Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

THE END! It’s in sight!

So here is the concluding prayer....

We humbly beseech thee, O Father, mercifully to look upon
our infirmities; and, for the glory of your Name, turn from us
all those evils that we most justly have deserved; and grant
that in all our troubles we may put our whole trust and
confidence in thy mercy, and evermore serve thee in holiness
and pureness of living, to thy honor and glory; through our
only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Some of this is pretty old school theology, honestly. I’m not doin’ “evils we most justly have deserved.” That’s too much LCMS flashback for me! And I’m not real crazy about that “only mediator and advocate” part. That’s not even congruent with the “company of saints” in Eucharistic Prayer A. Yeah, Jesus is my mediator and advocate, but I sort doubt he is my ONLY one.

But I can do the “grant that in all our troubles we may put our whole trust and confidence in thy mercy, and evermore serve thee in holiness and pureness of living, to thy honor and glory” part easy.

Really, it’s the message of Lent. As we move full-bore into Holy Week, what have we been doing, really, in all our Lenten disciplines, our sacrifices of vices and treats and our addition of study, projects, retreats, and whatnot? We’re training our hearts to hear what God has to tell us and take what we are given from him in gratitude. We are learning to serve God in holiness and purity. We’re trusting that we are capable of using what we have (no matter how insignificant we feel it is on some days) in His service.

Every year in Lent, I push myself harder to be disciplined. I know in my case, habits become willing acts. It’s the OCD in me. I can take something that can be a bit of a hindrance (my compulsions) and train “good compulsions” into me. Some will fall by the wayside when my disciplined time is over. But some won’t. I really can’t predict which are which. But I know the more I do, the more that will stick.

May something “stick” with each of you in your own Lenten disciplines this year.


Perhaps I can shed a little light on the phrase "evils we most justly deserve". Can do so by giving a personal example.

Recently I spent several hours picking up sweet gum husks, and, as a result, I am now troubled by back pain and leg cramps from the deep knee bends, the bending over, the stooping, etc. These evils I richly deserve, having disregarded the clear teaching of Luther and Calvin about the futility of "good" works - a futility demonstrated by the miraculous reappearance, almost immediately, of the husks - hence I rise in defense of the Great Liturgy. Whether "old school" or not, I can fervently pray that God would look upon my infirmities and turn away those deserved evils.

By the way, no matter how many times I have viewed that old Marlene Dietrich movie, "The Blue Angel", I am still amazed by the things an old fool will do for a pretty woman. My memory of the film might be sketchy, but I believe he was also forced into the basement to "hide", was asked for money (although perhaps not exactly for the church building fund) and, most importantly, was continuously enticed "to commit sins".

Now I need your advice. Need to decide whether to have a quiet word with my Marlene, hoping to change her ways, or whether it would be better to inform her priest of her "fall from grace" in the hope that he might be able to bring her to true repentance and to a prompt restoration to a state of grace.

Kirkcyclandrous, I have a sneaky feeling there is nothing you could tell my priest about me that would shock him. However, he himself is quite easy to embarrass, as you well know!

Have always been tempted to send you various images - but was dissuaded since I could not send them directly - could supply only a dead link - only a address to where the art work is posted online. Now, however, that I know you are using artwork as an aid in meditation, and hence might need a large supply of images to "ponder", my previous hesitation is gone.

Ever since you mentioned your "Jerome-ness", I have wanted to send you one of my favorite images of that saint: Alma-Tadema's "The Conversion of Paula by Saint Jerome". Even a cursory glance should prove that you resemble the soon-to-be "Saint" Paula much more than you do Jerome. You have the same oval face, same hair style, same saucy look - only her fashion sense is different. Cannot image you wearing such shoes.

It is at:

By the way, I need to confess my sins. I probably grossly exaggerated my infirmities in a shameless bid for sympathy.



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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