Lenten Daily Devotional
February 13th March 30th 2013
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky.
Psalm 85:10 -11
WEEK ONEFebruary 13TH February 20TH
Wednesday, February 13
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem;19 then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Thursday, February 14
Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem
O Lord and Master of my life, Take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King!Grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother; For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.
!The Lenten season begins then by a quest, a prayer for humility which is the beginning of true repentance. For repentance, above everything else, is a return to the genuine order of things, the restoration of the right vision. It is, therefore, rooted in humility, and humility the divine and beautiful humility is its fruit and end.
Fr. Alexander Schmemann, from Great Lent: Journey to Pascha
Thursday Dec. 1
Deserts harbor more than desolation;Each grain of sand is the chiseledRemnant of place and time,Sinais sawdust a spyglass,Showing us the wisdom of aged lightGlinting and guiding us throughChiaroscuroed nights ringingFull of those age-old temptations:Satisfaction, safety, power Folly is often sold as wisdom.But we shall not bendTo these shadowed whispers,For the moons grace calls us,And the breath of God is moving mountains,Building a city whose cornerstoneIs Peace, and faith will open its gates.
Friday, February 15
Saturday, February 16
A Bright Sadness
The purpose of Lent is not to force on us a few formal obligations, but to soften our heart so that it may open itself to the realities of the spirit, to experience the hidden thirst and hunger for communion with God.
This Lenten atmosphere, this unique state of mind, is brought about mainly by means of worship, by the various changes introduced during that season into the liturgi-cal lifeUnderstood as a whole, they reveal and communicate the spirit of Lent, they make us see, feel, and experience that bright sadness which is the true message and gift of Lent.
Little by little we begin to understand, or rather to feel, that this sadness is indeed bright, that a mysterious transformation is about to take place in us. It is as if we were reaching a place to which the noises and the fuss of life, of the street, of all that which usually fills our days and even nights, have no access a place where they have no power.
All that which seemed so tremendously important to us as to fill our mind, that state of anxiety which has virtually become our second nature, disappear somewhere and we begin to feel free, light and happy. It is not the noisy and superficial happiness which comes and goes twenty times a day and is so fragile and fugitive; it is a deep happiness which comes not from a single and particular reason but from our soul having, in the words of Dostoevsky, touched another world. And that which it has touched is made up of light and peace and joy, of an inexpressible trust. We understand then why the services had to be long and seemingly monotonous. We understand that it is simply im-possible to pass from our normal state of mind made up almost entirely of fuss, rush, and care, into this new one without first quieting down, without restoring in ourselves a measure of inner stability.
Sad brightness: the sadness of my exile, of the waste I have made of my life; the brightness of Gods presence and forgiveness, the joy of the recovered desire for God, the peace of the recovered home. Such is the climate of Lenten worship; such is its firstand general impact on my soul.
Fr. Alexander Schmemann, from Great Lent: Journey to Pascha
WEEK TWOFebruary 18TH February 23RD
Monday, February 18
Lack of Faith
Yeseven when I dont believethere is a place in meinaccessible to unbeliefa patch of wild gracea stubborn preserveimpenetrablepain untouched sleeping in the bodymusic that builds its nest in silence
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to betempted of Satan; Make speed to help thy servants who are assaulted by manifold temptations; and, as thou knowesttheir several infirmities, let each one find thee mighty to save; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer
Tuesday, February 19
rent in two.Guarded with flaming swords,we stand outside looking in.
Starved for shalom, grasping,drooling,
eating stones for bread.We cower in thistle and branch,
bursting the seams of our animal skins.
Eyes that once saw Godin the cool of the day
now glimpse the cold metal ignitewith glint of distant Sun.
Tracking right to left,side to side.
barred,obstructed from view.
Hypnotized by swinging metal,we dream awake of old peace.
Capturing shalom,in memory,glimpses,
ancient instincts.Could we crash the cherubim,
lay siege on contentment?
Rotten fruit teeters,tempts,
falls into the peripheral.
Dazzled, our attentiondistracts from the angels.
Trading birthright for sham,a dripping,shepherds
stew bloats our bellies.Pretending we are full,
we doze at the eastern gate of Paradise.
Tamara Hill Murphy
Wednesday, February 20
The Valley of Vision
Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.
Winter, that coils in the thickets now, Will glide from the fields; the swinging rain Be knotted with flowers; on every bough A bird will meditate again.
Lord, in the night if I should die, Who entertained your thrilling worm, Corruption wastes more than the eye Can pick from this imperfect form.
I lie awake, hearing the drip Upon my sill; thinking, the sun Has not been promised; we who strip Summer to seed shall be undone.
Now, while the antler of the eaves Liquifies, drop by drop, I brood On a Christian thing: unless the leaves Perish, the tree is not renewed.
If all our perishable stuff Be nourished to its rot, we clean Our trunk of death, and in our tough And final growth are evergreen.
Thursday, February 21
Come down, O Christ, and help me! reach Thy hand,For I am drowning in a stormier seaThan Simon on Thy lake of Galilee:The wine of life is spilt upon the sand,My heart is as some famine-murdered landWhence all good things have perished utterly,And well I know my soul in Hell must lieIf I this night before Gods throne should stand.He sleeps perchance, or rideth to the ch