Monday, November 15, 2010

God and All

Picture: Rev. Austin Farrer (1904-1968)

For some of us, Monday is our day of rest, or, as I prefer to call it a "theoretical day off". Even with the occasional "sorry to interrupt" call or multiple rings from telephone solicitors who have not heard of the national "do not call" list, the day can be a bit wistful and lazy. This is particularly the case as autumn slips away and pre-Thanksgiving "holiday" tunes make the radio and television even more impossible than usual to listen to or watch.

With a bit of chill in the air and a storm moving in, it is a fine setting for my regular musing, "Where are they now?" Where are the theologians, the writers, the commentators, the novelists and poets who peopled the world of Catholic Anglicanism not so long ago? Are they all gone to First Things or The New Oxford Review, happily working away and dwelling in the "Rome-that-never-was"? Or, like Fr. Colin Stephenson (Merrily On High) did they enter the larger life carrying the banner of Anglo-Catholicism with a smile in the sure knowledge that they had beaten out those who were attempting to destroy the Church?

We hope that we here in the electronic pages of The Continuum labor on in craftsman-like fashion, but so many of our texts and commentaries come with book descriptions such as "sunned spine, much shelfwear, dust cover missing." There is high ground clearly in need of reclamation by a new generation, an Anglo-Catholic revival, if you will. In the meantime, though, the fires that consumed the old Jerusalem did not claim the strong foundations (Scriptural or patristic) or even the first floor constructed by devout and great minds-Stone, Hall, Grafton, Mascall, Farrer and the like. They form a bulwark while we get Jeremiah down off the wall (for we too well know the calamities past), and put new workmen about the task of rebuilding.

At least this is the reasoning I use when a new crate arrives from Alibris, or Loome or aome other seller of books "lightly soiled with former owner's name on flyleaf."

So a quiet Monday as we come to the beginning of a new Church year and "crown" the old, the following quote from the Anglican theologian Fr. Austin Farrer seems appropriate. The piece is Fr. Farrer's meditation for Easter I and is taken from his book THE CROWN OF THE YEAR-Weekly Paragraphs for the Holy Sacrament
THE death and resurrection of Christ draw near to us in this sacrament. The bread is broken--there Christ dies; we receive it as Christ alive--there is his resurrection. It is the typical expression of divine power to make something from nothing. God has made the world where no world was, and God makes life out of death. Such is the God with whom we have to do. We do not come to God for a little help, a little support to our own good intentions. We come to him for resurrection. God will not be asked for a little, he will be asked for all. We reckon ourselves dead, says St. Paul, that we may ask God for a resurrection, not of ourselves, but of Christ in us.


Fr. John said...

Very nice Father. Your comments about this blog contrasted to the writers of yesteryear made me think this this electronic media that gives "The Continuum" an image can all too easy fade away. The items one sees on the internet have no corporeality.

I think the thoughts contained here are worth preserving for both historical and theological purposes and so I hope that someone will transfer these fleeting images composed of pixels and light to paper, and send them off to Canon Kester for inclusion in the ACC archives. Remember this is virtual reality.

veriword is: "holog" as in hologram. No kidding.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Father, for this article. I have to confess that I am wretchedly unlearned in the work and thought of Fr Farrer. Recently I took a Facebook Quiz (proof of my lowbrow mind) entitled "Which Anglican Theologian Are You?" Facebook thinks I most nearly resemble Austin Farrer. That whetted my curiosity. How can I resemble someone of whom I am woefully ignorant?