More on that pesky issue of identity

I wrote about our Catholic and Anglican identities in this post, but I continue to muse on this issue of who we are and how we should see ourselves.

This morning, when doing the Morning Office via phone conference, something about the confession at the beginning struck me:

ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou those who are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

And then there’s the Penitential Rite in our Divine Worship Mass and the Prayer of Humble Access, the Non Sum Dignus and so on that seem to stress our identity as sinners, as “miserable offenders.”

Mind you, I would not want to change a word of these, but is our identity as sinners the end of the story?

I recall feeling a little annoyed at some of the arguments by more liberal Catholics after Vatican II regarding standing instead of kneeling, such as: “We are a Resurrection People” and thus redeemed and so we should stand.  From what I understand Byzantine Catholics and the Orthodox stand for this reason, so maybe there is something to investigate in the theological underpinnings of standing and kneeling.   And yes, in a sense they are right, we are a Resurrection People.

I prefer our kneeling as a sign of reverence in prayer, but I do think there can be massive problems in our spiritual life if we identify as sinners and not with who we are in Christ, with the new identity He has given us totally by grace through His death on the Cross.

In Christ, we are redeemed, we are washed in His blood, we are forgiven, we are dearly beloved.  If we keep seeing ourselves stuck as sinners, well, we’ll stay stuck!

What annoyed me about the “We are Resurrection people” approach is that while it might be theologically sound, it seemed to me those proclaiming it had somehow emptied the Gospel of its meaning, especially the Crucifixion and the need for repentance.   There seemed a whiff of cheap grace about it.

Yet, I do not believe we can fully come to acknowledge the horror and depth of our sinfulness—to look at ourselves with unflinching honesty—unless we do so secure in the knowledge that God the Father loves us and that Christ’s sacrifice and our baptism really did give us a new nature totally by grace.   Yes, the “old man,” the “carnal self,” the “sin self” keeps trying to do its thing, but secure in the love of the Holy Trinity, one can observe the lies, the subterfuge, the sinfulness, the pride, whatever is there, and repent of the lies, and by the power of the Holy Spirit break their power over us and receive God’s blessings, appropriating into our lives more and more the new nature He has already given us.

I think we need to have more teaching on how to appropriate the promises of Christ, and to believe we truly are the adopted children of the Most High, and that the Holy Trinity is our Family.  We need to do more teaching on what happens when we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doubling down on love

Recently at Mass (not at an Anglican tradition parish), the priest gave a sermon in which he touched on hatred held in the world for the Church. Our interest piqued, he then disappointed us by attempting to explain away this animus by saying that “We [Catholics] are to blame. I am to blame.” Had he been addressing original sin, he might have been on to something. However, he continued, the world sees us as “bigots”, and the cause may be “hate” on the part of Catholics.

14729327_10154122513432725_5752177171345527123_nAll priests are called to preach love. (Jesus: “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” –John 15) Love is at the heart of the Gospel. But to affirm the false premises of those who hate the Church would be a most lamentable misstep. That we are all sinners is a given, and in a community of 1.2 billion people there will always be some whose faults contribute to animosity for the Church. But this topic cannot be handled justly without reference to the words of Jesus. Did not our Lord say that there were those who hated him, and that if they hated him they would hate us? Should we not rush to defend Jesus from any accusation of hate? Why not then his bride? The straw man of hate-filled Catholics is, after all, an unoriginal slander, and the Church has always been known for her zealous charity.

Rather, hatred for the Church follows on hatred for Jesus, her founder. The words of our Lord on this point should be our comfort. The very next verse of John 15 is “If the world hates you, understand that it hated me first.” Those speaking for the Church are particularly obliged, in preaching the Gospel, to rebut the mendacious suggestion that authentic Christianity is bigoted. We know this to be false, so let us have the courage to say so and give thanks that we’re in good company.

Then let us double down on love.

 

Catholic identity–Anglican identity

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The photo shows Deborah Gyapong, Christopher Mahon and Rev. Vicky Hedelius, director of Anglicans for Life Canada, at the annual Rose Dinner, in conjunction with Canada’s National March for Life last May.

