The rain and gloom cover the scene outside my window like a blanket of nostalgia, reminding me of my of my early years in the dreary pall of southeast Michigan. Strangely I feel comforted by the almost hypnotic white noise of the rain and the gathering gloom around me, and I do not at all feel sad or distressed.
This morning at Matins the lessons from the first Nocturn were from the Book of Job, perhaps one of the most distressing of all the books of the Bible. The verse and responses were just as gloomy, and yet, the Gospel for the day, the antiphons for the Benedictus and the Magnificat as well as the Collect were all about finding hope in the midst of suffering and distress. Once again we see the genius of the traditional Benedictine Breviary, and how it’s pretty much a school of theology and a guidebook for living all wrapped into one.
On the one hand we have Job who rightly wrestles with the problem of evil, and on the other we have our Lord saying to trust in Him. It’s not always easy by any stretch of the imagination but, as the Collect says, with grace it is possible. Without grace man is frail, man WILL fall, but with grace he can stand. As this 14th Sunday after Pentecost comes right in the midst of Hurricane Irma when so many feel like Righteous Job I feel like these readings are providential.