Saturday, March 1, 2008

Leap Day: Stations, the Samaritana, and Stylites

Phwoar, it was hot in the Pro. this afternoon! I was so running with sweat I was mopping my face with a handkerchief all the way through Stations (which began at 5.30pm) and the Mass following (6.10-6.40pm). I have been so very slothful and indevout this Lent - today was the first day I've bothered to follow the Stations of the Cross! The Gospel at Mass was of course the incomparable account of the Samaritan woman, concerning which and whom I've earlier blogged at length.

Amusingly, when I at last walked outside after saying my prayers it turned out to be pleasantly breezy, and I suggested to Fr and others that really he should have stayed inside at God's board, while we the faithful could have knelt devoutly outside the open doors, the better to bear witness and humbly withdraw from such awefilled mysteries, until we would have processed in for communion!

Joking with one of my housemates after tea, I encouraged him or at least his brother to revive the ancient order of stylites - those holy athletes of the Lord who immured themselves atop pillars, the better to test their mettle and make themselves available to edify such of the faithful as from time to time gathered below. Steve seemed unwilling to stand on the kitchen stool (cognate, after all, with στυλος) as preparation for his new vocation, but I trust his hard heart will yield to suasion once he allows me to discern God's will for him in this... ;-)

Jokes aside, here is a link to a Canon in honour of St Simeon Stylites, first of the pillar-saints. (He is painted at the right; under obedience he was commanded to come down off his pillar, and hastened to do so, but his rightful superiors, satisfied by this, retracted their testing order.)

I salute today, the quadrennial leap day; I seem to have escaped the tradition-minded maidens who by custom may ask for the hand of their chosen man this day! With St Paul's advice in mind, I cheer on those happily married, while for the moment content as a young bachelor. And, please, no jokes about this being in technical terms a bissextile year!

No comments: