The Great Illumination of Conscience and Our Disordered Desires
The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Genesis 3:25
I was pondering our disordered desires the other day. How pornography has pervaded our society and sexual sin is everywhere.
I remembered being taught that John Paul the II in his homilies on the Theology of the Body said that there is no part of the body that isn’t worth kissing. This is a true statement of beauty, but in our pornographic society, oh how we twist it.
I was talking to God about it, and he just said, “Judas betrayed with a kiss.” And I wept.
And the Lord went further and said to me, “Eve consumed herself. I want you to consume me. Adam consumed Eve. I want you to consume me. I AM the tree of Life. “
When they fell from free will’s choice the concupiscence disordered our desires so we seek to consume the wrong thing. I prayed for the Lord to heal us from our disordered desires.
He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid.” Genesis 3:10
I was left wondering, if Adam and Eve had just confessed instead of hiding and pointing fingers, what would have happened?
Today I went on a retreat and the Priest had us pondering Jesus’ baptism, and sent us off in silence. The following is what I heard the Lord speak to me about in my silent time. I know many people have different views on the Illumination of Conscience. I don’t know the correct answer. I know the Lord speaks to me about it though. If the church came out and said what I have written is wrong, then the church is correct and I am wrong. Know that as you discern what I write.
In pondering the baptism of Jesus, we know that he didn’t need baptism. He sanctified the waters for us. But I closed my eyes to try to picture what his baptism would look like. And in my prayer I saw Jesus naked and unashamed. I thought of how people might look at that and be ashamed themselves, or perhaps have a disordered thought. But for Jesus, he was naked and unashamed, nothing to hide from the Father, it was beautiful, and the heavens opened up;
And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son,* with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17
Purity and Innocence with nothing to hide from the Father, cleansed the waters for our baptism to do the same for us.
But the Lord took me further and showed me the Cross. There on the cross was Jesus, naked. He was pure and innocent, hiding nothing from the Father, bearing all of our sins. Taking our shame, but not ashamed Himself, not hiding.
For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. Luke 8:17
God makes all things transparent. Our sin laid bare on the cross. We try to hide, but there is no hiding. The cross is an Illumination of what we have done and it is why when we experience the great illumination of conscience we will see a Cross in the sky;
…All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be a great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth lights which will light the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day. Diary of Saint Faustina 83
It is fitting that from these wounds, the only man made thing in heaven, that the light of illumination would pour over us. For it is only in illuminating what has been hiding that the God of the universe can heal us. We need to see what we have done so we can accept His mercy.
He wants to redeem not only our souls, but our bodies, our sexuality, all of our being. Our sins have been hidden in the recesses of our hearts with disordered desire and it has reaped destruction upon our souls, our emotions and our bodies.
He can make all things new. A movement back to His Will. He can present His bride, the church, as a pure and holy virgin before the Father. Body and Soul redeemed.
For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God, since I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:2
You are well meaning but incorrect. Naked in scripture does not mean totally naked unless you assume PETER was fishing in his birthday suit. Our Lord did not discard His loin covering at His baptism. JPII’s TOB confuses concupiscence with the innocence of Adam and Eve before the Fall as if the latter were something to strive for. What pride! Disordered? Yes, that is our fallen state. Modesty of dress is a virtue not a surrender to disorder.
So were Adam and Eve not literally naked in their innocence? Serious question? Our nakedness needs modesty because of our disorder- but when you are not disordered nakedness should not be an issue. That’s where I am coming from. Nothing is hidden from God not even our bodies. And the early church had catechumens enter baptismal water totally naked. A comparison of all the evidence leads to the conclusion that the catechumens entered the font in a state of absolute nakedness. See particularly St Cyril, Hieros. Myst. Catech. ii ad init; St Ambrose, Serm. xx (Opp. t.v. p. 153, Paris 1642)and Enarrat. in Ps lxi 32 (BB t.i.p. 966); St Chrysostom, ad Illum. Cat. i (Migne, tom. ii. p 268). Possibly a cincture of some kind (quo pudori consuleretur) may have been worn, as indicated in some medieval works of art.
