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Posts tagged ‘Easter’

A Mystery to Be Honored

“Each person’s grief is as unique as their fingerprint. But what everyone has in common is that no matter how they grieve, they share a need for their grief to be witnessed. That doesn’t mean needing someone to try to lessen it or reframe it for them. The need is for someone to be fully present to the magnitude of their loss without trying to point out the silver lining.” Robert Neimeyer

“It’s that intention of fixing, of curing, of going back to “normal” that messes with everything. It stops conversation, it stops growth, it stops connection, it stops intimacy. Honestly, if we just changed our orientation to grief as a problem to be solved and instead see it as a mystery to be honored, a lot of our language of support could stay the same.”— Megan Devine, It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand

Seven years ago today, my Dad passed away from a fall.
I was on a plane from a work trip and didn’t make it back in time.
Life stopped on a dime and then moved rapidly to reality.
We jumped in to take care of Mom.
And Mom took care of us too.
We took care of each other.
Two years ago, Mom was accidentally diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.
With each passing month, we kept thinking, this might be it.
When would it catch up with her?
Anticipatory grief before the grief of actual death.
She passed on March 7 this year.
Sudden or prolonged, it’s different and it’s loss.
Grief is grief and it’s different for each person and for each person that they grieve for and about.
Whether fresh, 7 years, or 20 years or more, loss, the hole remains along side the love, gratitude, grace and memories.
We dip our toes and then re-enter the flow of life again.
Different and carrying it forward.
Threads of joy, laughter and beauty weave through each day if we allow.
Whether you are in the midst of fresh and/or lingering grief, you are held, loved and seen.
Nothing to solve or fix.
No silver lining.
Walking along side is enough.
A mystery to be honored.
Both life and death.
Live and love well.

“The reality of grief is far different from what others see from the outside. There is pain in this world that you can’t be cheered out of. You don’t need solutions. You don’t need to move on from your grief. You need someone to see your grief, to acknowledge it. Some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.”― Megan Devine, It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand

Miracles Abound

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” – Gail Sheehy

“Miracles happen everyday, change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.” – Jon Bon Jovi

With ease, open to receive, to give.
Rapt attention, a shift in perspective, fresh eyes, listening ears.
Senses on and in tune to experience the same in a new way.
Ordinary becomes extraordinary.
Miracles in nature, in flowers bursting to greet spring, in spirit and soul.
Come alive, look longer, breath deeper.
In this day, be present and awake.
Be there fully.

“The glory of God is a human being fully alive.” — Ireneaus


“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created spring.”— Bernard Williams

“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.” – Kate McGahan

Easter is the culmination and completion of the Lenten season and the beginning of Eastertide, the seven Sundays following referred to the “Season of the Spirit.” Beginnings and endings and all that resides in between, where we live daily, often looking backward and forward, missing the extraordinary in ordinary days.

The transition from winter to spring, with winter windchills returning yesterday to remind us that she’s not done yet. Transition and transformation are not done in one day but in a series of days held together, in seasons. The cusp of ending falling into beginning. Again and again.

Thresholds, waiting, hoping, dawn, resurrection. May you remain present and senses ablaze through each day of each season, passing through the doors to newness of life.

“Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.”— Victor Hugo

Carry Easter Forward

“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” – Martin Luther

“Here is the amazing thing about Easter; the Resurrection Sunday for Christians is this, that Christ in the dying moments on the cross gives us the greatest illustration of forgiveness possible.” – T. D. Jakes

The Lenten journey is complete.
Culminating in Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday.
Completed on Easter Sunday.
The third day.
On the fourth day, Monday, we are called to be Easter people.
And to continue on Tuesday, Wednesday…and each day before us.
As Father Malone advised at Sunday Easter mass, “leave the bandages.”
Jesus resurrected, left the burial dressing, the bandages behind in the empty tomb.
Calling us each to leave our bandages behind to become Easter people.
Our bandages of hurt, pain, offenses-both given and received, anger, unforgiveness, wounds, remorse, resentment, the past.
Put it all down.
Carry Easter forward.
Resurrection requires us to leave the old to become fully new.
May you accept the daily invitation to a peace that passes understanding, a hope unending, and love without limits.

