INDEED!

Easter Greetings!  

These are my favorite traditional greeting today:

“Jesus Christ is Risen, indeed!  Indeed he is Risen!

Christ is Risen: The world below lies desolate
Christ is Risen: The spirits of evil are fallen
Christ is Risen: The angels of God are rejoicing
Christ is Risen: The tombs of the dead are empty
Christ is Risen indeed from the dead,
the first of the sleepers,
Glory and power are his forever and ever
St. Hippolytus (AD 190-236)

Grunewald, Risen Christ, from Isenheim Altarpiece

Happy Happy Easter to you all!

Looking for Good…this Friday

It’s Good Friday.

Perhaps the hardest day of the year.  And, as I try to keep my eyes on him today and prayerfully, quietly, walk through this hard hungry jangled day….I want to remember this:

What Our Savior Saw From the Cross
James Tissot, 1836-1902

He kept his eyes on us.

Yeah.

And, my hope and my joy is that he still does and will.  Forever.

Blessed Good Friday to you on this High Holy Day.

O Jerusalem…

It’s Palm Sunday.

Tissot, Christ's Procession into Jerusalem

It’s the day we commemorate Christ’s “joyful” entry into Jerusalem. This day he fulfills the prophecy and enters not only Jerusalem but the walk to his Passion.

It’s an odd day; joyful and hard too. It’s the day I face my not so hidden inner hypocrite, every year. That’s always uncomfortable, like getting snared in brambles. But these are of my own selfish thorns. It’s the day that we ALL enter into Holy Week. Lent is refined and the chaff of it burned off…into the high holy days of the year, the silent clanging shuffle of the Via Dolorosa.

Tissot, Christ's entry to Jerusalem

But, look more closely at that painting just above. See there, under Christ’s feet? Those heads don’t look so joyous, so awestruck. They are not waving to get his attention or autograph…there is an undercurrent of malevolence. And that, right there, is what Christ was really approaching. He knew it. We do too.

So, this morning, what sticks in my head are his words from that moment, right before he entered Jerusalem and kickstarted the week of his passion:

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” Matthew 23:37

So, as I stand in Mass this morning, juggling my palm and the palm swords of my distracted little boys….as I choke out the words of the gospel, “crucify him,” I will remember that he just wanted to gather us in. And we would not.

Have a blessed Holy Week….it begins…

>Oh, Mercy Me

>

Divine Mercy

Painting, “Divine Mercy” Michael O’Brian
It is Divine Mercy Sunday.
I don’t know about you, but I need all the mercy I can get.  
For quite some time, I didn’t pay much attention to this devotion.  It seemed goofy, in a way. Sorry, but it did. I sometimes shy away from things that I haven’t fully looked into and/or fully understand. And also, frankly, the more sentimentalized  traditional imagery and ever more sentimentalized editions of this devotion didn’t set well with me, or my oddball aesthetic.  I know, shallow perhaps, but there it is.  My reality.
Anyhow, but as I learn more about this devotion, I am learning about the simple beauty of it.  And I think it is what we all crave.  Mercy.  Just that.  Just a little mercy. 
To that end, the Church recognized today,  the first Sunday after Easter, as Divine Mercy Sunday.  Because Easter is ALL about Mercy, Divine Mercy.  If it is not about mercy, really, there is no real reason to even get out of bed.  But it is.  I know it, heart and soul. 
So today, I join in the prayer:
“….for the sake of His sorrowful passion, 
Have Mercy on us, and on the whole world.”
Happy Easter…still easter….yay…..
**reposted from last year, because this says it for me**

>Word of joy

>It is an ancient tradition, this phrase in the liturgy.
But it’s one that keeps rolling around  my head this morning, after the beautiful late vigil Mass last night…

Rubens, “The Resurrection of Christ”

I announce to you a great joy: it is the Alleluia.”

