"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Reformation Sunday 2011: How Would Protestants Know When to Return?

Imagine that the Occupy Wall Street protest continued for years, during which time the community of protesters divided into different factions, each with different beliefs, different demands, and different leaders. But the protests continued for so long that the protesters eventually built makeshift shanties and lived in them, and had children. These children grew up in the protesting communities, and then they too had children, who also grew up in the same communities of protesters, still encamped in the Wall Street district. Over the course of these generations, however, these communities of protesters forgot what it was that they were protesting. They even forgot that they were protesting. Life in the shanties in Wall Street was what these subsequent generations had always known. They did not even know that they had inherited a protesting way of life, separated from the rest of society. When asked by a reporter what Wall Street would have to change in order to get them to return home, they looked at him confusedly, and responded, "We are home; this is home." They no longer had any intention to 'return to society' upon achieving some political or economic reform. For them, camping out on Wall Street was life as normal, and those with whom they had grown up camping simply were their society. Continue reading

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Into the Half-Way House: The Story of an Episcopal Priest

The Renniers and Archbishop Carlson

At Yale, there used to be an auxiliary library buried underneath the green in front the Sterling Memorial Library. One fine fall day, I happened to find myself not out amongst the foliage but rather tucked away below the sunshine and the sod, reading a book. I suppose it was an odd choice. This was the ugliest space I know of on an otherwise beautiful campus. So ugly, in fact, that it was targeted for a remodel and is now gone. But there I was, and perhaps even more odd, I, a good Anglican-priest-in-training, was reading Cardinal Newman. Not the good parts that we Anglicans agreed with; the parts about the Oxford movement and the Church Fathers. No, I was reading the Apologia; the story of his conversion to the Catholic Church. I was particularly bothered by one specific bit. Continue reading