Monday, November 2
Tomás Luis de Victoria - Second Lesson at Matins of the Dead
My soul is weary of my life,
I will let go my speech against myself,
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
I will say to God: Do not condemn me:
Tell me why thou judgest me so.
Doth it seem good to thee that Thou shouldst calumniate me,
And oppress me, the work of thy own hands,
And help the counsel of the wicked?
Hast thou eyes of flesh: or,
Shalt thou see as man seeth?
Are thy days as the days of man,
And are thy years as the times of men:
That thou shouldst inquire after my iniquity, and search after my sin?
And shouldst know that I have done no wicked thing,
Whereas there is no man that can deliver out of Thy hand.
Unusually bleak and accusatory it may be, but this text and setting has always haunted me. May we never be so quick to rush to judgment--unless we are as holy as Job was. Especially since once God responds to old Job, He gets...well...sarcastic, for want of a better word. And I'm not sure any of us poor mortals could handle that. Still, such passages are in Scripture (and read out during the liturgy) good reason, and it is worth considering that even Holy Mother Church admits there are times where we want to cry out and ask "Why?" in the face of our own suffering.
Mercifully, this is not one of those times for me, and instead this All Souls' Day I am grateful for the opportunity to add my prayers to those of the other faithful in freeing souls from the halfway-house of Purgatory.