Tuesday, March 14, 2006

From the photo archives, taken at the end of December.
One of the books I am re-reading this Lent is Light in the Darkness, a collection of anecdotes, memories and reflections by Sergei Fudel. Fudel, a Russian Christian born at the turn of the last century, spent the better part of his life in Soviet prisons, labor camps or in exile as a consequence of his faith. Here is the passage that struck me tonight:

Prayer needs a certain quiet within us and around us. This is why it is so difficult to pray in our loud and arrogant days.

I remember a poem given me by G Chulkov, who later became a disciple of Father Alexei Mechev, and who was a friend of Alexander Blok:

I live in the worries of every day
But my heart, beneath their heavy weight,
Lives a life of its own,
Like a miracle of flame.

Hurrying to catch a bus,
Or bending over a book,
I can suddenly hear the murmur of fire
And I close my eyes.

Perhaps in our days, prayer does live "under a heavy weight."