Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Today's Top One-liner

Don't let some of my longer commentary on the day's liturgical prayer fool you into thinking that I pray each liturgical hour in a deeply recollected, reverent, lectio divina style.  I don't generally have time for this. I've been known to have a cookbook and a breviary lying side by side on the counter while I go back and forth from one, to the stove, to the other, to answer the phone, to stick my head out the window and yell at someone to stop jumping in the mud, and back to the breviary again.

Even when I'm sitting, undistracted, and reciting the hour without interruptions, I don't  focus on every last word, mining every bit of meaning out of every verse of every psalm. I'm way too ADD for that. But what I usually do manage is to find at least one line or phrase  from each hour to think about, apply to my life, and praise God for what He taught me with this one little line.

Today's one-line inspiration comes from Morning Prayer of Tuesday, week I. The canticle of Tobit says,

In the land of my exile I  praise him

As I read this tiny scrap of a much longer verse, I wasn't reflecting on Tobit's literal exile from Israel to Nineveh, or that in some way this world was a land of exile for Jesus, who emptied himself and came down from heaven to dwell among us. Instead, I  remembered that I am an exile too. It's no wonder at all that so many things happen here that don't make sense. This is not my true country any more than it would be if I woke up tomorrow and found myself stuck for the rest of my life in France or Bulgaria or Malaysia.  True, there would be some charming and even beautiful features that would give me temporary gladness in any of these countries. But I'd still be longing to go home someday.

So here I am, in the land of my exile, with my book of Praise, trying to connect several times a day to my true home in the Kingdom of Heaven. God has sent me to live in the colonies for a while, and I'm making the best of it.

There is tons more of food for meditation in Morning prayer of Tuesday, week I that I did not notice today. Maybe I'll catch some of that next time it cycles around.

(None of the above are original thoughts, by the way. Millions of other Christians have said it better than this.)