Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday After Ash Wednesday

Image of Our Lady of Sorrows atop Mt. Calvary
in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

Today's collect from the new translation of the Roman Missal:

Almighty ever-living God,
look with compassion on our weakness
and ensure us your protection
by stretching forth the right hand of your majesty.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Today's collect calls to mind an image that used frequently through Sacred Scripture and in the Liturgy of the Church, that of the right hand of God. Surely because God is pure spirit, He doesn't have a right hand, or a left hand for that matter. This phrase is used to describe the power, strength and might of God.

The right hand of God, as it says in this prayer, is stretched forth to us that we might know the protection of God. What are we to be protected from? In this prayer it is from ourselves, from our weakness. I don't know about you, but often times I am my own worst enemy. My bad habits, my tendency toward the easy way (which often is the sinful way), and my self-deception often lead me into sin. I am so weak that yes, I need God to protect me from satan, but I also need God's mighty protection from myself. Now that is a humbling thought.