Monday, March 31, 2008

April Snow

Snow falls thick, fast, and urgent
blanketing the world one last time

A boy on the beach finding just one more perfect stone
just one more bucket of sand on the castle

How blame the season for a child's exuberance?
especially when his Father has permitted....

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Twisted wreck of self-love

This last Sunday my priest spoke of how the Church has constructed Lent with a view to healing us of self-love. It is such an insidious and commonplace disorder. How many things do our passions present to us as needs? And why do we fall for it so easily? One answer is that the passions actually do need these things and without them they (the passions) will die. In a culture where we're taught to identify with the passions, rather than control the normal ones and destroy the evil ones, it's easy to see how we can develop the habit of resisting the discomforts of Lent.
An interesting side effect of dealing with one 'need' presented to us by the passions is that a new one usually pops up immediately. This reveals the wisdom of the Church in prescribing a common fast, rather than an a la carte approach to Lent. Our true illness is the habit of self-indulgence or self-love. Denying ourselves one thing only for the period of the fast may in fact lead us to simply overindulge in something else. The breadth and length of the prescribed fast are calculated to afford us the best possible chance to gain mastery over the passions. It is of course possible to pervert the fast into an exercise in pride or an excuse for enormities of self-indulgence later. Lent will not do its work if we are prayerless and unrepentant.

May the work of this Holy season pervade our hearts and minds with the Goodness of God which leads us all to repentance.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Questions of lent

O Merciful Lord
I know that with each breath I draw
I am your servant

Yet why do I seek to be the servant who enters Your labours at the 11th hour?
Why abuse the knowledge of your kindness?
Why eat again from the bitter tree?

What disordered appetites drive me to this frenzy of self-love-loathing?
I do not know, but I would begin to know how lost I am without you.
Find me out, my Lord and save me.