Sunday, March 28, 2010

Holy Week

Our Palm Sunday liturgy was very beautiful. We processed outside carrying palms and singing. During the Mass we read the Passion of Christ according to Luke. Read in three parts, I found that narrative very moving and so descriptive I could easily picture the scenes in my imagination.
Holy Week reminds us of Jesus' goodbye at the Last Supper, and the sadness he and his friends endured during his Passion. For me this is a time of saying goodbye too. I am experiencing some of the sadness that comes from taking leave of folks whom I may never see again on this earth. I want to express my gratitude to those who have helped me, yet I feel inadequate. I ask the Lord to thank them for me in ways only he can do.
I will be adjusting to a new room, a new work space and in some ways a new convent, even though I have lived in Boston many years. I look forward to seeing and greeting those Sisters and friends whom I have not seen for a few years. It is a sort of "dying and rising"--dying to an older way of life and starting a new one. May the Easter mystery of Jesus dying and rising for us, give you and me great hope and joy.
Best regards for a gentle and grace-filled Holy Week.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Hour and Palm Sunday

As I write this blog, I am am aware of how millions around the globe are observing earth hour, conserving electricity and energy. Last year some of us Sisters used candle light to observe the hour as we enjoyed each other's company. Tonight some of my friends have built a campfire and are preparing s'mores (for those who don't know, a s'more is a sandwich made of roasted marshmallows, melted chocolate and graham crackers)even though the temperature is hovering over the freezing mark.
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, the solemn opening of Holy week. Since evening prayer or vespers on Saturdays is always a commemoration or an introduction to the celebration of the coming Sunday, I already had a glimpse of tomorrow's liturgy.
We will have the blessing of palms and a procession to mark Jesus entry into Jerusalem. Then during Mass we will read from Luke's gospel account of Jesus' Passion. Since I will be one of the three person reading the Passion narrative, I have read it several times as a preparation. I invite you who read this to go to Luke's gospel and read the Passion account which begins with the Last Supper.
This will be a week of transition for me as I move to a new assignment in Boston. I will arrive in time to celebrate the Sacred Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday's Easter Vigil. I promise you my prayers for a blessed Holy Week!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Plus + or Minus

This weekend I overheard a conversation that jarred me out of my usual morning complacency. Two gentlemen were discussing their work environment, their bosses and the people with whom they served through their work. The tone kept going downhill, one complaint followed another, each seeming worse than the previous. When I actually saw their faces, I realized I knew them both at least to some degree. To all appearances, they are normal healthy men with good steady jobs. To counter the negativity I was hearing, a thought or an inspiration hit me: "I sure don't want to go through life with a negativity chip on my shoulder.Life is too brief, and God is too good to be labeled a complainer!"
It's easier to take a slip downwards and join in when someone lodges a just complaint. Yet as I heard this weekend, the pile of negativity just gets bigger and bigger. This morning as I was meditating the simple minus and plus signs I learned in second grade flashed before me.
The minus sign is the "take away" symbol: negativity takes away joy and often it takes away our peace. It may be a symptom of depression or fatigue. The vertical line which intersects a horizontal line and makes a plus (or a cross) adds to, enhances the value of what it stands in front of. I know that I desire a full life. That is, I want to make the most of whatever time God allows me on this earth. To the unavoidable minus situations in my life--be they health issues, airport delays, nasty remarks, or other unpleasantness--I want to add the vertical dimension and make a plus out of them. One author has said that the vertical bar of the cross leads us to God. In the morning I pray a Morning Offering--giving all my day back to God. That helps me to turn the minus signs of my life into positive plus signs. May you have a truly blessed day!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Real Issues

I made a short trip to the Post Office this afternoon. It was a pleasure to drive in the sunshine on a dry roadway. A robin perched outside our dining room on Sunday, and a pair of mourning doves lighted on their favorite tree at the front door. Despite the snow covered grounds, the birds know it is Spring. Lent truly is a Spring time for the spirit. If you have planted any seeds and then transplanted them to larger containers or put them into the ground, you may have marveled at what you saw. The tiny seeds swollen with new life had cracked open to reveal minuscule blades of green and yellow plants. There are things in you and me that may need to be cracked open, defenses abandoned, old ways discarded. Giving up habits of saying or doing things can be painful or tiresome--probably both.
Yet, Christ is waiting to give life to our efforts and help us carry the crosses we meet every day. My prayers accompany you and me as we undergo our own transformation from a winter time of the spirit to a spring time of our souls.