A heart-felt "thank you" to those who prayed for my recent private intention. My prayer was answered in the way that I had hoped!
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Would you please be so kind as to spare a prayer or two for your Moderator's own special intention? Thank you!
Thank you to all of the readers of The Anglo-Catholic who took the time to pray over the past two days for my private intention. The situation for which I solicited prayers has resolved itself better than could have been expected. Deo gratias!
I would be very grateful if readers of The Anglo-Catholic would pray fervently, this evening and tomorrow, for my own private intention. Thank you.
Here is a link to my post on Blessed John Henry Newman's Meditations for the Stations of the Cross, which is particularly appropriate for Fridays. Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us!
If England again becomes Catholic, immeasurable will be the benefits to Holy Church. — St. Paul of the Cross, 1720
Today is the feast of St. Aelred of Rievaulx, probably the best know Cistercian saint of Britain after St. Thomas of Canterbury. Aelred is best known today for his work on charity, friendship, and love, but in his own day was probably better known as a preacher, administrator, and historian who wrote, among other things, the Genealogy of the Kings of the English.
I had forgotten it was his feast until the reading of the Martyrology last night at Compline and then had the nagging sense that there was something in his writings that spoke to the founding of the first Ordinariate. After Compline, I went down to the library and began pulling all of the Aelred volumes from the Cistercian Fathers series. Thankfully, I found what I was looking for rather quickly, which turned out to be St. Aelred’s Pastoral Prayer, in which he as abbot prays for himself and for those who are in his care.
The excerpts below from the Pastoral Prayer make an unusually apt set of supplications for the beginning of the Ordinariate in the UK and those that will follow after.
Sweet Lord, I pray you, is not this your family,
your own peculiar people, that has been led by you
out of the second Egypt, and by you has been
created and redeemed?
And lastly, you have gathered them together
out of all parts, and made them live together
in a house where all men follow a common way of life.
* * *
Hear me, therefore, hear me, 0 Lord my God,
and let your eyes be open on them day and night.
Spread your wings, most loving Lord and shield them
stretch forth your holy right hand, Lord, and bless them;
and pour into their hearts your Holy Spirit,
that he may keep them in unity of spirit and the bond of
chaste in their bodies, lowly in their minds.
May he be there to help them when they pray,
and fill them with the unction and the riches of your
* * *
May the same loving Comforter, when they are being
come swiftly to their aid;
and may he heIp their weakness
in all the straits and troubles of this life.
By the same Spirit make them, lord, to be,
within themselves, with one another, and towards
peaceable and equable and kind,
obedient, servicable, helpful, to each other.
May they be fervent in spirit, rejoicing in hope,
through poverty and fasting, toils and vigils,
silence and repose.
Drive far from them, O Lord, the spirit
of pride and of vain glory,
of envy and of gloom, of weariness and slander,
of distrust and despair,
of fornication and uncleanness,
of discord and presumption.
Be in their midst, according to your faithful promise.
And, since you know what each of them needs,
I pray you, strengthen what is weak in them.
spurn not their frailty, heal that which is diseased,
give joy for sorrow, kindle what is lukewarm,
establish what is insecure in them, that each of them may
know he does not lack your grace in any of his trials and
* * *
I, for my part, commit them
into your holy hands and loving providence.
May no one snatch them from your hand,
nor from your servant's, unto whom you have committed
May they persevere with gladness in their holy purpose,
unto the attainment of everlasting life
with you, our most sweet Lord, their Helper always,
who live and reign to ages of ages. Amen.
Trishia Campbell, the wife of our Moderator, Christian, has undergone emergency surgery. She is recovering well; however, your prayers for her and also for Christian would be greatly appreciated.
Almighty God, we entrust Trishia and Christian to thy never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come, knowing that thou art doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In all of the news of the last weeks, it is sometimes easy to lose the Good News, and, this week, we’ve actually had quite a lot of it. I thought it would be good to run through some of the week’s positive developments to remind us that the Holy Father’s project is very much moving forward.
A week ago from the UK, we heard the Bishop of Fulham’s moving announcement that he will enter the Ordinariate and Fr. Kirk’s final speech to FIFUK. On last Sunday, Fr Pinnock preached his last sermon to his parish reminding us of the importance of prayer.
At the same time, the media broke the news that the PCC of St. Peter’s, Folkestone had become the first parish in the C of E to take a vote on moving forward.
Last Sunday, we saw the wonderful baptism pictures from the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Ottawa, where parishioners have rallied around their bishop to support Anglicanorum Coetibus.
