Tuesday, March 11, 2008
There is a popular misconception about the Catholic Church among Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The assertion that any Catholic who is in communion with the Bishop of Rome is automatically a Roman Catholic is as ludicrous as calling the former Soviet Union Russia, or calling the United States Alaska. Those of us who have sunk our teeth a little deeper into Catholicism know better.
The Churches recognizing Pontifical authority do not always exercise the same liturgy and praxis that the western or Roman Rite implements. The Eastern Churches follow their own traditions, liturgies, phraseology, veneration, and even have their own patriarchs who govern over their respective Churches with Pontifical approbation under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, while simultaneously recognizing the full and immediate authority of the Bishop of Rome.
I love the Eastern rite of the Catholic Church. It’s so much more mystical and intricate than the less absorbing (when compared to Eastern Catholics) Roman Rite. I feel the Mystery that Catholic worship is centered on much more palpable in Byzantine liturgical habitude, as well as a greater affinity with all things holy and Devine. Why can’t we Roman Catholics be more like our Eastern Catholic brethren?
Covering the historicity, commonalities, and differences between the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Catholic Church can be a daunting task even the most au courant scholar would find formidable to negotiate. I will spread this subject matter over a series of posts that will (hopefully) help Catholic and non-Catholic know and understand more fully the fascinating dynamics energizing the Catholic Church from within.
Let me conclude this post with a Prayer To The Holy Spirit by St. Antiochus:
O Holy Spirit, most merciful Comforter: You proceed from the
Father in a manner beyond our understanding. Come, I
beseech You, and take up you abode in my heart. Purify
and cleanse me from all sin, and sanctify my soul.
Cleanse it from every impurity, water its dryness, melt
its coldness, and save it from sinful ways. Make me
truly humble and resigned, that I may be pleasing to
You, and that You abide with me forever. Most blessed
Light, most amiable Light, enlighten me. O rapturous
Joy of Paradise, Fount of purest delight, my God, give
yourself to me, and kindle in my innermost soul the
fire of your love. My Lord, instruct, direct, and
defend me in all things. Give me strength against all
immoderate fears and against despondency. Bestow upon
me a true faith, a firm hope, and a sincere and perfect
love. Grant that I always do your most gracious will.