Sunday, April 17, 2011

Labels and Tables

"Yea, the darkness is no darkness with thee, but the night is as clear as the day : the darkness and light to thee are both alike."

Perhaps I've been looking at things in the wrong way. When you leave a room, just before you close the door, you put the light out. There is a moment of darkness as the door clicks shut.

In the past week, I have been privileged to spend some time with the Anglican Catholics in Canterbury and in Dartford. I have, for the first time since February, received the Sacrament and had good fellowship with some interesting, kind and three-dimensional Christians.

What struck me most is that there is no naivety with them. They are operating with their eyes wide open. Their numbers are small. The Mission in Dartford is held in an upstairs room with a table as an altar pressed ad orientem against a wall. They know about their reputation which is often called into question by people who do not understand, or being damaged by the ravings of the over-educated and unauthorised few. They know how they are being labelled by those on the outside. Perhaps I too, in my own way, have not done them as much justice as I should when I have mentioned them before. Yet they still press on.

It's amazing that when a Mass is celebrated with sincerity and with care and consideration to the old, old words and what the old, old words mean, that an upstairs room bears a resemblence to Pugin's work and a former nonconformist chapel suddenly gains the dimensions of the grandest cathedrals.

If the Anglican Catholics could be summed up with a label (and they most assuredly cannot!!!) it would have to be Cuprinol. They do exactly what they say on the tin. What does this mean for me? I am still listening for God's call. I also have some very good friends who are all distant from me in Brighton, France, and across the Pond, and I have never felt closer to them. Indeed, I have been closer in koinonia to them than the members of the jurisdiction I have just left. If I am privileged enough to be walking with God, then it isn't surprising that the darkness is not all that dark.

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