Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, March 16, 2015

Ides of March - Rector's Rambling for March 15, 2015

“Beware of the Ides of March” is the historical expression for today, March 15.  The Ides of March was a mid-month celebration of the ancient Romans, attached to a pagan deity.  The warning above has to do with the assassination of Julius Caesar.  He was told by a seer that he would meet his death on that day, and it was so. 
Julius Caesar met his demise on the middle of March, but today we are celebrating the liturgical middle of Lent with Rose Sunday, and that great Irish saint, Patrick.
Being the mid-point of Lent we “lighten” up in the Lenten discipline, going from the deep purple vestments and hangings to a lighter rose color.  After the service, instead of our usual soup luncheon we will celebrate the conversion of the Irish with a lunch of corned beef and fixings.
Of course, lightening up assumes we have been doing the heavier work of our Lenten disciplines of fasting and prayer.  If you have not gotten a good start on the discipline of Lent, a shorter period is better than no period at all.  
A Lenten discipline isn’t like a New Year Resolution, which when dispensed of in short order is forgotten.  Rather, Lent is for the good of our souls.  And if we fail, then we repent and start again, just as we must do in all of the spiritual life!  As is said in the 12 step recovery programs, “we claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection”.   Although we should be striving to be perfect, the reality is that we are affected by original sin, and fail.  Progress is in failing less often, and when we do, repenting and returning quickly! 
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

¶ This Collect is to be said every day in Lent, after the Collect appointed for the day, until Palm Sunday.