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Contemplation the key to renewal, Dr. Williams tells the Vatican: The Church of England Newspaper, October 21, 2012 p 7. October 27, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Roman Catholic Church.
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Dr Williams addressing the synod of bishops at the Vatican on 10 Oct 2012

The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged the Roman Catholic Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelisation meeting at the Vatican to be silent and know the Lord.

In his 10 Oct 2012 address to the synod of bishops, which has been tasked with considering how to evangelize the contemporary world with special emphasis upon those who may have been brought up in the Christian faith but who have drifted away, Dr. Williams spoke of the importance of contemplation in reaching the hearts and minds of people in the modern world.

“To be contemplative as Christ is contemplative is to be open to all the fullness that the Father wishes to pour into our hearts,”Dr Williams said in the first address by an Archbishop of Canterbury to the Synod of Bishops in Rome, The archbishop spoke of the profound connection between contemplation and the task of evangelisation, saying it “must be rooted in a profound confidence that we have a distinctive human destiny to show and share with the world”.

“With our minds made still and ready to receive, with our self-generated fantasies about God and ourselves reduced to silence, we are at last at the point where we may begin to grow” as individuals and as a church.

The practice of contemplation teaches Christians “how to look at one another and at the whole of God’s creation,” he said, noting that “contemplation is the only ultimate answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial systems and our advertising culture and our chaotic and unexamined emotions encourage us to inhabit.”

Drawing upon Henri de Lubac and Thomas Merton, Archbishop Williams described contemplation as “the key” to prayer, art, liturgy and music and “the essence of a renewed humanity” freed from “self-oriented, acquisitive habits.”

He also told the bishops the Second Vatican Council was a sign of the church’s strength and “a sign of great promise” in its engagement with the modern world.  However, “serious work” remained to be done in reaching the “post-Christian public.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

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