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

The joys and sorrows of the path to unity

Over at the Anglo-Catholic blog, Deborah Gyapong from the Sodality of the Annunciation of the BVM has a thoughtful post that begins with her sodality's celebration of the Ascension and then moves on to consider in brief the path that the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada has trod these past few years. I commend it to your reading.

I think many of us who have made the choice to come into the Catholic Church did so in a kind of Gethsemane moment. Thus it was interesting to read this post by Chori Seraiah, h/t/ Fr. Stephen Smuts,about what it has been like for him to be a lay Catholic and leave aside his priesthood. He has just received news that his ordination as a Catholic priest can go ahead. He writes:

When the phone rang I had a couple seconds of fear. I was worried that I was about to hear “I’m sorry to have to bring you some bad news . . . ” Instead he said the words that I have been waiting to hear for a very long time. “Rome has granted your approval for ordination.” My wife was sitting right next to me at the time; first she got an enormous smile, and then she started to cry...This was one of those things that is best understood only after you give it up. Only after I was willing to say, “it is not my choice, and I must be willing to give up anything for the sake of following Christ” could I have a deep appreciation of this wonderful blessing.

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