My Chris was telling me about this being part of the Easter Vigil last year at the Vatican too. It’s not always a part of the liturgy, but the deacon brings this message to the Pope (or, in our case, our pastor) and then the bells start ringing and we sing the Alleluia once again, because today…today the news of great giddy joy IS The Alleluia!
He is risen indeed….

Michaelangelo’s drawing, “The Resurrection of Christ”
Happy Joyful Glorious Easter! 
My favorite day of the year.

>The Silence of Holy Saturday

>Shhh.
Listen.
Be still.
I know…it’s that day.
It’s the day of the tomb.
Silent as a tomb….

Holy Saturday is a day of silence.

It is the tomb.
It is the day of grieving and being still, quiet for it…or mindful of it and trying to find that still silent spot inside; ever difficult in our modern days and my busy loud life.
This is the day when the tabernacles, across the world, are barren.
And the emptiness is visceral.
I feel it.
I think the world feels it.
I do.

Tonight is the vigil and the promise of the return of the light, Light itself.
But for today. 
It is the deposition, the tomb.

And the noise, it’s a racket.  
My kids and the calling across the house a jangle of sound.
But even my kids, loud always, anticipating the joy and sugar of Easter tomorrow…they see the solemnity of this day, a little tiny bit.
The prayers are solemn, the see it, feel it, hear it as we pray through this day.
I crave to carve out some quieting time this day.  
I crave to go sit in adoration, but the tabernacle – it’s empty. 
I feel the loss and out of sorts, even as I prep for tonight and tomorrow.  
It’s so often a cranky fussy day, because exactly this out of alignment, the soul knows this marking and reacts with a squeezed ache.  
It is noisy in this silence, the noise of my children yes but the noise of my heart beating, looking for Him and thinking of her weeping this day.

It is a clanging silence….
So.  We wait.

>How Can this Day be Good?

>

Detail of painting, Tissot

Good Friday.
High Holy Day.
The Passion of Christ.
Via Dolorosa.
Crucifixion.
Utter sorrow.
Fasting.
Veneration of the Cross.
Empty tabernacles.
Hungry, tired, hard, sad.

Really, horror.

Nikolaï Gay (1831-1894)

Unfathomable.
An unspeakable, truly, tough day.
Good, yes, but the hardest most unspeakable kind of good.

A mystery of good.

Painting by Tissot, “What Christ saw from the Cross”

But yes, glorious good; if unseen as such then, and sometimes now.
We wait.
*Reposted from several years ago*

>A Different Night

>

“Why is this night different from any other night?”

It is Holy Thursday.
The first day of the Triduum.
It’s also known as Maundy Thursday
But, no matter the term used, it’s a high holy day, and it’s one of the ones that is rich and complex and beautiful and difficult all at the same time.

(And, as an aside, everyone I know is kind of suffering all sorts of larger and smaller slings and arrows this week, escalating today.  Right.  Exactly. I guess that’s how we know it’s Holy Week and we get to participate in our own mini-wimpy-passion….because “we can’t handle the truth” {to paraphrase Jack} of the real experience.  Just saying…..)

Sadao Watanabe print

Tonight the Mass remembers that special Passover supper, the last supper.  This is the supper of the institution of the Eucharist.  The disciples didn’t even really realize what was going on…how typical, then, and now.  But, oh the beauty of it all.

So too, this night, Christ washed their feet, showing them how to be the servant of servants that they would be called to be…that we are called to be.  How often do I forget that one? Daily, how many times a day is the better question.

Sigh.  This is such a complex layered night.  I can’t begin to do it justice.  The emotions range all over the map: from the quiet humbling of the washing of the feet, to the beauty of the institution of the eucharist, to the stripping of the altar and processing out that brings me to blinking away the tears…..It’s a rigorous beautiful piercing night. For me, this night does begin the vigil…the vigil that doesn’t end until the close of Saturday night’s vigil Mass (finishing Sunday) 

“Why is this night different from any other night?”  
This is one of the Passover questions.  So too, it is our question, mine.
And these three days ahead, I get to ponder it and pray over it and grow my heart bigger to answer it well, or try.

