Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Feb 18 - Alleluias, Ash Wednesday, And All That

Let me hear of your loving-kindness in the morning,
for I put my trust in you; *
show me the road that I must walk,
for I lift up my soul to you.
Psalm 143:8
From the holy feast of Easter until Pentecost, "Alleluia" is always said with both the psalms and the responsories.
Benedict's Rule 15:1 (Chittister, Pg. 117)
To the Benedictine mind, life in all its long nights and weary days is something to be praised...
Chittister, Pg. 118
My days are joyful, at least recently. My life is good. I can easily say "Alleluia". But even now I still need to hear of God's loving-kindness, because even with good days I still have long nights and weary times.

Today is Ash Wednesday. We stop saying "Alleluia" until Easter. We pause and remember that not all of us are having good days, nor do those of us that are having good days have them every day. As Sister Joan quotes Saint Augustine "We are an Easter people." I cannot forget either word: "Easter", or "people" -- being a person among people I remember the hard times and know they are likely to come again. I know that by nature I sin and need to ask forgiveness. But we have Easter, and I know that forgiveness is there for the asking, that good days do come. And like Easter following Lent, or Spring following Winter, I pray that I put my trust in God, that I remember life continues on and I remember to continue offering praise even when I next have long nights and weary days.

A Note To Readers:

This entry is part of a series that is developing as I read The Rule of Benedict, A Spirituality for the 21st Century, Joan Chittister, OSB, Crossroads, 2010. I am offering this both to those at St. George's Episcopal Church, Arlington VA, that may be reading this book and to anyone that is interested.

Unless stated otherwise quotes from St. Benedict's Rule are from the translation in this same book.Psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979 unless otherwise noted.
Comments are welcome, and encouraged, please use the blog comment feature.

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