Monday, March 18, 2013

Live Oak Lenten Blog - week 5

Ahhh - back home and back to normal. I love vacation but I love coming home even more :)

In preparation for Holy Week next week, I set my alarm to go off at 5:40 this morning to Miserere Mei, Deus (Have mercy on me, o God). This is an early 17th century composition by Gregorio Allegri which sets Psalm 51 to music that was sung during the Holy Week Tenebrae services in the Sistine Chapel under Pope Urban VIII.

I love this song - it puts me in the right frame of mind for Holy Week - the culmination of Lent in a week that focuses on Jesus sacrificial act of love for us. Take a listen if you've never heard it.

This morning, after listening to Miserere Mei, Deus, I opened my Bible App on my iphone and sat down to read, all prepared with a list of things to pray about afterwards, including some issues regarding reconciliation and forgiveness.  The passage I read was this:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. - Ephesians 6:10-12

And here's the funny thing - after reading that passage I realized that I didn't need to pray about other people, I needed to pray for myself. I needed to pray that I would be more forgiving and have a more generous spirit. Instead of praying for help to forgive people who hurt or aggravate me, I needed to pray that I have more bandwidth and more 'stock' in God. The problem is not with others, it is with me and the way I am allowing things that are not of God to sway and move me away from God.

I remember my mother using a portion of St. Patrick's prayer which has always resonated with me and seems particularly apropos today (since yesterday was his day and because of my realization this morning) so I am going to close with it.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,
Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me
- St. Patrick (taken from The Breastplate of St. Patrick)

May God be with each and every one of us today and always.

Chesney Szaniszlo