Friday, September 8, 2017

College of Bishops Statement on the Ordination of Women


College of Bishops Statement on the Ordination of Women
September 7, 2017 
PREAMBLE 
In an act of mutual submission at the foundation of the Anglican Church in North America, it was agreed that each Diocese and Jurisdiction has the freedom, responsibility, and authority to study Holy Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition of the Church, and to seek the mind of Christ in determining its own convictions and practices concerning the ordination of women to the diaconate and the priesthood. It was also unanimously agreed that women will not be consecrated as bishops in the Anglican Church in North America. These positions are established within our Constitution and Canons and, because we are a conciliar Church, would require the action of both Provincial Council and Provincial Assembly to be changed. 
STATEMENT 
Having gratefully received and thoroughly considered the five-year study by the Theological Task Force on Holy Orders, we acknowledge that there are differing principles of ecclesiology and hermeneutics that are acceptable within Anglicanism that may lead to divergent conclusions regarding women’s ordination to the priesthood. However, we also acknowledge that this practice is a recent innovation to Apostolic Tradition and Catholic Order. We agree that there is insufficient scriptural warrant to accept women’s ordination to the priesthood as standard practice throughout the Province. However, we continue to acknowledge that individual dioceses have constitutional authority to ordain women to the priesthood. 
COMMITMENTS 
As a College of Bishops, we confess that our Province has failed to affirm adequately the ministry of all Christians as the basic agents of the work of the Gospel. We have not effectively discipled and equipped all Christians, male and especially female, lay and ordained, to fulfill their callings and ministries in the work of God’s kingdom. We repent of this and commit to work earnestly toward a far greater release of the whole Church to her God-given mission. 
Having met in Conclave to pray, worship, study, talk, and listen well to one another, we commit to move forward in unity to carry on the good witness and work that God has given us to do in North America (Ephesians 4:1-6; John 17). We invite and urge all members of the Province to engage with us in this endeavor to grow in understanding the mission and ministry of all God’s people. 
Adopted Unanimously 
College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America 
The Church of Our Lord, Victoria, BC, Canada

"We agree that there is insufficient scriptural warrant to accept women’s ordination to the priesthood as standard practice throughout the Province."

I am perplexed by this statement. Dale Matson+

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Be Transformed By The Renewing Of Your Minds

