Monday, 25 February 2013

De profundis clamavi

It has been a cold and  bitter beginning to Lent, bringing with it the prospect of a prolonged end to a dark winter. The news today is full of gloom, uncertainty and (forgive my cynicism) appropriately timed allegations of inappropriate behaviour. 

It would be easy to fall into depression and despair, to lose our sense of proportion and to forget what the faith of the Church teaches us both about our recalcitrant human nature and the sure sacramental remedies for sin and alienation. 

"And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." (St Mark 9. 28-29 in the Authorised Version) 

What follows is perhaps an appropriate penitential psalm for the culture which surrounds us and, whether we like it or not, we form a part and which forms a part of us. 
The Gospel calls us to continual repentance and conversion of heart, yet we can only begin, not with the scandals and failings of others, but with our own sinfulness and failures of love and charity if we are to become, like the Saints, through God's grace and mercy, the change which changes the world.  

De profundis clamavi by Orlando de Lassus, sung by the Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford, under the direction of Stephen Darlington

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