Tag Archives: quaker

The Signs of the Times

"They fail to read clearly the signs of the times who do not see that the hour is coming when, under the searching eye of philosophy and the terrible analysis of science, the letter and the outward evidence will not altogether avail us; when the surest dependence must be upon the Light of Christ within…." – John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892), Quaker poet

Christian Simplicity and Integrity

In a continuing effort to expose Catholics and mainline Protestants to Quaker wisdom, here’s another sampling from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s 1972 edition of Faith and Practice.

"A life centered on God will be characterized by integrity, sincerity and simplicity. It need not be cloistered and may even be a busy life, but its activities and expressions should be correlated and directed toward the simple, direct purpose of keeping one’s communication with God open and unencumbered by that which is unessential. Simplicity is best approached through a right ordering of priorities."

"Simplicity consists not in use of particular forms but in avoiding self-indulgence, in maintaining humility of spirit and in keeping the material surroundings of our lives directly serviceable to necessary ends. This does not mean that life need be poor and bare or destitute of joy and beauty. All forms of art may aid in the attainment of the spiritual life, and often the most simple lines, themese or moments, when characterized by grace and directness, are the most beautiful."

Integrity, essential to all communication between man and man between man and God, has always been a basic goal of Friends. Great care should be observed in speech. Factual statements should be as accurate as possible, without exaggeration or omission."

"Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God is called the ‘virtue of religion.’ Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good. The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor. ‘You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.’ ‘Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.’"

"Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will’s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion: ‘Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart.’ Temperance is often praised in the Old Testament: ‘Do not follow your base desires, but restrain your appetites.’ In the New Testament it is called ‘moderation’ or ‘sobriety.’ We ought ‘to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world.’"

– Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1807 and 1809

True Worship

“True worship, whether vocal or silent, is offering one’s self to God = body, mind and soul – for the doing of His will. The fruit of worship is an increasing awareness of the Inward Light [i.e. the Holy Spirit], an experience of God’s love and a fresh understanding of the two great commandments: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.’ (Luke 10:27)”

“‘As many candles lighted and put in one place do greatly augment the light, and make it more to shine forth, so when many are gathered together into the same life there is more of the glory of God, and His power appears to the refreshment of each individual, for each partakes not only of the light and life raised in himself, but in all the rest.’ – Robert Barclay”

– Faith and Practice (Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1972)

“Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity. Together they testify to God’s holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church 2182

Christian Bereavement

Apropos in light of the pope’s passing:

“The faith of Christ teaches more than courage in the face of death. Our attitude to death is transformed. As we come to a more intimate experience of the reality of God, we may enter into the overcoming power and strength of the great words of Christ, ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life.’ Death is swallowed up in victory. For those we love it is no longer a dark place but an entrance into fuller light of God. Though we naturally grieve at the withdrawal of loved friends from our physical sight, we may still rejoice in their new freedom. The dead are not lost to us; they are still our friends in the service of the Eternal.”
– London Yearly Meeting; Report and Draft Revision of Christian Discipline, Parts I and II, Revision Committee, 1959 (quote found in Faith and Practice, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1972)