Slowing Down –
The last few days have been slooooooooooooooooooooooooooow. We’ve had overcast skies, plenty of rain and this makes for a dreary season and spirit. April showers may bring May flowers but February showers bring time to a standstill. The last few months have been long. I always have a difficult time between Thanksgiving and Easter. It’s dark when you arise and when you arrive home in the evening. The darkness that surrounds me seems to permeate my emotions. As someone with Chronic Severe Depression and a Severe Anxiety Disorder the days slowing to a crawl, mess with my balance and threaten to send me over the edge into negative thought patterns and fixations on disappointments and failures.
The balance, of course, is not letting the anxiety get in there and make my brain whirl like a drugged up hamster on a greased up wheel. Again, it is balance. I make sure the things which help me; meds, exercise, talking to others about how I’m feeling, are done and not discarded even when tempted to do so.
The balance to keep life’s rhythm manageable is an everyday if not every moment discipline. If we let it we would be either swept away in a chaotic whirlwind of activity or mired in a despondent state of surrender. Slowing down isn’t the goal but balance and mindful living are what keeps us sane and steady on the path.
All this week, and especially tomorrow, parents will be taking their kids to local church, community organizations and family events for a traditional Easter egg hunt. Children of all ages will be given a basket, plastic bag or satchel and set free to find colorful shells with candy, money and other prizes inside. For the little ones who might not be able to find carefully hidden plastic treasure chests their job will be quite easy but for older more experienced hunters eggs will be placed in all types of crevices, beneath rocks, up in trees, covered by leaves and grass. For the smaller children the goal for the adults is that the wee ones find as many colored eggs as possible but for the older kids most adults believe the game to be more cunning. The goal often becomes finding the perfect hiding place where the egg will not easily be discovered.
Life is also be this way. When young we’re able to find beauty, blessing and hope everywhere we look. Nothing seems hidden, at least not very well, and spotting the things of life which bring us joy is easy. However, the older we get the trickier it becomes to find that which will bring us enjoyment and the gladness of simply being alive. The question becomes; “Are beauty, blessing and hope becoming less or is what brings true blessing, true hope and real beauty harder to discover?” I believe it is the latter. As Saint Paul says;
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
a blessed Good Friday,
“So, with the Alleluia of victory, the triumphant cry of Easter on her lips, the Church renews the Paschal mystery in which death is conquered, the power of the devil is broken forever, and sins are forgiven: the mystery of the death and resurrection of the Savior who is born to us on this day.
Today, the Church sings; ‘Dies sanctificatus illuxit nobis,’ which means: ‘A day of salvation,’ a day sanctified by mystery, a day full of divine and sanctifying power, has shone upon us. And she continues; ‘Alleluia, Alleluia. A sanctified day has shone upon us: come you gentiles and adore the Lord: for this day a great light has descended upon the earth.’
The Church summons all the world to adoration as she prepares with great solemnity to announce the words of the Gospel. This is the Prologue of John, in which with mighty power given him from God the greatest Evangelist proclaims; ‘The Word, Who was in the beginning with God, is made flesh, and dwells among us full of grace and truth.’
. . . let us open our eyes to the rising Sun, let us hasten to receive Him and let us come together to celebrate the great mystery of charity which is the sacrament of our salvation and of our union in Christ. Let us receive Christ that we may in all truth be ‘light in the Lord’ and that Christ may shine not only to us, but through us, and that we may all bum together in the sweet light of His presence in the world: I mean His presence in us, for we are His Body and His Holy Church.”