Observing Lent with Three Monkeys: Nagging Silence and Idle Talk

monkeysThis silence nags at me; it leaves me alone with my own sinfulness, weakness, brokenness, frailty. The outward attempt at silence does not give peace or quiet. It reveals the incessant inward chatter–my own idle words by which I’ll be judged.

Is this what it means that I will be judged “with the judgement I pronounce” on others? Is judgment of others the very content of idle words?

Alexander Schmemann in his book Great Lent discusses a prayer that captures what is at the heart of this discipline that has become more difficult as the days pass.

So, I claim this prayer as my lenten prayer:

Oh Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to thy servant. Yes, Lord and King, grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother. For you are blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.


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