#ThursdayTheology: Henry James Sr. & the Three Realms

Henry James Sr.: A passage found in the “Appendix” to his July 4th, 1861, address in Newport, R.I.

“There are three realms of life in man, one exterior or physical, one interior or psychical, one inmost or spiritual; or one realm of body, one of mind or soul, and one of spirit; and each of these realms claims its proper unity or organization, the first being sensibly organized, the second being scientifically organized, the third being philosophically organized. Now each of these organizations or unities demands of course its own appropriate light. The sun is the light of sense. Reason is the light of science. Revelation is the light of philosophy. Each of these lights is absolute in its own sphere, and good for nothing out of it. The light of the sun is essential to my bodily health, the light of reason to my mental health, the light of Revelation to my spiritual health. But if I attempt to make one light do another’s duty, I infallibly reduce my intelligence to fatuity on the one hand, or exalt it to madness on the other. For these various realms of life in man agree not directly, but by inversion; their accord is not one of continuity, but of correspondence; and if, accordingly, I use the light of one realm to illumine the objects of another one, I shall only be able to see things upside down, and hence hopelessly falsify my own understanding. Thus our senses make us acquainted with finite existence, and demand only the light of the sun, the moon, and the stars; science makes us acquainted with relative existence, and demands, therefore, a purer light than that of sense, the light of reason; but philosophy alone makes us acquainted with infinite and absolute existence, and it demands, consequently, not merely a subtler light than that of nature, but a more penetrating and less flickering one than that of reason, even the serene and steadfast ray of Revelation.”

Black and White photograph of Henry James Sr.

#PsalmOfTheDay: Psalm 39

Please leave your reflections in the comment section:

Psalm 39

I said to myself, “I will watch what I do

    and not sin in what I say.

I will hold my tongue

    when the ungodly are around me.”

But as I stood there in silence—

    not even speaking of good things—

    the turmoil within me grew worse.

The more I thought about it,

    the hotter I got,

    igniting a fire of words:

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.

    Remind me that my days are numbered—

    how fleeting my life is.

You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.

    My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;

    at best, each of us is but a breath.”

We are merely moving shadows,

    and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.

We heap up wealth,

    not knowing who will spend it.

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?

    My only hope is in you.

Rescue me from my rebellion.

    Do not let fools mock me.

I am silent before you; I won’t say a word,

    for my punishment is from you.


But please stop striking me!

    I am exhausted by the blows from your hand.


When you discipline us for our sins,

    you consume like a moth what is precious to us.

    Each of us is but a breath.


Hear my prayer, O Lord!

    Listen to my cries for help!

    Don’t ignore my tears.

For I am your guest—

    a traveler passing through,

    as my ancestors were before me.


Leave me alone so I can smile again

    before I am gone and exist no more.

Sermon notes: 2/23/20 “Jesus: Filled with Light”

ncom-sunset“Jesus: Filled with Light.”

Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly

New Church of Montgomery, in Glendale


Moses was promised the stone tablets of instruction from God at the top of the mountain.  After six days of clouds, Moses disappeared for 40 days and 40 nights.  The Psalms warn that the Lord will be angry if we do not kneel in service to our God.  We are invited to the holy mountaintop.  The Lord God, the father anoints Jesus with his blessing because he is well pleased.  Heed this message as a lamp, like the morning star rising to your hearts; moved by the Holy Spirit of the Lord our God.

In John, the Gospel, Jesus took several disciples up the mountain alone.  He rose in light, as if transfigured, with a shining face and dazzling clothes of white.  Then suddenly they were joined by Moses and Elijah.  Hearing a voice from the cloud they knelt in fear.  Feeling the hand of Jesus touching them, they rose to His command, be not afraid.  And saw Jesus was with them.  And they were cautioned not to share what they had seen until after the Lord’s Resurrection.

Arcana Coelestia, Secrets of Heaven number 10811

We are blessed to see that the radiant fiery cloud was the presence of the lord surrounded by angels.


Each of the readings tells us of the shimmering white light presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ radiating from a cloud at the peak of the mountain top.

In some, he has disciples with him.  In another, he is alone.  In all, his presence is filled with light.  In all, we are promised the coming and the rising of our Lord God, present with us as a holy being of light.  What can be more special?  What can be more reassuring? That this Lord Jesus is verified as the Son of God, and as God, the Lord present and fulfilled.  Fully with us.  Indeed, we are blessed.  Amen.

Let us reflect for a bit in silence.  And then share together in conversation, how is it that you may have experienced the coming of God’s love to you, as the Holy One, as Jesus, as a being filled with light.

#MindfulMonday It’s Gonna Be a Hot One!


And also, some practical tips for today to avoid actual heat stroke via WebMD:

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

The hallmark symptom of heat stroke is a core body temperature above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. But fainting may be the first sign. (Seek medical attention)

Other symptoms may include:

A Place at the Table #Communion

As people of faith we are called to look for and see the light around us, see the place that God is at work in the world, particularly in the faces of those we meet. It is not always easy to see God’s light in each other’s eyes, often we are clouded over by our own prejudice or anxiety or fear. And yet, Christ promises to be that light that shines in the darkness and is not overcome. On Sunday we will explore together how we can stay open and welcome this light into the world and see others through it.

~Rev. Anna Woofenden