The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Octave of Epiphany & the Anglican Vocation to Worship

Today in the traditional Roman Rite, is the octave day of the Epiphany, when we celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord. People ask why our Lord needed to be baptized, as he was sinless. The reason, of course, provided by tradition, is not so that the water might make him clean, but so that he might make the water clean. He sanctified the water (and by extension all of creation) so that it might sanctify us.

As a further reflection on the close of this season, I am reposting here something that originally appeared on Jan. 5, 2011:

Today, January 5, Holy Mother Church celebrates the twelfth day of Christmas. One of the things I learned growing up Episcopalian in rural East Texas was that, unlike the Fundamentalists and other Protestants by whom we were surrounded, we got to celebrate Christmas for twelve days. Long after their presents were bought and unwrapped and all the Christmas dinner eaten, long after they had gone back to the mundane world of “bid’ness” and politics and all the rest, we were still in a magical time, still singing Christmas carols, still going to mass in a church with lights and Christmas trees and the best white silk vestments, and the smell of incense! (rarely used by us, except at Christmas, Easter, and Epiphany) and Baby Jesus prominently displayed in a manger. Not only that, but twelve days being done, we were then treated to Epiphany, an extension of Christmas, with “We three Kings” being sung, same Kings having finally appeared by the manger, and all of it there to stay for (at least) a week, when baby Jesus, now quickly all grown up, was baptized. The contrast to the rather drab religion by which I was surrounded as a boy...

Read the rest at The Cavalier's Commonplace Book blog.

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