Anglicans for Life Canada an outreach of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), a province of the Anglican Church in America, a body that has broken away from the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episopal Church but is in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury through is affiliation with the Global Anglican Futures Conference (GAFCON).   Part of our mission here at the Society is to build bridges with all people of good will who support Anglican patrimony, whether inside or outside the Catholic Church and the protection of human life at all stages from conception to natural death is one area of patrimony we cherish.

To the end of building bridges, Bill Tighe, a member of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society board, attended a recent joint-synod of four Continuing Anglican bodies in Atlantic Georgia.

Professor Tighe posted the following comment on this post by Christopher Mahon, who is also a board member.

He wrote, with my emphases:

Recently I attended, as an observer for the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society, the “joint synods” meeting of four Continuing Anglican bodies in Atlanta, Georgia. I found in my interactions and conversations with laypeople attending the meeting – including one Jesuit-educated former Roman Catholic who, as he told me, upon walking in to a Continuing Anglican High Mass with his wife, thought “This is it!,” and never looked back – that almost all of them had never heard of the ACS [Anglicanorum  Coetibus Society], had no knowledge of “the Ordinariates,” and only a vague idea that that some “conservative Anglicans” had “become Roman Catholics,” as one of them put it to me. One delegate to the conference, in a polite dinner conversation with me, characterized the Ordinariates as deceptive (“a scam”), but it subsequently emerged in that conversation that he believed that their “official” name was “the Anglican Ordinariate” (of this or that) and his objection was to their appropriation of the name “Anglican;” an objection which is congruent with, and provides a rationale for, the Vatican’s discouragement of the use of the term “Anglican” in an Ordinariate context. At the clerical and Episcopal level I found more awareness of the Ordinariate phenomenon, but no real interest in it – nor in the parallel phenomenon of “Western-Rite Orthodoxy” – as personal preferences or options for any of them. Their almost exclusive focus was on fostering unity among Continuing Anglican groups, and not on outward ecumenical relations.

 

This whole shorthand of “Anglican Ordinariate” which I confess I use from time to time in some contexts, up against official discouragement of our use of that terminology has me thinking about the different ways we in the Ordinariates can look at our identity.

Legally or juridically our identity is Catholic with a Capital “C” and, to be more specific, we are Latin Catholics and part of the Western Church.

In order to be juridically Catholic and a member of the Catholic Church,  one must be in communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter.  We are.

I used to think of myself as pretty Catholic in faith and practice when I was a member of the Traditional Anglican Communion but as my understanding of this juridical aspect of ecclesiology grew I came to understand the Catholic Church teaches there is a physical, institution in the world in which the the Body of Christ subsists, with a hierarchy and made up of sinners like you and me.  It’s not a free-floating mystical thing out there that has no relationship to the outward institution and, if one is truly to be Catholic, one must join it officially.

To be Catholic is to be a member of this outward, hierarchical institution with the Pope as its head. Yet I found this aspect of officially being received into the Catholic Church and thus into communion with the Pope was glossed over with some people from our parish  still saying, “Well, I’m already Catholic!”

No!  You were not! I was not!  You and I may have been catholic with a small “c,” but not Catholic with a capital “C.”

So, looked at from that point of view I can understand why the individual Bill Tighe spoke to, who took offense when he thought our official name is “Anglican Ordinariate,” thought this was a “misappropriation” of the name Anglican.

I get it.  And thus I think we in the Ordinariates should understand why the chancery has asked us not to use the word “Anglican” on posters or official publications and so on regarding Ordinariate activities.   But the search for some agreed on shorthand explanation of who we are continues.

But then, I was thinking, well, juridically from an Anglican perspective, what gives a Continuing Anglican the right to call themselves Anglican?  Doesn’t being Anglican have something to do with communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury (ABC)?   The ecclesiology is not the same in the Anglican world as it is for the Catholic Church—the ABC is not a Pope and does not have the same kind of jurisdiction over his bishops and flock as the Successor of Peter does, but in his own way, the ABC is a sign of unity for the Anglican Communion.   So, buddy-who-thought-our name-was-Anglican-Ordinariate and found that offensive might want to put himself in the shoes of say The Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada, or even the GAFCON Anglicans who are in communion with the ABC but not with some of the more progressive national churches in the Canterbury Communion.   They may think Continuing Churches do not have the right to appropriate the word Anglican. I don’t know.

