Julian of Norwich: He loves us, and enjoys us, and so he wills that we love him and enjoy him and firmly trust him; and all shall be well.

Socrates – Know thyself.

Abba, ours lives in our world feel like fictions of lies and deceit where we no longer even know who or what we are. We live two or three or four lives, lives of self-hatred stemming from years of self-deception and the deception of others. We rationalize to such a degree that we lose ourselves, no longer knowing who we are.

Abba, in our world when we do no know ourselves and cannot trust even that what we are doing is best for us and for those whom we love, who can we trust?

Bernard of Clairvaux would tell us that our love of you, Abba, begins with our love of ourselves. But we live in a world of darkness.

But Abba, all is not lost. The Lenten journey is a descent in to the very depths of darkness. And when we go, we want to bring our light. Yet
Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

“To go in the dark with a light is the know the light./ To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,/ and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,/ and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.” (Wendell Berry, “To Know the Dark”)

Abba, make our prayer one for strength to go down into the darkness, and uphold us as we go. Let us go into the darkness of ourselves. Let us meet you in the darkness; and when we crave the light, give us patience to wait until you provide it, the strength to withstand the terror of the searchlights and lamps you shine to probe our darkness and illuminate the way for us. For our own lights will fail; they will show us a way, but not necessarily your way.

Abba, what do we ind in our darkness, darkness we fear to penetrate? We see our own shadows, and we mistake them for you. Our shadows are projections of ourselves; we must descend into the darkness so deep that any shadow becomes an impossibility.

Do we see the shadows of perfectionism, of moralism, of legalism, of guilt, of hypocrisy, of self-centeredness? These are not Abba.

Are they me?