Lex Orandi Lex Credendi

In Catholic, Christianity on March 26, 2009 at 9:50 pm

In launching Christianity Richly I would be negligent—in gratitude, as well as in identifying vital influences—without mentioning my pastor, Father Jay Scott Newman of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Greenville, SC.  Fr. Newman’s impact on my formation as an evangelical Catholic can hardly be overstated.  The power of his preaching, the light of his example, and the reverence and transcendence of worship at St. Mary’s have had profound effects.

It is that last point, reverence and transcendence in worship, to which this post’s title refers.  George Weigel, theologian and biographer of Pope John Paul II, writes, “The people of St. Mary’s Greenville have learned experientially an ancient theological maxim that you should know: lex orandi lex credendi—what we pray is what we believe.  Sloppy worship leads inevitably to sloppy theology” (Letters to a Young Catholic).

Weigel’s chapter on St. Mary’s describes the significance of right worship far better than I might.  I leave you in his good hands, should you choose to read Letters to a Young Catholic.  The point is that right worship is an immense part of living Christianity richly!  In terms of influences used by the Holy Spirit in my conversion to Catholic Christianity, nothing, except the clear need for teaching and interpretative authority, rivaled the impact of my first visit to St. Mary’s.  The veil between earth and Heaven became nearly transparent.  The glory and majesty of God was reverenced and worshipped. It was impossible to go away unchanged—and it remains so.

  1. […] was the point of  Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi. The parish George Weigel describes certainly is not the only parish in the world he could describe […]

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