Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lord Have Mercy. Christ Have Mercy. Lord Have Mercy.

You should read Andy Whitman's beautiful "Good Letters" entry about his sister's impending death.

I love liturgy, written prayers, and other related things. My dad is fond of cautioning that these items can become "rote." He views this as a negative, that memorization and recitation lead to a monotonous faith. That's the opposite of what it does.

I hope those words become rote. Because when I am faced with those inevitable moments when there are no answers, I will throw myself on the mercy of God. And the only words I will be able to utter will be those words written onto my heart over time and with repetition.

I have never met Andy Whitman, but I pray for God's mercy and strength. And I offer him this prayer from The Book of Common Prayer, because I do not have words to say it better:

"O merciful Father, who has taught us in your holy Word that you do not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men: Look with pity upon the sorrows of your servant for whom our prayers are offered. Remember him, O Lord, in mercy, nourish his soul with patience, comfort him with a sense of your goodness, lift up your countenance upon him, and give him peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

I've been thinking a lot about issues like calling, the value of work, the American dream, etc. I've read books by Gary Vee, essays by Dorothy Sayers, and I just began to revisit The Call by Os Guinness.

But I think Andy Whitman's recent essay "Walker Percy and The Century of Merde," from the Good Letters blog at Image perfectly captures perfectly sums up the frustrations I have whenever I think about these issues.

"There is inherent nobility in work, my friends tell me. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong with supporting your family. The notion of following your passions is a product of whiny Baby Boomers. Ask a thirteenth-century serf about following his passions.

Some days I listen. But not today. Me? I'll talk to you about Walker Percy and why he had it right. I'll talk to you about why it's all a big, stinking pile of merde without God in the equation, and that even with Him on your side you still might want to hold your nose."

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