“We must restore hope to young people, help the old, be open to the future, spread love. Be poor among the poor. We need to include the excluded and preach peace.” – Pope Francis

About Love, Real Love

“A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”― Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyła)

Easter morning.
New life.
About love beyond comprehension.
No boundaries, walls, only windows open wide.
A love without condition, denial, unforgiveness, resentment, demands, boasting, anger, fear.
Unfamiliar, unbelievable, incomprehensible.
Yet offered to each and all, no exceptions, exclusions, no small print rules and regulations.
Say “Yes!” to this offer of love.
Be renewed and freed from chains of the past and fear of the future.
Today, the tomb is empty.
Love, pure love is risen.
Happy, happy Easter.

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” – Saint Augustine

Bear the Weight and the Wait

“How great is the love of God! He loved me long before I knew His name. He wooed me, chased me, enthralled me, and captured my heart. He didn’t prove His love at a candlelight dinner. There were no long-stemmed roses, but there were thorns. Yes, there were thorns.” – Katherine J. Walden

“Good Friday is not about us trying to “get right with God.” It is about us entering the difference between God and humanity and just touching it for a moment. Touching the shimmering sadness of humanity’s insistence that we can be our own gods, that we can be pure and all-powerful.” – Nadia Bolz-Weber

Enter fully into the heaviness of this day, Good Friday.
What is Good about this?
Carry a sliver of the Cross.
Jesus bearing all but your sliver.
On the edge, flounder, a thread of hope.
Held in grace and love.
Remember and remain.
For when Sunday comes.
The third day.
Redemption. Resurrection. Easter.
It means nothing without the angst of Good Friday, the weight.
The hollowness and exhaustion of Holy Saturday, the wait.
Sunday comes, but not without Friday and Saturday.
Sacred, holy ground.
Preparing us for transformation to Easter people.
The gift of spring.
Hope fulfilled.
It is and will be done.

“We focus on Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, but we forget to pause in the stillness of the days between. Find time today to be present in that place of waiting. There is treasure to be found in the sacred peace that comes as you breathe in that place of quiet surrender. Don’t rush through the space called “Between.” – Katherine J. Walden

The Wilderness

“I believe in God – not in a Catholic God; there is no Catholic God. There is God, and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being.” – Pope Francis

“When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross and when we proclaim Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly. We may be bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, all of this, but we are not disciples of the Lord.” – Pope Francis

The three-day journey to Easter begins with Holy Thursday.
Resurrection Sunday, calling to spring and new life.
Don’t rush to Sunday.
Take the entire journey, no shortcuts.
Enter the wilderness for a few days.
Last supper, washing of feet, communion, the garden, denial, 30 silver coins, Pilate, the Cross, Simon, Veronica, Mary, the women who stayed to the end to witness and remain.
It is finished.
Holy sacred days through the wilderness.
Walk with hope, held in grace, do not fall asleep.
Wilderness to Easter.
The journey to Easter.

“Hope does not tell us that soon life will be the same again as it was before the loss. No, hope tells us that life will go on, differently, yes, but go on nevertheless. Hope tells us that the pieces are there for us to put together, if only we will give ourselves to the doing of it. When Jesus dies on the cross, something entirely different rises. And that something is the call to us to make the best in life live again.” – Joan Chittister, The Way of the Cross: The Path to New Life

When to Stop

“Blessed are we who are learning to hope. And how to let go. When to act. And when to stop.” — Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie, The Lives We Actually Have: 100 Blessings for Imperfect Days

“Things have changed. And it would be silly to imagine you haven’t been altered along with them. You are not who you once were. Bless that old self. They did such a great job with what they knew. They made you who you were—all the mistakes and heartbreak and naivety and courage. And blessed are you who you are now. You who aren’t pretending things are the same. You who continue to grow and stretch and show up to your life as it really is—wholehearted, vulnerable, maybe a tiny bit afraid. Blessed are you the changed.”— Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie, The Lives We Actually Have: 100 Blessings for Imperfect Days

This week is a week to not merely pause, but to stop.
No doing. No rushing. No fear.
Hope. Let go. Act. Stop.
Framework and foundation.
In the process, unfolding of change, of a new day.
May each of us be blessed, present, wholehearted today, this week.
To keep trying, coming up short, starting again and again.
A resolve, a promise kept.
Winter lingers longer, spring, resurrection coming soon.
Love, trust and faith to you in this moment and each step on the journey ahead.

