Thursday, July 22, 2004

Et introibo ad altare Dei

Et introibo ad altare Dei: an ironing-board/card-table-, burlap- and guitar-free zone

Where I got started in the Catholic faith, part II
The actual place, St Peter's, Kansas City, may have modernized as friend and Central Churchman Charley Wingate pointed out, what with their 'mission statement' about being 'diverse' and all that (could be worse - the place where I was baptized nearly 38 years ago has since had a lady rector!) but places like what it was 25 years ago still exist. Like this one, the parish of fellow blogger Taylor Marshall. Not high - I remember having Morning Prayer as the main Sunday service twice a month like them - but not inimical to that either, and at least Christian and conservative. It was high churchmen in this setting who pointed me in the right direction.

On my coming to ripe years of reason I did not shift my opinion from one to another but carried out the principles delivered to me... Just as the seed when it grows is surst tiny and then gets bigger, but always preserves its identity, not changed in kind though gradually perfected in growth, so I reckon the same doctrine to have grown in my case through gradually advancing stages. What I hold now has not replaced what I held at the beginning.

- St Basil the Great

One reason I can say that is my Sunday-school teachers didn't press or even teach the objectionable (Protestant) stuff in the back of the Prayer Book. I memorized all the names of the books of the Bible, in order, and read a bit of the obscure minor prophets (like the book of Amos one summer), but also learnt about all seven sacraments, etc.

This could be seen as an argument in favour of Newman's on the development of doctrine too.

Incidentally and ironically I got this quotation from a beautifully made book, The Lives of the Three Hierarchs - the founding fathers of Byzantine theology, SS. Basil, Gregory Nazianzen and John Chrysostom - printed by this cult's Colorado monastery back when they were under some dodgy Greeks (not the actual Greek Orthodox Church), all of six years ago. The work of people who are quite mad, and dangerous, but in spite of themselves remaining quite Catholic except for basic ecclesiology/episcopal and monastic polity (obedience, stability).

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