The Brotherhood of Saint Gregory is a Christian Community of The
Episcopal Church, its Communion Partners, and the worldwide Anglican Communion, whose members follow a common rule
and serve the church on parochial, diocesan, and national levels.
Members — clergy and lay, without regard to marital status — live
individually, in small groups, or with their families. They support
themselves and the community through their secular or church-related work,
making use of their God-given talents in the world while not being
of the world. The trust that all labor and life can be sanctified
is summed up in the community’s motto: Soli Deo Gloria, To
God Alone the Glory.
Flexibility is crucial in the ministry of the Brotherhood.
Each member is encouraged to develop his gifts and talents under the
guidance of the Holy Spirit and the care and direction of the community.
Brothers work in parishes as liturgists, musicians, librarians, artists,
visitors to the poor and the sick, administrators, sextons, teachers, guild
members, and clergy. On diocesan and national levels, brothers serve in a
number of administrative and pastoral capacities. Many of those in secular
employment continue the servant theme, and work as teachers, nurses and
administrators. The aim is always to follow Saint Gregory the Great as
“servants of the servants of God” — whether in church or
One of the things I have discovered in my twenty years of religious life is this — all of the means we have at our disposal for working out our salvation are imperfect.
We live with a conviction — sometime fleeting, sometimes certain — that God is calling us to transformation, and that our transformation is for the purpose of helping to bring about the Reign of God on earth. But the thing that always gets me is that I have no idea what that looks like. Neither what a transformed me looks like, nor what the coming Reign might look like. Neither of these things are quite mine to know. But trusting that it is so is one of the chief criteria of faith. And, as I trustingly give myself over to the process of becoming what it is God intends for me, patience is key! And it is nearly impossible.
The life of faith is one that requires sacrifice and patience. It requires trust. I can look to history and tradition for some reassurance that the choice to enter this life of redemption and faith is worthwhile, but the truth is that history and tradition — in the overall scheme of things — are short view realities rather than long view glimpses into the coming of God’s reign. And the trick is to trust that when change becomes painful.
The practice of patience is painful. It requires unknowing what I think I know, making room for the as yet unknown to find a space to grow, and even unbecoming who I am so that I may become what I am supposed to be for God’s purpose.
For now, I trust that God holds me in the palm of God’s own hand. Whatever may come of my own desires, my own projections, my own growing pains — I trust that someday that holy Reign will come and that I will have done what God intended for me…as long as I remain patient and run the race.