Pentecost 13A 2017


Fr. Dale Matson

I would like to focus on a portion of our Epistle Reading from Romans Chapter 12 authored by St. Paul.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-- what is good and acceptable and perfect."
How do we live out this statement from St. Paul that we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds? How does this play out with problems that so many suffer from? I want to discuss two problems so common today suffered by so many including me. This is not feel-good therapeutic advice. This is for most of us just fighting the good fight with help from the Word of God.
The topics I want to talk about today are Depression and Anxiety, and both can occur together.
Depression has been called the common cold of mental health. It is true in the respect that it is common and can also be contagious. For example if your spouse, parent or child is unhappy, it is difficult to be happy yourself. Depression however, is much more severe than a common cold. It is an isolating, deep, seemingly hopeless hole of despair. It is a place where a broken shoelace in the morning can destroy an entire day. It is a place with no pleasure and no more tears to shed. It can appear normally as a part of grief. But what if you are depressed without a reason? Depression has been described as a behavior disorder, a cognitive disorder, a family systems disorder and a neurotransmitter imbalance. Depression is usually treated as if it were a chemical imbalance with antidepressant medication. Counseling also helps.   
I want to offer another way for folks to consider why depression is seemingly so difficult to deal with yet point to a hopeful understanding and treatment.  In some sense I see chronic (with acute episodes) depression as an identity disorder. It is as if people who suffer from chronic depression no longer can distinguish themselves from their disorder. It is as if depressed persons would have to give up who they know themselves to be if their depression was removed. They would not know who they were any longer. From a Christian perspective this means to go to the cross with Christ not to destroy oneself. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20).  And we hear also from Paul in Romans “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (6:6). I think that is why a Christian approach could provide help. I mean by this, helping the individual to put on Christ as their new identity. Putting on Christ is something all Christians are asked to do. The life of a Christian is continually taking the old man to the cross or as Luther would say, celebrating our baptism daily by drowning the old man so that the new man might come forth. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4: 22-24). There is so much in Scripture that encourages us to put on the new person that is Christ. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Rom. 12:2a) What kind of mind are we to have? Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 2:5). “… my friends keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise” (Phil. 4:8). Have you ever examined your daily thoughts? Are they focused on “…whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper.
There is an additional side to addressing depression. Since depression can be isolating, Christians know that physically they reside in Christ’s body the church. Their brothers and sisters who may also have experienced depression are available to offer the comfort that they were comforted with. (2 Cor. 7:13). Spiritually they also reside in Christ. “For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17: 28a). Christ suffers with His church and us.  The topic of depression fills volumes and treatment options are multifaceted with varying degrees of effectiveness depending also on the individual. What I have attempted to say, that as Christians we all have an opportunity to seek and to find ourselves in Christ and He in us. For those with depression this is especially important. My comments are in addition to, not in lieu of other treatment options offered by your physician.
Christ is our true self and our only self. Listen to the life He offers us. It is a not a life without suffering but it can be a life of joy.
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)
Anxiety is defined differently than fear. Fear generally has an object, immediacy and a means of avoidance. Anxiety is more of a state of uneasiness, an apprehension about the future and a sense of the unavoidable. Anxiety is often associated with depression. While Depression is often the primary diagnosis, Anxiety may be the presenting problem. While depression gets “top billing” and treatment dollars, it is anxiety that takes the quality and the could-have-been out of far more lives than depression.  Anxiety extinguishes dreams and paralyzes plans. It is the primary ingredient in the opposite of the Peter Principle. Most people will not become who they could be.  
Anxiety rubs against our thoughts until it creates an open wound in the soul. To some extent we do it to ourselves. We fail in the basics of eating, exercising and resting. Some dither until they must rush. Some multitask, doing nothing well. Some become addicted to frenzied activity in an effort to fill a life devoid of meaning with substitutes. There is a normal pace to living and most are living too fast.
We also live in a virtual world that does not wait for us to catch up. We are simply inundated with information beyond our ability to process and absorb it. We are suffering from virtual Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. How many times have we seen the jet airliners fly into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center? How many times will we see the rivers of water covering the streets of Houston? We no longer live in small isolated communities. We live on and experience a planet’s worth of trauma. We brace for hurricanes and blizzards days in advance with some never arriving. Scientists inform us that there could be an asteroid that would collide with our earth and we would all perish. Anxiety makes us cautious. Everything we buy including the morning coffee comes with a warning label. We seem to guide our lives by our fears. Our fears are so limiting. Let’s be honest here. Did you make up a false excuse for not doing something because you were afraid of doing it? Can’t we do all things through Christ who strengthens us? (Philippians 4:13). 
We have a world’s worth of trauma delivered to our home and portable viewing screens twenty-four seven with updates on the ten.
At its core, anxiety is an ego state. It is the ego awfulizing at the prospect that it may perish. It is an existential drama where the individual is continually in a state of “What if”? It is the ego trying to control what cannot be controlled. The worst part of anxiety is that we have no control yet we are responsible. We are like the mouse that is shocked no matter where he jumps to in the cage. We cannot avoid or escape the shock.
Anxiety is not an uppercut to the jaw. It is a series of body blows that wears us down. It masks the ego vulnerability and manifests itself as road rage, frigidity, autoimmune disorders, social isolation and self medicated fugue states. It is the primary disease of self and the prognosis is morbid. The prescription is divestment of self not destruction of self. As John the Baptist said, “He must become more, I must become less.” (John 3:30) We are simply preoccupied with ourselves. It is time to step off the throne of self and surrender to God. We must stop trying to be God. We are vulnerable because life is all about our wants, our needs and us. It is our ego that requires applause. It seems we can never get enough “upvotes” on social media and selfies.
Instead, Christ tells us to put ourselves in the least honored place, the place of the servant. It is not about getting more things. It is about pouring ourselves out on behalf of others. How much of our time, talent and treasure is wasted building an edifice of straw to ourselves. Our true legacy is determined by our good deeds, those we have helped not a curriculum vitae filled with self-promotion. The self we keep propping up and defending is a golden calf and a false god. We have fashioned ourselves into idols. We are not only idolaters; we are the worst kind of idolaters because we are the idols we worship.
As St. Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit has told us, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21). So what is the release from this prison of anxiety? It is the decision to die to self and live for Christ, for He is our authentic self. It is not our story. It is His story and He is the author. I believe this is not something that happens overnight. It is a daily giving over of ourselves to Christ. St. Paul said, “In all things, I have learned to be content.” Being content is a process. Sometimes a “Dark Night of the Soul” like Cancer or the death of a child makes this process happen a little faster. It is something I struggle with too but less so as I age in Christ and the new man comes forth. Each time there is anxiety, we can ask ourselves, “Is it my ego that I am defending here”?  If it is then let go and let God as someone said. The language of Scripture is the balm of Gilead and the elixir of life. These two verses help me as God brings them to my remembrance.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1st Peter 5:7)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6).