Adam & Eve were guilty of no sin against God(until they were) consequently there was no lust(until there was). By description and by inference/common sense readers of the Book of Genesis can make comparisons about living in the Garden of Paradise and life after Adam & Eve were banished from the Garden of Paradise. Recorded human history from about 3000 B.C. to 2020 A.D. presently is replete with wars, natural and man-made disasters and other shortcomings of life on earth but which are taken for granted as part of human history despite groups actively seeking to live in conditions of Utopia and very likely failing to find a Utopia. There is NO SIN IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN .On earth there are changing seasons with very cold to very hot changes in temperatures. What was it like for Adam & Eve in the Garden of Paradise. What is it like in the Kingdom of Heaven. Eye has not seen nor ear heard nor has it entered the heart of man what things God has prepared for those who love Him.
And we pray – Thy Kingdom come they will be done ON EARTH as it is in heaven. Jesus said he came to destroy the works of the devil….that’s not finished because we still see the works of the devil everywhere. …everything is a movement back to the will of God. And it begins in each of our own hearts by hiding nothing from God. He cannot heal what you hide from him.
Of course they were, before the Fall. I am speaking in general. Catechumens were separated male from female for baptism. (Even at Mass the faithful were separated male from female) That is why there were deaconesses to cover the women. The women were not totally naked before the priest baptizing. Perhaps the deaconesses actually did the baptism of the women when total submersion was the common use. Of course we know from Acts that the 3000 baptized at Pentecost could not have been submerged.
profound and true!! Jesus did not die with a cloth covering Him, He was naked. How ever, I don’t think he was naked at baptism since it implies that the long line to be baptized would also have been naked…..there are issues with women being naked in front of St John the Baptist and the people in line. There would be far more people present to see the women than to hear St John, and God would never expose the spectacular beauty of the greatest creation (short of Blessed Mother, the example of perfect modesty and purity) of God: women, to gaucky eyes of concupiscence. Plus, that has never been an expectation nor requirement, even at the time of St John in the Church.
Bishop Hippolytus of Rome: When the elder takes hold of each of them who are to receive baptism, he shall tell each of them to renounce, saying, “I renounce you Satan, all your service, and all your works.” 10 After he has said this, he shall anoint each with the Oil of Exorcism, saying, “Let every evil spirit depart from you.” 11 Then, after these things, the bishop passes each of them on nude to the elder who stands at the water. They shall stand in the water naked. A deacon, likewise, will go down with them into the water. (Hippolytus. “Apostolic Traditions” of Hippolytus, 21:1-11. Translated by Edgecomb, Kevin P. Derived from Bernard Botte (La Tradition Apostolique. Sources Chretiennes, 11 bis. Paris, Editions du Cerf, 1984) and of Gregory Dix (The Treatise on the Apostolic Tradition of St. Hippolytus of Rome, Bishop and Martyr. London: Alban Press, 1992)
see early Mosiac’s Christ was naked at Baptism in them.
While reading your article, i could not but help think about Kathleen Beckman’s books, especially what I would describe as her spiritual trilogy:
A Family Guide to Spiritual Warfare: Strategies for Deliverance and Healing;
God’s Healing Mercy; and
Praying for Priests: An urgent Call for the Salvation of Souls.
She has her books organized very well and they are usable by teachers, parents and students. Kathleen tells us a great deal how to deal with spiritual symptoms, and healing spiritual wounds/sores, and they are useful in preparing ourselves for the upcoming great illumination.
However, one consistent weak point in her works is a hard nosed/critical analysis of identifying how the spiritual symptoms develop.
I found the perfect book to go with her books, X-Ray of the Priest in a Field Hospital by Father Armand De Malleray, FSSP. The book starts off with the 14 stations of Apostacy for Priests, but this is directly applicable to us laity as well. It is this that supplies the lacunae in Beckman’s works, because how many of us, through little actions, open the door to spiritual sloth? We reach a spiritual plateau and become complacent and soon enough we become proudful an then fall or begin a descent into the abyss.
In any event, this book is the perfect complement to her Trilogy. The 14 points shocked me, and were a necessary attention getter!
I read in a scholarly book on 1st century Judaism and its social customs that although the Romans customarily crucified felons naked, they humoured the local Jewish sensibilities against public nudity (which Romans would have considered quaintly “prudish”).
