For reasons best not divulged here I have been in a bit of a funk for some twenty-four hours. Unfair to you, dear reader, in that you know not why, and unfair to my dear family who suffer such moods. Yet this one is over.
The cure for such a clerical condition is now apparently simple. A quarter of a century ago in the years after my ordination the prescription was simply to pray to the Lord for renewed strength. Now, in the era of compulsory analysis, church experts and counselors have entreated the clergy to seek professional help. A confessor. A spiritual advisor. A therapist. Yet I felt no need to sign on such crew.
This morning I went to the church and said my Morning Office, as I try to do most mornings. Yet this morning was different. It was almost subversive, in a way that I cannot describe.
In the Episcopal Church, both the practice (and the knowledge that it’s going on) of the Daily Offices is declining almost to the point of extinction. Their ordination liturgies make no mandate. Even the Book of Common Prayer (1979) is ambiguous. Yet my ordination vows are extant and specific. As an Anglican, still beholden to the instruction of the Church of England, I am bound to say both Morning and Evening Prayer, daily. And in the church when possible. (My italics.)
This morning made a difference. To say that my selfish prayers were answered would be simplistic, but the rest of my day has been focused to the extreme. All because I opened my Prayer Book.