Friday, March 08, 2013

Retrieve Lament, Day 21 with Rouault, Pascal and Lamento di Tristano (+ suggested resources for Lent 2013)

"Once, ritual lament would have been chanted; women would have been paid to beat their breasts and howl for you all night, when all is silent. Where can we find such customs now? So many have long since disappeared or been disowned.
That’s what you had to come for: to retrieve
the lament that we omitted." 
 -- Ranier Maria Rilke, from Requiem For A Friend
During Lent I'll share almost-daily meditations of Scripture, hymns, and art reflecting this time of tension between dying and birth.

Won't you join me?

March 8 , Day 21

Psalm 88 is the first Lament Psalm with no up beats, no major chords.  The writer makes no promise to praise, offers himself -- or his God -- no solace for suffering.

Since our Christ still suffers -- to the end of the world -- this is the Gospel of Lament.

Christ suffers until the end of the world.
-- Blaise Pascal

We must die, we and all that is ours
Georges Rouault's Miserere series plate 43

Psalm 88
Domine, Deus
1O LORD, my God, my Savior, *
     by day and night I cry to you.
2Let my prayer enter into your presence; *
     incline your ear to my lamentation.
3For I am full of trouble; *
     my life is at the brink of the grave.
4I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; *
     I have become like one who has no strength;
5Lost among the dead, *
     like the slain who lie in the grave,
6Whom you remember no more, *
     for they are cut off from your hand.

Out of the depths...
Georges Rouault's Miserere plate 47

7You have laid me in the depths of the Pit, *
     in dark places, and in the abyss.
8Your anger weighs upon me heavily, *
     and all your great waves overwhelm me.
9You have put my friends far from me;
     you have made me to be abhorred by them; *
     I am in prison and cannot get free.

Are we not convicts?
Georges Rouault's Miserere plate 6

10My sight has failed me because of trouble; *
     LORD, I have called upon you daily;
     I have stretched out my hands to you.
11Do you work wonders for the dead? *
     will those who have died stand up and give you thanks?
12Will your loving-kindness be declared in the grave? *
     your faithfulness in the land of destruction?
13Will your wonders be known in the dark? *
     or your righteousness in the country where all
     is forgotten?

Lonely Street
Georges Rouault's Miserere plate 23

14But as for me, O LORD, I cry to you for help; *
     in the morning my prayer comes before you.
15LORD, why have you rejected me? *
     why have you hidden your face from me?
16Ever since my youth, I have been wretched and at the
     point of death; *
     I have borne your terrors with a troubled mind.
17Your blazing anger has swept over me; *
     your terrors have destroyed me;
18They surround me all day long like a flood; *
     they encompass me on every side.
19My friend and my neighbor you have put away from me, *
     and darkness is my only companion.

Jesus will be in agony until the end of the world
Georges Rouault's Miserere plate 35
We pray together a Collect:

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.  Amen.

Suggested Resources for Lent:

Now it's your turn!  What art are you enjoying this season? 
 Tell us about it in the  comments below.  
If you've written your own post, share the link.
"Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east." Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Wreck of the Deutschland

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