So Ash Wednesday meets Valentine's Day. It is one of the quirks of the movable date of Easter. However, perhaps repentance meeting love isn't a bad combo. This is the season when we invite the liturgies of Lent to be the vehicle whereby God transforms our lives. Let us as we ease into this Lent recommit to our daily act of corporate worship as a key part of God's work in our lives.
I am also grateful when I am present on the campus for the gift of Morning Prayer. It is the pause in my busyness - the space to offer the day to God. Last Friday was especially poignant. As I entered the day I was very conscious of the crippling and debilitating disease of depression. A friend had recently taken his own life. And so I entered into the discipline of Morning Prayer. It was Psalm 88 that spoke to me. The arrangement by our own Bill Roberts was powerful in its simplicity; and the words were full of despair. Our talented organist Tom Smith was taking us into the depth of that despair as the volume increased with the words "blazing anger" and the volume mellowed as the Psalm reached its tragic culmination "darkness is my only companion". It was the message I needed to hear as I started that day.
Habits come from discipline. The temptation (and it is a temptation) is to decide that sleep, work, or the lack of enjoyment are good reasons for breaking the habit. Let us this Lent relearn a habit; and let us ground that habit in a discipline. And let us do all this out of love for the God who first loved us.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President