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Abp Rowan: "A Deeply Revolutionary Matter."

One of the fruits of the Second Vatican Council (about which I think we can all agree, or at least almost all) was a renewed emphasis on ecumenism.  Yesterday's address to the Synod Fathers by the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams would have been unthinkable fifty years prior. You can read the full text here.

But, it was the content of his speech, his attentiveness to the Christological, evangelizing dynamic of the Council, that most captures the imagination. He is not arguing about the rules, nor fretting about power structures within the Body of Christ. Instead, Archbishop Williams demonstrated, with his typically admirable prose, of the challenge of evangelization in our age. Here is my favorite passage:

In this perspective, contemplation is very far from being just one kind of thing that Christians do: it is the key to prayer, liturgy, art and ethics, the key to the essence of a renewed humanity that is capable of seeing the world and other subjects in the world with freedom – freedom from self-oriented, acquisitive habits and the distorted understanding that comes from them.  To put it boldly, contemplation is the only ultimate answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial systems and our advertising culture and our chaotic and unexamined emotions encourage us to inhabit.  To learn contemplative practice is to learn what we need so as to live truthfully and honestly and lovingly.  It is a deeply revolutionary matter. 

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November 20-December 3, 2015


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