But then, acknowledging the importance of this juridical understanding of belonging and identity and the sensitivities that can flow from it, we also have to recognize our ethos, our culture, which stems from our Anglican patrimony, that led us to desire Catholic unity, and formed the basis of Anglicanorum coetibus,  Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Constitution calling for the establishment of the Ordinariates.  That too is distinctly as much a part of our identity as our official Catholic identity.  Pope Benedict called that patrimony a “precious gift” and a “treasure to be shared” with the wider Church.

We must watch against talking at cross purposes—when one person is talking about their ethos, identity, culture—while the other is arguing about juridical identity.   And we must be aware of political sensitivities out there among other bodies.

But those sensitivities and political considerations must never become a blanket to smother our ethos, cultural identity and patrimony, which is Anglican.   This post by Fr. Hunwicke  in 2009 about Blessed John Henry Newman rather sums it up:

Today, I would remind you of Manning’s bad-tempered criticism of Newman; that with Newman, even after his reception into Full Communion, it was still the same old Anglican, Oxford, Patristic tone. We can do worse than recall this as we approach the beatification of that very great man. This may irritate some readers, but since this is my blog I will say it all the same: the whole point of Newman is that Manning was right; he never ceased to be an Anglican; that is to say, a superb exemplar of all that was best, God-given, grace-given, wholesome, and holy, in the life of the Provinces of Canterbury and York while in separation from the Voice of Peter. When he put off all that was schismatic, separatist, narrow, flawed, partial, heretical, in the ethos he imbibed from the Church of England, he was free to be more perfectly and fully Anglican than ever he had been before.

Because there is more to say about ‘Anglicanism’ than I said in yesterday’s post. An Anglicanism which purports to be a doctrinally distinctive, even a superior, form of Christianity: yes, it is a diabolical mirage. But in the unhappy centuries of our separation from Peter, grace was not stopped up. A tone emerged; a style, a way of doing theology, of living the Christian life, which in itself is by no means unCatholic; a sober tone, a careful tone, a tone which read deeply and with understanding in the Fathers and looked to Byzantium and beyond as well as to Rome.

I know I surprised some readers and enraged others not long ago by describing Benedict XVI as the first Anglican Pope. But I believe it is wonderfully providential that it falls to this man to raise his fellow-Anglican John Henry Newman to the Altars of the Church. Have you read the Ordinary Teaching that this pope gives week by week? His sympathetic exposition of the Fathers of East, West, Syria? When you read his own theologising, can you avoid a feeling (I can’t) that you are reading one of the Fathers; that you have picked up a volume of Migne … you aren’t quite sure whether it’s from the PG or the PL, and you’re even less certain which volume it might be, but anyway, that’s the corner of Bodley that you’re sitting in, and out of the window there’s Newman’s Church of S Mary, with his college of Oriel just beyond. And it is very easy to feel that it would be the most natural thing in the world to raise your head from your desk in the Patristics Room and see, in the chair opposite you, the diffident, erudite face of Professor Ratzinger, verifying a reference or two before hitching an ancient MA gown round his shoulders and scuttling through the traffic in the High back to his lodgings in Tom Quad.

Anglicanism as some self-important separatist codswallop that prides itself in its separation from the Successor of Peter: let’s flush it away fast. But then the cry can go up: “Anglicanism is dead! Long live Anglicanism!”

 

Your thoughts?

 

Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary –Oh Happy Day!

IMG_20171015_105435Today,  our parish in Ottawa took part in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter’s consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Here is Bishop Steven J. Lopes’ invitation:

“On Sunday, Oct. 15, I will consecrate the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter to Mary’s Immaculate Heart by praying the prayer publicly at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston. I invite each of you to join me in praying that Prayer of Consecration at the conclusion of Sunday Mass on October 15. Offer it for yourselves and for your families, end especially for the growth and flourishing of our Ordinariate communities. May the virtues of Mary’s Immaculate Heart be born in each of us for the greater glory of God, the building-up of the Church, and the spread of the Gospel!”

