Monday, August 20, 2007

Some Thoughts on Irish Churches

So, in Ireland the two predominate kinds of Churches are Roman Catholic and the Church of Ireland (Anglican). It's a nasty history, with England forcing reformation as a way of subjegating the Irish - so there is some competition between them. But even the Irish Anglicans kept much of the surface of RC - I didn't see what looked to be like many low church Anglicans there.

So, in your wonderings, you will come upon a church. How do you tell which sort it is? If you see a statue of Mary outside, it is Roman Catholic. That's how you tell from the outside. From the inside, it's a bit different. Look around - if you don't see Jesus, it's Anglican. Seriously - no crucifixes - even in the art work. At the Anglican Cathedral in Cork I saw the signs of the Zodiac - but narry a corpus. There just didn't seem to be much Jesus.

The focus must always be on Christ and what He does for me - otherwise you have missed the boat. I saw that in many pretty Churches in Ireland. I heard it as I heard a Dominican say mass on St. Lawrence's Day - a fine liturgy until. . . we offer up this sacrifice back to You God - and everything crumbles. There is a very good reason why Paul says that he is determined to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified. We would do well to remember this ourselves, lest we fall into the traps that ensnared so many before us.

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