Thursday, February 7, 2008

a time to be silent and a time to speak

Around 4pm, I curled up on the couch in our family room with one of my favorite books on the liturgical year, A Continual Feast. We are all thinking about feasting and fasting and the value of fasting as a means to repent, a turning back to God. Below is the famous Scripture from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV). It is on page 89 of A Continual Feast. After fasting yesterday for Ash Wednesday, the children and I enjoyed a "mini-feast" at luncheon with my dear, dear sister in Christ, Rachel and her daughter, Autumn. We feasted on discussion and play, built a Lego battlefield, cleaned rooms and painted hooks. Both of us moms are very fond of the widely known quote of Cardinal John Henry Newman, "To know history is to cease to be Protestant." We often discuss history and the lives of the saints. Today we were talking about Hillaire Belloc's very important book, The Characters of the Reformation. Belloc's studies and ideas are a light to a confused and darkened cultural landscape. (Belloc was a contemporary and dear friend to the more famous writer, G.K. Chesterton.) We Catholics need to wake up and listen to inspired voices, like Belloc, so as to get our Lord's saving Word out into the world. The world, the flesh and the devil are to be conquered by full participation in the sacramental life of the Church. We should not be surprised when human beings fail, no matter how much grace they have received. We ought to be very surprised and impassioned that the truth is so hard come by these days.

Mother Church gave us the gift of the canon of Scripture so as to help us hear God's will for each and every person. The Eucharist came before the canon of Scripture; and, it is from this most Blessed Sacrament that we have what is today widely known as the Bible. Rachel and I are both converts and fervently believe that, one day, there will be a time for unity among Christians. We both try our best to feast on God's Word -- this is for you, Rach:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

1 comment:

Leticia said...

I love reading the recipes in my copy of this book, but some of them are a bit complicated for my humble skills as a chef.