There is also a long tradition of a late Holy Thursday night service, called Tenebrea that means, literally, “shadows” or “darkness.”  This service is one of the hardest and most beautiful.  It starts in light and over the course of the service moves to darkness….because these are the three days of darkness and the greatest of suffering.  It ends with a cacophony of clapping wood.  It jangles and disturbs me deep inside, as it should, as it’s meant to.  The Sisters of Carmel explain it well, go read the whole thing here, but below is a snip from it:
 
There is placed in the sanctuary, near the altar, a large triangular candlestick holding fifteen candles. At the end of each psalm or canticle, one of these fifteen candles is extinguished, but the one which is placed at the top of the triangle is left lighted. During the singing of the Benedictus (the Canticle of Zachary at the end of Lauds), six other candles on the altar are also put out. Then the master of ceremonies takes the lighted candle from the triangle and holds it upon the altar while the choir repeats the antiphon after the canticle, after which she hides it behind the altar during the recitation of the Christus antiphon and final prayer. As soon as this prayer is finished, a noise is made with the seats of the stalls in the choir, which continues until the candle is brought from behind the altar, and shows, by its light, that the Office of Tenebrae is over.

Wishing you a mindful and Blessed Triduum.

>The Palms

>Waking up today….this was rolling through my head.

Not exactly the Basilica where Buddybug and Booboo are this morning…But still, apropos of the day I suppose.

Notre Dame Basilica, ah, bliss.

 I would just like to point out that, yes, I am quite well aware of how this opening video dates me and reaffirms just how old I am.  Additionally, I would like to point out that this is one of the unspoken curses of growing up in the 70’s (For the most part). This was formative stuff for me.  I know! It’s a wonder I came back to the church at all, no? But, thanks be to God, I did and now I get to live with some scars: a wedding anniversary during lent (doh) and this song/video rolling through my mind as an earworm every single year on Palm Sunday.

But still, apropos of the day I suppose.
Today is one of the longest Masses of the year, and it’s one of the hard ones. Sure it seems like it’s all the rejoicing like in the video above…but no we also have to read the long reading of when it all turns and Christ is taken to Pilate, and in the liturgy we respond, “Crucify him!” again and again.
I HATE that.
It makes me cringe.
It hurts and makes me wince.
I often want to stand silent, thinking, “No. I won’t. I can’t say that.”
But of course, I do, darn near every day in my selfish thoughtless words and snapping temper.
So, sure I could stand there and be silent today…..but oh, what a hypocrite.
And since I’m already that already too…..I will quietly, achingly whisper, “Crucify him” and try not to cry.

For more, ever so much better stuff on Palm Sunday, go here and here and, always, go here. anytime!

** Note: Palm Sunday Mass with toddlers means you don’t actually hear all the readings because you are juggling small boys who are playing swords with the palms that are given out. Long Mass, somber readings (Mark 14:1-15: 47), (Psalm 22), crowded pews, and toys, erk, palms…equals chaotic Mass!**

>C’mon Rain

>

Georgia O’Keefe, Horses Skull on Blue, 1030

It’s lent.  The last full week of lent, actually.
Maybe that’s why its so hard.
Its quiet.
  Slow.  Heavy.  Parched.
  These last days.
They are a dust of indigo.
A hollow…. of what?
A mere funk?
Something more?
Maybe, but not what we might think.
Not permanent or medical.
Spiritual.
I think it is a hollow.

I am fallow.