So those crucified outside the walls of Jerusalem were permitted a loincloth. The blood-soaked loincloth was removed after the body of Jesus was already covered by the shroud, which is why it does not appear on the Shroud of Turin.
Curiously, the Blessed Virgin in the (approved) Amsterdam apparitions mentions that Our Lord did wear a loincloth on the cross.
it seems theologians fight over this. I have read that for Christ that like they ignored the Jews in changing the sign above Christ that they would have also ignored keeping him clothed. For me my prayer was all about healing- both body and soul. I suppose one day I will find out.
I do not believe our Lord was naked at His Baptism…nor do I believed that St John call anyone to be naked for baptism. And what of the discretion for the women at that time to be baptized. And what if the discretion of those observers and passerby of the ritual of baptism. That was the artist’s interpretion of Christ baptism not a historical one.
The body is sacred and a Temple of the Holy Spirit. The body was veiled after the fall of humanity to sin. I belief Jesus remained covered in his baptism. The would have hung our Lord naked but it is said that our Mother and His removed her veil to cover Her Son Jesus naked. the Tabernacle of the Church remains veiled and hidden in the Church…even in the Synagogue the Torah is veiled.
The soul is garmented with the image of God!
This is also an area where theologians disagree.
when on a visit to Lourdes, we entered the miraculous waters. Attendants undressed us until we were naked and each held us either side whilst immersing us backwards into the water and prayers are recited. Afterwards we were miraculously dry. The point being that being blessed, even today we are naked, as God made us.
I have always wanted to go to Lourdes, what a blessing you were able to.
The Illumination of Conscience is part of an integral Trinitarian ACT of God…..The Warning, the Illumination, and the Chastisement. If St. Faustina spoke about the Cross in the Sky, she said that it was immediately before the Final Day. The Warning, the Illumination, and the Chastisement are the events during the time and ascent of the Anti-Christ. After his kingdom is thrown into darkness, a new era of Peace will occur and last for 1,000. Both the Garabandal seers and Mejugorje (sp.) seers spoke of something of a “firmament” that will exist after the chastisement – one “firmament” in what is left of each of the seven existing continents….so that mankind cannot go so off kilter as we are today. To me, what they spoke about reminded me of the Star of Bethlehem, but seven (or so) of them…permanently affixed to a place where people could come see, adore, be illumuned, and gain peace of soul.
The new Era of Peace does not indicate that humans will not be sorrowful or suffering or in penance. That will happen. But they will understand (after the Illumination) who they are as humans and who God is as God and these traits/gifts will be more natural to a human than what we do now-a-days. Give or take a few years, in about 1000 years, mankind will have returned nearly to the state where the soul is manifesting light in the physical body. Then it will end, They will be clothed with LIGHT again – and perhaps still have on material clothing.
Humans will scorn “sexuality” and “sensuousness” because they will Passionately desire “The New Holiness.” Human bodies will be “Divinized” and “Spiritualized.” Our Father in Heaven is a Virgin. Our Savior and Brother, Jesus, is a Virgin. Our Holy Mother is a Virgin. Her Holy Spouse is a Virgin…..need I say more?
Dionysius spoke of experiencing with the Brothers in Jerusalem, either a vision WITH Mary or one of Her. According to Venerable Maria Agreda de Jesus (Mystical City of God) Dionysius called Mary Immaculate – “The Divine Fragility.” This whole concept is where humans should end up after the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart.
The Last Day and the Illumination are two different things. The Kingdom of the Divine Will must come in a supernatural way onto the face of the earth before the Last Day of Judgment. That’s why we were instructed to pray, …..Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on EARTH as it is in HEAVEN. Humans will live in a whole new manner – of Spiritual Behavior….The Luisa Piccarreta writings deal specifically with the details of this….and non-spiritual people will not understand what is written.
I suppose we could compare it to Lazarus’ death. He died and was resurrected, but that did not count as really beneficial or meritorious to him because he had to actually die again.
Some people have received a very real token of the Illumination, but the REAL ACT OF GOD that is Universal in scope will be the one that changes people – either they get holy or they become demons, then the AntiChrist rises….etc.
