Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stirred to Concern

February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment. Perhaps he will again relent and leave behind him a blessing, Offerings and libations for the LORD, your God. Joel 2: 12-14

But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. Matthew 6:6

Piety
I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment's gone
All my dreams, pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind.
Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do, crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind

[Now] Don't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away, and all your money won't another minute buy.

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind
Dust in the wind, everything is dust in the wind.
(Popular song by the group “Kansas.”)

Study

Today is actually the third anniversary of the start of this blog/e-mail/group meditation. There were many people who con-spired with the Holy Spirit to spur my personal Bible study and reflection.

Beth – who gets to daily Mass despite her schedule and then really gets to listen to the Word proclaimed every day.

Jim – who was reading the Bible from cover to cover at an age when I was more pre-occupied with Batman comic books and Tom Swift novels. I continued to waste the next 40 years until I began this study project in earnest.

The Men of the 114th Cursillo team – which went into hiatus due to lack of candidates in the winter of 2006.

Jack – the best salesman of Your Daily Tripod subscriptions.

Rose – who gave a poetry lecture over Advent and put three questions foremost in my mind about the Bible (What does it say? What does it mean? What does it matter?)

Frank – Rector of the first Cursillo team upon which I served who inspired me to learn more about the scripture by introducing me to the technique of “lectio divina.”

Mike – our spiritual director who encourages me at every turn.

Phil – who has overcome more obstacles in a year than some of us will know in a lifetime and still knows that You are the vine and we are the branches. I love you with the love of the Lord.

Pete – who get spurring me to wider and wider circulation. If that lights under a bushel, then you lost something kind of crucial.

Joe – who offered his Sunday homilies packed as tightly as the Gospel of St. John with inspiration on piety, study and action.

Melanie – who bridges different phases of my life and helps me to bring them together as a balanced tripod.

Gene – who redefines diakonia for me in his life and witness just as Peter’s mother in law “served” others.

Along the way, every one of these people (and others like Rector Dave and Sponsor Esther) contributed to the idea and the reality. The tipping point to start Your Daily Tripod materialized in the homily of Rev. Bill Quigley CICM on Ash Wednesday three years ago. In today’s second reading, Paul proclaims that we are “ambassadors” for Christ. Fr. Bill reminded us that any new ambassador reports to the new assignment and presents credentials to the heads of that government. What credentials do we have that would qualify us to serve in such a diplomatic posting?

Bill is now campus minister at East Carolina University. I wonder what song he will play after communion on Ash Wednesday to get those who frequent the Newman Center there to reflect upon this season of Lent? Maybe he still has the tape or CD used in the service at the Missionhurst Chapel three years ago.

With Bill asking us to build up our “cred,” the thought passed through my ears that maybe we could read the Bible every day for a year and write about it and share it with each other. After the first 365 days and a few hundred readers, the thought expanded to “Why not try to keep this up for another year?” As long as we read the Bible daily, wrote about it and had internet access, we could post and distribute reflections by Beth, Joe, Melanie, Diane, and others to whomever was interested. By the time Ash Wednesday 2008 rolled around, we quietly marked two full years. The thought of continuing one more year could complete reflections for the entire three-year liturgical cycle. That would take us through 1,095 consecutive days. Maybe then we could stop. Today, marks the 1,106th message posting to the blog/website/group.

Yet there is no end in sight. This nightly reading, writing, contemplating and sharing has become like a daily phone call with a friend – an activity with which we can not start nor end a day without experiencing. Lyfe too shorte, crafte so longen to lerne.

Action

If you have been getting this for three days or three years, why not consider getting stirred to write something to share with the community. Think about writing even one daily reflection sometime in the next year. Advice and editorial help will be provided. Let’s give the Lord a reason to be stirred to compassion for his followers who make up his own personal diplomatic corps.

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