“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence; and remove not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation: establish me with the governing/directing Spirit (πνεύματι ἡγεμονικῷ).” (Ps 50: 10-12, Septuagint-translation)

Psalm 50 (51) is chanted several times each day, in our daily cycle of church-services. In it we ask for “renewal,” several times each day, – because we can be “renewed” in God’s ever-new, ever-“governing” or “directing” us forward, Spirit, whenever we choose to open up to Him. Whenever I notice that I’ve slipped into going around in circles, according to “old” patterns or some “wrong” spirit or voice in my head, like idleness or despondency, I can call out and be restored in “GOD,” Who brings me “Good Orderly Direction.”

As a new week begins today, the fourth week of Lent, and a new day, I ask for renewal “within me” of the “joy of salvation” with which I began Lent, and toward which Lent is leading me. Let me take pause this morning, and plan out my little schedule of spiritual and physical fitness (in a now locked down Vienna), in God’s “governing Spirit” of patience and humility. Let me walk through another cross-carrying day not in self-centered fear, but in God-focused faith. “O Lord and Master of my life, grant me not a spirit of idleness, despondency, love of power, and idle talk.” Happy Monday of the 4th Week of Lent, dear friends! Tune in to our daily, weekday “Morning Coffee” audio-podcasts, for some daily inspiration on your Lenten journey, and through this Coronavirus epidemic! Sign up at: Love from Vienna, and please wash your hands & take heart, Sister Vassa