The real problem with the forty days of Lent is that there are not enough days to consider what it is we need to repent and change. Granted, the standard comment about me may be too many books, but it’s more than that. It’s time. How do we balance our time between the love of just ensconcing ourselves into a warm bed with a cup of hot tea (and for me, a cat) and reading a book versus going out into the world to make “good trouble,” as the late John Lewis called it?
It’s not just difficult to do two things at the same time; it’s impossible. And although most of what I read is what one might call socially conscious nonfiction, I still find myself torn between the competing interests of reflection and action.
It’s true that Jesus withdrew from the crowds time to time, but how can any of us compare ourselves to Jesus? It’s difficult to live with this tension, to be sure. We can only pray that our reflection will make our action even more powerful.
Prayer for the Day
Caught between the cradle and the cross, we ask you for direction, O God,
For we often do not know how best to serve you as we should;
Trapped by our inward desire for comfort and tranquility, we hesitate, O Lord,
For we fear what may be demanded of us if we seek you.
Be ever with us, O God, as we strive to be your disciples,
And show us how to witness to your kingdom of justice and peace.
In the name of him who is the model of our lives,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.
Thoughts for the Day
Social action must be animated by a vision of a future society, and by explicit judgments of value concerning the character of this future society.
- Noam Chomsky, linguist, social critic (age: 92)
You may not be able to change the word but at least you can embarrass the guilty.
- Jessica Mitford, British writer (1917-1996)
Listen, and hear my voice; pay attention, and hear my speech
Do those who plow for sowing plow continually?
Do they continually open and harrow their ground?
When they have leveled its surface, do they not scatter dill, sow cumin,
And plant wheat in rows and barley in its proper place, and spelt at the border?
For they are well instructed; their God teaches them.