Monday, 8 October 2007

The good Anglican

I had an amusing encounter with our parish priest after the service on Sunday. I was telling him how one of our partners is driven by a Protestant work ethic, while another is similarly compelled by a Catholic sense of duty. “Catholic guilt” he corrected me with a twinkle in his eye, and continued “whereas you, as a good Anglican, couldn't care less.” “Quite right” I replied, “if I wasn't there then someone else would do it.”

He was pulling my leg, but there was a serious point behind what he was saying. This is perhaps the religious view of “good enough doctoring”. We should try to do the best we can, but we shouldn't be too harsh on ourselves when we fail. I suspect that people who are driven by religious duty, or shamed by weight of guilt, do not find it easy to imagine that God might forgive them. But as the hymn says: “Father-like he tends and spares us, well our feeble frame he knows”. And a little earlier, during the intercession, we had said this prayer:
We pray for ourselves, God.
You know each of us by name.
Make us into the people you want us to be,
and when that hurts,
reassure us how much you love us.


The Shrink said...

What should guide us?

"And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

It seems easier than Mathew 5:48, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Perfection in Primary Care, however laudable for us, would truly be divine ;-)

Anonymous said...

That's a lovely prayer.
I wish I had faith and could believe it, but without all the guilt associated with needing to be a 'good' Christian/Catholic/whatever.