Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent
March 26, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 18. It is a royal psalm, full of triumph, praise and rejoicing. But the psalmist, presumably David, never forgets the depths from which he has been delivered. He remembers the “storm” from which he called out to God.
The psalmist imagines God, in the distant temple, hearing his cry and responding. The image brought to my mind the memory of an early morning prayer time when I was a very young nun.
An hour or so before dawn, I looked out my window to the morning star, imagining God out there in the heavens. Like David, I presumed God was distant and needed to be called into my experience. But, on that morning, I realized that God was not distant – that God was within me, my life, and the very storm I was praying about.
I still love to look out to the stars while I pray. But since that morning, I imagine God sitting beside me, enjoying the same beauty – sorting through my life with me from within my own heart. Verse 29 makes me think that David came to a similar realization:
Poetry: Go Not to the Temple – Ravindranath Tagore
Go not to the temple to put flowers upon the feet of God,
First fill your ownhouse with the Fragrance of love and kindness.
Go not to the temple to light candles before the altar of God,
First remove the darkness of sin , pride and ego,
from your heart…
Go not to the temple to bow down your head in prayer,
First learn to bow in humility before your fellowmen.
And apologize to those you have wronged.
Go not to the temple to pray on bended knees,
First bend down to lift someone who is down-trodden.
And strengthen the young ones.
Not crush them.
Go not to the temple to ask for forgiveness for your sins,
First forgive from your heart those who have hurt you!
Music: Christ Be Beside Me – St. Patrick’s Breastplate adapted by Michael Foscher