Friday, February 20, 2015

Miserere mei, Deus

It seems fitting, more than fitting, that King's College Choir singing Psalm 51, known by its first words in Latin, Miserere mei, Deus ("Have mercy on me, O God") is our Friday tradito for this first Friday of Lent. Of course, Psalm 51 is the first Psalm for Morning Prayer each Friday. Just as all Sundays, including those during Lent, are, in effect, "Easters," that is, celebrations of our Lord's resurrection, all Fridays, excepting those on which a Solemnity falls, are "Good Fridays," that is, a day we recall the greatest act of love imaginable.

God is kind and merciful, slow to anger and quick to forgive. In short, God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to ransom us from sin and death. Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, but to save it (John 3:16-17).

The word "Lent" comes from the old English, "lencten," which means "spring." So, Lent is a time of re-birth. Lent prepares us to renew our baptismal promises at Easter. Lent is not a time for despair, but a time of joy born of hope and gratitude.

A clean heart create for me, God;
renew within me a steadfast spirit
Do not drive me from before your face,
nor take from me your holy spirit
Restore to me the gladness of your salvation;
uphold me with a willing spirit

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