Tuesday, 25 January 2011

My bit for Unity

I appeal to you brothers, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, to make up the differences between you, and instead of disagreeing among yourselves, to be united again in your belief and practice.

1 Cor 1:10


The second reading from Sunday’s Mass sort of clobbered me as I sat there in my pew. I’d been mulling for a few days whether “liturgy is the most important thing, ever” as some claim. I do believe it is. Liturgy is all that can happen in heaven; liturgical devotion will mark the ebb and flow of eternity, it is both eternal and temporal. An eternity without some marking of time is empty. Revelation 22:2 makes it quite clear that there will be some marking of time in eternity. To the physicists amongst us; that’s time without entropy, that’s awesome! So liturgy the most important thing because it is the stuff of heaven. On Earth, liturgy is a mechanism to order us and directs us towards heaven. But there are other means and ways for us to become receptive to grace (always undeserved).

Sorry, I’m rambling, stay with me.

Why was I clobbered by St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians? It is an exhortation to be “united in belief and practice”. Now, what this can’t mean is everyone following a particular rite. To be united in practice is not to be united in rite. Surely purgatory isn’t plagued with hosts of angels beating a particular rite into the unfortunate Holy Souls who preferred some other rite (this isn’t a sin). No liturgical rite is perfect. Because none is the liturgy of heaven. “Belief and practice” is a thing of the heart put there by God, and it prevents us saying John XXIIIs Mass is better than Paul VI s , PaulVs or Sarum or Byzantine or whatever; it prevents division, its focus is on Christ.

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