Evening Prayer: 1st Sunday of Lent (Combo post)

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Psalms: 63, 98, 103
Old Testament: Deut 8:1-10
New Testament: 1 Cor 1:17-31
Gospel: Mark 2:18-22
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a commentary on the Psalms by St. Augustine

[The LORD] humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deut. 8:3)

I’ll tell you what else you don’t live off alone….beer coupled with jagar shots :S…..Needless to say I was hurtin’ this morning. Coupled with daylight savings time, I didn’t even make it out to church today 😛

But anyways enough about my drunken adventures….today’s lection from Deuteronomy provides us with the original text which Christ uses in answering the first temptation.

Food is an important part of our lives, and we cannot survive without it for very long….but it is not the only thing which provides sustenance. Just as we need material bread to live….we also need to feed our souls with the bread of the Word.

That’s why the fasting portion of Lent was such a central focus. It wasn’t necessarily the sacrifice of hunger that was the focus, but rather on the thing that took its place…..namely contemplating our relationship with God.

In contemplating this relationship…..the road will not always be easy….when we give God our full attention….there is the possibility that a lot of feelings can be drudged up. Remembering not only those times when we felt blessed by God…..but also those times in which we felt angry with him……lost in the dark night of the soul.

Both parts of this journey (angst and joy) are essential to bring us closer to Christ….since at its core, it involves being honest with our own spiritual struggles.

As you experience these emotions in all of their variety, may you embrace them fully….it is only by continuing to walk that we will make it through the desert and find ourselves in the promised land of prosperity, peace, and wholeness. +

Evening Prayer: January 19th

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Psalm: 119:25-48
Gospel: Mark 4:1-20
Reading from the RC Magisterium: An excerpt from Lumen Gentium

OK so confession time…….I am frustrated right now……For the past 2 years I’ve been trying to read (and actually finish) Dark Night of the Soul a “spiritual classic” from the 15th century….it is full of /FAIL

John of the Cross’ basic thesis is this: The soul must be purged of all worldly desires and sense of self-worth so that Divine Light might enter….much like the brokenness of tonight’s Psalmist.

My soul clings to the dust;
revive me according to your word.
When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word. (Psalm 119:25-28)

Fine. Good. I’m with ya..the thing is he goes on for 110 pages making the same point over and over……SO boring! 😛

I’m wondering whether anyone who has read the book (or find’s John of the Cross’ thesis to be true) can help me understand a) why this is considered a pivotal work in Christianity and b) While I’m all for self-emptying, is it really possible from a human perspective??? I’m not sure……..

Here endeth my rant…..Apologies if you were looking for something a little more inspirational tonight 😛 +

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