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Greetings to all who love to wander along the paths of the Holy Scriptures! The purpose of this blog is to share some of the insights of ordinary Catholics who have begun to delve into the mysteries of the Sacred Scriptures. Hopefully you will find these reflections inspiring and insightful. We are faithful to the Church, but we are not theologians; we intend and trust that our individual reflections will remain within the inspired traditions of the Church. (If you note otherwise please let me know!) Discussion and comments are welcome, but always in charity and respect! Come and join us as we ponder the Sacred Scriptures, which will lead us on the path into His heart, which "God alone has traced" Job 28:23.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Broken Hallelujahs

Maybe there’s a God above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There are a couple of revisions of Leonard Cohen’s song Hallelujah floating around, one with a Christmas theme and one with an Easter theme.  I like them, and I guess if one must use the tune at Mass, it is better to revise the lyrics so they are appropriate for Mass.  But this is not a Mass song, this is a meditation on searching for God in darkness and suffering.  So I rather like the original.  I hear groping for meaning and love, I hear a yearning for Him, in our darkness, and I hear of outright failing Him; yet even so  one continues to grope for God, imperfectly and with great need for each of us in the Body to provide what guidance we can. These broken Hallelujahs are uttered from dark and painful places, where our spirit cries out "Eli Eli lama sabachthani?

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well, really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Tonight after Mass, we will meditate on the Lord’s Agony in the Garden.  An agony that took Him to some of the darkest, most desolate place our spirit can be imprisoned in.  As His friends slept, His sweat became as blood.  How many times do we sleep when someone needs us?  How many times do we run away because a situation is difficult and painful, broken and seeming hopeless?  To endure with someone in painful and spiritually dark situations is an agony that is hard to describe. The temptation to flee is often strong.  But the One who cried out from the cross never meant us to endure in our own strength, when our strength has utterly left us we can only rely on His.  And when He is raised up through us, in our compassionate endurance,  He will transform broken Hallelujahs to holy ones.

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah…..

In your hands I commend my Spirit
Triduum Blessings to all,

Update:  Some of they lyrics quoted are not in the Rufus Wainwright version, but are in the Leonard Cohen original.

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