Let Easter Sink In - 6 Sundays of Easter

Let Easter Sink In - 6 Sundays of Easter

When I was in high school, the way Easter panned out always seemed bizarre to me. There’s a pretty huge build-up of suffering, penance and no coffee. Then we go to Church like four days in a row (weird), eat bunny shaped stuff (why), and go straight back to reality.

At least after Christmas, most of us have a few days off before returning to work. But no one is having one too many Lemon Drops at a tacky Easter sweater party. We probably don’t even send Easter cards. Easter, to me, seems to disappear right into the next week. It doesn’t linger. There’s no talk about having “Easter spirit”. Because of this, most of my life I ignored the long, glorious feast of the 50 days of Easter.

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Invisible Reality

Invisible Reality

From the time I was small child I was wildly attracted to sacred things. The few times my grandma walked us to church just to light a candle, I hoped that she would leave me behind so that I could just be there.

This lent has been a lot of a reminder of that for me.

It’s the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday and the Eucharistic procession, it’s the empty tabernacles and the Stations of the Cross, it’s the quiet Holy Saturday and the dark Church at the Easter Vigil that draws me back to that wonder. The holy things of Holy Week remind me of how close I am to the Holy of Holies.

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Like the Do-Fall

Like the Do-Fall

In the middle of Lent, I heard a good priest begin his homily by saying, “How’s your Lent going? How are you doing on your resolutions? Not so good? That’s ok. That’s great actually. If you’ve failed, you’re just starting to realize how much you need the love of Jesus in your life. That was the whole point of Lent. Next we get to Easter, which is when we are reborn and restored”.

He then continued to talk about Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well, and how she, like all of us, was “broken yet loved.” I kept that phrase in the back of my mind for the next week. Very slowly and gradually, I began to ponder the ways that Christ loves me. For about a week, I forgot about how badly I had failed in my Lenten practices, and instead paid attention to how Christ said I love you. He would say it in the simplest ways, whether through a song, encouragement from a friend, catching a glimpse of blue sky, time with my family, a few moments in Adoration, the taste of a perfect mocha, or in the daily Scriptures that I felt the urge to take up again. I tried to honestly pray again and say the things that were on my heart. I realized how much I desperately need that love and communion with Him. How nothing in my life makes sense without it.

 

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The Sacrament of Conversion

The Sacrament of Conversion

I kind of hate confession, but I could also never leave the Church because of it. When I look around the darkening Church, still lit up with flashes of color from the remnants of sun through the stained glass windows, I realize again that this is the seat of transformation. This building that so many are insulted by and run from is where humanity is healed. This is where the worst of the world can find a home and be transformed by mercy. In these doors walked the worst of humanity, and we walk out made radically new. So often the Church is seen as a white washed house full of the perfect, but it is a home for the weak and weary sinner, for the murderer, the adulterer, the thief, the damned - of which I am the foremost.

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Refusal of Joy

Refusal of Joy

“Acedia, despair, lukewarmness, all of these things that feel so small can snowball into something big, and before we know it, we’ve turned our back on God,” the words spilled out of my mouth. I said them almost robotically, just spewing information, not connecting to them as they came out slowly. The four young women I teach RCIA to looked on with wide eyes as they began to discover the ways they desperately needed God.

I couldn’t connect with the words, because those words were me.

I was teaching on the first commandment, “I am the LORD your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.” Man, every time I open that Catechism to teach about commandments I discover a new way that I miss the mark. I discover love, I discover mercy.

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Double Down on Lent

Double Down on Lent

No matter where you are on your Lenten journey I encourage you to double down and focus on the commitments you made at the beginning of Lent. If you have held true to your sacrifices this Lent, keep it up! The Lord is surely pleased with your hard work. But, if you’re like me, you’ve fallen a few times on this Lenten journey. Take courage and find strength in your weakness: that means you’re challenging yourself! Let’s not allow our failures to become an excuse to give up entirely. I look to Jesus as my example and I encourage you to do the same.

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