I would now like to conclude with a prayer for help.

Dear Lord, save me from the chaos of this world. Save me from the fears of distant wars and local crime. Save me from the fear of infirmity and bodily harm.  Save me from the fear and anxiety that continually cause me to withdraw, that limit my movements and involvement in good works. Save me from the prison of self. Save me from self-abuse, self-destruction and mistreatment of others. Save me from my own thoughts that are so critical and corrosive that my joints ache. Save me from self-indulgence and pleasure seeking. Save me from the root of bitterness continually filling me with its toxic anger, sarcasm, cynicism, mistrust and a heart unwilling to reconcile with others. Save me from self-righteousness, pride and condescension toward others. Save me from dismissing others from my mind. Save me from numbing my mind with drugs and distractions. Save me for Yourself Lord Jesus. Save me for Your name sake. Amen



Saturday, August 26, 2017

Praise

Pentecost 12A 2017


Fr. Dale Matson

Praise



My homily is based on a portion of our Epistle lesson from Romans Chapter 11 and our Psalm.
"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to Him
that He might be repaid?” For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.” (33-36)
This group of verses is referred to as a Doxology. A Doxology is a song of praise.
I am reminded of Martin Luther’s teaching regarding the first article of the Apostle’s Creed in his Small Catechism.

The First Article: Creation
'I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.'

