Mercy provides catholic Anglicans a way to challenge our Protestant brethren with a hermeneutic that is grounded throughout the witness of Scripture (including St. Paul, especially if one reads “grace” as an aspect God’s merciful response to the human condition), is firmly rooted in theological reflections on the Trinity (Kasper especially leans on St. Augustine), and dynamically connects the relationship of the believer to God in Christ with the relationship that disciples are called to share with their neighbors and the political arrangements that are most conducive to human flourishing.
The only access we have to Jesus is through the Christ who is the object of our faith — the Christ who lived and died and rose for us, who intercedes for us as our Great High Priest, and who will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. It is alone through Jesus Christ that we have any knowledge of Jesus of Nazareth.
The irony for the officiant is that the only way to promote harmony among the various voices at prayer is to focus on their own. The role of the officiant is to pray through the chaos so the chaos can eventually find order through the prayers. The officiant must be attentive to all who are praying, but not at the expense of their own prayers.
Sometimes a strange word in a Bible reading or a liturgical text may be a stumbling block to one “almost persuaded” (Acts 26:28). We discover new things in old texts, or hear words intended for building up used only to tear down. Just how much time do we have to explain in an age of shortened attention spans and sporadic Sunday attendance?
Among the various characterizations of Mary, I find myself repeatedly drawn to Mary as the Second Eve in parallel to St. Paul’s reference to Christ as the Second Adam (Rom 5:12, 15; I Cor 15:45, 47).
Del Noce perceived that this combination of destructive skepticism and romantic optimism was unstable, and that skepticism and relativism were bound to defeat and consume the romantic and optimistic revolutionary side of Marxism. When the proletariat didn’t rise up in revolution but instead were able to buy toasters and refrigerators and automobiles that were not available in socialist countries, the doom of the Soviet Union was sealed.
We keep ourselves busy with school and work and play — all to avoid being alone in a quiet room. We fill our lives with distractions to avoid knowing ourselves, to avoid seeing and thinking about what we are, where we come from, where we are going.