For quite some time I have entertained the thought of “fixing” the Lectionary of the AB by somehow combining the AB with a BCP lectionary. Without much success. In the light of what we’ve read before from the rev. John Mason Neale I am wondering if one of the reasons that I have not succeeded is that perhaps the AB Lectionary isn’t broken and is not in need of fixing. After all nothing stops anyone from using the AB together with one of the many wondeful Bible-reading schedules that can be found by a simple google-search? Why should Bible reading be limited to Matins?
Perhaps it is all-too-human arrogance which presumes to ” fix” a traditional way of Prayer and Reading of Scripture, thereby missing whatever blessings God grants the ones who would faithfully and meditatively follow it? At this point, standing corrected by a man of God of more wisdom, I will give up fixing what is not obviously broken. Instead – by Psalmody and Prayer (which includes the Scripture selections and Commentary) provided by the AB my sinful broken self can perhaps be “fixed.” Scripture is, of course, our primary way of knowledge of God, but tradition is certainly the way we relate to Scripture. This tradition includes, prayer, patristic commentary, local and Ecumenical councils, and also Breviaries. This tradition is dynamic and surely the Holy Spirit is the One behind and within this tradition. At least I think it is implied in what Paul says about prayer in Romans 8, 26:
In a very real sense, the AB can function as an ascetic instrument to curb self-will. One of the vices which both Evagrius and John Cassian describe and try to heal in their disciples. By submitting to the AB – especially where I know better that it – we are in fact practicing the abdication of our diseased self-will not unlike our Monastic brothers and sisters.
Fr. Gregory Wassen