24 February 2012

Lent 2012

I love [and perhaps have over told] the story of a newly ordered priest who notices a man at his early morning mass every day. The man never seems to participate, he sits in the pew focused on the crucifix above the altar. Generally he sits there after the mass ends, as the priest makes way for the next celebrant. After several weeks the priest, consumed with curiosity, finally approaches the man and asks if he can be of any assistance to him? The man politely says no. The priest then says that he has noticed that the man is always there and does not seem to be a participant so what is he doing? The man replies nodding towards the altar, "I look at him and he looks at me."

For mediators, rosary prayers, indeed for any mystic, this story resonates. I look on him and he looks on me. That is the centering experience in a very few words. We do not pray seeking answers, we pray seeking assurance that we can find answers. Once in a great while, we get more than we ask for when we pray.

Lent is a time when many catholic communities offer the stations of the cross (there is an Anglican version as well as the Roman.) And some parishes (not mine alas) offer opportunities to pray rosaries or to learn centering prayer as part of our, "spiritual discipline." If your parish offers an opportunity I hope you consider walking those roads. One paradox of the mystic is that our pathways are so solitary and yet we often choose to share the journey. It is often a good way to begin.

Lent is a time to listen to God, and be sure God listens to us. It is also a time to prepare for Easter and the celebration of Resurrection.

Oremus -- Let us pray.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Roman churches? You mean catholic churches?
Do you refer to orthodox churches as grecian or moscovite?
Isn't it time to put this ridiculous "Apostolicae Curae" resentment behind you? It's so affected.

St Laika's

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