In the Catholic Church today, we see Anglican clergy coming into full communion through the Ordinariate, but bringing with them the Book of Common Prayer. Some say that as soon as something within the Catholic Church disagrees with them, they’ll return to the Anglican faith. Meanwhile, some Anglican clergy have adopted the new translation of the Roman Missal for their services. In contrast, a good number of Catholic priests, notably in Ireland but in other English speaking countries have refused to use the new missal and many lay faithful too oppose it because of among other things, the archaic language and the perceived lack of consultation over its implementation. All the while, Anglicans, Catholics and the lay faithful from many other denominations are leaving the regular public practice of their faith in droves. The Christian faith is in chaos and people are confused, even Catholics who used to be so sure of their faith and its foundations.
In the words of the angel to the shepherds in fields near Bethlehem, ‘Fear not!’ for it was out of chaos that God created the world in the first place. It is the season of Advent and we watch and wait in hope for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will inspire good men and women to lead us in sharing the Good News. We should take this opportunity to examine our lives, turn back to God and be ready to receive Him when he comes again.