Thursday, March 24, 2016

Holy Week thoughts on the everyday cross

As usual Holy Week arrives and carries us towards the Triduum in unexpected ways...except with a kid getting sick, because a kid always gets sick in Holy Week. (Or I go into labor. Ok, that only happened once, but I stand by the "kid always getting sick in Holy Week" axiom.)

It's funny that I can't let go of expectations for Lent and Holy Week even though each year my expectations are drastically not met because God completely goes off my plans and throws in new things. God doesn't follow my plans? What? My expectations usually aren't too big and exciting either, but even my lowly ones are changed and that in of itself always is a suffering to me who hates to have plans disrupted.

Every year I want to walk through Holy Week like a monastic. With loads of prayer and fasting, Tenebrae and adoration, silence and observation. But without fail plans change, I can't even make it to each Triduum liturgy, I'm usually running around trying to find pants for kids 15 minutes before Mass begins, and I forgot to buy an extra something for the Easter baskets.

It's hard to realize and accept that the little sufferings we're given are our sufferings. What we want to do with God we often can't. What we think shouldn't be difficult is. What we're meant to offer up as we walk with Jesus through his Passion is often the things we ignore, dismiss, or don't consider something worthy enough to offer as suffering along with Christ's in this week.

That's been one of my revelations to me this Lent -- that I've got more crosses than I'd care to admit. Which feels like the opposite of a Lenten revelation, because I feel most people come out of Lent realizing they've got so darn much to be thankful for.

I'm not talking about giant crosses that are new to my life, I'm talking about small crosses that almost build up without me noticing but have added up to quite a burden I wasn't even aware of. But even these small sufferings, the sufferings we don't choose or even see at times, are meant to be offered along with Christ's sufferings. The problem is if you don't even know they're there and weighing you down, you can't offer them up.

In that regard it's good to acknowledge the little burdens, the constant ones. Because there's a lot of grace waiting for us, and a lot of good that can come from offering our sufferings.

That's my Holy Week takeaway this year, what I've gleaned from a Lent that trudged through in a pretty ordinary way. But I've got a lot of hope in the joy of Easter.

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  1. So very true, both the deep musings AND the reality that kids *always* get sick during Holy Week. (Alright, alright, I hear you, God...the cross!)

  2. Spot on about expectations and plans being changed! Before I had kids I'd go to every Triduum liturgy and my family's traditional Good Friday monastery outing w/ confession and stations...this year two kids are sick and one by one my plans are getting canceled- Lent is so very different now and I'm realizing the need to adjust my expectations of how I "Lent". I'm just praying we make it to mass as a family on Easter (PLEASE God). ;)

  3. I love this. I will think of the Mother Theresa's "accomplishing" so much in their sacrifices and feel like I want to do more, when really I want to do different. Going to India seems a lot more glamorous than going to the potty seat (again again again) with my toddler. It's hardest sometimes to accept the small, persistent crosses.


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