O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!
from Psalm 24
Go within his gates, giving thanks.
Enter his courts with songs of praise.
Give thanks to him and bless his name.-from Psalm 100-
The glory of these forty days
We celebrate with songs of praise;
For Christ, by whom all things were made,
Himself has fasted and has prayed.
Alone and fasting Moses saw
The loving God who gave the law;
And to Elijah, fasting, came
The steeds and chariots of flame.
So Daniel trained his mystic sight,
Deliver'd from the lions' might;
And John the Bridegroom's friend, became
The herald of Messiah's name.
Then grant us, Lord, like them to do
Such things as bring great praise to you;
Our spirits strengthen with your grace
And give us joy to see your face.
O Father, Son, and Spirit blest,
To you be every prayer addressed
And by all mankind be adored,
From age to age, the only Lord.
Text: Latin , sixth century
Translation: Maurice F Bell 1906
He has strengthened the bars of your gates,
he has blessed the children within you.
He established peace on your borders,
he feeds you with finest wheat.
-from Psalm 147-
5. So, numbers one through four were taken from today's morning prayers, called Lauds. They are from the Salesian tradition. I thought, since I am reading De Sales, it would all kind of go together.
The doors, gates, portal-like theme kind of jumped out at me, though it is by no means a dominant theme in the whole of the prayers. But I did find it to be very Lent appropriate. You know, like the "turning a page" saying, also we can, "go through" to a new way, a new and different season, which indeed we will.
6. The hymn, the Glory of These Forty Days, struck me especially as I read it instead of singing. The words had different meaning somehow, the way they brought me through time, all the way from Moses forward. I have to admit, while reciting the words, William Shatner leapt to mind, and I had to work to banish him.
7. I hope the grace and mercies that float around in the air (or seem to) during this season are touching you.
The next stanza of Psalm 147 talks about sending down snow and scattering hoar-frost. Which, if you are anywhere in the Northeast or Midwest United States, you can relate to, but probably would rather not.
So, I pray any floating graces and mercies are of the warm variety.