O Jerusalem – Morning Prayer in Lent

KaddishOn the heels of the terrible slaughter of young students in Jerusalem, in our Morning Prayer for Friday, March 7, 2008 (Feast of Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs) we read:Antiphon 1: Create in me a clean heart and a steadfast spirit renew Psalm 51Psalm-prayer: Father, he who knew no sin was made sin for us, to save us and restore us to your friendship. Look upon our contrite heart and afflicted spirit and heal our troubled conscience, so that in the joy and strength of the Holy … [Read more...]

Lent: Peter & the Gates of Hell

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly … [Read more...]

Lent: the searing lesson

This trembling mystery: love cannot exist without pain.Love brings the pain; it lets pain in. The key to all that makes us vulnerable. And alive.And hurt.And alive.Pain can exist without love, but not the reverse.All creation is loved into being. Did that make the Creator vulnerable, too?At the Incarnation, God-with-us came helpless, for us, with us, to us.The reassuring love...But did Christ also need to come to tell us God hurt?To show us the hurt, and … [Read more...]

Friday in Lent: Miserere

Psalm 51Psalm 51(50) Miserere mei, DeusHave mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your compassion blot out my offense. O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.My offenses truly I know them; my sin is always before me Against you, you alone, have I sinned; what is evil in your sight I have done.That you may be justified when you give sentence and be without reproach when you judge, see, in guilt I was born, a sinner was I conceived.Indeed you love truth in … [Read more...]

Lent: Thought for the Day

Brian Eno - An Ending (Ascent)In order to arrive at having pleasure in everything, Desire to have pleasure in nothing. In order to arrive at possessing everything, Desire to possess nothing. In order to arrive at being everything, Desire to be nothing. In order to arrive at knowing everything, Desire to know nothing.In order to arrive at that point where you take no pleasure, you must go by a way that gives no pleasure. In order to arrive at that point where you know nothing, you must go by … [Read more...]

Lent: Disciplining oneself; the hardest thing…

(link)While all the runners in the stadium take part in the race, the award goes to one man. In that case, run so as to win! Athletes deny themselves all sorts of things. They do this to win a crown of leaves that withers, but we a crown that is imperishable. I do not run like a man who loses sight of the finish line. I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. What I do is discipline my own body and master it, for fear that after having preached to others, I myself should be rejected. - 1 … [Read more...]

How's your Lent going?

Why Catholics Sit, Kneel, Bow and StandThankfully, this year Lent has not completely gotten away from me as it did, last year. For that I credit the help of my Breviary - (psalmody is so very powerful and grounding, when we commit to it) and Anthony Bloom's Beginning to Pray, and also the Gospels, which I have been reading chapter-by-chapter each night with a notebook and a bit more care than usual. Just now, I'm liking the Ignatius Bible, and its simple presentation, a lot. Don't you find … [Read more...]

Stephen Colbert on Good & Evil

Over at Inside Catholic Margaret Cabaniss has embedded a great clip from the Colbert Report - Stephen Colbert going mano a mano - and very impressively - in a debate on the origins of good and evil, and the need for authority. You'll enjoy, even with the bleep at the end!Related: Who Told You That You Were Naked? … [Read more...]

2 More books for Lent?

In the mail today - received this excellent-looking book from Our Sunday Visitor:Within, editor Michael Dubruiel gives us accessible Pope Benedict XVI - records of his conversations with children, students, priests and others, and the exchanges remind me of these lovely exchanges between Benedict and young people, which I posted a while back. My favorite:During a question-and-answer session with a half-dozen children, one boy told the pope that he had been told that Christ was really … [Read more...]

Do you keep holy water in your house?

I do. I periodically bless the rooms, doors and windows with holy water. When my kids were small I would bless them with it before they went out to school, or if they were sick.We have a holy water font by the front door - do you? It is - frankly - often dry. Perhaps for the rest of Lent I will try to use it more frequently, to instill that habit, and get my husband to, too.This is a sort of cool video on the subject, from the perspective of a husband and father.Btw, there is a … [Read more...]