"What does this mean? I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them. He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him. This is most certainly true.”
            Every Sunday we say or sing several Doxologies. At the beginning of our service we sing or say the Great Doxology, the "Gloria in excelsis Deo" which is Latin for Glory to God in the highest. In our bulletin we shorten the title to the “Gloria”. The hymn begins with the words that the angels sang when the birth of Christ was announced to shepherds in Luke 2:14.
            In our Psalm today we hear, “I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with my whole heart; * before the gods I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward Your holy temple and praise Your Name, * because of your love and faithfulness; For You have glorified Your Name *and Your word above all things. When I called, You answered me; *You increased my strength within me. All the kings of the earth will praise You, O LORD, * when they have heard the words of Your mouth."
At the end of our Psalm today and every Sunday we say another Doxology, the Gloria Patri. “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”
We sing a Doxology every Sunday before the liturgy of the altar. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him all ye heavenly hosts praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”
In the Great Thanksgiving portion of our liturgy we have another Doxology. We sing the Sanctus (latin for Holy) before the prayer of consecration. This “unending hymn” is perhaps one of the most enduring, ancient songs of praise and combines verses from Scripture.  (See Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8, Matthew 21:9, Psalm 118:26.)
There are doxologies throughout the New Testament. Here are more examples.
Eph. 3:20-21 – “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Tim. 6:15b-16 – “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”
Jude 24-25 – “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
Rev. 5:12, 13 – “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing! …To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
            To thank and praise God takes the focus off us. It means that we are giving God the credit for what we have done and who we are. God provides the motivation, the will and the strength for our good works done in faith.
            It is not just our selfish pride that causes us to place ourselves on the throne at the center of our universe. It can also be sickness, pain and depression. When our thoughts are ruled by our emotions, we no longer have the Mind of Christ.
            Steve Martin the comedian once said that you couldn’t play the banjo and be unhappy or angry at the same time. It is also true of praise and thanks to God. When we thank and praise God, we are only responding in obedience to God and demonstrating our love for God. We are not just God’s children. We are His subjects in His Kingdom, the Kingdom of God.
            So what is this praise and thanksgiving about in our church and in our province? I will state that God the Holy Spirit moved afresh on the mainline churches in the early 1960s. The late Dennis Bennett an Episcopal priest was one of the early leaders in the Neo-Pentecostal movement also better known as the Charismatic Movement. Today in our ACNA, we have a blend of Evangelical, Charismatic and Anglo-Catholic members. Our late Bishop, John David Schofield considered himself to be a mix of all three.
                Probably the last place one would expect a fresh infilling of God the Holy Spirit was the liturgical churches yet, the Anglican/Episcopal, Lutheran and later, the Roman Catholic Churches were some of the first churches to experience a contemporary renewal. This Neo-Pentecostal renewal began in the early 1960’s and remains evident in those same churches today. The Charismatic renewal has had less impact on the reformed churches like the Baptists and I believe this is possibly related to their dispensational approach to Scripture. They believe that God acted differently and more powerfully in the early church.
            I was a Missouri Lutheran in the mid 1980’s and was struck with the wording of a lesser-known creed accepted by those churches. The Creed of St. Athanasius (Quicunque Vult) was recited only once a year in our congregation on Trinity Sunday. The following passage in particular resonated with me and I read it over several times. “And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other; none is greater, or less than another; But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal.” I had been thinking a lot lately about God the Holy Spirit and why Jesus seemed to be the only focus of my brothers and sisters in our congregation. I believe most of my brothers and sisters in our congregation were mature Christians filled with the “Fruits of the Spirit” but they were into living out Luther’s second couplet in his explanation of the Creed. They focused on Serving and Obeying God but less so the Thanking and Praising part of Luther’s first couplet. Most would acknowledge the “Gifts of the Spirit” but none sought out those gifts. I believe they were afraid to let go and let God. Most thought of parishioners having “Talents” but not supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I heard that Pastor Erwin Prange from Minnesota would be preaching at Pastor Ferd Barr’s church near Milwaukee. Pastor Barr was the only Lutheran Church Missouri Synod pastor who boldly dared to be Charismatic in Milwaukee, the heart of the LCMS.  Reverend Prange spoke about Baptism of the Holy Spirit and his experiences as a Charismatic pastor and with a deliverance ministry as a consultant to a local psychiatric hospital. When psychiatrists would have a patient they were unable to treat, they would call in pastor Prange as an exorcist. I also read one of his books, A Time To Grow. I was seeking this experience within my faith tradition guided by Scripture and trustworthy leaders yet there was some apprehension.  Here is an irony about Charismatics. If you are a Charismatic, you are also an Evangelical. You believe in the truth and preeminence of Scripture. When Scripture advocates seeking the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, in obedience you seek the Gifts. At the same time there was pressure from others not to seek the Gifts of the Spirit. A local Baptist pastor told me, “Speaking in tongues is of Satan.” Fr. Bennett was required to step down as rector of his church.  
I had a cautious yet irresistible desire for this “second blessing” and privately studied Scripture with many examples of both water and Holy Spirit baptism. I wanted a deeper relationship with God the Holy Spirit and knew in my heart that it would not be a false path. After all, the LCMS was not a dispensational church and didn’t God give good gifts to those that asked? (Luke 11:13, Matt. 7:11).
As a member of a home bible study mostly populated by Roman Catholics, I asked to be prayed over for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I trusted those around me and stepped out in faith that God would provide. Following the prayer, I simply said two words. I did not know what the words meant but repeated them in my head phonetically. I had a Young’s Analytical Concordance at home and looked them up. I had said “Zebina (acquired) Shekinah (God’s glorious presence). I had spoken in faith the words Zebina Shekinah and did not know at the time that they meant that I had experienced God’s glorious presence. It was the beginning of a private prayer tongue that I have used for over 25 years.
My friend and spiritual advisor Morton Kelsey once told me that ecumenism was the heart of the Charismatic experience. I think it rather ironic that Fr. Kelsey wrote a book on speaking in tongues but confessed to me that he had never been blessed with the gift of tongues himself in an hour interview I conducted with him.
The Charismatic movement was not just ecumenical. In short, the Charismatics invoked  (invited) the Holy Spirit back into the church. It was a fresh infilling with a contagious zeal. Praise and thanksgiving were a big part of the worship services with supplemental songbooks that included contemporary hymns. The gifts of the Holy Spirit were manifested. The Word of God was confirmed with signs following (Mark 16:20).
I believe the ACNA, in her outreach to other denominations is very much influenced by the Charismatic elements within our province.
I must end on a note that is an unfortunate reality for Charismatics. There was a great deal of misunderstanding and divisiveness associated with the Charismatic renewal. The Charismatic movement was ecumenical since the Holy Spirit is a God of Unity but the human side of it was at times divisive and literally split congregations in two. I primarily blame the Charismatics for giving the appearance that they were a special class of Christians. If only, the fruits of the Holy Spirit had also been manifested. We should have memorized 1 Cor. 13 before we preached 1 Cor. 12.
Luther’s exhortation to “Thank and Praise” and “Serve and Obey” are wonderful godly guidelines for all Christians. I believe it was the Charismatic movement empowered by God the Holy Spirit of the early 1960s that put the Thanks and Praise afresh into the contemporary church. However, spiritual renewal is often rediscovering what we already have. Our liturgy is full of thanks and praise.
As St. John states in Revelation (7:12) “Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” And amen.
      
