Friday, February 18, 2005

The Roots of Lectio

Antiphon for Lent: Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest.

PSALM 51 (50)

Have mercy, tender God, forget that I defied you.
Wash away my sin, cleanse me from my guilt.
I know my evil well, it stares me in the face,
evil done to you alone before your very eyes.
How right your condemnation! Your verdict clearly just.
You see me for what I am, a sinner before my birth.
You love those centered in truth; teach me your hidden wisdom.

Wash me with fresh water, wash me bright as snow.
Fill me with happy songs, let the bones you bruised now dance.
Shut your eyes to my sin, make my guilt disappear.
Creator, reshape my heart, God, steady my spirit.
Do not cast me aside stripped of your holy spirit.
Save me, bring back my joy, support me, strengthen my will.
Then I will teach your way and sinners will turn to you.
Help me, stop my tears, and I will sing your goodness.
Lord, give me words and I will shout your praise.

When I offer a holocaust, the gift does not please you.
So I offer my shattered spirit; a changed heart you welcome.
In your love make Zion lovely, rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then sacrifice will please you, young bulls upon your altar.

The bold lines are purely arbritrary. They struck me this morning, when I read over them. The roots of lectio divina; the first lines that strike you, and meditation on them to discover why. Or maybe just how; "why" is such an overworked question, sometimes.

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