Friday, March 29, 2013

And So It Begins

The Triduum, or the Great Three Days cannot be described in one blog, especially by one who is not a theologian nor biblical scholar. However the events of Thursday and Friday have a link that perhaps exemplifies the limits of our human emotion; joy and sorrow. These extremes are played and prayed out in our liturgies for Holy Thursday and Good Friday. In our Holy Thursday mass we do experience the fullness of Christian Joy....that is to say the privilege of following our Lord's "Mandatum', or command to follow His example in humble service to others. We are joyful in his gentle request to follow the example he has given us. And yes, while even the sacrifice of the the Lat Supper, Jesus' sacrifice that is; brings great joy in his promise to be with us at each consecutive gathering at Eucharist. At this very moment the opposite limit of sorrow begins. Betrayal, and knowledge that he will sacrifice his own life in a most horrific way so we will have life. Fully human this God-Man will experience each human emotion; each of his human physical elements will be tested by pain and emotional stress. Can these two days offer us something that can last in our fleeting world?

We can learn by our new pope Francis. At least these two days he has led by the same example in service to ALL. We learn best when we see things done by our peers. Each and every one of us can offer Christian service to others. Not for ourselves nor expecting public or even church recognition, but for the joy of loving the Lord and accepting his will in our lives. This service to the least among us is the greatest honor we can give to the Lord. it is also the greatest joy we can receive as people of faith. Humble service however can take us to the sorrow of sacrifice. Giving Christian love must never be based on wanting or desiring an easy route with a reward. It is difficult to love those whom we dislike, or respect. It is difficult to go against popular culture that is not alway in sync with our culture of faith.

We may experience both physical and emotional pain when we do the Lord's work; in fact we should.

And so it begins..... Joy and sorrow; bringing life and love to those with none at the cost of sacrifice. But we say we are Christians. And so it begins.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Watching the election of our new Pope Francis, and the commentary about his life in humble service, I am moved. Don't get me wrong, I am not so gullible to elevate any man, pope included to anything higher than a man, but any man or woman when infused with the love of the Lord can be the presence of Christ to whom we all are called to emulate.  Observe any loving mother toward her children and you see what I mean.

I am approaching my final day of Lenten retreat with the Byzantine Catholics monks of Holy Resurrection Monastery in St. Nazianz WI.  I again realize that real worship is humbling, because one enters into the life of Christ rather than ones own.  Authentic worship does not follow the timetable of men/women but the time of the Lord.  Sometimes I wish for the service to end, as I want to perhaps return to my own wants and desires, but liturgy calls me to the life of Christ who offers everything for our eternal salvation; mine included. Couple that with Pope Francis words today to his colleagues  and we are reminded that everything we are and have is gift, and for the Christian it is to allow Christ to animate our gifts in service. I guess it is what humility is...

Monday, March 11, 2013


Compline is a brief service where our sins are acknowledged and we ask forgiveness.  Truly Lenten huh?