So, if you want to continue to listen to Jesus “illuminate” you by giving you lessons that have no regard for the thorough and with painstaking detail been written by the valid mystics in different languages and epochs, then that is your business. There is a real problem with Truth if you aren’t sure whether you are making a mistake or not. It would seem prudent to point people in the right direction as some of your commentators have humbly done, than to defend your position which may not have sold ground. Peace.
All I will say is Faustina didn’t say immediately. She said shortly. Those are two different things as well. Shortly in God’s time means many things. One day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day.
Your point is taken. I have never claimed to be anything other than someone who prays. I certainly am aware I don’t have it all figured out. I would caution you to be careful in thinking you do have it all figured out. Jesus told his disciples what would happen before it did happen, yet they still didn’t see it and ended up with their world crumbling as it all played out. I think we will all be humbled. Peace be with you as well.
More food for thought: I have meditated, contemplated and long considered this very important questions of garments…avec ou sans…in Sacred Scripture. Here above is a link to launch into further consideration!!!
Thanks Lucy. I have thought about that often too. Hope you’re well friend.
Wow, at the end of the day… we can focus too much on the tree and miss the forest of basking in the beauty and splendid of His amazing grace! He indeed is saving us from our hair splinting ways, loin cloth or not… naked in baptism or clothed. I need a Savior to save me from myself and my petty ways of trying to hard to have perfect theology rather than weeping daily over how I wound His precious heart with my piercing tongue of well placed words to make me look better to myself at the sake of others. God have mercy on my soul and all the petty ways I try to pontificate in self rightness ways at the expense of others, of course veiled so others do not see.
I love this thought by Thomas Kempsis. .. from his little pithy work Inner Life… paraphrased a bit… how do I grow in love with God? The surest way certainly is NOT having perfect understanding of the ways of God thru the skill of exegesis which I am certainly far from gifted in… nope the way to God’s heart is the cry from being broken before him and begging for self awareness with humility will certainly lead all of us to a deeper love of God than all the theologizing about Him. Being right certainly does not mean you are loving your brother. Been there , done that, trying to walk the narrow path and leave those ways far behind. Not making alot of progress.. but I am getting up and fighting the good fight! Thank you for sharing your wonderful and holy insights with us… blessings upon your Sunday!
Thank you for this. What you wrote is true and beautiful and I appreciate it. I read a book called The Spiritual Combat by Dom Lorenzo Scupoli. The first thing it teaches is distrust of self – trust in God. I learned the hard way that to have an expectation of what God will do often turns out to be false – just think of Peter left shocked and trying to save himself when Jesus doesn’t choose to fight. False expectations have made my world crumble before. If there’s one thing I do know – it’s that I don’t know God’s ways – they aren’t mine. I am glad I read your before going to bed. Thank you for breathing life and lifting up. I am grateful and glad I read it before going to bed.
Yes..Joy. spot on
Glad I could lift your heart.. blessings dear and prayers too!
To picture Jesus, naked, makes me uncomfortable. Modesty, our deepest parts, hidden, is where, I feel His peace.
Thank you for your comment. I suspect a lot of people feel that way. Modesty is a virtue. The catechism says it is ordered to chastity and we should all practice it. Particularly because it’s an area our whole society is broken. Our blessed Lord isn’t broken, that’s why it doesn’t make me uncomfortable. I long to be healed in all the areas we are broken. It isn’t about nakedness to me, but about being made whole. I think this is an area he wants to heal us and that brings me peace knowing he is bigger than all our sin. Peace be with you.
I long to be made whole! This is a beautiful piece that cuts to the heart of God is God and we are broken humanity. Thank you!
Susan…please contact me
Anne you can email me at email@example.com
Yes, I can’t unsee it. It’s trashy to me.
Its a 5th century mosaic. I think you should pray and ask God why a 5th century mosaic from Italy is trashy to you. It wasn’t to them or they wouldn’t have made it. It certainly isn’t sexual. There are definitely naked images that are sexual, pornographic and wicked – but this is simply an early Christian portrayal of Christ’s baptism. I really do think you should ask God why it is trash to you? I don’t mean that as any sort of judgement of you. I actually think these things reveal our own wounds, places we need healing.
What I can’t unsee is your vision of a naked Jesus. I think you should seriously question the source of all of your visions, and how you relate to some early artwork.
