Wednesday, April 27, 2005

FSP, Week Two

The purpose of these updates is not so much "what's
going on with Xofezura" as fine-tuning of the FSP's
imaginary Rule, if fine-tuning is required.

1. Morning Prayer has been a success. Evening
Prayer+Night Prayer get shirked fairly often. This is
a failure of Xofezura, not the Rule. I have gone back
to www.universalis.com instead of
www.liturgyhours.org. This may be just a question of
taste. The difference is that universalis will tend
to put "insert appropriate hymn here" whereas
liturgyhours will actually insert a hymn. In my
opinion these inserted hymns don't read too well, and
they don't sing them on the audio, so ... it doesn't
work for me.

2. Attend Mass daily never was going to be possible
with my current schedule, but I have been shirking the
lectio divina of the Mass Readings, which is the
minimum requirement. Again, I chalk this failure up
to Xofezura and not the rule.

3. Re: alms, nothing to say on that score. This is
the easiest requirement to meet, if you have the
wherewithal, and if you don't, the Rule would allow
some ramp up time, and even consideration for
particular circumstances.

4. Fasting/abstinence has been highly irregular! One
problem is that it is easy for me to maintain on the
weekdays, but failure looms every Saturday. I need to
think about this one more.

5. Point #5 of the Rule (inserted only at the
insistence of that pesky Atgnatus!) is "love others,
consider them better than yourself, and judge no one."

On point 5, there has been some success. I find that
when getting in a judgmental state of mind, the Jesus
Prayer is very effective in shutting that down. More
effective than just willing the judgmentalness to
stop. I have found myself losing my patience less
often, being more considerate, etc. All good stuff.
Whether this is just initial enthusiasm that will wane
or whether this a product of points #1-4 plus an
effort at humility, etc. remains to be seen.

----------------------------------

Supplemental re: "Jesus Prayer". Point #1 of the Rule
is "Pray the Jesus Prayer throughout the day." In the
case of the Pilgrim, this meant for a time 12000x per
day. I think it might be useful to set up some
numerical targets, just to give people an idea what to
shoot for. The pilgrim did 3000x, then 6000x, then
12000x, then his prayer became "self-activated" and he
no longer needed to count.

I'm starting with approximately 500x. I roughly
calculate I can do that many in an hour, and I have
about an hour on my morning commute. That has been
going okay.

7 Comments:

Blogger atgnatus said...

It sounds like it is going well. As you imply, this is a journey. You do not need to be perfect from day one.

My progress mirrors yours.

1. My morning and evening prayers have been going well. I have a place where I pull over on the way to work to say the morning prayers. They should be the first things of the day but with a 1 year old climbing every potentially lethal object in the house, I find myself distracted.

I haven't really jumped whole-heartedly into the Jesus Prayer yet. Frankly, I had a personal issue the past week that made it very difficult for me to focus myself on the prayer. But that seems to be resolved so I look forward to starting.

2. To the best of my knowledge, daily services are not offered. I will double check. However, as this is Orthodox Lent, I have been attending services more frequently.

3. Alms – ditto. 2004 saw a small ramp up in percent of gross income donated. 2005 is slated for very minor one.

4. Fasting – ditto. I am an undisciplined fellow by nature but I have been having reasonable success fasting as prescribed by my priest for Lent – including fasting from my iniquities. Definitely far from perfect but a big improvement for me. Thank goodness for all those years of sandbagging! ;)

5. God has provided a wonderful test subject for me in the form of a co-worker. This has been helpful since the subject of my test is so clearly defined – I know when to be especially conscious of my thoughts and actions. But it is a sad thing that I need such a simple test.

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