Brother Monk wakes up much disturbed this day.
He is in fits and bits of consternation, growling for his morning coffee.
The commotion is heard by the superior making his morning rounds before prayer.
Brother Monk! Something’s amiss, what ever is it, my son?
Father Monk, please forgive me but I am greatly disturbed by the seemingly lack of sincere belief in the Church today throughout Christendom!
Yes, but how so?
Father Monk, I know we live in an age of disbelief, of scoffing, of making light of the Holy Scriptures, the very written word of God, and, alas, the Word being made irrevelant by the mind of modern man!
Yes, my brother, and you know it will get worse before Christ comes again, for is that not what the Scriptures tell us?
Yes, Father Monk, but I would just desire to see in the Church a commitment to the truth of God, that is the Holy Trinity, Who is GOD and whom we worship, even declared and understood as such by Christians today of all denominations, just as was done in the 4th and 5th centuries in the Church. These people, after St. Athanasius, affirmed where they stood when great heresies sought to divide the Church asunder. Great were the satanic foes of the Church; but greater still was her defenders!
I see. And what gave you this unique insight?
Just before evening prayer, I was reading in the Book of Common Prayer the “Creed of St. Athanasius,” written in the late 4th Century A.D. to combat the ever growing heresies which abounded in the Church in those days…beliefs that even denied the Holy Trinity and divinity of Christ! And this angered me to no extent as I began to reflect on the state of the Church today, when many ‘Christians’ won’t even say aloud the name Jesus Christ in prayer or sermon or discussion!
And so, to combat these heresies, Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria, Egypt wanted to have something in place that the people, both lay and the laity of the Church could affirm something they understood and truely believed. And they were then required to sign what they read as an affirmation of their belief!
Contrast that against the “vague” belief of many so-called Christians, and in an age when “Creeds” have gone out of favor! Yet the Creeds are the foundational belief of our faith.
And so what St. Athanasius formulated and wrote in the late 4th Century has come to be known as and commonly called “The Creed of Saint Athanasius.” I have not found a better way of man trying to explain the mystery of GOD, the Holy Trinity.
This is what the early Church and for the next 17 centuries believed! Listen then to these eternal words written by a great man of God. Say them in your heart; sign them in your soul. This is the faith we believe:
“Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one, the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost in comprehensible.
The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.
And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal
As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.
So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty.
And yet there are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.
And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
So likewisde the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord.
And yet not three Lords, but one Lord.
For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be both God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion, to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords.
The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten.
The Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten.
The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
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.
So that in all things, as is aforersaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man;
God, of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the substance of his Mother, born in the world; Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting;
Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching his Manhood.
Who although he be God and Man, yet he is not two, but one Christ; One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God; One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person.
For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead.
He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works.
And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.”
What then, Brother Monk?
Father Monk, I would pray that all who profess to be a Christian rightly believe this Creed and look upon it in study and meditation, and in prayer say: in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit…
Blessed be those whose belief in strongly anchored in these words.
And blessed be those who, by the Holy Spirit have been able to sort out all the phases and events of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.