Book of Common Prayer, Evangelicalism, Monasticism/Neo-Monasticism, neo-monasticism, spiritual disciplines

What I’ve been reading…

Now that I’m back into the swing of things at work, after my P.O.T. residential last week, I’ve been trying to catch up with my reading. Most of it consists of other blog articles and a select list of books. In my reading, I’ve come across a site called internetmonk.com. Even from the blog title I could tell that I’d enjoy it. But one of the articles I most recently read is here. As I read, I felt like I should have been looking over my shoulder, so that no one would see me. At the same time, I felt a twinge in myself, which resonated with my own journey. One book I read a while back is Evangelical is Not Enough by Thomas Howard.  Both the article and book highlight what I’ve been feeling for quite some time. When are we as evangelicals (I can’t bring myself to capitalize it) going to see what is happening? Or have we, as Internet Monk notes, lost the plot? Are we too caught up in consumerism to separate the gospel from our inculturated, dare I say it, gospel idol? When are we going to pursue the disciplines needed to mature our own faith, let alone the faith of others?

I received an email today asking if I knew of any good confirmation courses. I could not recommend one. All the confirmation courses I’ve found are so watered down that I couldn’t recomend one. What I had to say was what about the Catechism? The previous times I’ve taught confirmation classes, which is not many, I’ve used the catechism as my basis.

When are we going to return to the disciplines which disciple and mature followers of the Way? For instance, I know that many of the evanglical anglican priests which I’ve spoken to do not hold to a literal praying of  Morning and Evening Prayer. Why not? Because, I’ve been told, it’s about spending time with God, a quiet time, rather than joining with the form and structure of Morning and Evening Prayer.

But if you read the canons about Morning and Evening Prayer, (C24 to be precise – Every priest having a cure of souls shall provide that, in the absence of reasonable hindrance, Morning and Evening Prayer daily and on appointed days the Litany shall be said in the church, or one of the churches, of which he is the minister or see C26 – Every clerk in Holy Orders is under obligation, not being let by sickness or some other urgent cause, to say daily the Morning and Evening Prayer, either privately or openly; and to celebrate the Holy Communion, or be present thereat, on all Sundays and other principal
Feast Days. He is also to be diligent in daily prayer and intercession, in examination of his conscience, and in the study of the Holy Scriptures and such other studies as pertain to his ministerial duties.
), it is to be publicly proclaimed. What ever happened to the process of saying the Office as a church? Isn’t this the reason Cranmer reduced and simplified the Office, so that we could all say it?

If we want to remove the shallow, consumer-driven, Christianity-lite, which evangelicalism has become, then a return to our heritage as Christians is needed. No matter your ‘brand’ or background this is what is needed.

Whoo…. I feel better. Read the article.

Pax…

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