The Best Prayer Julian of Norwich
The best prayer is to rest in the goodness of God, knowing that that goodness can reach down to our lowest depths of need.
Source: Revelations of Divine Love
I'm not sure that I will manage to post every day during Lent. I gave that a go for a January Nablo and it didn't go so well, but let's just say, it's my hope to be more reflective and intentional about posting over the next forty days. Ash Wednesday service was a good beginning for the season. I preached the sermon posted below, and M and I celebrated the Eucharist together. Our choir sang and we had a good attendance of 23, which in our tiny place is a major crowd. I had the strange and wonderful experience of placing ashes on the forehead of my beloved and saying those powerful words that for me hold such depth and meaning. In one millisecond holding the solemn truth that this man I love so much is dust....ephemeral and mortal, easily lost to me by death, and at the same time knowing he, like all of the other beautiful faces at the rail last night, is held in God, part of God and linked to me in a far bigger way than my human mind can ever grasp.
Lent has begun. I have already bumped up against challenges to my plan to give up suffering. I had coffee with XDO on Shrove Tuesday. There is fertile ground for a guilt wallow there should I chose to dive in. I did not personally share the news of my engagement before it got around by way of the grapevine. That was an oops on my part, I think. I did procrastinate some. I wasn't entirely sure of the reception, although to be fair, overall, the response to my developing relationship with R has been pretty positive as XDO and I have tried to negotiate these strange waters of post-relationship friendship. But there is anger about the fact that the news did not come from me. And more, too, I think. About the news itself. That I have moved on this soon...and so many other things. XDO is experiencing health issues at some level of seriousness. How serious I cannot be sure as that is not being shared. I get it. I am no longer the bearer of that privilege. But it frustrates me as well. And from my own pile of issues it is very hard to resist going to guilt. I have joy and blessings, love and abundance. XDO has illness and apparent suffering, loneliness and perhaps an uncertain future. My head knows....my heart mourns....and wants to take it on and must be pulled back from an edge that bodes no good for anyone. Lenten discipline....fasting from the wallow in XDO guilt.
I saw L yesterday. He has been keeping a very low profile. That has been very concerning to me, but for a whole host of reasons I have had to let him do that. We ran into each other and he told me that he has been "kicked out" of his roommate situation here in town. He has moved to his mom's house in the little town down the road, which is far from an optimal thing, for many reasons. He's not working...again, not good. Lot's of free time. I encouraged him to call some congregants who live in his town for a ride to church and to call me to talk. I wish I could do more for him. I worry about him and pray for him constantly. His life makes me so sad. I want to save him from himself....it is out of my power to do so. *sigh* ....fasting from worry? Now there is a tall order!
And so Lent begins....