2015. június 3., szerda

Praying with the Book of Common Prayer (Note 1)

'Thou shalt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is the fullness of joy: and at thy right hand there is pleasure for evermore.' (Psalm 16,12) The joy of the 'Catholica' is expressed here. It seems that one of the most timing agendas for our divided churches is the recovery of the 'Catholic nature' of the churches. If we live in a post-Christendom, that is when Churches are no longer the main cultural players in organising people's lives, this agenda should be natural. The 'Catholica' was a pre-Christendom paradigm, and with the loss of the Constantinian 'supports', Christians should return to this principle.
Recovering the sense of the Catholic unity and diversity of the churches will also become the orienting centre for the different spiritualities. I read Psalm 17 ('Exaudi Domine') as the expression of that cultivating this sense of Catholicism requires a tremendous effort. The images of fight against threatening human powers ('the wicked') teach us how difficult and continuous task it is. For it compels us to revise all the layers of Christian cultural memory. Almost the whole of the cultural canon (Tradition) was affected by the splits within the body of Western and Eastern Christianity.
Our use of Jewish Psalms in prayer is also an important reminder that the 'Catholica' must contain the recovery of the Jewish heritage. That is the 'fist love' of the Jewish people for the God of the Covenant is a powerful resource. A 'Catholic embrace' must contain the desire to be enhanced by this 'first love- and Passion-story' of Jewish generations.
There is no other way of spiritual recovery but the return to the 'Catholic', that is, all embracing nature of God's love. 'But as for me, I will behold thy presence in righteousness: and when I awake up after thy likeness, I shall be satisfied with it.' (Psalm 117,16)


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