I am, viscerally, waiting.
And my body and soul senses it; even before my intellect can process and analyze it.
I turn in when the quiet comes to the house.
And its good, that, but its hard. It brings unbidden sadness and constriction.
The gifts of busy with my clanging days offset this, and force me to see this flip side of the hard fallow time now.
The call to put that hollow hard into service, to serve, to draw myself bodily out of my head and heart by tangibly touching serving setting out to others.
My children call me back out; my husband looks over the car at me, with squinting eyes, gauging it all.
Considering.
He calls me during the quiet of the day.
I tell him it is just this time, this fallow hardness of lent.
It is here and I feel it.
And I don’t want to, not really.
But I think I must and really, maybe I do want that still indigo dust.
Because its the desert.
Its dry.
I thirst.
So does He.
Ah, now I get it; I understand a glimmer bit more.
Lent.
Its dry. Hard.
Desert fallow,
an open mouth waiting for the life giving rain.
But…
Easter – around the corner.
The smell of drops on the air, days off, faint. 
C’mon rain.

Louisa McElwain, Desert Rain God, Oil on Canvas, 54″ x 72 “

>No Wiping!

>

Vanitas.
Today is all about this, it’s Ash Wednesday.
The saying, “Vanitas, all is vanitas, ” is the theme of the day on so many levels.
As the priest smudges the ashes (Last year’s blessed palms from Palm Sunday) on your forehead, he says “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
So, if that doesn’t get ya thinking about your mortality, I don’t know what will.
It’s a somber Mass.
A somber day, of fasting and penance.
It’s supposed to be.
Because today marks the start of lent, a penitential season, where we work to strip away the things that hinder us from walking closer to God.  We are given six weeks, forty days, to try and try again, to detach from things that hook us in and keep us looking at ourselves: our vanities.

It’s the ultimate vanity, that constant head swivel back to us (ok, sigh, me), our looks, our wants, our desires comforts distractions.  We/I all do it, all the time.  We are practically programed to do so, but the Church in her wisdom gives us an entire season to work on this.  No, not to try to lose those last ten pounds, or finally quit smoking, but rather to shed some of the thorny tangles that that keep us mired in the brier patch of ourselves.  Those stickery snags that keep us from walking forward a step or two into holiness or just a step or two closer to God and his perfect will for us.

It takes the whole season to even go a step or two I think, or at least, it does for me.  Because I botch it up, every year.  I’ve even learned to not set my sights too high, for the fall from afar is so discouraging that it’s then a temptation to just ditch it.  Just like those ever failed New Year’s resolutions.  (I don’t do those either, anymore). 
 **To that end, I’d like to point out that a mere TWO hours into this Lenten season I’d already stepped on a landmine and blown up: mom fail. 

Kinda made me feel like I might as well draw a hot bath, mix a lemon drop martini, grab a box of chocolate and surf facebook……and it was only seven a.m.!!
Yeah, so, I was in dire need of Mass….nothing like starting Lent on a stubbed toe and deflated humbled heart.  Perhaps, though, just precisely what I needed, doh.

But, I digress.  That was my Lenten PSA so that you all can feel more hopeful about your Lenten observances.  You’re welcome. **
But Lent is not a New Year’s resolution, except that it IS the lead up to the New Liturgical Year (starts with Easter Morning).  And it is a kind of pruning to help us spring forth into the new year in better shape, spiritually.

So, today we get to say it out loud.
Or, wear it out loud.
Wear it, all day long.
It’s a pain, really, these ashes.
As I mentioned, it’s a solemn day.  I’m hungry.  I’m terrible at fasting, I want to whine (and I tend to, no surprise to you I”m sure). 
The ashes, they itch and smudge further and further as the day goes on, often ending up sliding down my cheek a bit or onto the tip of my nose. 
All day, clerks at the store or the drive through of Starbucks will look at you twice and say, “Um, you’ve got a little something…” and wave their hands around their face and then towards yours. 
Here in the south, I get that more than other parts of the country, where the Catholic ratio is higher.  But even so, I nod and say, “I know.  Ash Wednesday.” And then,  usually they blink at me, look away, “Oh.”
It’s really really tempting to wipe them off.  Or to kind of wipe them off “by mistake” as you fix  your hair or scratch an itch.  Who wants to feel like a dork?
But it’s an act of will not to wipe, and that’s really the whole point.

