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."


Andy Whitman said...

Thanks for your kind words, Ben, and your prayers, whether improvised or rote. I agree with you about liturgy. I'm a good Protestant, but I have a great respect and love for the prayers of others. When I don't have words, these are the words I pray.

Jen said...

Amen and amen.

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