“The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.”

by chuckofish

“I think there is no suffering greater than what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe. I know what torment this is, but I can only see it, in myself anyway, as the process by which faith is deepened. A faith that just accepts is a child’s faith and all right for children, but eventually you have to grow religiously as every other way, though some never do.

What people don’t realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross. It is much harder to believe than not to believe. If you feel you can’t believe, you must at least do this: keep an open mind. Keep it open toward faith, keep wanting it, keep asking for it, and leave the rest to God. ”

―Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor

Easter is really early this year as you know, catching many of us semi-unawares. Where did Lent go? I have no excuses. But I “watched” for an hour last night in the darkened chapel as I do every year, keeping the vigil as the disciples did with our Lord in the garden. It is a meaningful exercise for me.

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The OM went with me so I wouldn’t be alone. (He didn’t fall asleep, but he looked at his phone like a good disciple.)

Today is Good Friday.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, College Station, PA

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, State College, PA

This has been a busy week at work and I have been distracted and inattentive to my spiritual routine. But the only path to the hope of Easter is through the struggle of Holy Week. We need to pay attention! Today I am hoping to leave work early and attend the Good Friday service at Noon. I frequently have good intentions of doing this, but then don’t. You know how that is.

Side note: daughter #2 was born on Easter Saturday and I remember sitting in the Good Friday service feeling weird and thinking something was going on. Sure enough, I went to the hospital that night and she was born the next morning.

Anyway, tonight we watch Ben Hur (1959) up to the intermission.

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We’ll watch the rest, starting with the chariot race, on Saturday night. On Sunday we’ll have a quiet brunch with the boy and daughter # 3 after church. What do you have planned?

“And now brothers, I will ask you a terrible question, and God knows I ask it also of myself. Is the truth beyond all truths, beyond the stars, just this: that to live without him is the real death, that to die with him the only life?”

–Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat