Tuesday of the fourth week of Lent

I have not been doing a very good job of reflecting on the Mass readings. Too many days, I feel, I have relied on the meditations I wrote a few years ago. Today, though (maybe because teaching has finished?), I have returned to my old friend, Psalm 46:10, at thinking coram Deo: ‘Cease striving, and know that I am God’. Thanks for reading.

 

Friday of the third week of Lent

This week I have been talking a lot, to anyone who will listen, about liturgical catechesis. More on that later, but if you’re interested, you might have a look at Sacrosantcum Concilium, paragraphs 4-13, and/or the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 1066 and following. What does it mean to attend to the liturgy? To participate fully, with understanding? How can we (the laity) be helped in our participation? These are the questions I have been asking myself. I can’t say that the answers are to be found in the day’s Mass readings, but my mediation for the day (from the manuscript, again) is at thinking coram Deo.

Wednesday of the third week in Lent

Reading over the text of the reflection for today, which I wrote a few years back (book production for me is a slow affair–something to do with having four children, maybe), I found myself surprised by my confidence in eternal life. It isn’t that I have to cross my fingers now every time I say the creed. Rather, it is that there is always a sense that we keep using that term, and I am not sure it means what we think it means (to adapt Inigo Montoya’s immortal line from The Princess Bride). I don’t doubt heaven’s existence, but I am certain I don’t have the faintest idea what it will be like. Not really–it’s that whole eternity and time thing, which from where I now stand, is a mystery.

Monday of the third week in Lent

I didn’t think I could do it, today. It has been one of those days–a spiritual and psychological sluggishness has dogged me all day. But the story of Elisha and Naaman inspired me, and reminded me why I am doing this. Hint: it’s not fame or money… See the post at thinking coram Deo

Saturday of the second week in Lent: prodigious grace

The first time I tried the Lenten discipline of daily reflection on the Mass readings, my life was slightly simpler than it is now. Fewer obligations, and fewer children, meant that the struggle to find the time each day was a struggle. This Lent I have found myself at a loss some days: there is neither physical nor psychological space for the kind of prayerful reflection I intended. Some days I have returned to the meditations I wrote five years ago–and been grateful to God that I was able to undertake the daily reflections. Today, though, the meditation at thinking coram Deo is truly today's. It is brief. The readings today are all about grace, God's unchanging and already-present grace. In that grace, God meets us while we are still making our way back home. If that's not good news, I don't know what is.

Friday of the second week in Lent

The reflection on the Mass readings is at thinking coram Deo, as usual–from the manuscript of the devotional. So a saying from the Apothegmata Patrum is included.

Wednesday was the feast of St Joseph; yesterday was the feast of St Cuthbert. Today is World Down Syndrome Day, and I celebrate my daughter–her life, and the way she teaches me about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and a child of God. For her, indeed, I say Deo gratias.

Thursday of the second week in Lent

I spent some time with the verses from Jeremiah today; Jeremiah 17: 9 is one of my very favourite verses. Not because it offers particular consolation…unless knowing that God knows us better than we know ourselves is consolation. Knowing that ‘the heart is deceitful above all else’ (as some translations have it) reminds me that I am something of a mystery to myself. I cannot trust myself to want the right thing or to do the right thing. I can only trust God, who has prepared the way, ‘the good things, that [I] might walk in them’. I posted the reflection from the the manuscript of my Lenten devotional, though. I have more thinking to do about the way Jeremiah contrasts trust in ‘man’ with trust in God, in verses 7-8.