28 August 2009

Cor ad Cor loquitur

The other day the magazine of the Society of Mary arrived - full as usual of spiffing pictures of processions with Bishop Ladds and Fr Rowlands and others wearing heaps of those simple unaffected garments for which we Anglican Catholics are so famed (a shop inscribed "Iyaaz: Halal Meat and Poultry" in the background) . And a couple of very nice old photographs; including one, 1934, of a procession moving down West India Road (shops inscribed "Players Navy Cut" and "London Stout and Ales: Billiards Room and Smoking Lounge") with little girls carrying a banner of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And the same Immaculate Heart reappears in an fascinating article about Mr Newman (auctore F A L Vilna of the North West Ward). As he related years later to Dr Pusey, on August 22 1845 [Pusey's birthday, Octave Day of the Assumption], Newman first "saw his way clear" to put a Miraculous Medal round his neck.

The phrase reminded me rather of how Archdeacon Manning, six years later, did not say his first Hail Mary until he had formally resigned his archdeaconry and walked across the bridge to say his prayers in Southwark Cathedral. Marian devotion seemed a dividing line in the sense that, however one's theological views might have developed, it somehow didn't seem right to do certain things while one was still 'eating the bread' of the Established Church. August 22 was some weeks before that rainy evening when Newman threw himself at the feet of the dripping and steaming Fr Dominic Barberi and began his two-day long General Confession. Clearly, on that August day, Newman saw himself as having turned a corner. I wonder if it could be anything to do with the fact that (he was already familiar with the use of the Roman Breviary) he had just celebrated the Octave of the Assumption with its Marian readings at Mattins (rather more of them in the 1840s than in the circa1962 Breviary).

The author makes the fascinating suggestion that the Cor ad Cor loquitur of Newman's motto referred to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary as they appear together on the back of the Miraculous Medal.

You can join the Society of Mary even if you are not fortunate enough to be an Anglican by emailing membership@societyofmary.net


Joshua said...

Don't get me wrong, I like things Baroque, but I remember being shown issues of the Society of Mary's newsletter, and finding the enormous spade maniples (which could almost double as snow shovels) quite grotesque.

My former P.P. (now a Bp) had been trained at Kelham in the early sixties prior to swimming the Tiber, and kept an interest in Anglo-Catholic goings-on (from him and other convert friends, I developed a similar half-affectionate regard for it all, though the glory days of the Anglo-Catholic congresses and hopes of corporate reunion of the whole C. of E. have departed); he once showed me copies of a T.A.C. or other continuing Anglican publication, with the comment that it had more mitres per page than any journal he'd ever seen, and that it seemed strange that these folk so professedly loyal to the Prayer Book had such very Tridentine altars...

A few months ago I paid a visit to the local T.A.C. parish, buoyed up by their hopes of union without absorption; it was to be honest sad to see only a dozen or so good people having to gather in a room of a scout hall, for a curious liturgy consisting of bits of the BCP, of the Trad. Mass, and the Novus Ordo. I was a bit surprised that the Eucharistic Prayer used was the Interim Rite - which I believe in an earlier posting you described as a bad idea, since Cranmer's elegant prose is essentially uncatholic.

If only the T.A.C. (and other likeminded persons) were or will come into settled and canonical communion with the Holy See - I would gladly attend their Masses, but for the moment regretfully cannot.

Joshua said...

The same applies to the SSPX.

When in New Zealand recently, I was delighted to attend the Masses of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer (formerly the Transalpine Redemptorists), who have been reconciled to the Holy See since the Motu proprio.

Joshua said...

Do members of the Society of Mary read Our Lady's Little Office? (I recall from "Sinister Street" that some devotees did.)

I also recall saying the Angelus with some Anglican friends - all went swimmingly until the Collect: I launched into "Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy grace into our hearts..." while they declaimed the Prayer Book version: "We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts..."