Monday, 4 August 2008

St John Mary Vianney

The Lambeth Conference has come and gone and now the Anglican Communion has £5million less in its coffers. It is quite a hefty bill to foot for a lot of talking and not much listening and doing. And as Mr Gene Robinson constantly reminds us: there are people starving... It seems to me that the eloquence of those who refrained from attending has proved wise.
For us Anglo-Catholics this Lambeth conference will be the one that signalled a new direction given to us by Cardinal Kasper. He promised to speak as a friend and that is how we must listen to him. He has given us a challenge but also the tools for it. He wants us to look at the Universal Church of today but at the same time also at the Church down the ages. He invites us to immerse in the study of Patristics with the same zeal of our anglo-catholic forbears, and to refresh ourselves with the prayers and the wisdom left to us by the Caroline Divines and the Tractarians.

To our dear and worthy seminarians we urge the critical study of the Fathers, and if this is not provided in your course, seek the Fathers in the libraries available for you. Do what you can and how you can - this is your challenge. We need properly trained and formed priests who will be able to argue and to teach the faithful. And for us priests more constancy in prayer and faithfulness in zeal. Today we give thanks for St John Mary Vianney, the Holy Cure` of Ars and Patron of Parish Priests. Three times he ran away from his parish but all three times he returned to the place chosen for him by God. For our laity, this challenge calls for prayer and support to the clergy. However Priests and laity alike are called to deepen their faith by attending courses of formation, I believe this also calls us priests to prepare more effective and challenging homilies that form the people of God.

And so, "there is work to be done in England..." and encouraged by the prayers of the Holy Cure` we move on forward in faith and joy!

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