Our God is all Love and Mercy

Dear Friends of the Anglican Left:

I imagine few of us were inspired or edified by the recent auspicious meeting of the Bishop of Rome with the Archbishop of Canterbury, in which the roman pontif saw fit to warn that the presence of openly gay bishops would constitute a grave barrier to communion between the churches. What a vision of Christianity, united in mutual condemnation and exclusion of homosexuals!

I pray for the day when "Christian Leaders" can be delivered from an addiction to authoritarianism, anathematizing, and condemnation. May the Spirit of Christ's merciful love prevail.

For a different vision I offer the following texts:

You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the face of him who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves. -- St. Seraphim of Sarov

Let mercy outweigh all else in you. Let compassion be a mirror where we may see in ourselves that likeness and that true image which belong to the Divine Nature and the Divine essense. A hard and unmerciful heart will never be pure. -- St. Isaac of Syria

The secret of my ministry is in the crucifix...Those open arms have been the program of my pontificate: they mean that Christ died for all, for all. No one is excluded from his love, his forgivness. -- Pope John XXIII

Our God is all love and mercy -- St. Therese of Lisieux

Carl Siciliano, October 9, 2003

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