I was given the book “The Practice of Religion” last year by a good friend. It is an older and little Anglican book that sets out the Faith and the practice of it, particularly the Catholic expression of Anglicanism. The rector of St. Paul’s said that he wished the book was still in print, because it is this book that he would give as a gift to all those kids who prepare for their first communion.
Three sections in the back of the book:
Life shows itself in growth. It is so in the practice of religion. “We go from grace to grace and from strength to strength.” This implies being ever ready to receive the truth. Many persons make no progress because of pride, prejudice and ignorance, which oppose anything which they do not understand or in which they have been imperfectly instructed. To advance spiritually one must follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost and especially welcome any new blessing or privilege which the Church brings out of her “treasures of things new and old.” In the restoration going on in our part of the Church today, all souls should gladly receive and follow anything that helps to develop their spiritual life and bring them into closer union with God.
Manners and Morals:
“Manners maketh the man.” Character shows a close connection between Manners and Morals. Not necessarily the polished Manners which should be the “noblesse oblige” of those of birth and education but those possible in any walk of life where there is consideration of others and a refinement bred of high ideals and standards. As “a face is the index of the soul” and “one is known by the company he keeps,” Manners reveal Morals, as Character expresses itself. The coarseness and vulgarity so common today are but the evidence of the decline in Morality and Religion.
God wills us to be happy, but happy in the things of God more than in those of the world. True Joy comes in pleasing God not self. Live for self and happiness is never found, for all the lavish gifts of the world. Live for God and true joy is found, in trouble and trial, in sickness and sorrow, as well as in joy, peace and prosperity. Without God, nothing is really worth while. With God, naught else is necessary, yet all that God sends is welcome. He who has True Joy in God is always thankful. For as Saint Augustine wrote, “When God gives earthly blessings, give thanks; when God takes away earthly blessings, give thanks; for it is God Who gives and God Who takes away but God never takes Himself away from one who gives thanks.”
The Lord preserve thy going out,
The Lord preserve thy coming in.
God send His angels round about
To keep thy soul from every sin;
And when thy going out is done,
And when thy coming in is o’er,
When in death’s darkness all alone,
Thy feet can come and go no more,
The Lord preserve thy going out
From this dark world of grief and sin,
When angels standing round about,
Sing, “God preserve thy coming in.”