Monday, March 10, 2014

Set Apart, plus weekly Q&A

Sometimes it's worth comparing the two short readings from lauds and vespers to see if you can find a common theme. Today's theme is obvious. In the morning reading from Exodus, God tells us that His people are "my special possession, dearer to me than all other people..."   In the evening reading St. Paul reminds us to "not conform yourselves to this age..."

It's that old tension between being in the world, but not of the world. Unless it's our specific vocation to be apart in a monastery, we can't hold ourselves aloof from unbelievers and semi-believers, but should be out there among God's children, loving them and bringing Jesus to them in whatever way we can.

On the other hand, we are different, we are set apart, we are special in virtue of our baptism into the body of Christ. And lent is  time to be even more different and set apart through the various disciplines that are either prescribed as obligations or recommended as aids to holiness. But we aren't being different from the masses for the sake of being different. We are strengthening ourselves by conforming ourselves to Christ, with the aim of being better able to a. see him in all men and b. bring him to all men.

We are always walking a tightrope. Fall off on one side into pride and uncharity, on the other into conformity to the degraded mindset of the world.

I forgot to do a Q&A last week. Is everyone managing to find their lenten offices each day?  Is anything else looking strange or unfathomable as you flip around in the breviary? Just ask in the comments below.

Welcome, new blog follower Lorraine.