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Get Right With God... Now!

I'm sorry Brother Rick G. was not available to discuss Religious Orders during today's Forum Hour; I was really looking forward to hearing him speak and learning about them.  I also wanted to ask him how he discerned his call to his order.  Another time, then.  

Instead there was a presentation on "Hidden Treasures of the Prayer Book: The Collect For Purity".  This prayer opens our Eucharistic liturgy:  
        Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: 
        Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you,
        and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

I learned that until Archbishop Thomas Cranmer revised the English Prayer Book in 1552, this prayer and The Lord's Prayer were both kept as private prayers for a priest to recite as they vested before a liturgy.  The Collect For Purity is both simply beautiful and altogether intimidating at the same time.  I agreed with the presenter that the language is 'incendiary'.  That our God who we worship could know us so well through and through, and still love us warts and all, is truly amazing but demands a change in us.  It shouts "Get Right With God... Now!".            
Donna T. made some other points worth repeating here:  
  "We pray what we believe; we believe what we pray."
  "The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is our theological text; all the questions asked and answers given are found in the BCP".  
  "We worship a God that values order, not chaos." - case in point, the Creation Story in Genesis.
  "We do the God Talk here (in church), so we can do the God Walk out there (in the world on a daily basis)."

Almighty God, guide and direct me, guard and protect me, and make me in the image you want, need, and expect.  Amen.


Feb. 13th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)

On the opening page of "A Prayer for Owen Meany", the narrator tells us he is an Episcopalian, that he reads the Bible and the BCP, and he prefers the BCP because it is so much more orderly.

One of the hundred things I like about our Episcopal faith is that we can make fun of ourselves in gentle ways and no is offended. Well, maybe not everyone!

The point I'm getting to is that it takes a mental discipline for me to not let the liturgy become something mechanical, the words I speak from my mouth that don't pass through my brain. But when I have that mental discipline, I am always rewarded by the richness of thought and the realization that I am part of something that has been going on for a very long time.

And those times where we can be spontaneous in our worship is glorious too.

John Berry