"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

01 March 2006

"Christ have mercy"

Today was Ash Wednesday. I don't participate in a church that takes much notice of any but the major church holy days, and I'd had it in my head that Lent started next week.

A year or two ago, I bought a 1928 Book of Common Prayer to use for private devotionals. So tonight, on seeing a news story about Ash Wednesday services, I got it out and found this prayer, meant to be said each day until Palm Sunday:

"Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou has made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

As Lent is a season of confession and purification, preparation for the celebration of the Passion and Easter, I pray that this prayer will be made true in me and not mere words devoid of meaning. May we come to a place of ever greater devotion to and love for Him, seeing in that supreme sacrifice of Good Friday that His love for us is infinitely great.

2 comments:

GrumpyTeacher1 said...

I wish my church participated in Lent. It seems such a beautiful expression of faith (much more than a system of spiritual self improvement).

alaiyo said...

Yes, I like the way you put it. I long for ritual and tradition and celebration to help me remember that.

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