Photos, sometimes with Commentary, from a lay Catholic.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

An Advent Winter's Night




Driving home the other night around 9:30 or 10pm. The snow had started up again and was falling quickly. It was one of those times when your bright lights illuminate so many snowflakes that you're better off just using your regular beams. The rural roads are amazingly quiet and if you take your time, it's not too treacherous. I watched for deer along the road's edge but didn't see any. There weren't many other drivers out at that time. Most drivers had probably made it home much earlier and why would you go out after dark when it was cold and snowing??

Yes. Why?

Well, I found a reason. As I was starting through our small town, I decided to take some side streets and drive by St. Joseph's Catholic Church, just to see it lit up at night with all that snow! St. Joseph's was built just after the Civil War to serve the Catholic community here. Their original church had been destroyed in a fire on another site further west of town, and so the parish came together to build this beautiful one to replace it. It's an historical building now, symmetrical in its architecture with a warm, intimate feel. Its interior is too small for the size of its current parish, so they have built a newer church north of town that is much larger and is used for most of their worship services. This smaller church is still used for weekday Masses.

The other night, I parked along the side of the road and got out of the car to walk in front of the church. How still the evening was! Not a sound to break my thoughts, nor a person to interrupt my time travel as I considered those original parishioners, and all who have followed since, gathering in Decembers long past to wait and pray, and then to celebrate at Christmas the birth of the One who fulfilled their many hopes. Just as we do today.


This photo doesn't quite capture how thickly the snow was falling, or just how strikingly inspiring this tall steeple was as I looked up at it from the street below. It was worth the chill in my hands and the damp in my hair just to be standing there as a witness of this moment caught by my camera lens in 2013.


Photos from December 16, 2013.






1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...

SAINTHOOD QUALIFICATIONS

Who are the saints of God? God's saints are those who are under His covenant. A covenant is an agreement between God and mankind.

ALL MEN WHO ARE OR WERE UNDER GOD'S COVENANT ARE SAINTS.

Psalm 50:5 "Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." (NKJV)

ALL OF GOD'S PEOPLE ARE SAINTS.

Deuteronomy 33:1-3 Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. 2. And he said: "The Lord came from Sinai, And dawn on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, And He came with ten thousand saints; From His right hand Came a fiery law for them. 3 Yes, He loves the people; All His saints are in Your hands; They sit down at Your feet; Everyone receives Your words.(NKJV)

Yes, those under under the old covenant were saints of God. The people under the old covenant were saints and they did not have to be placed in a canon of saints and then enacted by the ecclesiastical rule of church authority and approved by Moses.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. (NKJV)

All men in God's churches are saints. The body of Christ are God's saints; one and all.

Ephesians 3:8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was give, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. (NKJV)

The apostle Paul did not consider himself a candidate for beatification. Why not, because there is no such title of "Super Saint" found in Scripture. Paul said he was the least of saints.
If there was a class of God like "Super Saints" that men could worship, by petition them through prayer, the apostle Paul certainly would have qualified. GOD IS A JEALOUS GOD, HE DOES WANT MEN TO WORSHIP ANY SAINT, DEAD OR ALIVE, BY PRAYING TO THEM.

Ephesians 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints---(NKJV)

These Christians were not praying for dead saints. These were live saints praying for other live saints. Saints are all members of the body of Christ; nothing more and nothing less.

There are no Scriptures that mention a beatification of saints, through a canonical process; thereby turning a selected few into "SUPER SAINTS."

THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR SAINTHOOD!

The qualification for sainthood under the new covenant are:
A. FAITH: John 3:16
B. CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10
C. REPENTANCE: Acts 3:19, Acts 2:38
D. WATER BAPTISM Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:20-21

When you come up out of the watery grave of baptism you are saved, you are a child of God, you are a member of the Lord's church, your are part of the body of Christ, you have been clothed with Christ, you have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, your sins have been forgiven, you are a member of the church of Christ, you have been raised to walk in a new life, you have been washed by the blood of Jesus, you are in the kingdom of God here on earth. YOU ARE A SAINT!

YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com