Prayers for a Soul Friend

Friday, 29 July 2011
Everything I know about Anglo-Catholicism, Spirituality, being a Soul Friend and the theology and spirituality of Urban Ministry, I learned from Kenneth Leech.

Kenneth is a brilliant theologian and has written several books which have shaped and formed me the way CS Lewis or John Stott has shaped many Evangelical Christians around the world as well as in The Anglican Communion in general and The Episcopal Church in particular.

The report this morning is that Kenneth is gravely ill in hospital in UK, having suffered a "massive heart attack during a surgical procedure. He remains in ICU but has been removed from respiratory assistance."

Please, of your kindness and mercy, keep him in your prayers.

The day is rushing toward me - again - as are the thoughts I had hoped to share with you this morning. Let me simply leave you with this quote, which Kenneth used often, as a way to understand the passion and spirituality that is central to Anglo-Catholicism.

Anglo-Catholic liturgy is not just about "smoke and bells"; rather, it is about the incredible mystical reality of God who is both incarnate and present as well as transcendent and mysterious. This quote captures the essence of Anglo-Catholicism succinctly and powerfully.

The Right Revd Frank Weston, Bishop of Zanzibar delivered a rousing address at the 1923 Catholic Congress in London. The title of the address: Our Present Duty.
"But I say to you, and I say it with all the earnestness that I have, that if you are prepared to fight for the right of adoring Jesus in His Blessed Sacrament, then, when
you come out from before your tabernacles, you must walk with Christ, mystically present in you, through the streets of this country, and find the same Christ in the
peoples of your cities and villages.

You cannot claim to worship Jesus in the tabernacle if you do not pity Jesus in the slum.... It is folly, it is madness, to suppose that you can worship Jesus in the sacrament and Jesus on the throne of glory, when you are sweating Him in the bodies and souls of His children.... You have your Mass, you have your altars, you have begun to use your tabernacles.

Now go out into the highways and hedges, and look for Jesus in the ragged and naked, in the oppressed and the sweated, in those who have lost hope, and in those who are struggling to make good. Look for Jesus in them; and when you have found him, gird yourself with His towel of fellowship and wash His feet in the person of His brethren."
Go, and do thou likewise. And, please keep Kenneth Leach in your prayers.


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