 


            

Monday, August 14, 2017

Adding The Fruit Of The Spirit To A Heart Healthy Diet: Adding Trust to That


Fr. Dale Matson

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
            I have been diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). It has been less than a year now and after my cardiologist implanted two stents to help blood circulation to my heart, I live quite a different life. I am more anxious.
            I had a severe G.I. bleed the first day of this year because of 3 undiagnosed preexistent ulcers combined with dual antiplatelet therapy to thin my blood. Dual antiplatelet therapy is standard protocol for those with stents but I was more prone to bleeding. It has been a long road back since that time and I no longer am anemic. I had another bleed and the cardiologist took me off Plavix after 6 months. I am still on a daily dose of baby aspirin. Although the cardiologist has limited my maximum heart rate based on treadmill performance, I am still able to get into the mountains even for an overnight with a backpack. I use a heart monitor watch and keep an eye on my heart rate.
            I have been on two kinds of antacids to keep my ulcers from bleeding again. A recent endoscopy biopsy indicated that my ulcers were not the result of bacteria. The ulcers were probably the result of years of overuse of aspirin and ibuprofen.
            During the last 8 months, I have conducted a great deal of research on my CAD etiology and treatment. There is good universal treatment advice including change of diet, loss of weight and exercise. I have always had enough exercise even to excess. I have reduced the size of my meals and avoid foods with a high glycemic index that encourage insulin spikes. It is a low carbohydrate diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, adequate hydration and monounsaturated fats. I am at my high school weight with a BMI of 22. I take several supplements that include vitamins and minerals. I do not take statins to reduce my LDL cholesterol but I do take sterols and stanols. This is not just to discourage the build up of plaque in the arteries; it is also to lower blood viscosity so the heart does not have to work as hard. There is an optimum amount and mix of chemical interventions for each person. After that, the effort is counterproductive.
Eventually however one must ask, “To what extent is the solution only a chemical solution?” Every pill that has efficacy also has side effects. For example beta-blockers that lower blood pressure may also cause depression. Cardiac patients are often depressed? Is it any wonder why depressed cardiac patients who take beta-blockers are even more at risk?   
I also get adequate rest and don’t ‘overdose’ on what is going on in the world through excessively watching the news. In short, I don’t seek out things that stir me up and I do surround myself with things that calm me down like beauty, music and Scripture. There is no shortage of Scripture that points to hard heartedness, being stiff necked and needing a heart of flesh. In short Scripture tells us to repent of our ways and give our lives and hearts to Jesus.
There is another factor that I believe is downplayed by cardiologists but understood by psychologists. To what extent is CAD influenced by our thoughts and emotions. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that our emotions play a significant role in the development of CAD. To understand this we have to look at the root of the problem and that is inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s response to stress. Anxiety and anger are two emotions that have been demonstrated to be associated with inflammation.  http://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223%2813%2900947-5/abstract
            I am not an ‘Alpha’ male but I am a ‘Type A’ male. I am impatient, aggressive and ambitious. It was actually cardiologists that coined the term ‘Type A’ but cardiologists currently are more concerned about CRP than the significant contributing personality features. They acknowledge that lifestyle changes (behavioral) help but avoid emotional traits that create the lifestyles. Maybe they think this will be addressed in support groups.
            I must confess as a Christian pilgrim beyond the three score and ten years granted me that I still lack much real progress in spiritual development. I in no way am dismissive about what I have stated previously but the ultimate solution is spiritual since each of us is ultimately terminal. I have always been a late bloomer. Part of that is lack of progress is preoccupation with myself. I am what can be referred to as a “Carnal Christian”. I am living a life that St. Paul refers to in Romans Chapter seven not Chapter 8. In spiritual development, I am mostly in the “Purgative Stage”. I have given my life to Christ over and over and taken it back over and over. I too rarely trust my Savior who has guided and protected me from the world, the evil one and myself since day one. Why can’t I cast my anxiety on Him (1 Peter 5:7)? Why am I still afraid? (Isaiah 41:10) It is not so much a fear of death as a lack of trust that by every measure should have been in place long ago. I am not as prideful however.
            I believe my conclusion about trust betrays my personality. It is the impatience about trust. Trust is a process not just an event. I am left with this evidence. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6