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View Diary: My Mother: A Slightly Premature Eulogy (61 comments)

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  •  I begin to think why it is that both of us (9+ / 0-)

    share in the religious life. I am not a priest but rather a lay brother something akin to a third order Franciscan, and also of course an active Freemason who is a junior officer of my lodge (which I enjoy very much) and yet we are both gay and are more or less "traditional" Catholic Christians (in our own different ways). Nothing in my upbringing would draw me to such religion, though I was, and so were you.

    I suppose one simply has a vocation or they don't. It's interesting to think about, however, and not easily explained. I dislike the fundies who claim oppression and victimhood, yet I often hear that someone in my position has no business in the Church, and that I hear not from conservatives but rather from liberals.

    Now, my Mohawk/French Canadian husband was buried out of the Church, the Anglican Church, with a full High Solemn Requiem Mass and Masonic Honors. He and I were a great match, and he was adored by my low-church as well as my Catholic and Anglican family.

    We must respect one another, and one another's choices.


    by commonmass on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 02:32:47 PM PDT

    •  Respect --- absolutely. Although I'd hasten to (7+ / 0-)

      admit there are some putatively Christian traditions for whom my respect is limited, and preferably afforded at some distance.

      Vocation is a very difficult thing to describe.  You're right, I believe, that one either has it or not, with respect to its more particular forms (although it is important to remember that some form of vocation is available to everyone).

      I was attracted to Catholic expression of Faith at an early age, while still very much under the strong bond of the evangelicalism in which I was born.  I remember sneaking into the local parish and feeling at home and in "the Presence" in a way unavailable in my little neighborhood Protestant church. I knelt and lit candles with prayers as fervent as if I had been taught to do so.

      But it wasn't until I finally left my parents' church that I was able to find my way to Catholicism.  I was greatly influenced by socially activist priests and religious with whom I came in contact in the Peace movement and social justice efforts.  But, probably most influential was my studying the missing history between the Apostolic era and John Wesley which had been completely ignored in Sunday School.  And, as you've probably noticed, the Oxford Movement luminaries made a rather deep impression, as well, as I very much related to their orthodoxy finding expression in service in and around the urban slums.

      •  The Oxford Movement informs my Anglicanism (4+ / 0-)

        and it should be noted that the Confraternity is a product of it as well as the Society of St. John the Evangelist with which I have had much truck as well as the Anglican Sisters of St. Margaret and St. Anne.

        I, too, was drawn to what the mid-19th Century Anglicans would have called "Ritualism" (so the Oxford Movement and Cardinal Newman and Keble and all the other early Anglo-Cathlolics might have been called) but especially to the SSJE which had an enormous and impactful presence in Boston, Massachusetts including the likes of Father Field, who is largely considered to have been a Christian Socialist along the lines of a proto-Dorothy Day.

        There can be a liberalism in orthodoxy. It can be quite surprising.


        by commonmass on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 02:56:59 PM PDT

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        •  Liberalism in orthodoxy. Certainly. If it's done (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass, Wee Mama, Silencio, NancyWH

          right, not only are they far from mutually exclusive, but I think entirely interdependent.  I don't cross my fingers whilst reciting the creed (if you'll excuse that allusion), nor do I feel I have any right to call myself a Christian if I ignore the needs of the disenfranchised.

          And, although probably not as well versed as you, I am quite familiar with the Anglo-Catholic tradition in general, and the SSJE and Confraternity in particular, having had many friends and colleagues over the years who were members.  I've made retreat at St. Gregory's, Three Rivers, and for a time before her passing enjoyed the spiritual direction of a very holy and visionary Sister of the Community of the Holy Spirit, who seemed to be able to peer into my soul in a way one would expect not possible for anyone save the Lord Himself.

          As the largest body of western Catholics not under papal obedience, I have depended on Anglicans for community for much of my adult life.

      •  I will also add that Fr. John Mieux Benson, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jgilhousen, Wee Mama, NancyWH

        one of the founders of the Tractarian movement and the SSJE, was once Rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in the West End of Boston, my home parish for many years of course many years after he was dead and gone.


        by commonmass on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:02:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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