From the Quinte Region of Ontario, we have a forum announcement of a new group forming in the spring. South of the border in Washington, DC, the new Anglican Use group there announces its second Evensong at St. Anselm’s Abbey for the middle of next month. And, just a few days before our one-week frame, the TAC parish of St. George’s Church in Rogers, Arkansas declared its intention to move forward with the Ordinariate.
Thanks to the people of Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, the gathering of Anglicans set for mid-November has an impressive schedule with lots of Texas-style hospitality. (In Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico that means someone is going to try to steal your horse, but, in the rest of the world, it means going all-out to make you feel welcome.)
We have also had news of many developments for next week. The TTAC is gathering for its Synod in Portsmouth and north of the border, eight priests will be meeting with the Bishop of Paisley to discuss the way forward in Scotland. On the immediate horizon, Mount Calvary in Baltimore will have its parish meeting tomorrow to vote on entering the Ordinariate. Please keep all of these meetings in your prayers.
It is still sometimes tempting to see the glass as half full, but, a year ago, the glass was empty. In fact, it was only a year ago this week that it was announced that there would be a glass. While the details may continue to devil us, many good things are happening.
ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us, and to all men; We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we shew forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
The selection below from Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua is the reading given for his feast day at the office called Matins, Readings, or Vigils, depending upon one's patrimony.
* * *
From the time that I became a Catholic, of course I have no further history of my religious opinions to narrate. In saying this, I do not mean to say that my mind has been idle, or that I have given up thinking on theological subjects; but that I have had no variations to record, and have had no anxiety of heart whatever. I have been in perfect peace and contentment; I never have had one doubt. I was not conscious to myself, on my conversion, of any change, intellectual or moral, wrought in my mind. I was not conscious of firmer faith in the fundamental truths of Revelation, or of more self-command; I had not more fervour; but it was like coming into port after a rough sea; and my happiness on that score remains to this day without interruption.
Nor had I any trouble about receiving those additional articles, which are not found in the Anglican Creed. Some of them I believed already, but not any one of them was a trial to me. I made a profession of them upon my reception with the greatest ease, and I have the same ease in believing them now. I am far of course from denying that every article of the Christian Creed, whether as held by Catholics or by Protestants, is beset with intellectual difficulties; and it is simple fact, that, for myself, I cannot answer those difficulties. Many persons are very sensitive of the difficulties of Religion; I am as sensitive of them as any one; but I have never been able to see a connexion between apprehending those difficulties, however keenly, and multiplying them to any extent, and on the other hand doubting the doctrines to which they are attached. Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt, as I understand the subject; difficulty and doubt are incommensurate. There of course may be difficulties in the evidence; but I am speaking of difficulties intrinsic to the doctrines themselves, or to their relations with each other. A man may be annoyed that he cannot work out a mathematical problem, of which the answer is or is not given to him, without doubting that it admits of an answer, or that a certain particular answer is the true one. Of all points of faith, the being of a God is, to my own apprehension, encompassed with most difficulty, and yet borne in upon our minds with most power.
People say that the doctrine of Transubstantiation is difficult to believe; I did not believe the doctrine till I was a Catholic. I had no difficulty in believing it, as soon as I believed that the Catholic Roman Church was the oracle of God, and that she had declared this doctrine to be part of the original revelation. It is difficult, impossible, to imagine, I grant;—but how is it difficult to believe?…
I believe the whole revealed dogma as taught by the Apostles, as committed by the Apostles to the Church, and as declared by the Church to me. I receive it, as it is infallibly interpreted by the authority to whom it is thus committed, and (implicitly) as it shall be, in like manner, further interpreted by that same authority till the end of time. I submit, moreover, to the universally received traditions of the Church, in which lies the matter of those new dogmatic definitions which are from time to time made, and which in all times are the clothing and the illustration of the Catholic dogma as already defined. And I submit myself to those other decisions of the Holy See, theological or not, through the organs which it has itself appointed, which, waiving the question of their infallibility, on the lowest ground come to me with a claim to be accepted and obeyed. Also, I consider that, gradually and in the course of ages, Catholic inquiry has taken certain definite shapes, and has thrown itself into the form of a science, with a method and a phraseology of its own, under the intellectual handling of great minds, such as St Athanasius, St Augustine, and St Thomas; and I feel no temptation at all to break in pieces the great legacy of thought thus committed to us for these latter days.
– Apologia Pro Vita Sua, Chapter V
O God, who bestowed on the Priest Blessed John Henry Newman the grace to follow your kindly light and find peace in your Church;graciously grant that, through his intercession and example,we may be led out of shadows and images into the fullness of your truth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever.
– Collect for the Feast of Bl. John Henry Newman