Happy Easter Everyone!
It was our little daughter’s first Easter! She did quite well as Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, but it was long, and Easter Vigil was even longer and even later, so we opted for the Sunday morning Mass which was much better!
Easter always comes at the perfect time, just when you can take no more Lent! Holy week is the last, intense burst of Lenten effort, but by the time Good Friday rolls around, I am pretty sure I speak for more than just myself when I admit its been enough. But this year, like a handful of years in the past, I think God might want me to keep up some of what I was trying to do during Lent through the upcoming year (or forever?) It happened once before that I remember, I decided to go to daily mass during Lent when I was 14, and I kept it up for nearly 8 years!
This year I had a hard time deciding what to “give up.” I purposely tried to avoid something would be easy to have mixed motivations for (aka Candy…sacrifice and unnecessary calories… I have a mighty sweet tooth!) so I gave up always choosing the best, when ever there is the opportunity, and trust me, there are LOTS of opportunities when you start looking for them. What looks like the best entrée when we are going out to eat? What is the best brand of diapers to buy for my baby? What is the best seat to sit on? I want the best best best!
The second best, no name, choice so far always worked just as well, but it is such a sacrifice to choose it!! (store brand cookies instead of Oreos! oh No!) But let me tell you, it was a transformational lent! All those little moments when my preference got trimmed for the sake of Christ made more room in my heart to hear Him and respond to Him. Sometimes the sacrifices led to saving some extra money on groceries, (unintentional I promise!) but that helped with the sponsorship of a second child. And as always, a tough lent always leads to the Best Easter!
The last 9 days of Lent my husband and I also decided to pray together a novena to Our Lady of Knots, which has been such a great experience! It is always powerful to pray together, it strengthens us as a couple, and its helped us identify the “knots” in our life that we need God’s help to address.
I wanted to share some words from our Holy Father this Easter, I found them inspiring, and I hope you do too. Pope Francis also spoke about how the God action can be surprising (like the women who went to anoint Jesus’ body in the tomb and were surprised by the angels) but we can’t be afraid of God’s surprises and prefer our own predictable boring life, He has such wonderful things in store if we just open up and let Him in our life! Even though, yes, it will at times be a surprise!
Why do you look for the living among the dead? Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness… and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive! Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do.
Said Pope Francis at Easter Vigil in Rome (Full Text Here)
Jesus is risen, there is hope for you, you are no longer in the power of sin, of evil! Love has triumphed, mercy has been victorious!…let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.
from the Popes Urbi et Orbi Message (Full Text Here)
I hope you all have a Holy and Blessed Easter. Remember to keep celebrating for all 50 days!