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Old Men ought to be Explorers

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It was too complicated to present the Collects in the last few weeks. But Advent is a good time to start again. So here is today's, the Second Sunday in Advent. My students used to wonder where I got the expression RMLID, which I kept putting on my blog. Here is the source:

The Collect.

BLESSED lord, which hast caused all holy Scriptures to bee written for our learnyng; graunte us that we maye in suche wise heare them, read, marke, learne, and inwardly digeste them; that by pacience, and coumfort of thy holy woorde, we may embrace, and ever holde fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast geven us in our saviour Jesus Christe.

Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.  RMLID.

What, in fact, does it mean?
Read -- well, simple. You read. Your eyes go over letters, your mind more or less translates them.
Mark -- re-mark. Notice. Take heed. Pay (real) attention. Someone, writing of a disease typical of our time, coined the brilliant phrase 'Continuous Partial Attention'. You know, when you talk to a friend on the phone and you hear from his voice that he is also doing e-mail and that the TV is on besides? CPA. 'Mark' in the Collect is the opposite. Real attention. Read as if it's a letter from a friend, addressed to you.
Learn -- process it through  your most intelligent mind. Think. Analyse. Then apply it to yourself.
Inwardly digest -- lots of people read, mark and learn Milton, say, or Tolkien, or the rules of bridge; but without Inwardly Digesting them. Only with ID does the food for thought genuinely become part of you.

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