Thursday, 6 March 2014

Happy Lent

Ash Wednesday's sermon was, I suppose, my blueprint for what I will for over the next 40 days.  Normally I make a "lenten bill", and try to stick to it.  This year, illness, exhaustion and lack of inspiration meant that I approached the season completely unprepared.  Therefore what the priest said, will do.  I am not inspired by the homily, but that maybe for  the best.

I will share it with you.

Firstly, he said he would give us two rules for Lent.  The first rule came after a little story about a master who couldn't teach his disciple and demonstrated this by pouring tea into a cup whilst the disciple was talking, the tea overflowed the cup because the disciple wouldn't shut up.  The master said to his young disciple "I can't teach you whilst you are full". The first rule is, empty yourself.

The second rule was the first two words that Our Lord speaks in the Gospel passage for that day "be careful".  It seemed to be about being hidden, meeting God in your heart, being silent, being careful to keep God as the priority, and letting Him order you.....

Whilst looking for something to read, "The Cloud of Unknowing" fell off the shelf, I haven't read that since I was a postgrad reprobate, dabbling into far too much eastern mysticism and very much pre my "reversion" to the Faith.  It seems to be an appropriate thing to re-read; emptiness, unknowing, reaching way beyond self with a desire for unity with God.....

I'm finding the Church far too blathery right now. Everyone in it seems to be chatting inanely and the starlings outside my window this morning made more sense and seemed more full of the praises of God than everything I'm hearing from my fellow sinners in the Church Militant. It is definitely the time to venture beyond words and sentiment.....  yes, it's time for interior silence and emptiness, and stillness and carefulness in thought, word and deed.

I'm gloriously uninspired by all of this, but maybe that is the point. Perhaps Lent is a good time to let go of the need for inspiration, a time to grasp the emptiness of the ordinary, to give in service to others by not giving anything, but by letting yourself be given to them... an emptying of that cup so that God can fill it with His grace....

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