St. John’s finally consecrated

Eve of Reformation Day
Ordinary Time 30/Trinity 20 – Friday

My worship home in the CBD during the week was finally completed last night with St. John’s Anglican Cathedral being consecrated by the Anglican Primate of Australia and Archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane, the Most Rev Dr. Phillip Aspinall. The media release by the Diocese is here. And some video (that’ll last until the 29th of October 2010) from ABC News is available here.

Wasn’t able to go to the consecration service last night (then again, attendees were chosen by lottery given it was going to be a full house) and didn’t get a chance to view the webstream of the entire service too (got home from work too late). Was apparently a packed service (1400/1500 attendees).

On Monday I might just put in an order for the DVD of the consecration service as a memento given the part St. John’s has played over the last 2.5 years of my life (alongside the part that St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Cathedral has played in my life over the last almost 5 years of my life). And to think that it has been 108 years after the foundation stone being laid in 1901 and 103 years after initial construction was begun in 1906 with the sanctuary being completed and consecrated for divine service in 1910 (the Cathedral high altar is a beautiful work of liturgical furnishing dedicated to the use of the Church and the glory of God).

Thank God for the vision of Bishop William Webber and John Pearson for the design of what must be the last Gothic revival cathedral in the world to be completed.

====================================

The past week has been hell on earth. I have never felt as desolate and displaced as I have over the past week. This is dark night of the soul taken to an entirely different level. Dark night of the soul EXTREME edition you could call it. I know the last four weeks have been tough on me with training combined with my regular work. And that the last two and a half years of my life (looking back) have been a trip in the desert. But this has been worse than any other time before. To feel as if I have been utterly rejected by God. Or that he has withdrawn himself from me and my life and I have no idea when he will return.

Not saying I’m Jesus or anything, but the sentence “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” has rung in my head numerous times over the last week.

The sermon last Sunday at EMP didn’t help matters either.

“If your heart isn’t in the singing, prayer, etc, etc. God doesn’t want any of that. He won’t hear your prayers if your heart isn’t in it. Your prayers are dead. Your liturgy is dead. The words do not mean anything to him. Instead he wants you actually mean what you sing, say, pray, etc, etc. Otherwise how can you say you are worshiping as a Christian?”

Well thank you very much. The last 2.5 years of my life then have been pointless. Am I a Christian then? Are my spiritual disciplines for nought? Should I just bin my Bible, my breviary and just ditch church altogether? Because honestly, I don’t feel like doing any of it or being anywhere near church on weekends at times. In the time when what I really need is prayer and all I can offer up are the measly words “Why God? Why?” or “Are you really even there?”, are those expressions just pointless. The written and appointed collects I pray in the daily office express more about my desire for fellowship with God than my inept extempore words do at the moment. But because my heart is numb, does that make my act of prayer worthless? Are my doubts to be glossed over for the sake of making it appear like I am a well-adjusted Christian?

Honestly, I felt more at home at Mass today at St. John’s (the first in about two weeks) than I have felt over the last few Sundays at EMP. Given that the last few Sundays my heart hasn’t felt like being at EMP, maybe my worship was “dead” by the standards of last week’s sermon. But if the heart is lazy, the mind at times needs to kick start it, and as Fr. Daniel Berrigan SJ once said “Sometimes your faith is where your ass is.”

Psalm 142, Common Worship: Daily Prayer

Refrain: Bring my soul out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name.

I cry aloud to the Lord;
to the Lord I make my supplication.

I pour out my complaint before him
and tell him of my trouble.

When my spirit faints within me, you know my path;
in the way wherein I walk have they laid a snare for me.

I look to my right hand, and find no one who knows me;
I have no place to flee to, and no one cares for my soul. (R:)

I cry our to you, O Lord, and say:
‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.

‘Listen to my cry, for I am brought very low;
save me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.

‘Bring my soul out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name;
when you have dealt bountifully with me, then shall the righteous gather around me.’

Refrain: Bring my soul out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

Refrain: Bring my soul out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name.

God of compassion,
you regard the forsaken
and give hope to the crushed in spirit;
hear those who cry to you in distress
and bring your ransomed people to sing your glorious praise,
now and for ever. Amen.

I’m thankful for the long D&M convo with W after work today over a hot choc for me and a hot mocha for her. It’s nice to have close friends like that. Even though at times I don’t know why I even deserve her as a close friend with all my neuroses that she has to put up with. I feel incredibly lucky and more to the point, incredibly blessed. Maybe that really is a sign that God does exist after all…

+ 2355hrs

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