Easter Blessings

He has risen indeed!


Good Friday

I was telling some friends recently that I’m amazed at how quickly Lent flew by this year.  It came during the intense time of preparation for the final stage of my doctorate, so I’m guessing that may have had something to do with it, but as I talked to people, they had the same experience.  Maybe it’s that we’re all just too busy.

Today is a day for quiet reflection.  It can take place in a church or chapel, in your house or garden, or anywhere where you can have some downtime.  Read the story of Christ’s passion and death found in the gospels.  Ponder the words, imagine yourself there.  Would you have been one of those who stayed, or one who ran away as fast as they could?  I’d like to think I would have stayed, but….

I found this image today while searching for something else.  I never heard of Niccolo dell’Arca until today, but he created these terracotta figures early on in the Renaissance, between 1463 and 1490.  Look closely at the anguish on the faces of Jesus’ disciples.  What grief.

While we can experience the sorrow and loss, we also know what happens next.  So, mixed with our sense of sorrow, we also experience the anticipation of the empty tomb and all that comes with it.


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The Power of Pause

As providence would have it, I had the chance to spend a few days last week working at a conference in Ocean City, Maryland.  I’ve stayed at the particular hotel a number of times, and I’m sure it was chosen by the sponsors because every guest room is ocean front.  I took this photo the morning after I arrived. Even though it was cold and windy, I still sat on my little balcony to watch the sunrise.  Having a hot cup of coffee in my hands helped keep me warm, but I would have sat out there anyway.

There’s something so important about taking some time to pause, especially after a major life event.  So often, we take a quick breath and then forces sometimes outside our control push us forward and on to the next thing.  It would have been that way for me had it not been for this working retreat at the beach.  Yes, I was there for work, but to sit there in the conference room and look out the windows to see the ocean, to hear the waves, and to know that I would have time to walk the beach during breaks helped me to relax.  It was  a great three days.

Speaking of three days, next week is Holy Week, when the Church celebrates the Sacred Triduum, a time to pause and remember the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Be sure to take some time to pause next week.  It will make the joy which comes with Easter all the more powerful.