No Painless Way Forward

No Painless Way Forward

It is a defense mechanism we hold in common—when we realize that the practical action demanded by our professed beliefs requires some pain—we look for an avenue which will justify inaction while assuaging our conscience. We are at the point in a controversy where many who spoke boldly at first are starting to realize there will be a cost for acting on their stated principles. They are already starting to turn, and we are hearing once again the old phrases, “give the bishops room,” “wait and see,” and “let the process work,” as though they’ve never been said before. I write this to hopefully strengthen some of us who have not yet yielded to this temptation and to encourage others of us who have sought shelter in false peace to return to our first passion. Continue reading “No Painless Way Forward”


America’s Most Ironic Holiday

Labor Day was established as tribute for the common worker and the struggle for fair treatment by management, finance, and government.

We celebrate it with a holiday where the only ones getting a day off are mid and upper level management, bankers, and government employees. So that these may enjoy their holiday, the common worker must still show up for work.

Seven Things the Council of Bishops Executive Committee Got Wrong

Seven Things the Council of Bishops Executive Committee Got Wrong

A more hopeful outlook on this matter can be found here. Read it. I want the author to be right. I fear the ones in whom he trusts are not as charitable as he is.

Most of us have a practice within our personal and professional relationships to always allow for the most charitable interpretation of an individual’s words and actions. When there is any doubt as to their intent—assume the best. Someone turns in a report with erroneous information. Is it a lie? Is it incompetence? Did they believe it to be true, but relied on a faulty source? Is it a transposition error that they aren’t even aware of? With no evidence to support any of these theories it is best to approach the situation with the most charitable of interpretations. However, if the individual has a long and uninterrupted history of presenting faulty information which always results in their personal gain, then it is reasonable to presume that the most charitable interpretation is the one most likely to be wrong. Continue reading “Seven Things the Council of Bishops Executive Committee Got Wrong”

Ad Orientem II: Uniting Words and Actions

Ad Orientem II: Uniting Words and Actions

I recommend that you read the first article in this series before the current one. Since most of you won’t, I am also placing the link at the end of this post.

In the early 1990’s our liturgy was radically transformed (reformed if you prefer), and regardless of the motives and purposes (let’s assume they were all good) I suggest that they were guided by a transient spirit of that day and were both unnecessary and an overreaction to temporal concerns.  The changes left us with an order that dis-united actions and words. We became accustomed to saying things we have no intention of doing and doing things which are contrary to what we say and sing. Continue reading “Ad Orientem II: Uniting Words and Actions”

A postscript for our Church in desperate times

The Church attempts vainly to interject itself as a relevant participant in the solution, but too many of those who are in a position to speak for her have already corrupted her witness. Do you think the people do not notice that it is those of you who have refused any correction by the church who now seek to tell others what they must do because the church says so?   Do you think the people do not notice that it is those of you who have devised clever schemes to discount the plain sense of scripture who now wish to tell them what scripture plainly calls them to do?  Our Bishops, boards, and agencies have left themselves woeful unprepared to meet a challenge such as this. It is tragic because I know how sincerely they hurt for the people. I believe they greatly desire to bring the healing. I trust that they know the way. But, they will no more be permitted to bring that message than David could be permitted to build the temple. Yet, God has not left us without hope. There is a balm, but it must come from the pews and pulpits.

Return. Return to the Church. Return to the Eucharist. Return to the living God truly present. Return in silence, and learn to love. Welcome all those who are returning.

(Original post is here)

Pastoral Response to Desolation and Despair

Pastoral Response to Desolation and Despair

 On this home by Horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore —

“Is there – is there balm in Gilead? – tell me – tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

The Raven, Edgar Allen Poe

Go up to Gilead, and take balm,

O virgin daughter Egypt!

In vain you have used many medicines;

there is no healing for you.

The nations have heard of your shame,

and the earth is full of your cry;

for warrior has stumbled against warrior;

both have fallen together.

Jeremiah 46:11 Continue reading “Pastoral Response to Desolation and Despair”

Ad Orientem: Uniting Words With Action

Ad Orientem: Uniting Words With Action

When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,  O Lord, have mercy if you please

The irony of this wonderfully composed Eucharistic hymn is that the pastor leading it has no intention of doing either (falling on their knees or facing liturgical east). An equally great irony is that it was introduced into our hymnal the same year that our Book of Worship instructed us to stop doing these things. Perhaps, if the words were changed to fit our actions, “As I stand on my feet to praise the ones with whom I eat,” then it would add more import to the next clause: “O Lord, have mercy…” Continue reading “Ad Orientem: Uniting Words With Action”