You can’t unsee me seeing something? Okay. So you’re calling me trashy. I understand now. Thanks for your Christian charity. Peace be with you.
What a beautiful reflection. When I was younger, I was caught up in pornography. It was a bad addiction I had for decades. After many years of frequent confession, adoration, frequent reception of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament, and a pilgrimage to Medjugorje I was finally freed from this horrible affliction I had let myself fall prey to. The Lord freed me from this affliction in 2001 and I am forever grateful and hope to praise Him Who saved me in heaven for eternity.
Praise God. What a grace!
What you practice in your prayer is called “contemplation”. It is a gift that we should all ask for, the gift of contemplative prayer. It needs to be cultivated, and requires patience and humility! I’ve noticed a trend online of much talking, speculating, prognostication, regarding events that are supposed to happen. Unfortunately, I feel like “prophecy” has turned into fortunetelling. It has been perverted. People are looking for fast answers, looking to prepare for hard times, looking to get the leg up so to speak. I, like you, were also taken down by false expectations. I cringe sometimes because I think also God’s ways are not our ways! When the bottom falls out, people could easily turn against God because things didn’t turn out the way it was “prophesied”. Your contemplative prayer is a gift, available to all for the asking if they so desire. Because it takes place in the heart, not in the intellect, it is likely to be misunderstood by many. I don’t know that Jesus being physically naked is the point at all here, but it is what He chose to show you through the Holy Spirit. Frankly, some of the Baptisms I’ve witnessed at Mass look more like the Kardashians, with terrible immodesty being displayed. Maybe being naked was a good idea, along with exorcism! You have been gifted, just remember what Jesus told us in Scripture, not to throw our pearls before swine. Been there, done that. 😊
Thanks Sally. I too have been a little alarmed at the prophecy chasing – in the sense that people are trying to “know” and control. That’s my issue. I only post what I feel the Lord ask me to. For me I have to be obedient- even if it humiliates me. I do read prophecy because we are told do not despise it – but it should be all taken in light of the truths we have already been taught. A person who trusts the Lord is open to however it all plays out. You are right that if you construct in your head what it looks like you subject yourself to loss of faith because of it doesn’t play out that way you feel duped. I think that is what happened to St Thomas. He didn’t believe even after his friends told him. He had to see…. praise God, even then we can still be Saints.
I was not calling you trashy. I have really benefitted from the few blogposts of yours that I have read. I think that in this case, you are way off base and may have seen something that was not from Our Lord. Or maybe your source was your imagination. I don’t know. But I do know that thinking of Our Lord without clothes is not a holy thought or one that I would wish to propagate, especially online to many people. Think of the care taken with the Shroud.
Mary, according to Father Holzmeister the church Fathers were unanimous in asserting that Our Lord was nude on the cross. They base this on the Old Testament of Jesus reversing the sin of Adam. Many, also believed this to be at his baptism. I don’t think you would say this to the church Fathers who did write and think about it. For me it was all about healing. You say it isn’t a holy thought, so I guess my question would be, do you think that of the church fathers as well? I will actually take to prayer what you have said, especially since it was so hurtful. But, to your point, the first rule of Spiritual Combat is self-doubt and confidence in God. Perhaps it is our society that is so far gone that this image could be taken the way you took it. My hope was redemption for our bodies, but you see degradation. I suppose I can see your point. But I will say this, the two times I have been attacked the most on this blog have both been concerning nakedness or sexuality (in my post about marriage covenant). That is the MOST broken thing in our society. For me, in this prayer, the Lord was telling me to hide nothing from Him. There is so much shame around these areas. He took on the shame and wants to heal us.
the alteration of something from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended.
The world, and the Church have been overcome by the Spirit of Perversion.
Consider it; Jesus Himself has been perverted. The Mass has been perverted. The priesthood, perverted. Religious life, perverted. Marriage, perverted. Women and their roles, perverted. Men and their roles. Perverted. Motherhood, perverted. Children especially, perverted.We are SO far away now from God’s original intention due to this corruption and perversion od the gospel we can’t conceive any longer of True purity and innocence. We don’t even know what it means, unfortunately, so people have developed their own sense of what purity is, or innocence. This “sense” we developed is what discernment filters through so there is going to be a vast range of interpretation. This image you shared is one example and has revealed that. Don’t be hurt or shamed, you did nothing wrong. Nothing “trashy” about any of it. That was a very poor choice of words from your reader.
