Saturday, April 20, 2019

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all!

The Grand Silence of Holy Saturday

Praying silently.

This day, of all days, I pray silently.  When I use words, it seems I can only accuse myself of all my sins, because today everything seems dark.  And there, mysteriously, I encounter Christ ...
Lord my God, I call for help by day
I cry at night before you.
I am reckoned as one in the tomb;
I have reached the end of my strength,
Like one alone among the dead,
like the slain lying in their graves,
like those you remember no more,
cut off, as they are, from your hand.
You have laid me in the depths of the tomb,
in places that are dark, in the depths.
Your anger weighs down upon me;
I am drowned beneath your waves...
So there is no consolation, save the awareness that Jesus bore all of my shame and was accused and condemned for all of my lies, my lust, my sin ...
Wretched, close to death from my youth,
I have borne your trials, I am numb.
No consolation.  The Sorrowful Mother, who embraces the dead Christ cannot be consoled, neither can she reject the sinner.  So I sit alone and in silence ... in confidence, love and thanksgiving ... pondering what the Holy Father said: "To remain silent, to pray, to accept humiliation."

Friday, April 19, 2019

Hagios Athanatos, eleison himas!

What more should I have done for you and have not done?

      Indeed, I planted you as my most beautiful chosen vine
                  and you have turned  very bitter for me ...

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Images that last.

The people who dropped to their knees.

What impressed me deeply from all the photos pouring out of Paris, was the images of people on their knees in prayer, as the Cathedral burned.  Aside from the images of the heroic fight of the firefighters, and those who rescued the Blessed Sacrament, sacred relics, and artifacts, the silent, mournful prayer of so many was a great witness to the faith. 

Was it arson?

I don't know.  However, in light of what has been happening in France, and because St. Sulpice burned last month, my immediate reaction to the Notre Dame fire was that somehow they were connected, and I was shocked and saddened - it sounds cliche, but words can't express. It struck me as nearly apocalyptic. Of course thoughts of arson and who could be responsible ran through my mind. I immediately thought of the 'Gilets Jaunes' movement and anarchists associated with them, since weeks before there were demonstrations and fires along the Champs-Elysées and elswhere. There seems to be the scent of revolution in the air - across the globe.

Prayer is needed, and the Parisians lead the way in their response to the fire at Notre Dame.

Notre Dame De Paris 
Priez pour nous!  Priez pour Paris!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Day After

Notre Dame still standing.

That's all.  It's better not to speak - there is no need. 

So many are saying such silly things.  A few offering some decent pious sentiments, while others make claims evocative of conspiracy theories as to who maybe caused it.  Then of course the usual traditionalist doom and gloom stuff, pretty much echoes the ISIS claims it's God's punsihment, and so on.  Even the news that the cathedral will be rebuilt is peppered with fears and contempt of Macron's Government and dread they could modernize the structure in some hideous way, thus adding insult to injury.

Be still.

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Fire of Notre Dame de Paris

La Vierge Noire De Paris (Notre Dame De Bonne Délivrance)
priez pour nous!  Priez pour Paris!

Je vous salue, Marie, 
pleine de grâces, 
le Seigneur est avec vous; 
vous ętes bénie entre toutes les femmes, 
et Jésus le fruit de vos entrailles, est béni. 
Sainte Marie, Mère de Dieu, 
priez pour nous pécheurs, 
et à l'heure de notre mort. Amen.

I have no words to express my sorrow.  I pray in thanksgiving that the damage seems to have been primarily to the roof; the vaulted ceiling protecting the majority of the interior of the Cathedral.  President Macron promises to restore the structure.

I painted all day, having come upstairs, I turned on news and was startled to find out Notre Dame was burning.  It was surreal.  I went to the adoration chapel to pray.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Palm Sunday

Sorry to say, Palm Sunday celebrations are my least favorite in the Liturgical life of the Church. It seems so phony to me, because we know what happens immediately after the entrance hymns are sung, and the liturgical dance is over. We know what the nuvo-Scribes and Pharisees are planning. We know he will be abandoned and betrayed and even denied by his priests and bishops and so many of us. It's the schizoid nature of the Church, the contradiction of the Cross, which stands out for me this day.  It reminds me that popular opinion and politics are destined to disappoint.  The message of the Cross is foolishness to the worldly minded, therefore I'm content to be an ass on this day.