To return to later:
Archbishop of Canterbury’s Sermon at York Minster (describe as “the heavy yoke of self-justification“)
Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks’s address to the Lambeth Conference:
Alan Jacobs has a good thing to say about the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Alan has joined a breakaway Anglican church, rather than slogging through Anglicanism’s (or The Episcopal Church’s) problems, and he describes why. I fully understand his reasons. Yet, both of us will look in some way to the See of Canterbury as one of our loci of identity. He writes of Rowan Williams:
But in these past few days I have been wondering whether there might be a method in Rowanâ€™s madness â€” or rather in Godâ€™s. Might it be possible that while Rowan is most certainly not the kind of leader we want, he is precisely the kind we need? That his leadership is not that of a Churchill but rather a Desert Father? We want decision, action, clearly set plans; Rowan offers prayer, meditation, stillness, silence. He models those disciplines for us, and in so doing (silently) commends them… What if that is what we Anglicans actually need? What if our desire for decision and action is actually distracting us from what the Lord God is calling us to do and be?
A very good question!
I think I am coming to a place of, words fail me – something, in all the troubles of this Church. Men will do all manner of things in their high minded certitude that result in dissolution, if not destruction. We can’t help it, really, because self-centered self-righteousness has gotten into our bones. There is, of course, a way out or over this particular human proclivity, but few will take up the cure.
So, for me, within the worldly realm and within the Church structures, I will look to the See of Canterbury as a locus of my identify as an Anglican Christian, regardless of what high-mined men and women decide they must do. If others want to do the same, great. If we don’t agree on most things, so be it. If they want to yell at me and call me names or cast me into outer darkness, then so be it. I will not return the favor (but I reserve the right to critique). I do think Rowan is a good person in this office to look to.
As Julian might say, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”
In many ways, this blog is like a “Pensieve” from the Harry Potter books. What is a Pensieve, you might ask. Well, a “Pensieve” is a stone receptacle in which to store memories. It contains memories that take physical form as a type of matter that is described as neither liquid nor gas. A person can extract their own memories or another personâ€™s, store them in the Pensieve, and review them later. It also relieves the mind when it becomes cluttered with information. Anyone can examine the memories in the Pensieve.
As I’ve said before, much of what appears in this blog is not really my attempt to make declarative statements about issues or beliefs, but as a way to work through or wrestle with issues and ideas “out loud.” I may “try out” an idea. I may play “devils advocate.” I may vent frustration or disappointment or anger over something or someone. I may post something simply because it simply pleases me and I want to remember it.
Like reading through the Harry Potter books one after another and observing the progression of maturation and experiences lived through by the characters, I see this life as a progression and as much as I hate the word “journey” as it is used in the current vernacular, our Christian lives are nothing but a journey into an “undiscovered country,” the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus tried to convey to his disciples in the Gospel lessons a couple weeks ago. In this sense the Christian life has much in common with the Buddhist life. They are both means for living, and not religions. Christianity is different and distinct, however, because of the claims of Jesus and issues of the divine that have to be dealt with, but the way of life called for by both is similar. Religions have grown up around both, also.
Anyway, blogging (and journaling in general) reveals the journey. As a “Pensieve,” I put things in this blog that I fully intend to return to. Other people can witness this process, this journey, these memories and these thoughts that I intended to pick more fully, later. Not as fully experienced or fleshed out as within a “real Pensieve,” however. I’m sure some think I’m, well, “nutters” in one way or another.
The point of a “Penseive” is not to impress people or to persuade people or to cause them to like you. The point is to deposit thoughts, ideas, memories, that clutter the mind but to which you wish to return. “Oh, that’s good, I don’t want to forget that, but I don’t have time right now to deal with it,” might be the thinking. Sometimes, there is just too much to think about at any one time.
So, this is my “Pensieve,” for what it’s worth.