Monday, November 22, 2010
Commemoration of Cecilia, Martyr at Rome, c.230
Commemoration of Clive Staples Lewis
, Spiritual Writer, 1963 Meditation
O God, whom I praise,
do not remain silent,
for wicked and deceitful men have opened their mouths against me;
they have spoken against me with lying tongues.
With words of hatred they surround me;
they attack me without cause.
In return for my friendship they accuse me,
but I am a man of prayer.
They repay me evil for good,
and hatred for my friendship.
—Psalm 109:1-5 (NIV) Quotation
Man’s offense “smells to heaven”: massacres, broken treaties, beatings-up, theft, kidnappings, enslavement, deportation, floggings, lynchings, rape, insult, mockery, and odious hypocrisy, make up that smell. But the thing comes nearer than that. Those of us who have little authority, who have few people at our mercy, may be thankful. But how if one is an officer in the army (or, perhaps worse, an N.C.O.)? a hospital matron? a magistrate? a prison-warden? a school prefect? a trades-union official? a Boss of any sort? in a word, anyone who cannot be “answered back?” It is hard enough, even with the best will in the world, to be just. It is hard, under the pressure of haste, uneasiness, ill-temper, self-complacency, and conceit, even to continue intending justice. Power corrupts; the “insolence of office” will creep in. We see it so clearly in our superiors; is it unlikely that our inferiors see it in us? How many of those who have been over us did not sometimes (perhaps often) need our forgiveness? Be sure that we likewise need the forgiveness of those that are under us.
... C. S. Lewis
(1898-1963), “The Psalms”
, in Christian Reflections
, ed. Walter Hooper, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1967, p. 119-120 (see the book
) Quiet time reflection
Lord, incline me to mercy towards others. CQOD Blog email RSS
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