Consider the state of others, pray, and move on. ❤
Thanks Sally – no matter how badly I don’t want to talk about these things- I feel like God wants it pointed out – it’s WHERE we need healing. He makes me stare at the serpent on the staff
I respectfully stand by my choice of words, Sally. It just feels way out of line to consider what Veronica claims she is receiving. It’s not a put down from me, but I felt I had to speak up and defend Our Lord. I am sorry she considered my words hurtful but I have a right to post. Maybe time will clear up her feelings on this.
There must be a kernel of Truth here, judging from the overreaction.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I will be praying for you.
Mary, you are most certainly entitled to have an opinion as well as share your opinion. I’ve read this whole thing twice, trying to see where you are coming from and I just can’t relate. My opinion is that you are projecting your own personal prudence,virtue, and modesty upon this. That is fine. If you notice though, and read others comments, they were edified by it, saw it and accepted it as good and spiritually fruitful for them. That’s why we share, it certainly reveals much about our faith, souls, etc. doesn’t it? God Bless you.
I had some time to look into this further tonight and discovered numerous paintings of Jesus naked at his baptism, as well as the following which was helpful. Hope this helps future readers of this post!
St. Cyril of Jerusalem (4th Century)
Therefore, I shall necessarily lay before you the sequel of yesterday’s Lecture, that ye may learn of what those things, which were done by you in the inner chamber(2), were symbolical. 2. As soon, then, as ye entered, ye put off your tunic; and this was an image of putting off the old man with his deeds(3). Having stripped yourselves, ye were naked; in this also imitating Christ, who was stripped naked on the Cross, and by His nakedness put off from Himself the principalities and powers, and openly triumphed over them on the tree(4). For since the adverse powers made their lair in your members, ye may no longer wear that old garment; I do not at all mean this visible one, but the old man, which waxeth corrupt in the lusts of deceit(5). May the soul which has once put him off, never again put him on, but say with the Spouse of Christ in the Song of Songs, I have put off my garment, how shall I put it on(6)? O wondrous thing! ye were naked in the sight of all, and were not ashamed(7); for truly ye bore the likeness of the first-formed Adam, who was naked in the garden, and was not ashamed. 3. Then, when ye were stripped, ye were anointed with exorcised oil(8), from the very hairs of your head to your feet, and were made partakers of the good olive-tree, Jesus Christ. For ye were cut off from the wild olive-tree(9), and grafted into the good one, and were made to share the fatness of the true olive-tree.
I am now closing comments on this post. Thanks to all who commented.
I would like to point out something missed by everyone regarding nakedness, and that is how to read the fathers. Anyone who knows me knows I am a fan of Origen, the master of the literal sense, the typological sense, the moral sense, the historical critical approach (not meaning to be anachronistic, but as understood in Origen’s time) and the allegorical approach. Just because a father states Jesus was naked does not mean that particular father thought Jesus was literally naked.
A clue to understanding this is found in Commentary on Genesis:
John Chrysostom Homily 15 (14) on Genesis, FOTC #74: “They were both naked, the text says, remember, and were not ashamed. You see, while sin and disobedience had not come on the scene, they were clad in that glory from above which caused them no shame; but after the breaking of the law, then entered the scene both shame and awareness of their nakedness.”
Didymus the Blind Commentary on Genesis, FOTC #132: ” With the opening of their eyes, they realized they were naked, This often happens with people who have been deceived; after the act of shamelessness of their evil behavior becomes clear as they realize that they have been stripped of virtue.”
The naked issue really is not worth dying on a hill about – it does not even rise to the level of a theologoumenon.
But anyways, all of this focus on nudity missed your main point in your essay – that in the illumination we will be naked spiritually before God. That is why I made reference to the above works, to help us prepare in prayer, confession, fasting, etc., so we will be vested in a wedding robe of glory.
And, on that note, I will need to go to confession.
Thanks James – yes that was the main point. I appreciate all your knowledge.