Thursday, April 13, 2017

It's Holy Thursday.....

... what are you doing?

I was thinking of the over-planned and disastrous Lent we have had here in the Davis household.
  • Christopher was sick for the first several weeks (flu/upper respiratory/strep).
  • Naturally he shared part of it with me and I was down for a week.
  • Marque has been out of town for probably 50% of it.
  • I have not kept up with the readings -- you know how you get behind and you never can catch up? Yeah, THAT!
  • Dealing with my father's will.
  • Trying to get all my calories and vitamins in.
I tell you - it's been a challenge.  I was so over the many things that went wrong this Lent, that the other day, I was in my office, screaming and crying. Scared my child. Sigh. I had to let it out... and I was wiped out and humbled after I was done. Of course - it sounds way more dramatic than it was, it didn't last long. No one has time for a big pity party... but a good cry - it's necessary sometimes.

Anyway - it got me thinking.  I really set myself up to fail sometimes. And I have to stop that. I over-volunteer, I have always been a "do-too-mucher". I'm still healing from major surgery, and learning how to manage all that it entailed. I need to be kinder to me. 

But that's not my point - the realization that NOTHING I have or ever will go through is as big as what Jesus did for us. I have many crosses to bear and He helps me carry them. Thank you Lord.

As we walk into the Triduum - Holy (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil Mass - the Washing of the Feet, the Veneration of the Cross and the Celebration that Jesus has Risen! None of the other stuff matters.... I can't let my beat up self NOT fully appreciate this weekend, because it's not what Jesus wants. He wants me there and present... not worrying about this or that. He wants me to take part in His Triumph over evil and darkness. And I want the Light... His Light! <3


The Triduum is a continuous event that lasts three days. Here is my simple explanation. I am not a Theologian, but I will also share some links to further feed your thirst for knowledge.

Holy Thursday - Celebrating the Lord's Supper. What always stands out to me is the washing of the Feet. When the Pope himself washes the feet of people in detention centers and poor people, he is symbolizing the small gestures that change people's lives and hearts. Jesus, OUR LORD, washed the feet of His disciples to humble himself and help all of us understand that our relationship is a meant to be a two-way street. Because the tables they sat at in Biblical times were low, feet had to be washed before dinner, because they were filthy from walking on dirt roads. Usually a lowly servant would do the job, but since there were none present, Jesus took on the job. It's just so moving to me, that our Lord showed us that He came to serve, not to be served. You know? It's a big deal! If Jesus, and the Pope are willing to do such tasks for others, we must humble ourselves to do that and more.

Good Friday - Jesus's Suffering/Passion & Death.  I always get overwhelmed when we venerate the cross. We will miss this, because my husband has the 2nd part of his Nuclear Stress Test right in the middle of Good Friday Mass. But Jesus knows my heart and I will be with Him in spirit.  We all know that Jesus came to reconcile the world with God. All of the suffering Jesus endures, the torture, the humility, carrying the heavy cross (our sins), it's almost too much for me, because I know my sins caused His pain. And the fact that He willingly died for all of our sins... endured all that pain for all of our sins - it's too much! He worked so hard for us. We must take responsibility and continually ask for forgiveness through Reconciliation (confession) and do our very best to make His continual/eternal burden lighter.

Holy Saturday is a quiet day of reflection... lamenting our Lord's death, spending time alone with our thoughts, and waiting for Him to rise again. Can you imagine what it would have been like that first Easter? Having witnessed all of the events we only read/hear about... having lost a dear friend and Lord that you knew - in the physical person that He was?  I can not imagine the pain they endured and questioning they did...  and the elation when He rose!

Easter Vigil (Saturday night or Sunday).YAY! We made it. We celebrate Our Lord's Resurrection and are reminded that we must be joyful. We are EASTER PEOPLE! We know Our Lord is always alive. We are so blessed. This is a time of welcoming converts and reverts and rejoicing with them as they join our Faith. It's a time of celebration.  We are so thankful.

Here are a few links that may give you more "meat":


If you want something child friendly to print out, check out the link HERE!

https://carfleo.com/2016/03/19/an-illustrated-guide-to-the-triduum/
I want to wish you all a very blessed Triduum and a Happy Happy Easter. I'm so thankful that you read my blog and am blessed by your comments.

Know that no matter what you have or have not done, Our Lord wants you there and present this weekend and every day. <3 I am but a lowly housewife... and if He wants me, he wants you too. Guaranteed!

Love, Hugs & Blessings,

Emily

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Book Review Wednesday - Simone of Cyrene and the Legend of the Easter Egg

Happy Book Review Wednesday!

Happy Feast Day of St. Teresa of the Andes. I love this picture of her. Read her story because she is inspiring!
Growing up in Chile, she always loved St. Therese of Lisieux and she took the name St. Teresa in her honor, when she became a nun at 19 years old.  HERE is her story!

The thing that strikes me the most is, it's lovely for young people to know that you don't have to have lived a long time or be old in order to be Saintly. We need our young people to know this.

Amen!

I hope your HOLY WEEK is going well. Now onto the book review.

One of the most beautiful things about being a writer is that you can take any given person, historical or fictional, and you can give them whatever personality or life that you want them to have.

Growing up, we all knew Simon of Cyrene as the man who helped carry Jesus' cross to Calvary. In the stories I've read or heard through The Gospels, it never sounded like it was something he wanted to do... like he was just a random person chosen by the guards. I had never heard that he was an egg merchant. And to be honest, I never even contemplated what he must have been thinking. Did he know that the man who's cross he carried was Jesus, his Lord and Savior? What did he think afterwards?  You have to wonder what was going through his mind.

The book is called Simon of Cyrene and the Legend of the Easter Egg, by Terri DeGezelle. Before I go into the review, I want to draw your attention to the Illustrator, Gabhor Utomo. He really brings the Simon to life, for me. If you want to see more of his illustrations, click on his name, above. I've provided the link to his website.

Like many Jewish people of the time period, Simon had heard of Jesus. So when he left his home in the countryside to go into the city to sell his eggs, I'm sure he never thought he would play a pivotal roll in the Passion of Our Lord. The soldiers selected Simon, at random, to carry Jesus' cross. I love the way that Ms. DeGezelle colorfully and in detail expresses how hard this was for Simon "the road to Calvary was long, and splinters from the wooden beam dug painfully into Simon's shoulder." This is such a great relatable phrase for children. Simon stayed on and interacted with John and Mary (our Blessed Mother), and listened to the stories the apostles told. He was there to witness that Jesus had intact risen from the dead.

The moment Simon met Jesus, his life changed. As he left, he picked up his eggs and returned home to his family, to tell them all about Jesus, and discovered his eggs were no longer white. He knew it was a gift from Jesus.  The last page of the story tells the meaning of the colors of the eggs. I love that part. It gives a parent the tools to speak about Jesus as we color our eggs.

I could not be more excited that this lovely book moves us away from The Easter Bunny and gives us such great tools for enjoying Easter in the right way, in our little Domestic Churches. Thank you Ms. DeGezelle for such an imaginative and relevant book to share with my son!

Pauline Books and Media provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. By now you all know that I always seem to love their books. All must-haves for every Catholic home!

I hope you enjoyed this review.

Hugs & Blessings,
Emily