Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maundy Thursday

"To wash the feet of a brother or a sister in Christ, to allow someone to wash our feet, is a sign that together we want to follow Jesus, to take the downward path, to find Jesus' presence in the poor and the weak. Is it not a sign that we too want to live a heart-to-heart relationship with others, to meet them as a person and a friend, and to live in communion with them?"
- Jean Vanier

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday ... reminds us that at the moment of what seems to be the height of Jesus' public acceptance also begins the process of His public betrayal, His public failure, His public abandonment. Only in the mind of God is Jesus any longer a success, it seems ... Here in the Passion narrative we trace the struggle, one scene at a time, between the Word of God and the ways of the world.  

Joan Chittister, from her book The Liturgical Year

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's the mood I'm in

In anticipation of Holy Week, I went to a web site which has hymns posted just prior to its season or observance. Ah, Holy Jesus was one of the hymns posted. It echoed my mood I was experiencing this evening.  The mood is what it is. The music, beautiful.

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
that man to judge thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.

Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee.
'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee:
I crucified thee.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
the slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
for our atonement, while we nothing heedeth,
God intercedeth.

For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation,
thy mortal sorrow, and thy life's oblation;
thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
for my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee,
think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
not my deserving.

Text: Johann Heermann (1585-1647); trans. Robert Seymour Bridges (1844-1930)
Tune: HERZLIEBSTER JESU (later form of melody by Johann Crüger, 1598-1662, arranged by Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Reflections and Anticipation at the Beach

It's a photo I seem to take each time I am down at the little oyster bar and restaurant I frequent when I go to Apalachicola. Somehow the direction of the boat has shifted some, but the beauty of it as it near sunset remains the same to me. Amazing what a camera phone will take these days.

The days down at the coast have provided me with what I would call respite from the world of work and the obligations of each day - some of the angst I have felt over the past months have been because of life changes, some from grieving, some from the self imposed worry I allow to take over my brain at times. I can consider some justified as a part of "growing up" and dealing with adult worries, while other parts were useless worries.

But I believe that life threatening crises and placing a parent in a nursing facility will set most people on edge, but the intensity of the feelings in my heart were what they were, and are what they are. I am coming to peace with some of it, feeling growth in other parts where I can see the blessing of it, but other parts of the grieving will remain with me for some time.  The prayers of those of you who have had me in my prayers were and are being felt, and for that I am grateful. The fact that I have a faith which provides comfort to me in tough times were there even if I wasn't feeling it at the time, because there were those of you who carried me through the hardest of times.

This week,  I have had an opportunity to refresh parts of me as I have taken a break from the every day world. I consider it a luxury to be able to do this as I know there are many who need this sort of getaway to purge the stresses of life, whatever they may be.

The week has had variety as the ebb and flow of family and friends have joined us - from a dear husband and daughter who joined me at the beginning of the week (along with the canine family), where cooking, swimming, sunbathing (daughter!), and sitting by the gulf waves provided food for the heart, soul, and stomach.

The intense storm which came through the earlier part of the week provided beautiful days of sunshine with a chill in the air, wind to stir and keep us moving, and beautiful water - as beautiful as I have seen it here. Warm enough for swimming in a heated pool and cool enough to keep us in the water, avoiding the chill of getting out of the water. It's the price one pays during the springtime where it is warm enough to THINK we can get in the water and DO!

Uninterrupted reading and the completing of three books brought satisfaction in the fact that I have felt a void in reading and seemed to have a period of weeks where reading felt impossible to indulge in. Two books felt substantial, where the third I consider "fluffy" and just what the doctor ordered. A fourth book will be on the horizon, but no anticipation of finishing it before we leave, and that is just fine.

In the past 24 hours, the television has been turned off, with quiet in the house. It's provided me with the "sound of silence" - which allows my mind to quiet and feel some calm. We live in such a noisy world, one that being busy seems to be more important than being still and listening to the sounds we do not hear unless there is silence, such as one of a wild snail eating :).

More family arrives today to bring the weekend to life. My own flesh and blood, along with a third generation in the oven, will join me in to enjoy time by the sea. Memories will be created as our weekend together will be different than in times past. In some ways, a new beginning, but not forgetting what memories we have had in the past.

So our girl weekend begins with an anticipation of joy and fun and love.