Yesterday’s psalm refrain was “The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.” From that I asked the personal question, “Do you ever wonder if people think you are gracious, merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness?” Today’s gospel begins: “Jesus said to the crowds: To what shall I compare this generation?‘” In one sense, it is the same question just on a larger scale. And a complex question to even begin to form a response.
One of my morning rituals for some time now has been, in the wee hours of the morning before dawn, to pray the morning prayer (lauds) of Office of the Dead. It is one of the prayer cycles for the repose of a soul found in the Divine Office of the Catholic Church, also called the “Liturgy of the Hours.” You can find versions online. The morning prayer consists of Psalm 51; Isaiah 38:10-14, 17-20; Psalm 146; a reading from 1 Thessalonians 4; the Canticle of Zechariah found in Luke 1:68-79; intercessions for the dead; an Our Father; and final prayer.
I began doing this a while ago as the death toll associated with the pandemic continued to rise.