These are a series of short reflections and prayers to be used preferably during the Sunday evenings of Lent 2017. This week I attended the Ash Wednesday service at the village’s parish church. It was a moving and powerful start to Lent for me. It prepared me for the journey of repentance Christians are invited to take as Easter Day approaches.
I have been reading ‘What is Christianity?’ by Rowan Williams. In this brief book he describes love as not just a warm feeling for each other but a habit of seeing each other as God sees human beings.
This reminded me of this prayer by Michel Quoist
I would like to rise very high, Lord,
above my place,
above my world,
I would like to purify my glance and borrow your eyes,
then falling on my knees, I would admire, Lord
the mystery of the world,
which, in spite of all the innumerable and hateful snags of sin,
is a long throb of love,
towards love eternal.
But there is a discipline that must be accepted before such a prayer can be the truth we speak. It is a discipline suggested by these two questions
Do I acknowledge the failing, ignorant, destructive person I am?
Am I ready to burden the love of God with this diminished human being that I am and receive the welcome he offers in return?
The temptations of Jesus were an invitation to become a diminished Saviour. They provoked this prayer
God of the Quietening Evening
may I not take from today anything
that will be of no good tomorrow.
And should this be no more than
pious vanity on my part,
may I at least be honest enough
to recognise the destructive
powers that argue within me
and be ready to burden your love
with them rather than others.