And while we’re considering Roman things, here’s the extraordinary Aeneas intaglio from the Getty Museum:
I blog, therefore I blog. I wrote a post about ownership, consumption, mortality, and “litel myn librarie,” and another about how to become “news-resilient.” I also wrote about … oh heck, just head over there and take a look.
One might, as well, consider this Lenten period as a period of descent. For one, it can be a period of our more frequently descending with our minds into our hearts in silent prayer, into prayer as communion with Christ. It is also a descent into our partaking of His kenosis, His emptying, His self-sacrifice that occasions our healing. Lent, therefore, becomes a salutary means of our dying to mindless habits, our dying to soul-scattering distractions, our dying to life-inhibiting illusions. It becomes a season of greater deliberation, and a recovery of our sense of the invisible Love in whom we live and move and have our being, even when we don’t take notice. Great Lent is the Church’s way of assisting our taking notice.
We die for a season, and then we live, live with greater awareness, and live more fully. So they say, and so I gather.
A Lenten poem by R. S. Thomas, called “Tidal”:
The waves run up the shore
and fall back. I run
up the approaches of God
and fall back. The breakers return
reaching a little further,
gnawing away at the main land.
They have done this thousands
of years, exposing little by little
the rock under the soil’s face.
I must imitate them only
in my return to the assault,
not in their violence. Dashing
my prayers at him will achieve
little other than the exposure
of the rock under his surface.
My returns must be made
on my knees. Let despair be known
as my ebb-tide; but let prayer
have its springs, too, brimming,
disarming him; discovering somewhere
among his fissures deposits of mercy
where trust may take root and grow.
This will be the last Snakes & Ladders newsletter for … well, for a while. I can’t be more specific. I plan to resume service when I am able. Thanks for listening in!