musicus wrote:I have never been very comfortable with relics… The sense of unbroken continuity with those who have gone before us, both great and small, was very powerful and gave me a whole new perspective on this aspect of the communion of saints.
Nor have I ever been comfortable with relics. However, it is in a sense of unbroken continuity with at least a few of the saints that have gone before us that I chose to sing chant, in Latin, occasionally, not for any love of the language, nor just because the documents say so, but because it expresses 'communion of saints' to me.
presbyter wrote:Lots - far too much to quote it all here!
'I there was offence in what I said, point it out...' Well, Presbyter read into what I wrote that which was not there. Nevertheless, I apologise for having caused him offence, over such a long period of time.
To make absolutely clear what I meant: I believe that history tells us the people perceived that they could only come to God through the priest, that they invented pious devotions to fill the void, that the pretty constant renewal called for since say 1150 or so [by the (heretical) Waldensians - but actually not so vary different to the teachings of St Francis of Assisi who might easily too have been considered heretical had the political climate have changed and the inquisition been established] and arguably delivered only by the Second Vatican Council, that call for renewal shows that the powers that be in the Church had not got it right and, as a result, the people invented stuff to do - because that's what happens when there is a vacuum. A bit like rural France "electing" their own 'priests' because there weren't enough to go round, without the knowledge of the Bishops - and that not so long ago.
Of course, Presbyter is right: I am far too Protestant for my own good and, yes, I do question the Church's teaching on many things. That is a sign of an intelligent, scientific mind not wanting to accept at face value the things that my senses present to me. It is healthy to try and understand why! It is not a good argument to hear "because I said so" (though I will admit to saying that to my children
) And at one level, yes, I do even question the need for priests! "Why priests?" asked Hans Küng (and look where that got him). I never read his book but, since I read the title, it has remained with me as a question. And at one level, Presbyter has provided an answer: Sacraments. Apart from Baptism (in extreme circumstances), I, not ordained, may not act in place of a priest - and nor should I want to. However, we are told that a sacramant is an outward sign of inward grace, God's work in/on/for us. Well... if it is God doing the work, it begs the question why he needs a priest in particular (or anyone else) to do the action. Of course he doesn't! [Just for the record, before there are more calls for my excommunication, I currently believe that the Church needs priests, OK?
I will just add that I believe that the Church should have more, open discussion about many things. Just as this forum is open to anyone expressing an opinion (even DT
) - and that "going away" or calling for "excommunication" is not a healthy attitude to have. Yes, I have read St Paul in his letter to Titus (Tit 3:10-11) where he says "Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned." (but it is interesting to consider the previous half-a-dozen verses too regarding God's saving grace, delivered directly by the Holy Spirit, not through a priest…
) Indeed, there is a three-strike policy on this forum… When I am, I feely admit to being wrong, but I always want to know where the mistake is so that I can learn. If you do not engage with me either through 'sending me to Coventry' (not so far for me to travel, being in Leamington Spa) or by implying that I am beyond salvation (ie excommunicated), I will always remain ignorant, a lost sheep... which is where I believe the priest comes in as pastor...
[with added emoticons, just for alan29