Maundy Thursday - Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it t...
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"We reach for God because he first reached for us. Nothing in the spiritual life originates with us. It all originates with God. So it is that the spiritual life begins in this most unlikely place." - Sacred Rhythms, page 25.The Psalmist declares the soul's desire
O God, you are my God,This season of Lent is different for me. I resist and find suspect the language of The Book of Common Prayer, "...Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain you..." BCP, Collect for Ash Wednesday page 217.
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water. - Ps. 63
"Fasting is the natural, inevitable response of a person to a grievous sacred moment in life." - Fasting, page xxi.We naturally fast when something is seriously wrong. When my wife was very sick I didn't eat - I just couldn't. I didn't even know I was hungry. I didn't sleep. I didn't do anything normal.
...I no longer desire to see anything that implies a distance between You and me: and if I stand back and consider myself and You as if something had passed between us, from me to You, I will inevitably see the gap between us and remember that distance which kill me. - Seven Storey Mountain, page 421Merton's next sentence is his response to this felt gap:
"That is the only reason why I desire solitude - to be lost to all created things, to die to them and to the knowledge of them, for they remind me of my distance from You."Lent is a time to realize the gap. The desert solitude is the natural response to this feeling that something is terribly wrong. This is a very real wrong - not forced or faked. We are lost from g-d, and the Spirit is calling us back. Lent is the time to return. Barton says that "return" is a great word to describe the spiritual journey. (lecture)
Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
"The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing." - Karl Rahner (theologian)