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Pride, a Sentence, and Lent

I enjoyed 7th grade's performance of Sophocles' play "Ajax" this morning. Set in the Greek camp on the plains of Asia Minor, after the death of Achilles and before the fall of Troy, the mighty Ajax, played superbly by James B., now the greatest of Greek warriors, is possessed by vengeful anger fueled by pride. He wants to kill all the Greek Kings, especially Agamemnon, played by Luke P., his brother Menelaus, played by Colin J., and of course Odysseus, played by Patrick R., now his sworn enemy, and all their closest supporters. Ego and pride destroy an otherwise valiant warrior. James, in his performance, captured the tragedy of Ajax's fall beautifully and confidently. In Chapel today, I told the story of Clare Boothe Luce, US Congresswoman, who in the early sixties explained to President Kennedy that, "Great men are a sentence." Lincoln's, she said was, "He preserved the Union and freed the slaves," while FDR's was, "He lifted us out of the Great Depression and helped us win a world war." Reflecting on Sophocles Ajax, his sentence might be, "He was a valiant warrior tragically consumed by pride."

We do not have to be a president or a "hero" to have a sentence.  What's your sentence?

As we prepare for the Lenten season at Saint David's, we might well ask ourselves what sentence we would use to describe ourselves today; or what we would like it to be tomorrow.

Photo Credit: Public Domain


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