Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday in Lent 1

Deuteronomy 8:11-20
v. 11: Take care that you do not forget the LORD your God...

Speaking as a fellow sinner, forgetting God is one of the easiest things to do. I think it may be that the sum of our spiritual life is the constant struggle to recover from amnesia.

I'm pretty good at remembering God in the morning when I say Morning Prayer (have I said Morning Prayer in a state of amnesia? Probably, which means that speaking God's name doesn't mean necessarily remembering him). But then as soon as I "hit the road" with my day I settle into self-dependence and the best I can hope for is that I've brought God along for the ride and occasionally remember that she's in the back seat.

What would it mean to "remember God" all day long? I think it has to do with presence, knowing that I am surrounded by God every moment. I literally exist "in" God. On my better days I get close to this. Too often I forget until it's too late and anxiety or fear has taken over (the usual result of God-amnesia).

Blessedly God never forgets me, never withdraws his presence. I do not have to conjure God like a genie from a lamp. So I can want (and should want) to remember God more, but that doesn't mean God is not active in my life. Thank God!

Perhaps a good prayer today is from St. Patrick (see Hymn 370 in The Hymnal 1982):

Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

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