A Place of Refuge – And Power
In the first of St. John’s videos, Father Rob describes how traditional Anglicanism, for many people, is a place of refuge and comfort. Our culture has changed so much over the years. It is comforting to know that there exists a place in the catholic church that doesn’t follow the culture. Rather, we follow God’s unchanging truth. In our case, the Anglican Catholic Church, part of the Continuing Anglican movement, carries that tradition and high view of Scripture down to our present day. We are anchored to the truth, despite raging storms around us. Yet there is also a power in Anglicanism.
The Power to Change the World – Through Prayer
Traditional Anglicanism, as a refuge of truth, is an offensive (not defensive) spiritual power. It has the potential to change the world through prayer. Prayer changes people, communities, churches, countries, and even the world. Not only during mass do we pray for these things as a part of the liturgy, but we have folks who pray after coffee hour too. This fact alone is a reason to consider joining a church – a congregation who prays.
The Prayer Book Tradition
I have already written about how the very origin of Anglicanism is about prayer – it was a British/Celtic monastic movement (largely influenced by the rule of St. Benedict), that then got distilled by Thomas Cranmer into the Prayer Book as we know it. The goal wasn’t to mindlessly recite fixed prayers – the goal was for all English-speaking people to pray effectually!! The Prayer Book itself is a rule of life, that if done properly, orients our entire life around prayer.
The Mystical Prayer Tradition
There are so many ways to pray, not only in the Book of Common Prayer, but also in other traditions, such as the Eastern Orthodox tradition, that has the “Jesus Prayer”. It goes like this: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” There are still Coptic monastics who live in St. Anthony’s Monastery, Egypt, who pray the Jesus Prayer ALL DAY LONG. They don’t do it for themselves – they do it for the benefit of all mankind. There are Anglicans who dedicate themselves to contemplative prayer, with either a traditional Roman Catholic rosary or an Anglican rosary. Monks see themselves as people who pray for the whole world. We can see ourselves like this also, whether it’s during Morning & Evening Offices in the Prayer Book, or otherwise.
Anglican Monasteries, Monks, and Oblates
In our own diocese, retreats have been located at St. Simeon Skete, where a community of full-time monks and oblates reside. There is also the Bethlehem Priory which is a Benedictine Order following the rule of St. Benedict. There are opportunities to become an Oblate for those desiring to live the rule of St. Benedict. Lastly, there is a Franciscan Order of the Divine Compassion. For more information about these two orders, go to religious orders.
Conclusion: Fervent, Powerful Prayer Changes the World
The traditional Anglican church is a refuge, a safe place, in today’s culture. However, since the kingdom of God is OFFENSIVE, we are in a tradition equipped with all the spiritual tools and weapons necessary to advance the kingdom through PRAYER. We can’t all live in a cave like Father Lazarus, but we CAN live out the life of prayer as a way to “bless the world.”
Miracles just might occur if we try praying like this.