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Showing posts with the label Good Friday

Grief and Gratitude on Good Friday

Great griefs are like great joys: they bend time. My sister died twenty years ago. Sometimes it seems so long ago that mercifully, I can barely remember the details. Other times, those details rush back at me so sharply I have to steel myself for impact.

Suicide does that.

I can smile now at the memory of my sister. I felt disloyal the first time I did that, as though permanent grief could be the only fitting monument to her memory. Time, mercy, and God’s grace have done their work, bit by bit.

For the first time since her death, I am writing about her and about losing her. This is an anniversary, and the time is right. For years, I thought she had taken Easter away with her and left nothing behind but wreckage. Gradually I found that she left me other things: a greater appreciation for the gift of my family, and how to live with gratitude despite wounds that are bone-deep. Those aren’t compensations. They don’t cancel out anything. They are gifts nonetheless.

I extend my hand to anyo…

The Gift of Abandonment

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What had happened to my life and how had things turned so quickly? We had renewed our vows on Valentine's Day, and it seemed, even to me, that we lived the perfect life. We had four beautiful little boys and another child on the way. Our large home had been built, much of it by our own hands, in an upscale neighborhood. Yes, it needed a lot of work, but we were looking forward to making it "perfect" together over the years. Friends and family were welcome and visited often. Laughter was a constant companion in days filled with sunshine.
Challenges and darkness had risen ugly heads in the past, but they seemed to have faded and finally been replaced by a deeper Love, a Love that comes only from choosing to face hard times with maturity, Trust, and sheer stubbornness, the refusal to succumb to defeat.
To read the rest of the post and see how abandonment can be a gift from God, please join me at SingleMomSmiling.com
Happy Easter & God Bless...

For Friends in Crisis

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Today I take one last stroll through "Prayerful Thoughts of St. Ignatius of Loyola," this time searching for wisdom in the face of my friends' deep suffering.

Please join me in prayer at Praying with Grace.

“Who Would Believe What We Have Heard?” Behold…

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He grew up like a sapling… like a shoot from the parched earth;
there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him,
nor appearance that would attract us to him...

Behold the Way, the Truth, the Life!  BELIEVE.
>>Click Here to Read More at: The Way to Nourish for Life>>

'He saw and believed.' Sunday Reflections, Easter Sunday

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FromThe Gospel of John(2003) directed by Philip SavilleGospel of the Mass during the Day, John 20:1-9 The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night The Easter Vigil is not an 'anticipated Mass'. It stands on its own and is the most important liturgical celebration of the whole year. One may fulfil one's Sunday obligation by attending either the Easter Vigil or the Mass during the Day. One may also receive Holy Communion at both


The Resurrection of Christ, Rembrandt, c.1639
At the Mass during the Day    GospelJohn 20:1-9 
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb.The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and …

Jesus: Tortured; Executed; Buried - - -

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(From Tintoretto, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
(Detail from Tintorett's "Crucifixion.")

Nailed to a cross after a night and day of torture and humiliation, Jesus was "raised high and greatly and greatly exalted ... so marred was his look beyond that of man."
"3 See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.

"Even as many were amazed at him - so marred was his look beyond that of man, and his appearance beyond that of mortals -

"So shall he startle many nations, because of him kings shall stand speechless; For those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it."
(Isaiah 52:13-53:12) Today's readings start with the prophet Isaiah's words, and end on a gloomy note....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

True Love and the Cross

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What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think ofLOVE?

A chubby baby dressed as a Greek god for Halloween? Sappy pictures of hands joined together? A red rose? A box of favorite chocolates?
Let's go a bit deeper, shall we?  Relationships.  Cuddly feelings?   Smiles?


Are these really great examples (or even, for goodness' sake, realistic) examples of true love?  (By the way, I never really understood the whole last part of The Princess Bride where they rated the kisses ~ what kind of job would that be to do such a thing?  It would stink.)
But, it seems as if society has twisted the definition of true love.
One of the definitions for "love" on dictionary.com is "afeelingofwarmpersonalattachmentordeepaffection". 
If love becomes reduced to a happy emotion, it quicklydeterioratesand loses its value. 
"Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained" ~ C.S. Lewis
What is the greate…

Watch and pray with Jesus--every day

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"Could you not watch one hour with me?" Jesus asked His disciples (MT. 26:40). On Good Friday, our hearts and minds turn towards the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus began to suffer for us. He was abandoned by those who loved Him, even after pleading with them 3 times to watch and pray with Him. We hear the call on this holy day. We go to venerate the Cross. We watch "Jesus of Nazareth." We read the account of the Passion. We take time to pray.
But what about the rest of the year? Do you abandon Jesus as soon as Easter Sunday is over? Is daily prayer low on your list of priorities? Are you "too busy" to spend time with the One who suffered and died for you?

Resolve today to commit (or re-commit) yourself to prayer. If you can't watch for one hour, try half an hour. If that's too much to start with, try 15 minutes. Read from a book of meditations. Gaze at a holy picture that fills your heart with love for God. Think of all Christ di…