The Consecration began with the lighting of the Pascal Candle.

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We all prayed the following Consecration Prayer composed by Saint Pope John Paul II:

Pope Saint John Paul II’s

Prayer of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

“We have recourse to your protection, holy Mother of God.”

O Mother of individuals and peoples, you who “know all their sufferings and their hopes”, you who have a mother’s awareness of all the struggles between good and evil, between light and darkness, which afflict the modern world, accept the cry which we, as though moved by the Holy Spirit, address directly to your Heart. Embrace, with the love of the Mother and Handmaid, this human world of ours, which we entrust and consecrate to you, for we are full of disquiet for the earthly and eternal destiny of individuals and peoples.

In a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those individuals and nations which particularly need to be entrusted and consecrated.

We have recourse to your protection, holy Mother of God: reject not the prayers we send up to you in our necessities.
Reject them not!
Accept our humble trust and our act of entrusting!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).

It was precisely by reason of this love that the Son of God consecrated himself for all mankind: “And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth” (Jn 17:19).

By reason of that consecration the disciples of all ages are called to spend themselves for the salvation of the world, and to supplement Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is the Church (cf. 2 Cor 12:15; Col 1:24).

Before you, Mother of Christ, before your Immaculate Heart, I today, together with the whole Church, unite myself with our Redeemer in this his consecration for the world and for people, which only in his divine Heart has the power to obtain pardon and to secure reparation.

The power of this consecration lasts for all time and embraces all individuals, peoples and nations. It overcomes every evil that the spirit of darkness is able to awaken, and has in fact awakened in our times, in the heart of man and in his history.

Oh, how deeply we feel the need for consecration on the part of humanity and of the world—our modern world—in union with Christ himself! The redeeming work of Christ, in fact, must be shared in by the world by means of the Church.

Oh, how pained we are by all the things in the Church and in each one of us that are opposed to holiness and consecration! How pained we are that the invitation to repentance, to conversion, to prayer, has not met with the acceptance that it should have received!

How pained we are that many share so coldly in Christ’s work of Redemption! That “what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions” is so insufficiently completed in our flesh.

And so, blessed be all those souls that obey the call of eternal Love! Blessed be all those who, day after day, with undiminished generosity accept your invitation, O Mother, to do what your Jesus tells them (cf. Jn 2:5) and give the Church and the world a serene testimony of lives inspired by the Gospel.

Above all blessed be you, the Handmaid of the Lord, who in the fullest way obey the divine call!

Hail to you, who are wholly united to the redeeming consecration of your Son!

Mother of the Church! Enlighten the People of God along the paths of faith, of hope and love! Help us to live with the whole truth of the consecration of Christ for the entire human family of the modern world.

In entrusting to you, O Mother, the world, all individuals and peoples, we also entrust to you the consecration itself, for the world’s sake, placing it in your motherly Heart.

Oh, Immaculate Heart! Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths towards the future!

From famine and war, deliver us.

From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.

From sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver us.

From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.

From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.

From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.

From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us.

From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us, deliver us.

Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole societies.

Let there be revealed, once more, in the history of the world your infinite power of merciful Love. May it put a stop to evil. May it transform consciences. May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of Hope.

Amen.

IMG_20171015_105455After the Consecration,  Fr Doug Hayman blessed all of us in the congregation with holy water.

Then, our priests and altar party processed outdoors to bless the statue of Our Lady that mysteriously appeared a few weeks ago in our garden.

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The Syrian refugee family our parish as co-sponsored with the neighboring Roman Catholic parish St. George’s visited this morning and attended our Mass.

The church was full of the musical sounds of children today.

We had our annual Thanksgiving Dinner after Mass, which as usual was a sumptuous feast.

We represent Protestantism in the Church?

Came across this article by R. Jared Staudt just now at Catholic World Report about how Protestantism has affected the Catholic Church and Anglicanorum Coetibus and the Ordinariates were used as an example, complete with a picture of Bishop Steven Lopes celebrating the Eucharist.