Ash Wednesday is not only for Catholics, nor, of course, is lent.
It’s for any and all of us.
As hard as it is, it’s one of my favorite seasons.  Maybe that’s because I am a task oriented gal; but that is precisely what usually trips me up during this season.  
Very easy to fall into the trap of being too legalistic…which is, of course, pride.  Sigh.

I think I like it because my heart really does yearn to grow in holiness, yearns to love better and fuller and the only way I can do that, I know deep inside my soul, is to grow closer to Christ.  And Lent has me on the path – if only for a step or two.
So, I’m tiptoeing to Easter.

I’ve got my ashes on today and I’m yearning to snack…but I know that is my physical reminder of  my hunger for more in this world and in my stony heart.
 Ashes.
They itch.
They bug me.
But I’m wearing them.
No wiping.

>Divine Mercy

>

Painting, “Divine Mercy” Michael O’Brian
It is Divine Mercy Sunday.
I don’t know about you, but I need all the mercy I can get.  
For quite some time, I didn’t pay much attention to this devotion.  It seemed goofy, in a way. Sorry, but it did. I sometimes shy away from things that I haven’t fully looked into and/or fully understand. And also, frankly, the more sentimentalized  traditional imagery and ever more sentimentalized editions of this devotion didn’t set well with me, or my oddball aesthetic.  I know, shallow perhaps, but there it is.  My reality.
Anyhow, but as I learn more about this devotion, I am learning about the simple beauty of it.  And I think it is what we all crave.  Mercy.  Just that.  Just a little mercy. 
To that end, the Church recognized today,  the first Sunday after Easter, as Divine Mercy Sunday.  Because Easter is ALL about Mercy, Divine Mercy.  If it is not, there is no real reason to even get out of bed.  But it is.  I know it, heart and soul. 
So today, I join in the prayer:
“….for the sake of His sorrowful passion, 
Have Mercy on us, and on the whole world.”
Happy Easter…still easter….yay…..

>Holy Laughter

>

Rejoice!
It is Easter!
He is Risen indeed! Indeed He is Risen!

Painting, Fra Angelico

I love Easter, my favorite holiday. It is. It is just too full of pure grinning hugging laughing tear blinking elation. The ever great guys over at Godzdogz make a good point, often lost in the hussle of dying eggs and gobbling candy and oohing and cooing at the beautiful little kids in their Easter bonnets and best:

but this is THE big reversal! This is the big laugh out loud rejoicing because death itself has been foiled. And we can laugh the purest laugh of sheer joy and gratitude at the mind blowing goodness of it all.

Gosh any teen boy worth his salt or brash “too cool for you” comedian should be clapping his hands and howling at the pure “great one” of this day: He didn’t die. He turned death upside down, reversing it for all, for all time. Now that makes the purest truest laughter spring forth, when you really think about it. Because that laughter starts as unsure, tiny niggles of fear, “Can it really be true, c’mon? Do you really believe that?” And now, well, Yeah! He already has spoken with Mary Magdalene and called her by her name!

Painting by Bouguereau, “The Holy Women at the Tomb”

She was so amazed that she ran off to tell the disciples. Talk about taking your breath, blowing your mind…think she just cooly stood there and gazed and thought, “Meh?”
Um, no. I think she ran and tripped and her mind was racing and she couldn’t get to them fast enough. And, as an aside (because I am all about asides) I love it that He saw her first: a woman, a sinful woman who was trying her best, and who made huge changes in her life, because of Him. That gives me hope, that kind of mercy and love.

