Thursday, 2 April 2015

My good friend Fr Chip Gilman, OSB from the Monastery of Saint-Benôit-du-lac, Québec sent the following article along for Good Friday.  

Many thanks to him and to all the other Patrimonial Anglicans now in the full embrace of the Catholic Church for their prayers and support for the first shoots on the Ordinariate tree planted by our beloved Holy Father Benedict. That small tree has been watered by Pope Francis who has signed the indult for so many married clergy to celebrate their ordination to the priesthood in full communion with Rome. Pope Francis has provided the opening to grace that is now drawing baptized but unconfirmed Catholics to the Ordinariate through the New Evangelization along with those who bring the great patrimony of English Catholicism.

I am always uplifted when I re-read the first chapter of THE SHAPE OF THE LITURGY in which Dom Gregory Dix describes in matchless English prose the universality of the Eucharist and its meaning for humanity.  I will post a quotation later, but first let us join with Fr Aida Nichols, our great friend and scholar and the godfather of the Ordinariates, in giving thanks for Fr. the genius of both Dom Gregory Dr. Mascall, of blessed memory. Both of whom are now safe at home, as we are on another shore.
 Dr.Eric Lionel Mascall,
one of the great luminaries
of English Anglo-Catholicism
in the Twentieth Century,
a man to whom his distant
kinsman through marriage,
Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P.,
dedicated his admirable book,
The Panther and the Hind:
A Theological History of Anglicanism
 in 1993
Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P.
Father Aidan Nichols, O.P. has written that the work of  Dr. Eric Mascall and Dom Gregory Dix, two Anglicans who worked valiantly for reunion with Rome, can now be taken effortlessly into the wider Patrimony of the Catholic Church through the Ordinariates erected by Pope Benedict XVI.   Dom Gregory Dix was dying of cancer when he gave these addresses for Good Friday to a group of Anglican religious sisters.

From Power of God
Addresses for the Three Hours (1951)
By Dom Gregory Dix

Monk of the Anglican Abbey of Our Lady and St. Benedict,
Nashdom, Buckinghamshire, England.

            “Three hours had been enough, three hours of such terrible tension and inner suffering as we shall never know.  The physical anguish of the Passion we can watch and estimate to some degree.  We can pity and we can sorrow for the pains of a perfect Man.  But the spiritual agony of wrestling with Satan for the souls of men we can only guess at.  The Law of God has prophetically set death by crucifixion in a place of peculiar horror:  “Cursed is the man that is hanged on a tree.”  It was because the very presence of the crucified man defiled the land that the bodies were taken down that evening so as not to defile Jerusalem.  The man who died upon a cross was held not only to die in pitiable sufferings and the most extreme ignominy and shame, the most violent death a man could die, but he died under the curse of God, a spiritual outcast and a moral reject, not only the scorn of men but the helpless object of the wrath and curse of God.

            This frightful chastisement for sin Jesus had borne in His sinless soul.  ….The Epistle to the Galatians, recognizes with frightful plainness that ‘He was made a curse for us.”  Even that He had accepted and mastered, and offered in the silence that falls for two hours between the Third and Fourth Word.  He paid the overwhelming penalty of human sin  - separation from the goodness of God.  Now there is no more to do.  His offering is complete.

            Now He can act for Himself alone.  He has only to actually die.  That is something that all men have to do for themselves.  It is a lonely thing, and therefore it is a frightening thing; and it is a terrible thing because in a sense it is a penitential thing.  For us who are made in the Image of God, it is more than a pathological phenomenon; it is unnatural.”


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