As usual, I look at what I wrote last year.
Well, what's changed? Very little on the Parish front. I ceased my sabbatical just after Easter, but I no longer preach in church because there is little point if the liturgy is made up and the Mass lacking direction, and there is no attempt to bring the congregation into the presence of God. Anything I preach is now exclusively at the school.
It's also been a year in which my faith has suffered a bit of a blow at the hands of my rationalism. However, according to the BBC Television series Apparitions, it's good to take one's faith out of
the box and give it an airing, though that's the trite way of looking at it. God does not exist just to provide explanations to those who have no intention of believing in Him, nor for those who are unwilling to invest some intellectual effort into understanding this universe. As it is I do feel closer to God at the moment as my exile continues.
Ties with Elmore Abbey have improved. I am now in the process of becoming a novice oblate for which I am thankful. Clearly the monks at the Abbey are the subjects of much prayer in their rather diminished state. The Community has enriched the lives of many folk and, in this day and age, they need to continue for the sake of showing how to live the gospel of Christ rather than bellowing it badly from street-corner megaphones.
As for my rabid Anglican Papalism, well, I haven't had much time to think about it of late, though there appears to be movement happening there. It's hard to call oneself a member of a movement if one is, to all intents and purposes, the only exponent of that movement in one's viewpoint. As Fr Straw points out, what I am looking for as an Anglican Papalist (if indeed that is what I am), does not exist - yet.
I am also pleased to have helped to set up the Anglican Diaspora which has grown steadily since its conception in March. I am grateful to the team of moderators who keep it running well. The Diaspora is just a small attempt to bring together groups of Anglo-Catholics of all hues from around the world in a time when Unity is just not happening, rather the reverse judging from the actions of ECUSA's litigious CEO, GAFCON and Lambeth and the General Synod's declaration that it wants Tradition excised from the C of E by stating that it will not provide episcopal oversight for those who assent to
One of the areas in which I agree with the Archbishop of Canterbury is that dialogue needs to continue as far as is possible. My question is, how far is he willing to talk with the Continuing Anglicans? He still has ++Coggan's edict to undo before any meaningful conversation can be struck up there, and the C of E needs to hear the Continuing voices as loudly and as clearly as possible as the points that they make are vital to the existence of the Church.
I also pray for greater Unity between jurisdictions of the Continuing Churches. I have seen signs of that in the way that some dioceses have suffragans who are bishops from other jurisdictions. There's a prayer for that to continue to happen.
Study has not been good this year: Latin, Greek and Hebrew have fallen by the side, but musically I've produced a couple of large scale pieces which aren't too bad.
So what of 2009? I hope to get back to studying, though which direction I take is as yet unclear. I also pray for a transformation in attitudes to the Church's worship of God especially in my Parish this year, as it would be nice to preach in the pulpit once more.
Again, as I've got busier, so the number of my posts has got more infrequent. The only moral there is that I am one of those people who will always fill up his time as more becomes available. This isn't a good thing, and now that I have been received as Novice Oblate at Elmore, I am beginning to develop techniques of "wasting time" with God. There is much to be said for sitting in silence - impossible in a classroom, nor easy after a long day in the classroom when the tendency is simply to nod off (God gives to His beloved sleep). Still, that comes with practice.
Of course, there will soon no longer be a community at Elmore due to the monks moving to Salisbury and more manageable premises. Please pray that dedicated monastic vocations will increase in 2010.
The Anglican Diaspora forum is also doing well, though it has quietened down after rather a stormy set of posting by folk with greater pride in their intellect than is healthy.
There have been several low points this year. The first was having to relinquish relations with the Continuum blog which used to be a chance for fair and informative debate, but now seems more intent on ad hominem criticisms of theological worthies, no less than the saintly Cardinal Newman. I see it more of a walking apart a la Paul and Barnabus rather than anything more negative and certainly wish the hosts there every blessing in their ministry.
Secondly, I have been the subject of personal attack and vilification with regard to my conservative attitudes by people whom I had hitherto trusted. They are entitled to their opinions, but if they truly seek to engender a Christian attitude, then they have a lot of thinking and reflecting to do.
And then there's the Ordinariate. I confess that I have problems with it. These problems are not on the grounds of Faith but rather on the grounds of politics and those who would seek to mix Faith and Politics. The Anglican-Roman Schism occurred on account of politics, and its seems that many people are trying to accept the Apostolic Constitution without thinking about the political ramifications and the Anglican milieu. I would be happier if I were in a community that were considering the matter, but, as it was last year, there are no expressions of Anglo-Catholicism in my area.
I am still a Papalist, though I have largely dropped the adjective Anglican because many folk do not regard me as Anglican. Admittedly, I am still very confused as to how I communicate my Papalism in what I claim to be a fully Anglican manner. To many that is a contradiction and that it is impossible to be Anglican and to be the Pope's man. But I am, though I see in myself some doubts as to whether the Holy See and the Roman Catholic Church are precisely the same thing. I need to think more on that. I hope I shall be given the opportunity in the coming year.
I am disappointed by the polemical attitude by some of the Anglican Papalists who seem to think that they can convince less-papally minded Anglicans by smacking them over the head with the Catechism of the Catholic Church without fully appreciating its teaching themselves. Anglican Papalism is better communicated in the sincere, quiet and reserved practice of the Christian religion rather than by unpleasant, personal and polemical argument.
Study has gone completely out of the window. I seem to have been saying each year that I must study more, and each year, I seem never to grasp the opportunities. I guess it is a lack of direction. Seeing that I am using the Breviarium Romanum more and more in my private devotions, I hope that this will at least stimulate some further study. Of course, when I lead worship in my Parish, I am careful to use the BCP and the Anglican Breviary - I'm not that insensitive!
My parish will be moving into an interregnum this coming year, and I don't hold out much hope that we will be protected from women claiming to be in Holy Orders. I do seek to minister as best as I can in the circumstances, but fear that my calling in the Parish will be over by the time of the next Blogday.
There are still some very positive aspects to 2010, and I hope to do a little bit more study and sit a lot more silently over the next twelve months. I'll keep the preaching going, and keep the praying going.
To my readers and my followers, I extend my gratitude for their reading and commenting, and hope that you will all have a grace-filled 2010. God bless.