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. I mean check out the depth of this quote:

Signs of the human world. In human life, signs and symbols occupy an important place. As a being at once body and spirit, man expresses and perceives spiritual realities through physical signs and symbols. As a social being, man needs signs and symbols to communicate with others, through language, gestures, and actions. The same holds true for his relationship with God.
— Catechism of the Catholic Church 1146

I know it is the anticipation. I know it is the repetitive encounter of physical signs that are meant to be for my remembrance of Christ. I know that it is in these solemn moments of Holy Week that I discover just how much I am in need of a resurrection.

The Façade

All of the waiting and all of the working, and all of the trying to get everything just right in every aspect of my life sometimes makes me feel old, tired, and most definitely jaded. When did I become so concerned with perfection that I developed the fear that I was wasting my life If I did not get each and every thing absolutely right? I am in need of a resurrection because I have spent a lot of time trying to look like I have it all together in order to impress everyone around me and it is about time that part of me dies.

It isn’t easy to let go of the comfort of a façade.

Finally, Christ’s Resurrection - and the risen Christ himself is the principle and source of our future resurrection: ‘Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. . . For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.’ The risen Christ lives in the hearts of his faithful while they await that fulfillment. In Christ, Christians ‘have tasted. . . the powers of the age to come’ and their lives are swept up by Christ into the heart of divine life, so that they may ‘live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
— Catechism of the Catholic Church 655

What I truly desire is to drink in the reality of the divine life that comes to me through the Resurrection. But my desire for worldly perfection and reputation build nothing but a brick wall between me and Jesus. Am I really living or really loving if I never let the divine life into me and live “no longer for myself”?

My childhood was right. 

As I pray through this Holy Week, I will strive not to just look pious. I will actually let Jesus deep into the parts of my heart that I am trying to hide. Maybe those encounters with the Divine through signs and symbols will change me more deeply, if I reveal the wounds to the only One who can heal me. My childhood self was right, there is something more here. The Christian life is more than just looking the part, it’s a relationship. This Easter, it is time to stop letting the relationships that matter less come before the one relationship that matters most. The ideas of others, and the way that they see me simply do not compare to the way that Jesus loves me, and it is in that that I must stand.

God is inviting me, and God is inviting you. As we are reminded of him walking the steps to Calvary this week, will you whisper to him your deepest hurts? As we wait quietly on Holy Saturday, will you accept that he is who he says he is? On the great Feast of The Resurrection will you arise joyfully because God alone is your judge, and he has given his life to save you?

MARIA MALASPINA

Maria has a deep love for soup making and stress baking. She came into the Church just six years ago and is still stunned by the love of God. She currently resides in northern New Jersey where she is a Director of Faith Formation and spiritual momma to 200+ kiddos. Follow her blog at Avemarisstellasite.com and on instagram @rugazarusrex and @avemarisstella.