Sundry things such as Greek and Prayer… (though only one prayer in Greek!)

One of my classes this semester is Greek. Our aim is to have enough knowledge of Greek that we will be able to do basic exegesis, use a Concordance and dictionary, and be able to attempt further study of the language (as many students do in the following two semesters of Greek that are offered).

One of the first hurdles is learning the alphabet. The video below contains a song that we have used that has been quite helpful.

Church Music is another class with new skills to learn. We are learning the basics of keyboarding, as well as how to do Anglican Chant. While I don’t think we will do this in chapel:

we do do this three times a week:

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This academic journey is complements a spiritual journey. Nashotah’s emphasis on formation finds us all in the Chapel twice a day for Morning Prayer, Mass, and Evensong. Every day. Even during weekends, summers, and times when students are not on campus, the Offices and Mass are said day in and day out. Nashotah breathes prayer. The Rosary is said twice a week by the Society of St. Mary. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is offered on Wednesday Nights for those who want to attend. Professors begin class with prayer. The Angelus rings three times a day. The Benedictine way of life, as I have said before, teaches us to serve our neighbor. Our work crew assignments take us out into our community, cleaning buildings or repairing gutters or painting fences. It was this last task I found myself doing today.

Here are a couple of pictures to show you various parts of Nashotah’s campus.

 

God works within us, even opposed.

God works within us. Even when we tell him not to. When we tell him to go away. When we suppress our conscience within us, and tell ourselves that we can justify, legalise, moralize, even establish that something obviously a sin is not a sin.

Obviously, I cannot talk about the particulars. But God has shown me once again that he is merciful, loving, and just. Even when I fall, when I intentionally trip myself, he is there. And he picks me up.

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because I have offended you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace to amend my life. Amen.

1Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

2Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

4Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

5Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

6Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

9Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

13Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

15O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

18Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

19Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

Lent

Septuagesimatide is nearly over. Yesterday was Quinquagesima, tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday.  And then, with the end of Compline, begins the season of Lent.

I’ve had minimal difficulty this year, thinking about my lenten devotions. I say the office nearly every day, and I am now obligated to say it anyway, so that does not count. There is no Mass available for me to attend, save on sundays, so that is out.

So, that’s what I cant do. Here’s what I can (and am):

1) Abstaining from Red meat and carbonated beverages for the entirety of Lent, and white meat on all days except:

Sundays: In honor of the Ressurection

Thursdays: In honor of the Eucharist

Saturdays: In honor of the Blessed Mother

with the caveat, that if there exists a viable alternative, I will use it. I do this because I am not in control of my food supply. Sodexho is, and I doubt they cater to my religious practices.

2) Recitation of the Jesus Prayer Office, or at least my rendition of it.

3) Reading, when able, The Practice of the Presence of God.