“If Job cries out that he is innocent in such despairing accents, it is because he himself is beginning not to believe in it; it is because his soul within him is taking the side of his friends. He implores God himself to bear witness, because he no longer hears the testimony of his own conscience; it is no longer anything but an abstract, lifeless memory for him.” – Simone Weil, “The Love of God and Affliction”
1. Mornings below (!) the 70-degree mark; feels like such an autumn luxury.
2. Simone Weil. Finally diving into her this week. She was inspiration for this week’s Quotation of the Day…
3. Morning Coffee with this man.
4. Psalms. This week’s selection really got to me.
There’s a system set up in the BCP–used lots of places elsewhere, too–that leads you through all 150 psalms in a 30-day period. You read 2-3 every morning and evening, straight on through (sure, you spend a few days in 119, and you breeze through 5 or 6 on other mornings). A colleague and I were talking about how, having prayed the psalms this way for awhile, there are certain days that each of us look forward to–I love Evening Prayer on the third day, for example, because we say Psalm 18, and the morning on the 27th (Psalms 120-125). The psalms–prayers of people who have sought God in ages past–are becoming companions, friends on the journey. I’ve even heard of old wizened pray-ers of modern times who’ve memorized the whole book (this was rather common amongst monks, I suspect, as some systems have a person praying the entire psalter every day).
I leave you with this morning’s offering:
O Lord, you have searched me out and known me :
you know when I sit or when I stand,
you comprehend my thoughts long before.
You discern my path and the places where I rest :
you are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue :
but you, Lord, know it altogether.
You have encompassed me behind and before :
and have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me :
so high that I cannot endure it.
Where shall I go from your spirit :
or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend into heaven you are there :
if I make my bed in the grave you are there also.
If I spread out my wings towards the morning :
or dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand shall lead me :
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say ‘Surely the darkness will cover me :
and the night will enclose me’,
The darkness is no darkness with you,
but the night is as clear as the day :
the darkness and the light are both alike.
For you have created my inward parts :
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise you, for you are to be feared :
fearful are your acts, and wonderful your works.
You knew my soul,
and my bones were not hidden from you :
when I was formed in secret,
and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my limbs when they were yet imperfect :
and in your book were all my members written;
Day by day they were fashioned :
and not one was late in growing.
How deep are your thoughts to me, O God :
and how great is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they are more in number than the sand :
were I to come to the end, I would still be with you.
[If only you would slay the wicked, O God :
if only the men of blood would depart from me!
For they affront you by their evil :
and your enemies exalt themselves against you.
Do I not hate them, O Lord, that hate you :
do I not loathe those who rebel against you?
I hate them with a perfect hatred :
they have become my enemies.]
Search me out, O God, and know my heart :
put me to the proof and know my thoughts.
Look well lest there be any way of wickedness in me :
and lead me in the way that is everlasting.