Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lonesome Lent

So I haven't blogged much in a while. For this  I apologize. Yes, I'm very busy, but so are we all. I have a million tiny things I could blog about, but I never find the time to do so because they don't seem, well, big enough. I'm going to try to change that.

I've been having a very spiritually dry Lent once again. In fact, the only Lent in recent years that was fruitful was the one when I was in the middle of a Bible study. Perhaps that's a clue as to what I should be doing. But the study on Matthew just ended and we're all taking a break.

Today at mass we heard the story of Lazarus. I thought about blogging on that but there are so many things to talk about that it would be a book! So I'm blogging about the songs instead. I am a hymn snob. By that I mean I want to be able to sing the hymn, not have it performed for me, and I want the hymn to have some sort of meaning that's Christian, Catholic Christian.

Today I got to hear "Lonesome Valley." Perhaps I'm missing something but to me this song is not Catholic at all, and not Biblical at all. I'm OK with Jesus walking the lonesome valley, but us? First off, Jesus told us He would be with us always, until the end of the age. Now I know Protestants don't take that literally, but Catholics sure do. Then there are our guardian angels, who walk with us. Plus we have the Communion of Saints - we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.

The third verse is problematic too. For although we do stand alone in the judgement in the sense that we are responsible for our own actions, we are not totally along again. Jesus intercedes for us, as do Mary and the Saints, once again. I guess the words could be taken multiple ways.

I realize we are entering the Passiontide, but "Lonesome Valley," except for the first verse, doesn't fit with the season or with the readings for the day. We'll see what comes up next week. My vote (which I don't get a vote) would be one of my favorite hymns, "O Sacred Head Now Wounded." Here are a couple of versions for reflection.


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