Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Saturday, October 6

Catching up at last on the Smart Habits Saturday.

*Wake up 7:30 - Averaged 8:29 (7:14 to 9:43)
The usual, continuing to weigh in the morning.
*Shower under 5 min - Averaged 4 and a half minutes again.
*Computer off 8:30 - Averaged 9:14 (with two days of not turning it on at all, averaged in at zero)
*Bed 9:30 - Averaged 10:30 (9:37 to 11:12)
*Lights out 10 - Averaged 10:52 (10:13 to 11:21)
121/145=83%; times: two hours, 51 minutes late (excluding the computer)

No movement on the weight-loss front, but the ancient exercise bike may arrive as early as this week, which should speed things along a little better.

I am really enjoying starting my day with the 2007 Daily Lives, Miracles, and Wisdom of the Saints and Fasting Calendar. I have that and my Bible (the beaten-up one from high school) in the bathroom, so as I'm dredging myself out of sleep, I can read about the saints of the day, a quotation from a Church father, and read the Scripture for the day. After that, throughout the day I read a little at a time in the Old Testament, in my goal of reading the Bible through for the first time. I have about a dozen bookmarks in this Bible from previous attempts and haven't caught up to the first bookmark yet.

I realized as I was reading through the description of the Ark of the Covenant in Exodus that it reminds me of the kouvouklion—rats. No orthodoxwiki article yet. Ah, well, I did my best in my Lego rendition, so that'll have to suffice for the nonce. Exodus 25:26-27: "You shall also make four rings of gold for it and fasten them at the four corners, one at each leg, on two opposite sides of the frame as holders for the poles to carry the table."

I think also that the daily reading and prayer is helping me notice other things. For instance, in the prayers of preparation for Holy Communion, it says, "As Thou didst deign to lie in a cavern, in a manger of dumb beasts, so now deign to enter in to the manger of my beastly soul, and into my soiled body." I try to say the prayers each Sunday, and to partake each Sunday, and it's really a struggle to pay attention to the prayers, but I was focused on this segment especially this past Sunday, and realized that this prayer (by St. John Chrysostom) wasn't focusing on the stable or the cave, but on the manger: the place where the animals ate. And this image was in the prayers to prepare me to consume Him, Who from the very first (okay, not the very first, although He was there, but the very first incarnately) was representing Himself as food. And there were shepherds there, suggesting sheep. Peter, feed My sheep. It really doesn't seem at first that this little part of the prayer talks about Christ as food, but it somehow struck me that that's what it refers to. (Not that that might be all it refers to, but still.)

Oh! I had forgotten my other interesting thing. I'm used to hearing Jesus described as "the Paschal Lamb" that I hadn't really thought about it. Okay, so He's the "sacrificial lamb" at "Pascha" which comes from "Passover," but I hadn't thought about the actual sacrificial lamb at the Passover, nor the tradition of roasting a whole lamb at Pascha. From Exodus 12:1 "Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household. ... The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. ... You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present, it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight. They shall take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house in which they partake of the lamb. That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. It shall not be eaten raw or boiled, but roasted whole..." When Fr. J.J. came to St. Bernadette's Catholic Church, he gave a memorable sermon, illustrating how Christ was the gate for the sheep by actually lying down to show that's how the shepherds guarded the sheep: they were sleeping on the ground as part of the fence so that the sheep would be safe. In reading the passage from Exodus, I kept thinking about how Christ was the gate: "take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house."

As I'm writing this, I am recalled to the pre-communion prayers again, to earlier in the same prayer: "I know that I am not worthy nor sufficiently pleasing that Thou shouldst come under the roof of the house of my soul for it is entirely desolate and fallen in ruin..." Again, we are the house and He marks us as the Lamb with His Blood so that we may be spared. I think I will stop now, as I am getting goosebumps.

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Blogger Mimi said...

It's interesting, that prayer is one of my favorites of the PreCommunion prayers as well. It's nice to see your thoughts on it.

Wed Oct 10, 09:16:00 PM CDT  

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