The Church has now officially accepted a Protestant patrimony within the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict’s groundbreaking Anglicanorum Coetibus allows an “Anglican patrimony” to be preserved within the Catholic Church. The Anglican Use ritual which has arisen since, Divine Worship: The Missal(2015), draws upon the Book of Common Prayer authored by the Catholic priest and bishop turned Protestant, Thomas Cranmer (who secretly married after coming under the influence of Protestants on the mainland). Cranmer was executed for heresy by Queen Mary. Ironically, the incorporation of an Anglican liturgical patrimony has been seen by many as a return to a more traditional liturgy.

The English Dominican, Fr. Aidan Nichols, speaks of how the Anglican ordinariates represent a recovery of lost experience on both sides. Nichols explains “the tendency of the Church of England, despite its Reformation origins, somehow never quite to be able to put behind it its Catholic past. Hence the sporadic, not continuous, and never definitive yet always unmistakable, resurgence of something of a Catholic ethos in the Church by law established, an ethos expressed in worship, in literature, in theology.” If Catholics are to re-evangelize England, Nicholas argues the Church must represent the nation and needs Anglo-Catholics to “represent its own missing centuries” of English history. This claim is true not only of England, but for reunion with Protestants more generally—the Church must present “herself as the natural form of the spirituality of our country, historically considered.” I would explain this more broadly as meaning the natural development and fulfillment of any legitimate spiritual, theological, and pastoral insights of the last five hundred years.

Protestant patrimony.  Ugh.

Anglo-Catholics never considered themselves Protestant, did they?

I remember many Catholics telling us how amazed they were at how catholic our liturgy, our beliefs and everything else about us what before we entered the Catholic Church and how.  Our patrimony preserved much that was lost in the Catholic Church in liturgical reforms after the Second Vatican Council that went perhaps a bit further than the Council fathers intended.

More from the article:

We can look at Protestantism from two sides. First, its rejection of the central role of mediation in Christianity—the mediation of the authority of the Magisterium, the physical mediation of the sacraments, the mediation of the prayer of the saints and Our Lady, and even the role of our own nature and free will in salvation. This aspect of Protestantism we must reject, even as Catholics have been tempted to follow these trends the last five hundred years.

All of those things listed we rejected also, before we came into the Catholic Church.

So, we’re not bringing anything “alien” or “bad” with us when we bring in our Anglican patrimony.

 

The Benedict Option and the Ordinariates

I haven’t yet read Rod Dreher’s  The Benedict Option though I have been a regular reader of his blog at The American Conservative and am thus familiar with some of the ideas he puts forward in his book.  Maybe it’s time I sat down and read it.

I think of our Personal Ordinariate communities, in North America anyway, as examples of the Benedict Option in action.  Many, however, mistakenly see the Benedict Option as a retreat to the hills, a pulling away from the world into isolated little bastions, and a cultish retrenchment.

Those who’ve read the book already correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the Benedict Option is more about intentionally setting up Christian communities so as to preserve the faith, to provide mutual support to others and ourselves and our families in so-doing and to help each other ensure the faith gets inculcated into one’s children and grandchildren.  And not only the faith, but culture, the culture of western civilization that is so eclipsed right now.  It’s about not assuming that you will have a Catholic subculture around you to help you, because you will not, unless you work hard at creating one.

Here in Ottawa our parish is part of a little nexus of Benedict Options, including Augustine College and St. Timothy’s Classical Academy that are part of larger networks of intentional Christian community, such as Madonna House, Communion and Liberation and more.

 

So, it was with interest I read this post of Dreher’s this morning, that responded to a lecture in the United States by Fr. Antonio Spadaro in which he said Pope Francis opposes the Benedict Option.

As I clearly explain in the text, I call for a “strategic withdrawal,” which is to say, withdrawing for the sake of strengthening our roots and our witness, so that when we go out into the world, as we must, we will do so as real Christians. Excerpts from The Benedict Option:

What these orthodox Christians are doing now are the seeds of what I call the Benedict Option, a strategy that draws on the authority of Scripture and the wisdom of the ancient church to embrace “exile in place” and form a vibrant counterculture. Recognizing the toxins of modern secularism, as well as the fragmentation caused by relativism, Benedict Option Christians look to Scripture and to Benedict’s Rule for ways to cultivate practices and communities. Rather than panicking or remaining complacent, they recognize that the new order is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be lived with. It will be those who learn how to endure with faith and creativity, to deepen their own prayer lives and adopting practices, focusing on families and communities instead of on partisan politics, and building churches, schools, and other institutions within which the orthodox Christian faith, can survive and prosper through the flood.

