We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Ordinariate conversion story: Deborah Gyapong

Aleteia is featuring articles "by Catholics writing on how and why a particular liturgy speaks most deeply to their spirit, and their worship" (Aleteia).

The following excerpt is from a story by Deborah Gyapong, a freelance journalist of note "who covers politics and religion in Canada’s national capital Ottawa, primarily for Catholic papers" (Aleteia).
Why I feel called to the Anglican Ordinariateby Deborah Gyapong
I am now a member of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, one of three Ordinariates set up (so far) for former Anglicans who believe and profess the Catholic faith, and who have a passionate desire for Christian unity and communion with the pope. We are fully Roman Catholics with an Anglican accent and ethos.
The liturgy of the Ordinariate seems like a bridge or interpretive key between the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite — it has helped me appreciate and understand both forms. The Ordinariates are also bridges of new evangelization to reach out to Bible-believing Christians.
I was baptized Russian Orthodox, but my parents sent me to various Protestant Sunday schools to acquaint me with the Bible. The intent was to make me culturally literate, not faithful. (...)
By the time I attended college, when it became fashionable to throw out the works of “dead white men,” I held churches, especially the Catholic Church, in active derision.
In my 20s, however, two profound experiences of God shifted the trajectory of my life. I acquired a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the Bible, and believed that was all I needed.
Eventually, I began moving toward an orthodox Christian faith. Occasionally attending a local Anglican parish, I found myself drawn to the Book of Common Prayer. I discovered I loved actions, and the poetic language of liturgical worship. At the little traditional Anglican parish of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ottawa, I became hooked. The parish was housed in a dollhouse of a church with red carpeting over grey linoleum tiles, creaking wooden pews and two ceiling fans whirring overhead. But what holy silence and prayerfulness before Mass!
The bell would ring, the bishop and/or priests and altar servers would process in and the Mass was prayed with such reverence and recollection I felt transported to heaven. (Amen! This speaks of my heart, too!) These men prayed as if they really meant every word they prayed. The preaching was as powerful as anything I had ever heard in Evangelical settings. I wondered why there wasn’t a line around the corner to get into this church.
[ Read the entire article at the following link: http://aleteia.org/2016/10/02/why-i-feel-called-to-the-anglican-ordinariate/ ]
Our liturgy is a Catholic Mass in the language of Shakespeare. We pray using sacral language forms of “thee” and “thou.” Though fully approved by the relevant Vatican congregations, our Mass is touched by the Reformation through the use of some of Archbishop Cranmer’s gorgeous English translations of Latin collects, the inclusion of the Comfortable Words of Scripture following our Penitential Rite and the beautiful Prayer of Humble Access before Holy Communion. Our liturgy also incorporates elements of pre-Reformation English Catholicism in its use of Sarum collects and chants.
The rubrics are similar to those of the Traditional Latin Mass—it is a ballet of genuflection, usually prayed ad orientem, (...): it’s in the vernacular and in addition to traditional chanted introits and graduals we sing hymns (robustly, often in four-part harmony!).

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