Before the Ending of the Day

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.

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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,

above time.

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.

 

 

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