“But bring me back to this moment, God. The gratitude that rises up within me lifts my eyes and settles my soul. Resurrection has happened again today—you made the sun rise, and brought love to the world already, in the shape of a cross. The hardest work is already done. The work that remains is simply more of it: more love, more trust, more faith in the unseen pleasure you take just gazing at us, sitting here.”— Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie, The Lives We Actually Have: 100 Blessings for Imperfect Days

Ashes to Palms

“When the world caves in
Still my hope will cling
To Your promise
Where my courage ends
Let my heart find strength
In Your presence”― Hillsong

“On this Palm Sunday, time is marked as one small donkey plods toward Jerusalem. One with a face set like flint, feet almost grazing the ground, walks forward toward the eastering of all sorrow—not in the power of horses and swift victory, but in small, steady steps toward the mystery that through suffering, healing comes, that through shame, dignity is restored, that through the cross, powers are disarmed, and death done away with forever. Blessed are all those walking forward into the great, small work they do: in hospitals, homes, grocery stores, classrooms, churches, and cubicles. And blessed are we joining the crowds waving palm branches to shout ourselves hoarse: ‘Hosanna! Save us! Save our world!”— Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie, The Lives We Actually Have: 100 Blessings for Imperfect Days

A story of sticking, staying, love.
A love beyond comprehension, fathoming, understanding.
Requiring trust, imagination, faith, grace, expansion, mercy, peace.
To die for a good person is big, massive.
To die, suffer excruciatingly, be humiliated, denied, deserted and hated, carrying others sins not your own.
Unbelievable, and true.
That’s love to fall down for, to pause, to kneel, to revere for at least one week.
Can we do that?
That’s what Holy Week invites us to partake in, to participate in, to stop our busy lives for.
To wait in the garden and not fall asleep.
To not accept 30 silver coins to give up a friend.
To not deny your best friend three times, run away, and still become the cornerstone of the church.
Stay awake, accept no bribe, deny nothing.

From Ashes to Palms.
8 days to Easter.
Sacred holy ground.
Walk with reverence.
Watch with rapt attention.
Hope is in reaching distance and demands a lot this week.
Take up a cross to witness The Cross.
Transforming souls still to this day.
Get in line.
No religion. No rules. No regulations.
An invitation to everyone, not just some, self-righteous, rich, church-goers.
All are welcome.

“Easter was when Hope in person surprised the whole world by coming forward from the future into the present.”― N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

Hope Realized

“It is the hour to rend thy chains, the blossom time of souls.” – Katharine Lee Bates

“A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The other side of the threshold;
In between over;
Beyond the finish line;
A new start line;
Forever changed;
Restoration, reconciliation, resurrection;
Past, present and future tense;
Hope realized, faith completed, trust assured;
As alive today as when Mary saw Jesus Christ for the first time as the gardener;
Imagine the relief, the awe, the reverence, the moment of no return;
May the seeds of hope, faith, trust be planted in your heart and bloom in your life each day;
For all people, not just some, not by denomination, no membership card required;
The only rule is love;
Easter Sunday Joy available to you;
Accept the invitation.

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” – Saint Augustine

“Sink your generosity deep into our lives that your muchness may expose our false lack that endlessly receiving we may endlessly give so that the world may be made Easter new,
without greedy lack, but only wonder,
without coercive need but only love,
without destructive greed but only praise,
without aggression and invasiveness.
all things Easter new
all around us,
toward us
and by us
all things Easter new
.” – Walter Brueggemann

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