cjbanning: (The Bishop)
[personal profile] cjbanning
Reading this article about how a vote on gay clergy promises to create upheavals in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), has got me thinking about issues of church unity, about the many divisions which render the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

Since I'm an Anglo-Catholic sort of guy, who accepts the patristic practices of the invocation and intercession of Saints in all its high church glory,* I wrote a prayer to Mary:
Most Blessed Mary, Virgin Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and Mother of His Church which He founded upon the Rock of Saint Peter, we ask of you your intercession before God, that God may eliminate from us all hatred or intolerance which prevents us from coming before God as one Church, sisters and brothers in Christ, united in our constant striving towards justice, peace, and love.

Queen of Heaven, may God grant that all of us, of all races, religions, and creeds; of all genders and sexualities; those in communion with Rome, or Canterbury, or any see of the historical episcopate, and those who are simply members of the priesthood of all believers, may work together towards the building of God's Kingdom, each answering God's call as we hear it, judging not lest we ourselves be judged, one people but many human persons beautiful in our differences, so that we may truly call ourselves the Church Catholic.

Queen of Apostles, may your acceptance of the Divine Will act as an example to us as we seek to live out in this age, as have the Saints of old in ages past, the apostolic commission given to us by Jesus Christ, that His Church may be a light to the entire world.

Queen of Martyrs, your example, before Saint Joseph your betrothed, in Egypt, and before the cross, emboldens us to accept the suffering we may face as consequence for righteousness, to trust that it will be sanctified by the Holy Spirit and made a holy offering before God, and that God will lead us out of the darkness.

We praise you, Holy Mother Mary, as one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church established by your Son, led by His Spirit, and devoted in its being to the glory of His Father in Heaven. Amen.
*The Catholic Encyclopedia tells me this isn't necessarily in contravention of the 22nd Article of Religion (none of which are binding to ECUSA members anyway):
Indeed the High Church Anglicans contend that it is not the invocation of saints that is here rejected, but only the "Romish doctrine", i.e. the excesses prevailing at the time and afterwards condemned by the Council of Trent. "In principle there is no question herein between us and any other portion of the Catholic Church. . . . Let not that most ancient custom, common to the Universal Church, as well Greek as Latin, of addressing Angels and Saints in the way we have said, be condemned as impious, or as vain and foolish" [Forbes, Bishop of Brechin (Anglican), "Of the Thirty-nine Articles", p. 422].
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"This is my prayer: that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best."
-- St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians 1:9-10

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