him because of that miracle others report what has happened to the priests who decide to kill both Jesus and Lazarus as well. The next day as he enters Jerusalem he is greeted by people waving palm branches. What is the significance of the palms? In the ancient world palm branches were widely recognized as symbols of peace and victory. Thus as we shall see the people are recognizing Jesus as the Messiah and coming king that the prophets had spoken about. This leads them to cry out Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna means save us now, Mark in recording this incident says

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For Everything There is a Season and a Reason

For Everything There Is a Season and a Reason
By
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

For everything there is a season and a reason
There is a time to be born and a time to die,
There is a time to be young and time to grow old,
A time to be weak and also a time to be bold.

We say we want peace as we advocate for war,
We talk about living while we participate in killing,
We call ourselves “Christians” but how can this be,
If our calling is for us to be like Jesus you and me?

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What is Lazarus Saturday?

What is Lazarus Saturday?
By
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Dear family

In about a week we will be celebrating Holy Week and for most of us here in the West that will begin on Palm Sunday marking the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. However within the Orthodox Churches Holy Week starts a day earlier with the celebration of Lazarus Saturday on the day before Palm Sunday. It is the day when the Church honors the raising from the dead of Lazarus by Jesus. Lazarus had already been lying in the tomb for four days and under normal circumstances his body would have already have begun to decay and smell. Yet Jesus overrules that fact and calls Lazarus forth from the grave into life. Thus as we come to the end of the 40 days of Great Lent and the 40 days of fasting and penitence we come to a time of joy and happiness both on Lazarus Saturday as well as Palm Sunday. Thus the church in triumph and joy bears witness to the power of Christ over death and exalts Him as King before entering the most solemn week of the year, Its that week that will lead the faithful in remembrance of Christ’s suffering and death at Calvary and concludes with the great and glorious Feast of Pascha and the resurrection of Christ from the grave.

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The Annunciation of the Lord

The Annunciation of the Lord
By
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Dear family,

Saturday March 25 will be The Annunciation of the Lord also known as The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is also known as the Annunciation or Our Lady or Lady Day in England. It is Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus. He would be the Son of God thus this feast marks his incarnation as a human. Mary is told to name him Jesus meaning Jehovah of God has saved.

1: Scriptural Foundation

26 “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”

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Reflections on Radical Jesus the Taboo Breaker

Reflections on Radical Jesus the Taboo Breaker
By
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

Dear Family,

Today’s gospel reading was on the women at the well of Jacob in Samaria. If we read this from a 21st century we might think what is so shocking about this passage. After all men talk to women everyday even women they don’t know, they do it publicly and they sometimes even ask women to help them with something. So for us no scandal at all, That is because we look at it from a 21st century mindset and not from a first century point of view. In the first century especially if they were a good devout Jew reading today’s gospel reading this would have been the most scandalous chapter in the whole New Testament. To them it would have been all the proof they needed that Jesus in their eyes anyway was not the Messiah, a prophet or a holy man. Everything Jesus was supposed to do according to the 613 laws of the Pharisee’s he didn’t do and everything they said he wasn’t supposed to do he did. Had they had the National Enquirer back in those days this would have been front page news at least if the religious people had had their way. Why is this?

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St. Patrick Versus the Snakes All Gory Be to Jesus

St. Patrick Versus the Snakes All Gory Be to Jesus
How St. Patrick Drove All the Snakes in Ireland in to the Sea

By
Brother Lawrence Damien

Dear family

Today is Saint Patrick’s Day. Allegedly he drove all the snakes in Ireland into the sea and that is why there are no snakes in Ireland today. Some however say there have never been any snakes in Ireland for St Patrick to have driven into the sea and therefore the story is a myth. I have a friend Botox O’Malley who is a leprechaun. For those who may not what they are they are Irish fairies.

Botox stands about three feet tall and has a beard. He likes to wear green along with a pointed hat and buckled shoes. Since he is a shoemaker he wears a leather apron. He also likes to smoke a pipe though I don’t recommend that as it’s not good for your health. After all we are not fairies; He is a very weather beaten old man who claims to have been around since Adam and Eve. While I can’t prove that I think it’s safe to say he has been around a whole lot longer than either you or me. As far as I know he has only one fault. Let me explain.

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Why Do We Do The Stations Of The Cross?

During the season of Lent many churches do what are called the Stations of the Cross. These are fourteen stations, which re-enact the last moments of Jesus life here on earth from His condemnation before Pilate through His body being laid in the tomb. We get to walk with Christ along the same path He took and learn what it cost Him to purchase our salvation. Some may feel so what. Others may argue that not all the events recorded in the fourteen stations are actually found in the Bible and several are found in tradition only. For instance there is no record in the Gospels of Jesus falling once let alone three times. Nor is there any record of a woman named Veronica wiping the face of Jesus or of His actually meeting His mother on His way to the cross. Not to say they didn’t happen just to say they are not found in the gospels. However is that the point? Our we just going through a reenactment of a historical event or is there something else happening here and something that we are supposed to be learning, being reminded of and changed by.

