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    “What does ‘Regula’ Mean?”

    The short essay, “What does Regula mean?” has been added to the Catholic Anglican FAQ page. It begins:

    In a most useful definition, the 1979 Book of Common Prayer defines prayer as “responding to God, by thought and by deeds, with or without words” (p. 856). That definition in fact clarifies a great deal. First and foremost, it reminds us that God acts first. Despite our inclination to think otherwise, we ourselves do not initiate. Rather we respond: God’s actions—His presence, His grace—always comes before. He always invites our prayer.

    I do not think I am the only person who, when hearing that definition, asks, “Is that how my prayer works?” The answer would have to be, yes: it does mean my prayer, your prayer, and any person’s prayer. But it also means “our” prayer, and in fact it means that before it means mine or yours.

    So, then, how do “we” pray? In other words, how is it that we as a whole—whether all Catholic Christians or, by analogy, us at Saint Paul’s, Riverside—respond to God, by thought and by deeds, with or without words? Indeed, the answer may not be self-evident, or seem particularly worth consideration. Thinking of particular people in our parish, we even might be tempted to conclude, “well, ‘we’ do not pray in any particular way!” List out how we all pray as individuals, according to our gifts and personalities; and then there is your answer to how “we” pray—a piety list. There is truth in that. Yet to just end there would not account for important aspects of our relationship with God, which is prayer in its broadest sense of the term.

    Read the rest here.