sorrow

Food For Thought: Sing Out and Stick Together


Scar02Ten Voices

 It’s O.K. for the rich and the lucky to keep still;

No one wants to hear about them anyway.

But those in need have to step forward,

Have to say, “I am blind,”

Or, “I’m about to go blind,”

Or, “Nothing is well with me,”

Or “I have a child who is sick,”

Or, “Right there, I am sort of glued together…”

 

And probably that doesn’t do anything either.

They have to sing. If they didn’t sing

Everyone would walk past, as if they were fences or trees.

That’s where you can hear good singing.

People really are strange,

They prefer to hear castratos in boy choirs.

 

But God himself comes and stays a long time

When the world of half-people starts to bore him.

 

Rainer Maria Rilke in

Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, Robert Bly, ed and translator.

Farewell But Not Forever

Today's Lectionary Readings

 
Bags

Two farewells are related in today's readings: Paul's departure from the Ephesians and Jesus' High Priestly Prayer anticipating his passion, death and resurrection. Both are poignant and sad. But it's reassuring to know that no Christian farewell, the little daily ones or the final one at our death, lasts forever.

The very best of Christian leave-taking allows room for the grief and sadness even while supported by faith in eternal life. The manner in which our funeral rites are celebrated seems to have struck a balance between the stark solemnity and judgement-fearing funerals of pre-Vatican II days and the celebratory, dutifully joyful funerals immediately following the Council. Now there is room for grief and mourning in a context of hope and faith. Tears and sadness are a true expression of the human condition and not necessarily a betrayal of our faith in eternal life; they are not out of place, they are perfectly in context.

As one of the Eucharist prayers for funerals affirms, "life is changed, not ended." Farewell, but not forever.

 

Confessions on Friday Evenings after Stations of the Cross in Lent

Confessional

Don't Neglect Confession During Lent
  

While we were praying Stations of the Cross on Friday, it occurred to me that it would be a wonderful time to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Several people who had prayed the Stations remained for confession.

We'll continue the practice, so spread the word: Stations of the Cross on Fridays during Lent followed immediately by confessions (at approximately 7:30 PM). We'll  use the church's confessional, so that either face-to-face or anonymous confession can be done.

Reflection on the passion of Christ helps us appreciate Jesus' sufferings for us, His gracious mercy, and an acute awareness of our sinfulness. If it's been a while since you experienced Jesus' forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, consider praying with us on Friday.