Shortbread, Prayer Ropes, and Sermons on Mountains

I have been having a craving for shortbread lately. I tried to satiate that need with Lorna Doones, but as much as I love those flaky little cookies, they just weren’t fulfilling my needs. So I decided to make some homemade shortbread. With its half a cup of butter and whole cup of sugar, I am sure the shortbread, which will transfer from refrigerator to oven in just a few short minutes, will melt in my mouth like Rufus Wainwright or K.D. Lang singing Hallelujah. Sweet, smooth, and sexy. Can shortbread be sexy?

Last night after I started contemplating Lent, I looked for my prayer rope. I couldn’t find it anywhere, and, quite frankly, I was feeling pretty forlorn. This morning, however, I remembered that the last place I used it was in bed. I went through this phase where I would wake up in the morning and pray the Jesus prayer the entire way around the rope before I even got out of bed. Apparently, when I abandoned that notion, I left the prayer rope on the bedside bookshelf and the cats then knocked it behind the shelf. I had to move the shelf in order to find it, but I am glad it was there.

While I rode the bus to school this morning I prayed. I began by reciting the Apostle’s Creed. Well, I recited it as well as I could from memory. I get a little jumbly right around the holy catholic church part. I then prayed the Jesus prayer ten times in a row, once for each knot, praying the Lord’s prayer at each cold, blue plastic bead, and then continuing around until I returned to the cross at the beginning where I again recited the Apostle’s Creed. I decided that I need to learn a few more prayers to pray along the rope because the Lord’s Prayer gets to be a little rote after praying it ten times. I think I am going to mix in a little scripture or a Hail, Mary or a Franciscan prayer or something.

I decided that I am going to try to (re)memorize the Sermon on the Mount during the 40-odd days of Lent, but I wanted to get a head start on the project so I read through Matthew 5-7 today. I am going to break the text up so that I only have to memorize three or four verses each day. Today through Ash Wednesday is the longest portion of Scripture to memorize, which is the Beatitudes. I think I am doing pretty well. This is what I know without looking (the bold is what I didn’t know): Jesus went up on the mountain and his disciples gathered around him. He opened up his mouth and said to them: Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who are reviled and persecuted and slandered for my namesake. Rejoice and be glad for great is your reward in heaven because they equally persecuted the prophets who were before you.

About 50%. Epic fail. I think it is difficult because I am trying to memorize it in a different version this time. Before, I used the New King James, and now I am trying the English Standard Version. Before it’s over I think I am going to switch to the tNIV. I mean shouldn’t peacemakers be children of God, not sons of God?


I am thankful for days when class goes so well.

Exercise: walked the dogs, 35 minutes on the evil machine

Food: oatmeal, chocolate milk, juice, salad with dirt in it, Minestrone soup, chocolate milk, two fake-chicken parmesan sandwiches, cauliflower, homemade vegan berry mango ice-cream, beer

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