Kaleidoscope Reflections on Good Friday

The Pieta Good Friday

It’s funny how God speaks to us in different ways at different times in our lives. Over the years, as I have reflected on Scripture, I’ve been struck by how a passage or verse meant one thing to me as a teenager, another as a young bride, and something altogether differently now that I am a mother. I suppose this will continue to be true as I age and mature – each season of my life will hold a specific key to unlocking varied meanings of Scripture again and again. In a way, it’s like the words of the Bible are colorful bits of glass at the bottom of a kaleidoscope. As the cylinder turns, the glass shifts and tumbles into different positions, revealing brilliantly unique patterns but all comprised of the same bits of glass.

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A Peek Into Our Holy Week

As you begin to make plans for Holy Week with kids in your domestic church, I thought I’d share what has worked for us as a family over the years. Some of what follows is flexible and subject to change each year based on our schedules, kids’ ages and temperaments, and parental level of exhaustion, but this is the general outline of what Holy Week looks like for us as a Catholic family.  Thoughts in red are new things we plan to implement with the kids this liturgical year!

Holy Week

Palm Sunday/Monday/Tuesday – Clean the house, top to bottom, to prepare our home for the Triduum and Easter. On Sunday, we will read this new book from Michele Chronister that I purchased last week. The explanations of the Liturgies of Holy Week are written for probably 5-7 years olds, but the lovely illustrations will delight kids of any age, and the simple summaries of each Liturgy are a great jumping off point for deeper discussions with older kids.

Spy Wednesday – Hide 30 pieces of “silver” (quarters) around the house to remember that the day before Holy Thursday, Judas betrayed Our Lord for 30 pieces of silver. Once the kids find them all, they can put them in the box for the poor at Church tomorrow evening. I shamelessly stole this idea from Catholic All Year. SHAMELESSLY. Continue reading

When Jesus Hides Himself

Veiled Hearts

Today is the 5th Sunday of Lent, and so marks the beginning of Passiontide. Traditionally,  this timeframe of the last two weeks of Lent was primarily focused on the faithful’s immersion into Christ’s Passion. Gradually, this two-week observance has been largely condensed into a liturgically rich Holy Week. Prior to Vatican II and the reorganization of the Missal, the reading for the 5th Sunday of Lent (today) from John 8 ended with the words “Jesus hid himself and went out of the Temple.” As a symbol of Christ’s hiding, the crucifix, sacred art, and statuary are often veiled in Catholic churches on the Saturday before the beginning of Passiontide. There are many possible explanations of the origin of this tradition, and you can read more about the significance of this there.

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Miserere Me – Psalm 51

miserere psalm 51

A mutual friend texted me the news, begging for prayers for the stricken family. I could barely choke out the words to tell my husband. My friend’s son, just 22 years old and loving father to two sweet babies, had died by suicide two hours earlier. I did the only thing I could think to do – I drove to the Adoration chapel.

I threw myself onto my knees and began to sob. For the next 45 minutes, I stormed Heaven, crying out for the salvation of his troubled soul and for comfort of his grieving mother. The agony etched on the Blessed Mother’s face in the statue of the Pieta haunted me, reminding me of my friend’s agony taking place in real time over 100 miles away. I prayed through the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, my heart heavy with the sudden gravity of their meaning. I couldn’t see through my tears as I fumbled through my Missal, desperate to find the words of any prayer that expressed lament or sorrow or a plea for mercy.

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How’s Your Lent Going? (A Letter to God)

How's Your Lent Going?

Dear Lord,

I feel like I am already failing at this Lent thing. You know what I planned to do, what my intentions were. You also know that I haven’t consistently done any of the things I set out to do.

Give up all to drink except milk and water? I fell on Day Two when a coworker brought me a fancy drink from Starbucks. Pray a Rosary or Chaplet of Divine Mercy every day of Lent? I fell on Day One. Really. Ensure that I set aside 15 minutes a day to read Scripture – and then actually do it, reflecting on what I read and prayerfully pondering Your Word? I fell on Day Four, because it was the weekend.

I’ve fallen a lot.

I know there’s still time. I know the season is young. It’s only Day Six (not counting Sunday.) But this, this is the time I usually start to rationalize my failures.

“Well, that penance was really too hard.” “That prayer routine is too unrealistic.” “That self-improvement plan was too intense.”  And on I go.

It’s so easy to do this when I fail. To console my ego. To lie to myself.

Remind me, Lord, that on your Way of the Cross, you fell – not once, but three times. And you’re the Messiah, so it makes sense that I fall waaaaay more often. How humiliating, how hard that must have been for You. And yet – and yet you struggled to Your feet, balancing your crushing cross, and You got back up. You kept moving forward.

Help me keep going. Help me persevere.

Love,

Wendy

 

***Shared at www.theologyisaverb.com and www.reconciledtoyou.com/blog.html on 21-February-2018 for #WorthRevisit. Go check out the link-up!