Once again, this Holy Week, we come face to face with the meaning of our faith. All we really can do is listen, watch, and remain close to Jesus in his encounter with a suffering and death that ultimately leads all of us to life. It’s an immersion beyond words in the holy mystery of God. As the Monica Brown song chants: Holy Mystery, Sacred Presence, All embracing, Most wondrous God, In this moment, In our being, We are one, We are one. Listen here to the song and enjoy images that represent the mystery. Then gaze at a crucifix and reflect on your own sacred history. When has God been present in struggle and in joy? When have you most needed the support of Jesus? What crosses do you carry now for which you desire God’s help? Stay together with the Crucified One in solidarity with all believers. Listen and pray in this most holy week.
How often have we longed for assurance that loved ones who have died are still with us? We need their presence. I sometimes “talk” to family and friends who I believe live on in a new way after death. Relationships with them are still real and very meaningful, though I can no longer see them.
Understand that now I am more alive than I was when I lived on earth. . . . and now, even more, I want and am able to help you. (Angela Merici)
When St. Angela, foundress of the Ursulines, said in the 1500’s that she would be “more alive” after her death, she certainly already knew God intimately. It’s this faith and complete trust, her kindness and pleasantness (“piacevolezza” in Italian), her passion and courage to respond to God and lead other women in the process, that makes me love her and believe she is with us today. For her feast which is Saturday, January 27, talk to her a bit about how you’d like her help. She’s alive and wants to do good for us.
Make ready for the Christ,
whose smile, like lightening,
sets free the song of everlasting glory
that now sleeps in your paper flesh,
Hurricanes, tropical storms and earthquakes have been constant in our lives these last days and weeks. For those living in stricken areas, it has been terrifying. How many millions have lived in darkness, without electricity? And for others, there’s been a sense of helplessness and horror at having to simply watch from afar.
In the midst of all the chaos, we’ve marked two feasts of Mary, mother of Jesus—-her birthday on September 8, and today, the feast of her Most Holy Name. I learned last week that sometimes Mary is likened to the moon. That’s because the light of the moon is only a reflection of the light of the sun.
Perhaps what we can best do in response to the suffering of these days is learn from Mary to rediscover our light. Mary stands with us at the foot of the Cross. She leads us to Jesus, true Light of the World, and helps us trust at all times in him. Reoriented by that light, we will have all the more to reflect and share with those in need.
Happy 4th of July! May God bless America and every inch of this precious Planet Earth!