Pusey in support of Common Prayer to Christ as the root of catholic community

Hurrah for Jeffrey who dug out this quote from Fr. Pusey (of Blessed Memory):

“‘At Holy Communion we pray to God to ‘inspire continually the Universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity and concord,’ and for ‘all Bishops,’ not our own only. Certainly, since prayer is the voice of the soul to God, we express not our inmost belief only, but a loving belief, that the Church is one.

How it is one, the Church nowhere defines; but the faith is kept alive by prayer more than by definitions. Yet, whatever duties may follow up in the Unity of the Church, it is plain that no harmony of men’s will can constitute a supernatural and Divine unity.

Unity, in part, is the direct gift of God; in part, it is the fruit of that gift in the mutual love of the members of the Church. In part, it is a spiritual oneness wrought by God the Holy Ghost; in part, it is a grace to be exercised by man, a consequence and fruit of that gift. In one way, it is organic unity derived from Christ and binding all to Christ, descending from the Head to the Body, and uniting the Body to the Head; in another, it consists in acts of love from the members one to another. Christ our Lord, God and Man, binds us to Him by the indwelling of His Spirit, by the gift of His Sacraments, administered by those to whom He gave the commission so to do, by the right faith in Himself. We are bound to one another, in that we are members of Him, and by the love which He sheds abroad in our hearts through the Spirit which he giveth us, and by common acts of worship and intercommunion.

Of these, the highest and chief is that which binds us to Christ Himself. Our highest union with one another is an organic union with one another through union with Him.’

–Edward Pusey’s , Eirenicon”

Read the full comment here.

Thanks Jeffrey. I stayed up late last night reading a Life of Fr. Wainwright; Vicar of St. Peter’s Dockside that Dean Dick George lent me. Besides the thrill of a number of appearances of Fr. Benson (founder of the Cowleys, who’s American branch I have a relationship with), this lovely little book reminds of what catholic Anglicanism used to be and might become again.

Let me take the opportunity btw to commend Christopher’s latest essay on the roots of catholic faith. Christopher quotes F.D. Maurice to good effect in making essentially the same point, and I think both Fr. Pusey and Maurice would be happy to be so connected.

He writes:

Catholicity is rooted in the New Humanity of Jesus Christ. This New Humanity treats others as they would wish to be treated, is patient, kind, generous, und so weite, and confronts our fallen humanity, including in the Churches. Catholicity is something to which the Churches, Christ’s Body, live into, not something we hold of our own accord or can grasp at. Only in Him in the Consummation will we see the fulness of catholicity in Christ. And we can err terribly against catholicity in the meantime, as we have in our history more than once. Correction is often painful and divisive. Dividing walls break down at high cost.

(For some reason Christopher’s blog appears to not be available to the public at the moment, but hopefully that will soon be set right.)

Author: Nicholas Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...