Ah yes...the Lenten season. I look forward to it every year! As far as compositional inadequacy goes, the whole point of inspired composition is just that...that it's inspired. Remember Moses? He hated public speaking! But with God's help, he became the leader of an entire people. "Let my people go!" Just let the Man upstairs guide you hand, and whatever you produce will be faithful and beautiful.
One thing, I think, that protestantism left behind - and maybe shouldn't have - is adherance to a sort of Universal Christian calendar. That is, protestants tend to celebrate the big holidays ('big' here meaning 'the ones most likely to be coopted by the culture at large and turned into an opportunity to sell stuff'), but we lose out on the communal aspects of following a sort of liturgical calendar of holy-days. But, in the interest of unity, I say (in the words of John Wesley, more or less): if your heart is like my heart, then give me your hand.
That essay is well written. Though I'm not Catholic specifically I believe what is in the Bible and I love reading through the Psalms.Good words from both of you (E. and Mike). Part of the beauty of David's writing was that it was inspired and part of it was that he wrote honestly about real feelings and experiences. When you say he is a hard act to follow, I agree and I also struggle with that constantly --What can I possibly say that hasn't been said a million times before and better. I think, though, that writing is like personality. Each person is different so each bit of writing, naturally, will be different. I've been very influenced lately by guys like Kerouac and Burroughs and Bukowski who just wrote. They weren't trying to "be writers", they were writers. So, I think if one writes honestly and truly then the goal of his or her writing has been met.(Sorry for the babbling. You may even disagree. However, the subject of "What do I write that hasn't been written before?" has been on my mind a lot lately.)
@Mike - you know it's funny, but I was just talking to my brother about these things and also about putting my writing in general "out there", and Moses was the example he brought up, too. I'm so fearful when it comes to speaking to people and promotion and all but my brother said, "If this is really what you're meant to do, you'll find your Aaron." A comforting thought. Here's hoping.
When someone wonders why you have what looks like dirt on your forehead, simply reply "It's because I take my religion more seriously than you."Or, you could take the less confrontational approach of explaining the significance of Ash Wednesday.
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