Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Moved to unusual actions.

Forgive us, Lord Christ,
When the Church fails to be your Body on earth.
Forgive its inward-looking,
its temptation to respectability;
its silence towards the rich,
its neglect towards the poor.
Give us grace to seek first your Kingdom and its justice,
and unite all Christians in the struggle;
that, in the unity of the Faith and with one heart,
we may seek to overcome the world
and establish that Kingdom on earth;
to the glory of your Name,
who with the Source and Spirit are one God,
forever and ever. Amen. 

From "Catholic Socialist Devotions"

The St Paul's Cathedral debacle has moved me to such uncharacteristic activities as buying the Guardian (best coverage - honest!). This prayer (a slight modernisation of a Catholic Crusade prayer) seemed apposite at this time.

The Catholic Crusade ("Catholic Crusade of the Servants of the Precious Blood") aimed, among other things:
To create the demand for the Catholic Faith, the whole Catholic Faith, and nothing but the Catholic Faith. To encourage the rising of the people in the might of the Risen Christ and the Saints, mingling Heaven and earth that we may shatter this greedy world to bits.
Hmm! It makes that reluctant fan of capitalism the former Canon Chancellor of St Paul's "loke a bit weedy" as my esteemed colleague Canon Molesworth might say!   It's founder Conrad Noel wrote a marvellous Credo.

From the Epilogue to Conrad Noel's Jesus the heretic (London, Religious Book Club, 1940)

We believe in God the Father, Who has made us and all the world: In God the Son, Who has redeemed us and all mankind: In God the Holy Ghost Who inspires us and all the chosen army of God.
Thaxted ChurchWe believe that the source of our life is the Triune God, the Comm-Unity, and that the substance of life is Community, namely, that men, by the grace of God, should of their own initiative come into that freely chosen Fellowship of God's Kingdom which is their home. We must, therefore, give ourselves as workers together with Him for the re-creating of a world in which there shall be an interplay of initiative and co-operation.

We believe that God is terrible in goodness and not in tyranny: Maker of all things visible and invisible: Maker of men: Of the sense of wonder and worship: Of the sense of sight which delights in form and colour, in flowers, pictures, sunrises and gay fabrics: Of the sense of hearing which exults in poetry and music: Of the sense of justice and truth which drives men to rebellion against the tyrants who rob men's lives of vigour, leisure, and nourishment: Of the sense of goodness which will re-create the world: God, Maker and Upholder of men's spirits, minds, and bodies.

We believe that God is manifest in splendid men and women, and incarnate in Jesus, the Christ, His only Son, Our Lord, wholly God and wholly Man, conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of man, who rejoices that her Son is casting down the mighty from their thrones and exalting them of low degree; the Woman clothed with the Sun, with the world at her feet and the serpent under them.

We believe that Christ's Incarnation and wondrous Life, devoted to the liberation of the oppressed and the Commonwealth of God, was met by the malice of the mighty masters of the world who dragged Him down to His Passion and Death on the Cross; but that, despising its shame, in triumph he passed through the realms of the dead to a mighty Resurrection, no mere bodiless ghost but with spirit, soul, and body transformed.

We believe that His Glorious Ascension to the very heart of the Godhead fills all things with His Presence, and creates out of the old and tired human race a new race.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, coming upon the little band in the upper room, raising them from despair and death to newness of life, and filling them with courage and gladness, making them of one heart and mind to share all things in common and to scatter the good news among the crowds in the Holy City and to the furthest ends of the earth.

We believe, then, in this Catholic Church, a visible Army to be the first-fruits of His Kingdom and to battle for its achievement among men: the very Body of Christ to redeem mankind from the inward tyrannies of sin and the outward tyrannies of cruel systems and cruel men.

We believe that evil conditions are the outward and visible sign on the inward and spiritual rascality on the part of the few, and inward and spiritual apathy on the part of the many, but that once they have been created they react for evil upon the minds of rich and poor, and they must be swept away by an immense awakening in the soul of the nations . . .

We believe that those who by the Power of Christ have overcome sin will one day rise with glorious bodies to enjoy and help in the ordering of the Good Life to come, the overmastering Life of the Golden Age. 

We believe that we are pledged to establish it now and are destined to enjoy it hereafter. 

My kinda Creed!  Bet they won't sing this at St Paul's on Sunday!


  1. Well, unfortunately the established church ... favours the establishment as always. St Giles A' Fraser ranted about striking public sector workers a few months ago & on R4's Today described the Bible as book that described HOW one is saved & not a book about living ethically. So Giles wants Protestant theology without exploring its ethical implications. Everyone loves a tame rebel, don't they?

  2. Not everyone loves a tame rebel - Byron despised Wordsworth!