Ash Wednesday musings


The whole poem is too long to include here, though it is well worth sitting with and exploring. But T.S. Eliot's poem Ash Wednesday includes the following stanza

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly But merely vans to beat the air The air which is now thoroughly small and dry Smaller and dryer than the will Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still.

Much in this stanza alone will repay reflection and consideration - and simply allowing to echo in our hearts and minds. But I want to consider the last two lines in particular. The stanza is wrestling with the idea of powerlessness and the constricting of the world - and ends with this prayer

Teach us to care and not to care

Teach us to sit still

Here is a Lenten discipline to explore; to be able to care and not care is - among other things - to know how and when to pray and how and when to let go and leave things in God's hands. And this discovery is predicated on sitting still - not rushing around, not trying to fix things ourselves, not telling God what to do, not needing to do - but sitting still.

There is of course much more in these words, but this is the discipline of prayer we will be exploring in this blog over Lent; learning to care and not care, learning to sit still.

Take some time over the next few days to reflect on the times you are sitting still, and what that feels like.

I hope you might join me in the experiment.

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235 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8EP

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