See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The drama of Holy Week.



Recollection amidst the tumult.
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When we really pray and think about the liturgical readings and psalm selections for this week, though we are entrenched in the activities of our daily life, which most likely includes an awareness of the upheavals taking place in the world today - I think we come quite close to knowing something of the  atmosphere Jesus experienced in Jerusalem as he approached his final hour.  Understanding this, I think the awareness of our misery can be the catalyst for us to fix our eyes upon him alone, without paying heed to the other voices that cry out against him - and ourselves - during these dark days, even when that means sharing his shame. 
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I doubt that Holy Week is a time for transports and consolations, as even the mystics have demonstrated, since this is the week many of them mystically participated in the sacred passion.  Their example suggests to me that recollection in suffering sometimes means remaining in the presence of God even though we may experience only dryness and difficulty and have absolutely no feelings of devotion or piety, or when the duties of our state in life keep us from the spiritual exercises we'd like to perform.  Though circumstances may prevent us from going to church for the Triduum, we can follow from a distance as it were, uniting ourselves and our prayer to the prayer of the Church as best we can.  The important thing is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus whose presence may not be felt and circumstances attempt to obscure.  Recollection thus becomes an act of the will.
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Perhaps a person who has to work and is unable to follow the Triduum, who may feel harried by all the duties placed upon them this week, can find peace in recalling how Christ 'walked in peace through the midst' of all that tumult, and 'gave himself over into the hands of sinful men' to be mocked and beaten and finally, crucified.  Abandoned by his disciples, rejected by all, condemned and insulted to the end, he died.  
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If we can't do anything else, maybe we could try to take a moment from time to time just to 'sit alone and in silence' our eyes fixed on the Suffering Christ.
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Yes, I hear the whisperings of many: "Terror on every side! Denounce! let us denounce him!" All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. "Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on him." - Jeremiah 20:10


3 comments:

  1. The theme for my Carmelite retreat a few weekends back was "Just Look at Him." One of those good realizations as we get caught up in the busyness of life. I am able to keep a holy card of The Divine Mercy at my desk at work...and when things start to get crazy it's nice to take a moment and look at the picture.

    Narazeth Priest and all priests who visit this blog--my prayers are with you and for you this Holy Week..

    Sara

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  2. 4mercy7:48 AM

    Excellent column!! Thank you!!!

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  3. Great post Terry. Really appreciate this one.

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