Thursday, April 13, 2006

Lessons from Lent: Love

"The Lenten pilgrimage is not about developing greater spiritual competence, nor achieving mystical enlightenment. Rather, it is an exercise in following. Specifically, it means following Christ and--in that journey of faith--discovering the truth about ourselves and the largeness of God's love." (Steven D. Purcell in Even Among These Rocks: A Spiritual Journey)

Love made me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lacked anything.

"A guest," I answered, "worthy to be here."
Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, ungrateful: Ah my dear,
I cannot look upon Thee."
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
"Who made the eye but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.
(George Herbert)

"To meet the eyes of Jesus is to see one's sinfulness and be forgiven simultaneously." (Bernard of Clairvaux)

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