Anyhow, so, even though I oh so often tear up at the vigil Mass (especially if I catch sight of my dear friend Sonja, who always cries…because it just means SO much to her), at the end of the Mass, after the traditional recessional song of “Jesus Christ is Risen Today,” (Played and sung LOUD and with jubiliation)…at the end, I want to laugh and shout and clap my hands and grin stupidly from ear to ear. Because it’s real.
It’s the BIG reversal, the ultimate gift.
And it’s ours.
Whoa.
That’s just pure pure JOY. Jubilation!
It’s just the best.
It’s holy laughter.

Happy Happy Easter!

Michaelangelo’s drawing, “The Resurrection of Christ”

>Silence, Holy Saturday

>Holy Saturday is a day of silence.

It is the tomb.
It is the day of grieving and being still, quiet for it…or mindful of it and trying to find that still silent spot inside; ever difficult in our modern days and our/my busy loud lives.
This is the day when the tabernacles, across the world, are barren.
And the emptiness is visceral.
I feel it.
I think the world feels it.
I do.

Tonight is the vigil and the promise of the return of the light, Light itself.
But for today. 
It is the deposition, the tomb.

It is silent….
So.  We wait.

>High Holy Day. Psalm 22

>

So.  Today it is.
 
Today is Good Friday.
One of the hardest days of the year.
Today He died.
Battered.  Given.  Crucified.
Today is a day of fasting, abstinence, silence, prayer.  
It’s supposed to be hard.
It is.  

“They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones.”

Psalm 22

>The Postmodern Why: holy linkage

>

painting by Dali, of course
So, today is of course Good Friday and a day to ponder our faith, if any. 
And as I do this often (some will say tooo often, and some will say not nearly often enough) I am most interested when others do it too.  And this gal has written a piece on NPR today that is worth reading.  Because, as usual, she answers this question, the one that is  blazing around the modern media outlets of late (well, not overtly, but it’s in the subtext, it really is):  
Why? Why be Catholic? Really?  How can you? How could you?  
Especially now, in light of scandals and more mud thrown and slings and arrows and accusation and supposition and on…. why?  
Well, here is an excerpt, below.  But, today, of all days, I’d ask you to go read it.  It’s worth a few minutes. 
“The question has come my way several times in the past week: “How do you maintain your faith in light of news stories that bring light to the dark places that exist within your church?”
When have darkness and light been anything but co-existent? How do we recognize either without the other?
I remain within, and love, the Catholic Church because it is a church that has lived and wrestled within the mystery of the shadow lands ever since an innocent man was arrested, sentenced and crucified, while the keeper of “the keys” denied him, and his first priests ran away. 

***snip****

The darkness within my church is real, and it has too often gone unaddressed. The light within my church is also real, and has too often gone unappreciated. A small minority has sinned, gravely, against too many. Another minority has assisted or saved the lives of millions.
But then, my country is the most generous and compassionate nation on Earth; it is also the only country that has ever deployed nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
My government is founded upon a singular appreciation of personal liberty; some of those founders owned slaves. 

***snip***

I am a woman with very generous instincts, and I try to love everyone, but I am capable of corrosive scorn. Have I been much sinned against? Yes. So have you. Have I sinned against others? Oh, yes. So have you.
Like a pebble cast into a pond, our every action ripples out toward the edges, reaching farther than we intended, touching what we do not even know, for good and for ill. It all either means nothing, or it means everything.
As a Catholic, I believe it means everything.”
Go.  Read.  Then, ponder faith. Ponder being human. Ponder the why of faith.  
That’s what today is about.  It’s Good Friday.
 

>"Why is this night different from any other night?"

>It is Holy Thursday.
The first day of the Triduum.
It’s also known as Maundy Thursday
But, no matter the term used, it’s a high holy day, and it’s one of the ones that is rich and complex and beautiful and difficult all at the same time.

(And, as an aside, everyone I know is kind of suffering all sorts of larger and smaller slings and arrows this week, escalating today.  Right.  Exactly. I guess that’s how we know it’s Holy Week and we get to participate in our own mini-wimpy-passion….because “we can’t handle the truth” {to paraphrase Jack} of the real experience.  Just saying…..)

