08 March 2023

A journey through Lent 2023
with Samuel Johnson (15)

‘And all our yesterdays have lighted fools / The way to dusty death’ … the Johnson family memorial in Saint Michael’s Church, Lichfield, with the inscription commissioned by Samuel Johnson (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

I have a mdeical appointment later this morning to check my Vitamin B12 levels, and later in the day I hope to take part in a Zoom meeting of local clergy in the Milton Keynes area. But before this becomes a busy day, I am taking some time this morning for prayer and reflection.

During Lent this year, I am taking time each morning to reflect on words from Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), the Lichfield-born lexicographer and writer who compiled the first authoritative English-language dictionary.

So often, in Lent as in every other time of the year, we live in our yesterdays, rather than living in today and hoping for tomorrow.

Yesterday was defined by Johnson defined in his Dictionary in these words:

Day last past; day next before to-day.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

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