Thursday, 15 August 2013
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one true God (Heb 11:6, 1 Corinthians 8:4-6, Romans 3:29-31, Eph 4:6)
The Father Almighty (1Cor. 8:6; Rev. 1:8)
Maker of heaven and earth (Ex. 20:11, Gen. Ch. 1 &2)
and of all things visible and invisible (Jer. 32:17. Col. 1:16)
And in the one Lord (Acts 10:36) Jesus (Matt. 1:21) Christ (John 4:25-26),
the only-begotten Son of God (John 1:14),
begotten of the Father before all worlds(1 John 4:9),
Light of Light, very God of very God (John 1:4, 1 John 1:5-7, John 12:35-37, John 5:18),
begotten, not made (John 8:58),
being of the same substance with the Father (John10:30);
and by whom all things were made (John 1:3);
+ who for us men and for our salvation (Mat 1:21) came down from heaven (John 3:31),
+ and was incarnate of the Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God (Luke 2:6),
by the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:35), and became man (John 1:14);
+ and was crucified for us (Mark 15:25) in the days of Pontius Pilate (Matt 27:22-26);
and suffered, and died, and was buried (Matt 27:50-60);
And the third day rose again (Matt 28:6) according to His will (1.Cor 15:4),
and ascended into heaven (Luke 24:51), and sat on the right side of the Father (Mark 16:19); and shall come again in His great glory (Matt 25:31),
to judge both the quick and the dead (2 Tim 4:1);
whose kingdom shall have no end (Luke 1:33);
And in the one living Holy Spirit (John 14:26),
the life-giving Lord of all (2cor 3:17-18, Is. 6:8, Acts 28:25 Rom 8:2, 2.Cor 3:6),
who proceeds from the Father (John 15:26):
and who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified (Rev. 4:8),
who spoke by the Prophets and Apostles (2 Peter 1:21);
And in the One (John 10:16), Holy (Eph 5:26-27, 2 Peter 2:5&9),
Catholic (Rom 10:18 "Catholic" means universal or comprehensive, as well as "relating to the ancient undivided Christian church")
and Apostolic (Eph 2:20) Church;
and we acknowledge one Baptism (Eph. 4:5) for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38),
and look for the resurrection of the dead (Rom 6:5),
and the new life in the world to come (Mat. 25:34., Rev. 21:1-7). Amen.
Saturday, 10 August 2013
The story that she was the daughter of King Coel of Colchester is not found before the 12th century. In reality she was probably born in Drepanum (modern Izmit) at the eastern end of the Sea of Marmara.
According to Constantine’s secretary Eutroprius she sprang ex obscuriore matrimonio. St Ambrose, writing later in the fourth century, reported that Helena had been a stabularia, or stable-maid.
At all events, as a young woman she met, and may have married, an up-and-coming Roman general called Constantius Chlorus. Around 274 they had a son, Constantine, who was born at Naissus, modern Nis in Serbia.
Whatever Helena’s relation to Constantius Chlorus, she was rudely set aside in order that, in 289, he might marry Theodora, daughter of the Emperor Maximian. In 293 he was appointed Caesar, in charge of Gaul, Spain and Britain. He died in 305 at York, where Constantine, his son by Helena, was proclaimed emperor.
Meanwhile Helena had apparently been living in obscurity at the court of Diocletian, who ruled the Eastern Empire from Nicomedia, near Drepanum. Her son Constantine remained devoted to her; and after becoming emperor, brought her back to centre stage, both in Trier and Rome.
The contemporary historian Eusebius recorded that Helena converted to Christianity around 312, after her emperor son, inspired by a flaming cross, had destroyed his rivals at the Milvian Bridge. She became celebrated for her charity to the poor and to prisoners.
Helena was almost 80, however, when, in 327-8, she made her pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Jerusalem had been desecrated in 130 by the Emperor Hadrian, who had built a pagan temple on the supposed site of Jesus’s tomb near Calvary.
Helena ordered its demolition, and then selected a spot close by to start digging for relics.
Three crosses were found, and the true one identified when a sick woman was cured after touching it. Nails and a tunic were also discovered.
While in the Holy Land, Helena supervised work on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and on the Church of the Mount of Olives.
She died soon after her return to Rome, and was buried on the Via Labicana.
Her remains are now in the Vatican Museum.
In 1950 Evelyn Waugh published a novel about Helena. “I liked her sanctity,” he explained, “because it is in contrast to all that moderns think of as sanctity. She wasn’t thrown to the lions, she wasn’t a contemplative, she wasn’t poor and hungry. She jus
The actor, who was knighted in 1993, said: “Being an atheist must be like living in a closed cell with no windows”.
Sir Anthony said: “I’d hate to live like that, wouldn't you? We see them, mind you, on television today, many brilliant people who are professional atheists who say they know for a fact that it’s insanity to have a God or to believe in religion. Well, OK, God bless them for feeling that way and I hope they’re happy.”
He added: “But I couldn't live with that certainty, and I wonder about some of them: why are they protesting so much? How are they so sure of what is out there? And who am I to refute the beliefs of so many great philosophers and martyrs all the way down the years?”
In addition to my usual reading - the Bible and Christian literature - I find myself more and more drawn to Christian history and esepcial...