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Is Priestly Celibacy Biblical or Historically Correct?

In case anyone is interested I have done the following on Priestly Celibacy for my church. Thought some of you might be interested in the history of where the idea comes from so am sharing it here. If there are any Roman Catholic who are members of our group this is not a put down of your church but to show the difference between my church which does allow priests to marry and the RC doctrine on the same.

Dear family,

Recently I posted an article on Pope Francis being willing to entertain the thought of ordaining married men to the priesthood under certain circumstances especially in areas where there are a shortage of priests. The Roman Catholic Church has maintained that priestly celibacy is commanded by scripture and a tradition passed down from apostolic times. Other like the Communion of Synodal Catholic Churches believes that biblically and historically the church has always allowed its priests to marry and also ordained women to the priesthood. I would like to look at the history of where clerical celibacy comes from and why then look at the biblical foundation for allowing priests to marry.

First let me state that for the first 300 years of church history married men and women were ordained to the priesthood without any problems. In the early church it has been argued by some, that early Christian practice was that married men who became priests were often older men “elders” and were to live in complete continence. They were to refrain permanently from sexual relations with their wives. When at a later stage it was discovered that not all priests were abstaining or refraining the Western Church limited ordination to unmarried men and required a commitment to lifelong celibacy.

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The Power of God

Dear family,

Find enclosed my latest poem. Hope you all enjoy and comments are always welcomed

Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

The Power of God
By
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos

I have been broken but not forsaken,
Knocked down but not kept down
I’ve felt pain but that was gain
For the power of God is leading me on.

The power of God leads me on,
Higher and higher focused on
The road that leads me to eternal dawn,
Always keeping me going on and on.

This power has raised me from the grave of sin
This power has given me new life within
This power of God draws me closer to Him
Till the day I cross over into eternity with Him.

With this power of God I am pressing on
Never giving up but going on
The devil can’t ever turn me around
Because in the power of God I’m heaven bound.

Is War and Killing Ever Justified?

Dear Family
A couple of days I posted an article on peace and violence I had found on the internet that I thought made a good case for non violence and peace. Today I would like to explore that a bit further with some of my own thoughts

Two Different Views On War

1. Just War Theory

This is the idea that under certain circumstances it is permissible for Christians to join the military and fight for one’s country or other justifiable causes.

2. Peace and Non Violence

This is the idea that war and violence are never justified and therefore are immoral.

Which of these options are biblically correct as applies to Christians? If there are times or places where war and killing can be justified then I believe the message of peace is wrong. Humans can always find ways to justify going to war or killing someone in my opinion. However I, and many others, believe war is wrong under all circumstances and cannot be justified. Thus for Christians the message of peacemaking is the only viable option for Christians to embrace and follow.

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The Sermon On the Mount and Caesar’s Sword

Dear Family

As anyone knows who knows me very well knows I am an pacifist committed to non violence. I believe all wars are immoral and that we as Christians and followers of Jesus are called to be peacemakers. Enclosed find an article that for me sums up the case very well for non violence using the Sermon on the Mount and the teachings of St. Paul. It is written by Pastor Brian Zahnd of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph Missouri. I know nothing about the man but do like what he has to say here and therefore am passing it along. I found it interesting, inspiring and definitely food for thought, meditation on and let God speak to us about what is shared here. As always any comments are welcomed.

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Why Do We Celebrate Lent?

Dear family and friends

We have recently gone through Epiphany/Ordinary Times and been introduced to Jesus in many different settings. Then we came to Shrove Tuesday ate out pancakes, took stock of ourselves, confessed our sins, received absolution and penances to do during Lent, Then we arrived at Ash Wednesday and got faced with our own mortality and the fact we will all one day die and our earthly bodies return to dust. Now we have come to Lent. So why Lent and where is all this taking us to? What is its intended purpose and why do it at all?

Some may say in Lent we give up something special that we really like for the duration of the season. Others may say it’s about remembering Jesus 40 day fast in the Wilderness. Still others might say it is about doing the Stations of the Cross and walking with him along the Via Dolorosa suffering in spirit what he did on that fateful day. Others especially monastics it may be about special Lenten practices or devotions. Some might think its about suffering and feeling pain. Many seek to have themselves nailed to a cross like Christ was, or either whip themselves or have themselves whipped until blood is gushing from their wounds inflicted on their bodies. Many of those may be of some value during our Lenten journey. However if that is all we do where do we end up at? We end up at the tomb brokenhearted, full of despair and hopelessness. All our dreams, ambitions, lie buried with the dead body of Christ. It seems like it’s all over and we can go no further. Guess what we can’t go any further in our old man/nature and we can’t hold unto our old wineskins. Therefore Good Friday is the end of the road for us. That my friend is why we need Lent.

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