Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Too Wet for Walking

It's Ash Wednesday, and I couldn't get to morning chapel. An all-night rain (after Emmah's Shrove Tuesday chapatis) turned the road to St. Philip's into 3 kilometers of sticky red mud.

Heartened by the current company at Rotary House -- and undaunted by the "showers of blessing" -- I suggested we share a Compline service at home. While Jessica, Steven, Anna and I prayed together in Maseno, a refrain emailed to me by a dear friend in Massachusetts echoed in my heart:

"Fill us with your love that knows no bounds, no limits, that can only hope and cannot despair."

On Ash Wednesday, and on every day, I feel blessed to be "in the company of all faithful (and hopeful!) people" -- company that extends around the world. Thank you, Father Chip, for sharing your words of wisdom with us tonight, too.

In a homily given at noon in Edgartown (just about the time we were praying here in Maseno, eight hours "later"), he spoke about our need to do the interior work of Lent, remembering that the light of Christ, the love that can only hope, is always with us.

"...we must take on that hard work, risking true terror. We are all called to go through it, and to understand we can’t get around it. There are no shortcuts to the very recesses of our hearts. As the writer Gustave Thibon wrote, 'You feel you are hedged in; you dream of escape; but beware of mirages. Do not run or fly away in order to get free; rather dig in the narrow place which has been given you; you will find God there and in everything. God does not float on our horizon, he sleeps in your substance. Vanity runs, love digs. If you fly away from yourself, your prison will run with you and will close in because of the wind of your flight; if you go deep down into yourself it will disappear in paradise.' "

Fr. Chip concluded: "What might we become if we dig in that wilderness of our hearts these forty days?"

What, indeed?

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