Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.
Beginning Lent (4)
Fourth part of a four-part extract from "Luminous Sorrow: in preparation for Lent" a sermon by S. Bulgakov.
The Church repeatedly assures repentant sinners of their Divine-sonhood and of their glory. And so, this is the radiance that illuminates the arduous path of repentance.
This is the path of faith of faith in God, in God's mercy to those who repent, as well as of faith in humanity, in which resides Divine-sonhood. And the stronger the faith in God, the more vital the faith in humanity.
That is why repentance is not the self-weakening of men and women, not their renunciation of their human powers and the human calling. Instead, it is their firm establishment in true humanity. To life, to labour in the name of God, to love for humanity and for the Divine world, we return from the heavenly heights, where we breathed the cold and pure air of repentance. We return to luminous feats and inspirations.
O God, you are long-suffering and full of compassion: be present with us, we pray, as we enter Lent; we prepare to recall our Saviour’s sufferings and to celebrate his triumph. Give us the help of your Holy Spirit as we acknowledge our sins and weakness and receive your forgiveness and strength.
John Taverner (c.1490-1545) Kyrie Le Roy. The Tallis Scholars, dir Peter Philips. Merton College, Oxford, 1984.
May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.