March 12 is the Feast of St. Gregory the Great (his commemoration is in September on the Roman Catholic calendar).
Gregory's thoughts on the church ring true today, as The Episcopal Church (TEC) seems ready grasp at a few more minutes of media time by consecrating a Lesbian bishop. By rushing into LGBT ordination rituals without regard to wider Christian consensus, or even formal changes to its own Prayer Book language about the nature of marriage, TEC falls into a trap and, intentionally or not, betrays the wider Christian church. Gregory's warning is as urgent and tragic today as it was back in the 6th century:
"For when the faithful nations join forces with the holy preachers they become a great army in battles for the faith against the spirits of evil...
...and it is undisputed, that an army set in array appears terrible to the enemy when it is drawn up in such close order as to leave no gaps in its lines. For if an army were so deployed as to leave an empty space through which the foe could pass, it would assuredly not appear terrible to the enemy. Therefore when we form the line of spiritual battle against evil spirits it is absolutely essential that we be always united and constrained in charity, and are never found estranged by discord because whatever good works there may be in us, if charity is wanting, a gap is opened in the ranks by the sin of discord whereby the enemy avails to penetrate and smite us." Sermons on the Prophet Ezekiel I.8.6
TEC, absorbed with the claims of one small faction, is a gap in the Christian line of battle. And evil slips in and strikes down souls - those deceived by false teaching, those puffed up with private agendas, those embittered beyond charity on either side of "the issue," those turned off to the Gospel by the spectacle of an eccentric, squabbling religion.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.