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Musings 2008/225

has become a bland ceremony where the audience shares a Meal, some seemingly unaware that the Bread they share is the Body of Christ - some of the youth appear to never have had this awareness.
Yet the majesty and the mystery still appear in the glory of the ceremonies of the Orthodox.
Christian Unity
In speaking on ecumenism (7th. May, 2008) the Pope spoke of The Holy Spirit and His power at the Cenacle of Jerusalem:-
P  Only in this way is unity also created, a unity that has to grow.

The Church in all times,
and in particular in those nine days
between the Ascension and Pentecost,
unites Herself spiritually in the Cenacle
with the apostles and with Mary
to implore incessantly
the effusion of the Holy Spirit.

Moved by the impetuous wind She will be capable of announcing the Gospel to the furthest confines of the earth.
For this reason, despite the difficulties and divisions Christians cannot resign themselves, nor give in to discouragement. This is what the Lord asks us: Hold fast in prayer to keep alive the flames of faith, charity and hope, which

nourish the longing for full unity. P

Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians attended the audience when the Pope thus spoke, the two leaders exchanging greetings.
It is obvious that I am wrong in thinking that anyone who truly believes in the Holy Bible and in Tradition, and seeks the Truth, must realise the authority given to Peter and that this authority was handed down in succession, Pope to Pope; Peter to Peter.
How do they deceive themselves in thinking that the Pope it not
Peter, especially when they demand every authority and power for their own Bishops - also handed down in succession?
It seems to me that many Christians
first decide to believe a thing e.g. that the Pope is not Peter, and only then search out for any indication, whatsoever, anywhere, even though suspicious or outlandish, that what they have come to foolishly believe is correct!
Having changed Doctrine in their own minds, and having found deceptive evidence in support, they are then feel free to challenge The Church, to separate from The Church, and even claim The Church has gone astray - and that they, themselves, are perfectly correct!

Taking upon themselves, therefore,
the authority of Peter,
which they deny to Peter, himself!
What is lacking for Christian unity?

I can only think of one thing. Try as I might to believe the innumerable things that some seem to think are required to get unity, I can only think of one thing and

that is humility.

It takes humility to accept Truth and that is why humility is an essential part of every Saint - even of The Mother of God who is the essence, the perfect reflection, of humility - even of Christ Himself who emptied Himself of Divinity to become The Son of Man!
For the Orthodox to accept the Pope as
Peter requires profound humility - bitter humility. To come before the Pontiff, kneeling in his presence, awaiting his blessing, praying for his munificence, will be a supreme sacrifice for each Patriarch of the Orthodox Churches, yet that is what is required of them.
Nevertheless, each Patriarch will feel the sensational Grace of The Spirit and in the forthcoming embrace with the Pontiff, they will KNOW that the Holy Spirit has not only brought them to this heroism but has decreed that each will become renown in history, as saviours with The Saviour.
The Pontiff will then kneel before the Patriarchs in like manner as a sign of service in imitation of Christ Who washed the feet of His Disciples.
We will then witness a supreme moment of history, a moment that will transform the entire planet and open the way for the transformation of the entire universe, so that man will perceive a new earth and new heavens.
Well I thought that novelties in Holy Mass were something of the past. Or at least, that novelties were no longer permitted and were being thrown out, as they should be.
On reading the 2007 GIRM - where I found what I thought were some good, clear cut instructions - I also found that the whole thing has been left hanging, as adaptations, even
thoroughgoing adaptations (clause 395/6), are permitted to be made by the Bishops' Conference, the latter with approval by the Apostolic See. Some adaptations are permitted to be made by the Bishop.
This GIRM is a strange mixture of clear cut instruction followed up with exactly the opposite.
For example, clause 346 states
Traditional usage should be retained for the colours of sacred vestments.
Clause 390. however states
It is up to the Conference of Bishops to decide on adaptations indicated in the General Instruction and in the Order of the Mass including . the materials for the altar and sacred furnishings, especially sacred vessels and also materials, form and colour of the liturgical vestments.
Not only are adaptations permitted but this GIRM suggests
experimentation, as in clause 395:-
Once these proposals have been duly approved by the Apostolic See, experiments should be carried out for specified periods and at specified places. If need be, once the period of experimentation is concluded, the Bishops' Conference shall decide upon pursuing the adaptations and shall propose a mature formulation of the matter to the Apostolic See for its decision. 158
I would have thought that we have had plenty of time for experimentation and adaptations on Holy Mass over the past forty years. I would have thought that now is the time for precise instructions so that the remaining novelties might be eventually chucked out and a long-overdue, wholesome, regulated Mass made available Australia-wide.
What a great opportunity The Church in Australia had, in this GIRM, to bring uniformity and to get rid of novelty. But no, the opportunity for clout-down is not only by-passed but deferred for some considerable time! And even, adaptations and

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