One should pray in secret, lest any merit thereof be lost; then again, to share a little of my simple, eccentric joys is the purpose of this blog, as I seek to "psalm wisely", and to speak of matters that may edify, all self-congratulation being excluded, is surely permissible; especially when the matter speaks more of human weakness, and a hesitant step, than of any amazing ascetical feat.
To confess, then: I read Matins and Lauds in bed ere I arose this morning; and the half-hour I spent on this from six o'clock onwards (the sky still dark outside at the start, lightening as I ended) was a most pleasing blessing, a grace more than any self-merited benefit. In this practice, I followed the good example of an old friend of mine, Bernard, whom I met with in Melbourne last month: he told me long ago that that was his rule, in order to begin the day with prayer in the only time available. In considering this, let not the perfect be the enemy of the good! Of course, to arise and pray is better than to lie in bed to do so; but to do so at all is better than not to do so at all.
Nocte surgentes [well, sort of] vigilemus omnes,
Semper in psalmis meditemur, atque
Viribus totis Domino canamus
Of the various Matins psalms, I particularly like those read on Wednesday, so it was a pleasure to pray Pss 44, 45, 47, 48 and 49.
Then, of course, off I went to Mass at Carmel, to be marked with the blessed ashes and so begin the Christian warfare of Lent, strengthened by the Sacrifice offered and Sacrament received. So many sins to expiate, so many vices to conquer, so many virtues to gain...