Monday, April 5, 2010

The Path to a Glorious Easter Season: Reflection V

Friday morning, I prayed at home, then I went to St. Michael’s at noon for Stations of the Cross. A large crowd had turned out, so they didn’t have enough programs to go around. A woman I didn’t know shared hers with me so I could read along with the prayers and sing the different songs added throughout. It was the first time this year I actually walked the Stations of the Cross. Usually, at St. Benedict’s, we stayed in the pews and just knelt at the appropriate times, and the week before when we came to St. Michael’s for a delicious fish fry put on by the Knights of Columbus, the youth in the parish acted out the Stations and we remained seated.
As soon as Stations ended, I slipped into the Chapel where I had planned to pray until 3pm. I figured spending that time in front of the Blessed Sacrament would be a good way to concentrate on the hours Christ hung on the Cross. A few other women were there for some of the time. John’s mom was praying in the row in front of me, and later he came in and knelt next to her.
For most of the time, I sat and listened. I prayed the prayers in a French prayer book to Mary that I used daily when I was studying abroad in Paris. It reminded me of how I had prayed in a number of churches that year that God would make me more like the Blessed Mother and make Kevin more like St. Joseph.
At 3pm, the hour Christ is said to have breathed His last, I said a special prayer, then left the Chapel to go out and say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy sitting on a bench outside by the mini grotto where there’s a large replica of La Pietà (1499) a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo of the Blessed Mother holding Christ’s body. I can’t fathom the anguish she must have felt watching her innocent Beloved Son tortured and crucified. After John and I prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, we shared some of the insights that had come to us over the past two days while in silence before the Blessed Sacrament.
Kevin and I had a simple supper at home, then we went to the Good Friday service together. John waved to us from across the church where he sat with his dad, his older brother Carl, sister-in-law Jessica, and their five-week-old daughter Vivianne. We listened to the reading of Christ’s Passion, then sang the solemn songs played while everyone was given a turn to venerate the Cross.
From Friday night until the Easter Vigil at 8:30pm on Sunday, I observed the recommended day of rest. I prayed, relaxed, made some Easter cards, and slept. In the evening, Kevin and I got dressed up and went to the Easter Vigil which was quite beautiful. The music was heavenly, the celebration burst with joy when we finally sang the “Glory to God” and the “Alleluia” which we refrained from singing all of Lent. Two people were Baptized, and four other adults who had already been Baptized made their First Communion and were Confirmed.
It felt so wonderful to be at the Easter Vigil with Kevin, reflecting on ten years of our participating in the Triduum together, marveling at all God’s done in our lives since then. After the Mass had ended, I made a beeline over to Carl, Jessica, and Vivianne. I’d been wanting a chance to hold Vivianne ever since Kevin and I had gone to the hospital to see her the day she was born. What an adorable little seedling, she is!
Kevin, John, and I went out to the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) and had big breakfasts as we talked about the Triduum, and the faith journey Kevin and I have taken together over the years.
I got a great deal from observing the Triduum as suggested. I believe I’ll make it my yearly practice to take Good Friday off from work, attend all of the Triduum, do Eucharistic Adoration, and make a point of spending the three holiest days of the year in closer communion with Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord, thank You for drawing me closer to You during Lent and the Triduum. I am so very grateful for the miracle that You granted us ten years ago when Kevin came home to the Catholic Church and has found the richness of the faith and holiness of the people inspiring and edifying. God is alive!! Alleluia!
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