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Hickory, dickory dock

by davesandel on March 30th, 2016

For all of today’s readings, click on today’s date at

Hickory, dickory dock

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday in the Octave of Easter

Acts 3

Peter and John were going up to the temple area for the three o’clock hour of prayer.

By the end of today, in 2016 we will have been alive for 129,600 minutes. That is 90 x 24 x 60.

It’s only just turned spring! Time flies.

Macbeth was not so sure. Time made of him a captive and a fool, moving always at the wrong speed: “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,”

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,

That struts and frets its hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

Ask the mavens who live in nursing homes, or monasteries, or others who have lived many a long year. How do they mark the ninth hour of their days?

Time it was,

And what a time it was, it was

A time of innocence

A time of confidences

Long ago it must be

I have a photograph

Preserve your memories

They’re all that’s left you

In his book on what is sometimes called “fixed-hour prayer,” Scott McKnight asked himself and his readers one question: “Do you pray around your work, or do you work around your prayers?” Peter and John worked around their prayers. Many do, mostly priests, some monks and sisters, some of the rest of us. Lots of Muslims work around their prayers. The prayers always are the first priority.

But most of us don’t. We pray around our work. And thereby we lose our race with time, and find ourselves looking eventually like the mouse in the nursery rhyme. Or we are caught on the gerbil’s treadmill, and then we die.

Not the way to go, I say. Work around your prayers, like Peter and John, and Jesus, and others that we know love God. Learn the art of the fixed-hour prayer, the liturgy of the hours, and life does not pass us by.

You are near me now, Father, and then again at noon and 3, and 6 pm, and always, Lord, you are near.

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