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Notes from the Knightstand: March 2015

by Martin Reidy

 

I dressed myself in sackcloth
and sat upon the ashes
took a reed of thistle
and laid on me 30 lashes,
 
Then said I; “My Lord –
for my sins I’m done!”
But the Lord replied ;
“You’ve only just begun!”
 
Well! I thought I knew my sins –
(I counted nearly ten!)
but the Lord thought otherwise
and said to, “Think again!”
 
I thought all my sins were thought & flesh-
Oh, so little did I know!
I never thought my words and deeds
would condemn me so!
 
For the Lord said thought & flesh
were sins, indeed, do tell
but it is what we say & fail to do
that is the slippery road to Hell!
 
So, I washed my face, combed my hair
as the Lord instructed
and in prayerful thought
on my sins redacted.
 
I cannot say I’m better now
tho now my prayers I mumble
and no longer boast aloud
and try to be more humble.
 
So now, my Lord, I hope this Lent
will bring to me your Grace
so that I will have the courage-
those many sins to face!

 

“My sins have brought me low, O Lord – I pray for Your Grace and Mercy!” Yes, Lent is upon us once more when we must face the mirror on the wall and know the sins that make us fall – as much as we dislike to do so. So many times have I looked in that mirror to see a spiritual Adonis and see, instead, a spiritual Dorian Grey! And so goes the price of sin! Sin, according to minds more educated than mine relate that a sin is missing the mark, missing the bulls-eye! In ancient Greece when an archer missed the target in archery practice he was said to have committed a sin – he missed the mark! (You can readily appreciate his situation in battle unless his archery skills improved!) So, for us Lent is the field of practice to hone our spiritual skills, so to speak, and Easter is the target – both in an immediate and an eternal sense.

 

I must say that I will miss the target if I do not give credit where credit is due and I bespeak of Mardi Gras! Mardi Gras on the 14th in Heiring Hall was a joint venture of the Knights and the Women’s Club and they did a superb job in presenting a wonderful evening. Even Fr. Jovita slipped into the spirit of the moment with his “costume” which was a change of hats – and even he was caught tapping a foot to the beat of the music. I do not know of anyone in attendance who did not have a wonderful evening. A round of applause must go to Michael and Kathleen Davis and her daughter and son-in-law, Danny & Suzette Forestier for their culinary skills at the stove. No sin there as the food really hit the spot! And get this! Danny & Suzette came all the way from “Lusanna” just for this occasion! A round of applause is also in order for the outstanding job Ed Owen did in bringing the Mardi Gras celebration to the fore – and for the ladies who assisted him. Unfortunately, I am not conversant with them by name so they must remain forever applauded but unknown.

 

However, I did miss the mark in omitting a mention of Edna Hawkins, her nephew and his wife, Raymond & Theresa Dean, last month for their efforts and contribution in providing a turkey stew dinner in January at the Homeless Center. Mea Culpa, Edna. And to pay it forward, Johnny and Sharon Thierry will once again prepare the “mac & cheese” for our March homeless dinner. No one can make up “mac and cheese” as can Sharon.

 

A final thought: last month I noted the severity of fasting in the early Church. What I did not mention is that the water only was for the daylight hours and one substantial meal was allowed after sundown. A typical would be: a porridge of bread of wheat or millet, and pulse (edible seeds such as peas, lentils, etc.) all mixed together with, say, spinach & herbs cooked in an oil. This was known as the Black Fast prior to the 10th century (it was also observed by Ordinates to Holy Orders all the time) and absolutely no meat, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, or alcohol allowed! But better was in the offering: By the 800s one could eat after 3 p.m., and by the 1400s it was noon! (Now, since clocks had not yet been invented I have no idea as to how one could tell 3 p.m. or noon – especially on a cloudy day!)

 

Next month I’ll tell you the Holy Week diet! Until then, beware of the ides of March and Happy St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th! Beannachtai na Feile Padraig! (or, St. Patrick’s Day Blessing!) PAX!

 

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