Written by Sherry
Monday, 26 March 2007 08:38
I'm been enjoying dropping in a Fr. Dwight Longenecker's blog Standing on My Head.
As many of you already know, Fr. is a married convert from Anglicanism who was recently ordained under the Pastoral Provision and is currently working at St. Mary's Church in Greenville, SC which is famous for its beautiful, traditional liturgy. (We will be offering a Called & Gifted at St. Mary's on April 20,21. Check it out)
Fr. Dwight has a lovely sense of humor and has been doing a funny series called the Gargoyle Code. The 11th installment in that series is particularly appropos to our discussions here. It reminds me very much of the passage in the Screwtape Letters when C. S. Lewis talks about the relationship between high church and low church Anglicans.
Here's an excerpt:
"It happened like this Hogwart: First my patient was playing the back nine with his priest, and the next thing I know they're in the clubhouse knocking back a couple of whiskeys. Knowing the priest's fondness for the nectar of Scotland, I admit I dozed off for a few moments. The enemy saw the gap and was through it in a flash. He used the booze to lower my patient's resistance. Imagine the sneakiness of it Hogwart! Next thing I know the priest has brought up the topic of this healing Mass, and my patient has signed up.
I am not making excuses Hogwart--just explaining so that you might learn from my mistakes. I'm sure there is nothing to be too worried about. I have been working on my conservative Catholic patient now for many years. I've groomed his taste for things old fashioned so that he now confuses his sentimental attachment to the Middle Ages with doctrinal orthodoxy and the heights of spirituality. The poor booby actually thinks that he is closer to God because he loves the Latin Mass, fiddleback chasubles, incense and lacy vestments. I agree with you Hogwart that such things are hideous, but I would rather have my patient attached to them and be truly uncharitable to everyone he disagrees with than to be open minded and patient. I once had him engage in an email debate for three weeks on whether a lay person was allowed to touch the monstrance without wearing white gloves. If only you could see my moments of triumph Hogwart!
I must get back to the point. The healing Mass is taking place in the neighboring parish where the church looks like a huge brick dunce cap. Because of all my work over the years, my patient hates the place. I'll try to get him to cancel, but if he gets through the door and takes one look at the priest's day-glo vestments and hears guitars and sees all the happy people in jeans and T-shirts hugging one another he is likely to gag and run for the door. He's a snob Hogwart! a snob of the most deliciously religious type! I doubt whether he'll even get past the holy water stoop, but it is still a dangerous proposition. I'll have to stick by him. You work and work for years, and then one little cancer scare and they become intractable and unpredictable.
Now about your situation: I understand your little chimpanzee has been to a Bible study group, and he has not just bought a Bible, but a Catholic study Bible. What is going on Hogwart? You've been boasting about your paltry little success in getting him to look at pornography, and now he's not only been to confession, but joined a Bible study group at college? Furthermore, Britwiggle tells me he went to the Bible study with a Christian girl who does 'pro-life' work. Where have you been you despicable worm? Where did he meet this nauseating little lipstick? I expect it all happened while you and Squirmtuggle were chortling over your squalid little success. You don't understand a thing do you Hogwart? This is a disaser of the greatest magnitude.
I've checked the files. Your patient is of the emotional and romantic sort. He's going to be a sucker for a skirt--especially one with high ideals like this one. Furthermore, he's looking for a 'personal experience of his faith.' You should have kept him far, far away from any form of Christian community and directed his emotional, romantic nature into safer areas like literature, drama, film and music. We have enough servants in those fields to have kept him entertained for a very long time."
Be sure and check out the previous installments!