Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Lenten Hymn

This was the hymn for the 1st Thursday of Lent from the Magnificat, 2007. As best as I could find, it was written by James Montgomery, 1819 and appears in both Catholic and Protestant hymnals. It reminded me of my own frailty and my desperate need for help--even to pray.

Lord, teach us how to pray aright
With reverence and fear;
Though dust and ashes in thy sight,
We may, we must draw near,
We perish if we cease from prayer,
O grant us pow'r to pray;
And when to meet thee we prepare,
Lord, meet us in the way.

God of all grace, we come to thee
With broken, contrite hearts;
Give what thine eye delights to see,
Truth in the inward parts;
Faith in the only sacrifice
That can for sin atone;
To cast our hopes, to fix our eyes,
On Christ, on Christ alone.

I have given up sweets for Lent (all desserts, sweet snacks, and even hot chocolate) and am finding it rather humbling to see just how weak the human body/mind can be. I am not a sweets junkie, and yet, as soon as I have given it up, I find myself dying for chocolate-covered raisins, ice cream, and all manner of tasty fructose treats. This abstinence is proving to be a little difficult. But with God's grace and ever-present help, I will press on. By this small fast, I am fortifying my will to say no when I need to. I am submitting my desires to scrutiny and control. I am suffering in some small way and understanding how hard it is to fast. My prayer is that that this Easter will bring a heart better bent toward Christ, heightened self-control, and a table heaped full of goodies.

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