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

Friday, May 18, 2012

Being a Layman...

Fr. Chori Seraiah writes on his blog The Maccabean:
...As a layman I have noticed that Catholics usually show great respect for their clergy. This is different from what the norm is in many protestant congregations. I have seen protestants who deeply love their pastors; to a point. In other words, they love their pastor until he does something that displeases them. As soon as there is a difference in perspective, then it is common fare for the laity to demonize the offending clergyman. No, this is not a universal practice, but it is common enough where you can generally expect it to occur.

On the other hand, I have seen Catholics who do not really like their priest show him sincere respect. Their attitude seems to be "I may disagree with him, but he's the priest and I'm not". Happy to learn from my brothers and sisters, I have appreciated the various examples that they have given me in how this works itself out in the life of a Catholic parish (they likely did not know that I was observing them, but I am thankful for each and every one of them). The consequence for me is that I have had the chance to think about what it means to live like a layman in the Catholic Church just long enough to appreciate the differences.

What I am getting at is that the waiting time that I had to go through has been wonderful. If I had been an Anglican priest on Thursday, a Catholic layman on Friday, a Catholic Deacon on Saturday and a Catholic Priest on Sunday, there would not be the opportunity to feel the difference. This would have taken away the blessing of being "one of the people" in the parish. I know this is somewhat of a crass comparison, but it makes me think of what it must be like for those who are not virgins when they get married; the transition is minimized. I am certainly thankful for the short amount of time that we are being made to endure this wait, but I am also thankful that it was not shorter....

Read the entire post, part of which was quoted below in Deborah's post.

Hat tip to Fr. Stephen Smuts.

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