Our Lady's Garden
A reflection on The Stations of the Cross
March 25, 2016
The words -
“ Father, forgive them. They do not know what they do.”
“My God, My God, why have you abandon me?”
The words sting and my soul hurts as I encounter God. I consider Jesus on the Cross trying to strain with new eyes to see His sacrifice as it really is. During the Stations of the Cross, I struggle to be present. In life, the distractions seem so many that saving this moment for Jesus is hard. I am ashamed at how the busyness of life gets in the way of even the attempt to grow in holiness. I struggle to be present and I hear the words at the twelfth station when Jesus dies on the Cross:
“My people, what have I done it you?
Or in what have I offended?
What more should I have done, and did not do?
I led you out of the land of Egypt, and you prepare a cross for me.
I opened the Red Sea before you,
and you opened my side with a lance.
I gave you a royal scepter,
And you have given me a crown of thorns.
With great power I lifted you up,
And you have hung me on a cross.
My people, what have I done to you,
Or in what have I offended you?”
(From the Reproaches of Good Friday)
The Stations do not leave us in despair; guidance and help is always available through our mother, The Church.
This is the prayer the ends the thirteenth station as Jesus’ body is taken down from the Cross.
Let us pray,
Beloved Savior, You returned to the Father all that He had given You, s that He might restore all to You a hundred-fold in the glorious resurrection. Help us, we beg You, to give generously of ourselves in all that we do for You, so that like You we might be made perfect in a new resurrection.
The Way of the Cross published by
3030 Waterview Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
The Unveiling of Truth
March 24, 2016
Holy Thursday found me in the beautiful Cathedral of Saint Helen. We had started out early that morning traveling from home to visit Carroll College and spring weather presented challenges. We began our trip in bright sunshine almost forgetting our coats, through strong winds, spitting rain, horizontal snow, and sleet. There were moments when the conditions changed almost instantly. We were pleased with the conditions but knowing soon the temperature would drop and the snow would stick. We were blessed with clear roads for now.
The visit to the college went well. We learned a lot and met many nice people while we toured the buildings in the familiar western wind. While we walked, I often looked for the spires of Saint Helen, happy to see them in the distance. It was late afternoon as we finished our business on campus and acknowledged our growling tummies and a need for a change in plans. We would not be attending Holy Thursday Mass at the Cathedral. The worsening weather and the fact that we hadn’t eaten all day made it clear that we could have a visit there, eat dinner but should get on the road while daylight and warm temperatures were our friend.
The Cathedral is magnificent and it shouts the faith of the pioneers who built her. She dwarfs the churches around her and the outside doesn’t reveal the beauty which lies within. I told Taylor to just “wait until you see the inside!” Kneeling in the front row, there was only a man who busily prepared for Mass that evening there as we enjoyed the silence. The stained glass told stories from the Old Testament on our left side faced fulfilling Gospel stories on our right. Taylor remarked that the Cathedral is as beautiful as many we visited in Europe and she is right.
It was hard to concentrate in prayer, with so much to see so I sat and soaked in the beauty. I was sad to miss the celebration that would begin in several hours. How amazing it would be to celebrate Holy Thursday in this sacred space. Another time, I thought.
How quickly our plans change, like the weather, we make decisions and then make them again. In preparation for the Last Supper, plans for a Passover feast were made much like the year before and the apostles didn’t know how this night would change everything. The Passover celebration quickly revealed that this night was “different than all other nights” as Jesus took a towel tied it around His waist and washed the Apostles’ feet. How dramatic that meal as Jesus engaged and taught them and finally taking the unleavened bread
Jesus broke the bread saying,
“ I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you, I shall not eat it [again] until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and share it among yourselves, for I tell you [that] from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God come.” Then He took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My Body which will be given up for you; do this is memory of me.”
I wish you a blessed Holy Triduum. These three days that begin with Holy Thursday mark Good Friday and Holy Saturday will result in Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord at the Easter Vigil. This uninterrupted celebration of the life, death and resurrection of the Messiah is the unveiling of truth. It is Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
May God bless you and your family as you experience the unveiling of Truth in your lives.
To see pictures of the Cathedral of St. Helen click below
What in the world?
What? and WHO!
February 22, 2016
Do your days look like this? Mine do.
Not all of them, some of them are worse, well not worse – messier.
I love the saying,
“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”
I have known people who had a hard time doing things because they were afraid they would fail, thankfully I start before the fear, or the thought.
It has been awhile since my last post and I have missed writing. Thank you for continuing to check for an update, it means a lot to me. I have survived February by the Grace of God. The Who Party was a success with over 600 people and I am pleased, satisfied, and ready for a normal day.
The day the picture above was taken, February 19th, was the day before The Who Party. I had replaced the lamp in the projector and wanted to make sure it worked. The kitchen was clean (I promise) when I started. I set up the projector and the speakers and soon the kitchen was filled with children. I popped in the brand new Horton Hears a Who DVD to guarantee success at the party. It was beginning to feel festive so I directed the picture on the ceiling and pressed PLAY.
You will notice that the item I used to prop the projector is a roll of plastic sheeting to be used for Devin Montagne’s performance. It was a very important item that I had moved about the house but with 24 hours to go, it still had not made its journey safely to the car. Devin Montagne is a performance artist from Denver. He paints a large canvas using only the primary colors and white with his hands. He mixes the hues, paints, wipes his hands on his shirt or pants as he creates beauty. The performance is amazing and plastic sheeting is a must! The plastic should have been the first item secured but it was not, the story of my life.
Dinner time was approaching and I had picked up not one or two, not three or four, but five, no - six. Yes, six take and bake pizzas from Papa Murphy's for dinner. Cheese pizza with no sauce and vegetarian pizzas for Friday, and pepperoni and Hawaiian pizza for Saturday’s lunch.
With the preparations almost done and the movie rolling, I decided it was time to preheat the oven and bake dinner. With the oven heating up, I thought it best to bake some emergency brownies for the party. The Momas at the LDS church bake the brownies for the expected 400-600 guests at The Who Party. I am a meddler and it is difficult not to play, so each year I prepare “emergency brownies” - It makes me happy. Four half-sheet pans should do and I went to the pantry to get the mixes.
My college kids began to arrive and the celebration was in full swing. The pizzas were coming out of the oven and drinks were being poured. Laugher competed with the movie, it was getting loud . . .
Pizzas out, two pans of brownies in. The brownie mix boxes began to pile up. Distracted by the conversation, the mixer full to the brim, it slooshed. Chocolate batter splashed onto the counter as I stopped the mixer. I knew better but the damage was done and I poured the third pan and reached for the next mix and promptly poured it in . . .
into the kitchen drawer, We laughed.
Four pizzas out of the oven; four pans of brownies cooling. Eight brownie boxes into the garbage and 20 egg shells soon to join them. The cutlery drawer removed, washed and returned. It was hard to believe that only a few hours earlier, I had little if nothing to do but get the Devin's plastic sheeting into the car.
The movie finished and we began cleaning. The brownies and plastic sheeting were loaded into the car. Daddy arrived home from work and the pre-party continued. A day later, we were ready for the record 600 people and a great
My Life is a wonderful, crazy . . . mess. I am so blessed. May you be as well!
P.S. To learn more about The Who Party
click the sites below
January 2015 Blog