Mac Stewart was born and raised in Raleigh, NC, at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, and served as an Episcopal clergyman from 2014 until 2022. He completed degrees at UNC-Chapel Hill (B.A., Philosophy, 2009), Duke Divinity School (M.Div., 2013), Yale Divinity School (S.T.M., 2014), and The Catholic University of America (Ph.D., 2022). He served churches in Oklahoma, Maryland, and Washington, DC, and has taught several courses as a Graduate Teaching Fellow in Theology at CUA. He was received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church on January 16th, 2023.
Many Episcopalians would reflexively balk at “experiential” ways of speaking about Christian faith. They disillusioned by forms of the faith that elicit intense emotional highs but may lack the patterns and habits of living and praying that can sustain faith over the long haul.
Memorizing prayers, by definition, means that the prayers become inscribed on your soul in a new way. You become mindful of the words, and they come to rest in the “fields and vast palaces of memory” (see Augustine, Confessions X.12-26), engraved on the walls of those palaces for your perusal at will.
In older Anglican prayerbooks, "The Order for the Visitation of the Sicke" instructed the minister to direct an exhortation to the sick person. He or she is to know "certainly" that "your sickness...is God's visitation."