February 14, 2018

An Ash Wednesday Message from the Dean

Below you will find the Lenten message to the Congregation of St. Saviour from Steven Lee, Special Assistant for New Formation and Outreach, and Candidate for Ordination as a Deacon on March 10. In the section of his letter below, he quotes Juan Oliver, Custodian of the Standard Book of Common Prayer. Steven is a great assest to the Congregation and the life of the Cathedral family. I appreciate his willingness to share the message below and I ask your prayers for him as he approaches his ordination:

I recently saw a wonderful explanation of Lent on Facebook, written by Juan Oliver, who is the Custodian of the Standard Book of Common Prayer. Fr. Oliver reminds us that Easter is such a great event in our Christian life that "it takes six weeks just to get ready for it, not because otherwise we would not be worthy of it, but because, well, it’s the greatest feast of the year, and like a wedding, one doesn’t just show up in flip-flops, ring in hand.

"So we do our own housecleaning, externally and internally, and even as communities. We ask ourselves, How might we be more like the person God loves? Where am I forgetting that I am loved by the very Ground of my being, —that I, along with all creation, am the product of an irrepressible divine urge to joyfully and lovingly create beyond Godself? How might I respond better to the news that all my mistakes, errors, bad choices, transgressions and sheer idiocy have been wiped out by the death of the innocent one?

"The news of it is simply stunning, and so hard to believe that we, who love being in charge, (of God, even) must find ways to tell ourselves that we have earned Easter. So no chocolate. Another self-help regime. Another peroration about our guilt, our sorrow, our repentance. Doth we protest too much?

"The first tips of daffodils just peeked in my garden. Other than planting them, I did nothing to deserve them. The winter jasmine just bloomed, in spite of me, for I do not quite understand its preferences yet. My heart keeps beating in spite of all that butter. No, I for one will not pretend this Lent that I am trying to achieve anything. Instead, I am going to let Easter brightness, free and for the taking, come in and disinfect, —and grab that occasional chocolate truffle."

Steven Lee