This is not just about our own survival. If we are going to be for the world as Christ meant for us to be, we are going to have to spend more time away from the world, in deep prayer and substantial spiritual training—just as Jesus retreated to the desert to pray before ministering to the people. We cannot give the world what we do not have. If Israel had been assimilated by the world of the ancient Near East, it would have ceased being a light to the world. So it is with the church.

Over and over in the book I make this distinction: that to be fully and authentically Christian in the world, we must draw sharper lines between ourselves and the world.

There is at the post a link to video of the speech of  Fr. Spadaro, co-author of that La Civilta Cattolic article that I have written about previously.   I listened to part of it and hope I can find a text because it was taking too long and I read faster than he can read out loud.

Anyway, a couple of money quotes from Dreher.

Spadaro said that in Francis’s vision, “the duty of Christianity in Europe is one of service.” OK, fine. I would have thought that the duty was evangelization and formation, but service is certainly part of the Christian’s duties to the world. But as I say in The Benedict Option, “we cannot give the world what we do not have.” And the one thing that many, many Catholics (and other self-identified Christians) in Europe and North America do not have is a living orthodox faith.

So true.  If one reads/ hears Pope Francis from the standpoint of someone who already is well-formed in the faith, the call to go out to the peripheries, to serve, to undergo a pastoral conversion is about the Church in mission and a challenging, lively message.

Sadly, however, most Catholics are not well-formed in their faith.

Dreher again, with my emphases:

The problem is not that Christians are not enough in the world. The problem is that the world is too much in them. Catholic leaders that wish to turn the Catholic Church into a Romanized version of Mainline Protestantism are not helping to turn the tide. And they are not the future.

Your thoughts?

 

Ongoing prayer for the Anglican Use

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Today is Thanksgiving up here in the Dominion of Canada, and a fitting occasion to recall all that our Lord has given us.

The obvious thing for which all of us Catholics of Anglican rite have to be eternally grateful is the answer to our many prayers for the growth and confirmation of the Anglican heritage in the Catholic Church. For generations prior to the 1980s, Anglicans prayed for a way to become fully Catholic without loss of their culture or community, and former Anglicans prayed for a way to recover those treasures they had freely given up in becoming Catholic.

IMG_3152Those prayers were answered in 1980, at least partially, with the Anglican provision of Saint John Paul II. But over the following three decades, those prayers continued and were intensified, encouraged by what had been given to a handful of our communities in the United States.

In Canada, we prayed specifically that the Anglican Use would be permitted outside the US, and that hierarchs would cease to impede its spread but would facilitate it in a spirit of visionary generosity and evangelical courage.

IMG_2979In those American communities where the Anglican identity, heritage & corporate integrity had been preserved, the prayer continued for the preservation and blessing of the same, and I am copying below for those who haven’t yet seen it, the Prayer for the Anglican Use that originated, I believe, in our Texan parishes but has been spreading ever since.

As everyone knows, Pope Benedict XVI’s Anglican provision in 2009 was the major fulfillment of this prayer. And yet the prayer remains in use, as we continually seek God’s blessings.

While it is Thanksgiving for Canadians, it is never a bad time for everyone to give thanks and to redouble our prayers, that we the people of the Anglican Use might find favour in the sight of the Lord and increase in both holiness and in number, and that our heritage might always be watched over by him who is our strength and our Redeemer:

For the Anglican Use.

anglican-use-society-crossO Holy Ghost, the Lord, who gavest the Church the gift of tongues that Christ might be known by peoples of divers nations and customs; watch over the Anglican heritage within thy Church, we pray thee; that, led by thy guidance and strengthened by thy grace, that Use may find such favour in thy sight that its people may increase both in holiness and in number, and so show forth thy glory; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Son, one God, world without end. Amen.

Mindful that this prayer has already been so wonderfully answered (and grateful for the labours of those who made this possible), both in the fall of 2009 and continually in the years since:

Happy Thanksgiving!

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