5th Saturday in Lent (day before the beginning of Holy Week)
[ Listening to? ] Derek Webb – Wedding Dress
I am dead. I have been for quite a while. But this feeling of deadness is now starting to overpower me. Strangely, I embrace it. Because in that deadness, I’ve never felt as alive as I am now.
I am a whore, I do confess.
But I put you on like a wedding dress.
And I run down the aisle, run down the aisle.
I’m a prodigal with no way home.
But I put you on like a ring of gold.
And I run down the aisle to you.
– Derek Webb, Wedding Dress
If we really want prayer, we’ll have to give it time. We must slow down to a human tempo and we’ll begin to have time to listen. And as soon as we listen to what’s going on, things will begin to take shape by themselves. But for this we have to experience time in a new way.One of the best things for me when I went to the hermitage was being attentive to the times of the day: when the birds began to sing, and the deer came out of the morning fog, and the sun came up while in the monastery, summer or winter, Lauds is at the same hour. The reason why we dont’ take time is a feeling that we have to keep moving. This is a real sickness. Today time is commodity, and for each one of us time is mortgaged. We experience time as unlimited indebtedness. We are sharecroppers of time. We are threatened by a chain reaction: overwork – overstimulation – overreaction – overcompensation – overkill. And yet, we are not debtors of the flesh (the flesh which is for St. Paul the principle of indebtedness). Christ has freed us.
We must approach the whole idea of time in a new way. We are free to love. And you must get free from all imaginary claims. We live in the fullness of time. Every moment is God’s own good time, his kairos. The whole thing boils down to giving ourselves in prayer a chance to realize that we have what we seek. We don’t have to rush after (God). (God) is there all the time, and if we give (Him) time (He) will make (Himself) known to us.
– Thomas Merton, quoted by Br. David Steindl-Rast OSB in “Man of Prayer”. Hart P OSB (ed.), Cistercian Studies No. 52 – Thomas Merton/Monk: A Monastic Tribute (New Enlarged Edition), (1983: Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, MI) at p81. (Items italicised & underlined, my own emphasis & interpretation from personal lectio, in the original text, the words are it and itself)
We believe that the divine presence is everywhere and that in every place the eyes of the Lord are watching the good and the wicked (Prov 15:3). But beyond the least doubt we should believe this to be especially true when we celebrate the divine office.
We must always remember, therefore, what the Prophet says: Serve the Lord with fear (Ps 2:11), and again, Sing praise wisely (Ps 46:8); and, In the presence of the angels I will sing to you (Ps 137:1). Let us consider, then, how we ought to behave in the presence of God and his angels, and let us stand to sing the psalms in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices.
– RB 19, Rule of St. Benedict (1981: The Order of St. Benedict Inc., Collegeville, MN).