Sadao Watanabe print

Tonight the Mass remembers that special Passover supper, the last supper.  This is the supper of the institution of the Eucharist.  The disciples didn’t even really realize what was going on…how typical, then, and now.  But, oh the beauty of it all.

So too, this night, Christ washed their feet, showing them how to be the servant of servants that they would be called to be…that we are called to be.  How often do I forget that one? Daily, how many times a day is the better question.

Sigh.  This is such a complex layered night.  I can’t begin to do it justice.  The emotions range all over the map: from the quiet humbling of the washing of the feet, to the beauty of the institution of the eucharist, to the stripping of the altar and processing out that brings me to blinking away the tears…..It’s a rigorous beautiful piercing night. For me, this night does begin the vigil…the vigil that doesn’t end until the close of Saturday night’s vigil Mass (finishing Sunday) 

“Why is this night different from any other night?”  
This is one of the Passover questions.  So too, it is our question, mine.
And these three days ahead, I get to ponder it and pray over it and grow my heart bigger to answer it well, or try.

There is also a long tradition of a late Holy Thursday night service, called Tenebrea that means, literally, “shadows” or “darkness.”  This service is one of the hardest and most beautiful.  It starts in light and over the course of the service moves to darkness….because these are the three days of darkness and the greatest of suffering.  It ends with a cacophony of clapping wood.  It jangles and disturbs me deep inside, as it should, as it’s meant to.  The Sisters of Carmel explain it well, go read the whole thing here, but below is a snip from it:
 
There is placed in the sanctuary, near the altar, a large triangular candlestick holding fifteen candles. At the end of each psalm or canticle, one of these fifteen candles is extinguished, but the one which is placed at the top of the triangle is left lighted. During the singing of the Benedictus (the Canticle of Zachary at the end of Lauds), six other candles on the altar are also put out. Then the master of ceremonies takes the lighted candle from the triangle and holds it upon the altar while the choir repeats the antiphon after the canticle, after which she hides it behind the altar during the recitation of the Christus antiphon and final prayer. As soon as this prayer is finished, a noise is made with the seats of the stalls in the choir, which continues until the candle is brought from behind the altar, and shows, by its light, that the Office of Tenebrae is over.

Wishing you a mindful and Blessed Triduum.

>Easter Sunday!

>

Rubens, “The Resurrection of Christ”

Hallelujah, He is Risen!
He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah!
It’s Easter Sunday!!

This is it.
This is the reason I get out of bed in the morning, ultimately.
If it wasn’t for this, I’m not sure I could, so many days.
It would just be too too hard.
But this, this makes it all worth it, more than worth it….
this makes it glorious.
Every day.
I don’t even have the words….

Happy Happy Easter.
Go hop for joy!

>Holy Saturday, Lamentations

>

Painting by Mantengna, c 1490

Holy Saturday.
We wait.
It is finished.
It is so silent, so sad.
It is a somber quiet day.
I think of his Mom.
And I ache for her.

Painting by Franz von Stuck, 1891

And today is an achy day, all around.
It hurts.
It should.
It is too quiet, too somber.
And yet, of course, not.
And we wait, happily for us, in joyful knowledge and hope, for tomorrow.
But still, today, we wait.

>Good Friday

>

Detail of painting, Tissot

Good Friday.
High Holy Day.
The Passion of Christ.
Via Dolorosa.
Crucifixion.
Utter sorrow.
Fasting.
Veneration of the Cross.
Empty tabernacles.
Hungry, tired, hard, sad.

Really, horror.

Nikolaï Gay (1831-1894)

Unfathomable.
An unspeakable, truly, tough day.
Good, yes, but the hardest most unspeakable kind of good.

A mystery of good.

Painting by Tissot, “What Christ saw from the Cross”

But yes, glorious good; if unseen as such then, and sometimes now.
We wait.