Where was I last year at this time? Spiritually that is….
I wrote an article called, “One Thousand Gifts and Easter Joy.” In it, I reflected on Ann Voskamp’s book by the same title and my thoughts of having a thankful heart! Here is a bit….
Ann started a list. A list, of one thousand gifts, and in that process her transformation began. The result became a book to share and remind me that Eucharist, thankfulness, is a precious gift Jesus gave to us for our pilgrim journey of life.
We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song!
Easter is a reality, a victory over the darkness of sin. It is HOPE and LIFE! May I remember that, may I have a thankful heart.
How could I forget??
Last year through a variety of circumstances we had a quiet Easter. However, this year we had another quiet Easter but for such a very different reason.
I was feeling so very sad that I could not travel to see my extended family, nor could they come to see us. Additionally, I began to question myself, “How can I feel Easter Joy without attending the Easter Vigil with my parish community?”
BUT, then miracle of Easter happened. The darkness was lifted!
Since our dear daughter, Elizabeth, cannot attend her final, senior days at Benedictine College, we have been watching the Kansas monks’ Live Masses on Youtube.
Go ahead and watch any of the services or Masses and you will see the JOY in their hearts!
Can I say we are feeling attached to these dear priests and brothers??
Call it the human spirit’s strong desire to belong. This want and need to be in community is so deeply rooted in all of us. The monks do not know me personally, yet each time they offer Mass or pray the Liturgy of the Hours I cannot but feel that they are doing so with me in mind!
So we watched and prayed and participated in their Easter Vigil.
My daughter Julia made our Easter Candle and we lit a new fire in our fireplace. We journeyed with the Monks through the Old Testament readings and Psalms leading the way to Easter JOY!
Slowly I began to melt into the loving arms of Christ as we journeyed with the monks. I felt the sadness subside and be replaced by JOY. I cried at the Gloria and I cried at Consecration!
Tears of Joy!
Perhaps my JOY is because I get to witness the monks living in community and it is so beautiful.
Or perhaps, it also reminds me that my family is a community of love. Yours is too!!! Don’t forget that!
Did you know that the word JOY is used 172 times in the Bible?
Jesus spoke of Joy at the Last Supper, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (Jn 15:11).
We are living in strange times indeed, BUT we have the blessings of living our calling, to be a domestic church!
Easter is so big and wonderful that we have a full 50 days to celebrate the season.
I know full well that there is uncertainty, as we move forward in these next 50 days! I like to think that God’s plan was to help us through this time by placing the burdens squarely in the Easter season. Yes, to rejoice in suffering and the unknown.
Think about the words of the Gospel,
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Jn 20:29
We have not had the benefit of physically receiving the Lord, we go on belief.
I am about to spend time in “virtual” Adoration now! I bring all of you with me.
I believe, I trust, and I love thee!