God has planted a truth in our hearts

Each evening during the York sessions of the General Synod, the Catholic Group meets after the close of business at 10 pm to say Compline. On Sunday 13 July, the eve of the Synod's debate on Final Approval of the Women Bishops legislation, the Bishop of Richborough gave this meditation on Psalm 37 at the end of Compline, before the singing of the Salve Regina.

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.

During the Napoleonic Wars someone burst into the office of the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Consalvi, and said: Your Eminence, the situation is very serious; Napoleon wishes to destroy the Church: To which the Cardinal replied, Not even we have succeeded in doing that!'

He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

A few weeks ago I spent some time with (lets call him John) who was nervous about his selection conference. He had 'failed once and was really worried about the same happening again. Well, very quickly into our conversation I stopped him:

John, you are apologizing all the time for being a catholic! The Lord has planted in your heart a truth. And it's His truth not yours. For the Church to flourish He needs you to be able not only to articulate but to live out the Gospel as a catholic Christian and hopefully one day as a priest:

For John it was one of those 'kairos' moments, and our whole conversation changed. He began again now with renewed confidence to share his faith, his sense of vocation, his experiences and prayer life as a catholic Christian.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him ,who prospers in his way,

And the same is true for us on the eve of a day that will change the Church of England for ever. God has planted a truth in our hearts. It is his truth, not ours. And he wants us to hold it for him in love and generosity with honesty and courage.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret it only causes harm.

It is our vocation to be firm and courageous in truth, So our voting no is in fact a real 'yes' for God. It is our vocation to ensure that the gift that is the Anglican way the gift that somehow holds what can seem contradictory creatively in love has what it needs to flourish, so that God's will can be discerned and lived out. This is the divine conversation, for the 'mutual flourishing' of his Church.

Psalm 37

Commit your way to the Lord,
trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.

He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret it only causes harm.

And so a blessing, on this the eve of the commemoration of John Keble... May we together live out our vocation in love as servants of the mysteries of God. Amen.

ND

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