Friday, April 10, 2009

friday five: adoremus te

Adoramus te, Christe,
et benedicimus tibi,
quia per sanctam crucem tuam
redemisti mundum.
Qui passus es pro nobis,
Domine, miserere nobis.

We adore you, O Christ,
and we bless you,
because by your holy cross
you have redeemed the world.
O Lord, who suffered for us,
have mercy on us.

1. How will you pray and worship today?
I will lead worship at our Stations of the Cross at noon, and again at our Good Friday liturgy at 6:00 this evening. As much as is possible when leading, I will use both those opportunities for worship and prayer. I suspect, however, that more private devotion will be the route for honoring the significance of this day with integrity. I plan to spend some prayer time with my Virgin of the Passion icon, which has opened up new avenues to the divine for me this Lent. I expect that God, too, will surprise me by some means in the course of the day.

2. Share a powerful memory or memories of Good Friday past.
I was baptized at the Great Vigil of Easter when I was 30 years old. At the Good Friday liturgy the day prior to that, I was praying in my pew while the congregation was receiving communion from the reserved sacrament. My prayer touched upon the awareness that this would be the last time that I would have to stay behind and not receive communion, as the next evening I would be initiated into the Body of Christ and welcome at the table from that time on. It was a prayer of thanksgiving for the journey that had led me to this moment, and would lead me on to places unknown.

I was on my knees, my hands clasped in front of me with my head resting on my hands. I wept. I then felt a weight like a heavy blanket draped across my shoulders. I knew it was the Holy Spirit, and that she was blessing my triduum with her extraordinary, tangible presence. A couple sitting in front of me returned from receiving communion, and the woman saw me weeping. As she knelt down to say her own prayers she reached behind her and covered my hand with hers, not letting go while she prayed. Though I can’t recall entirely the chronology of those two episodes they are fused in my memory, so I believe them to be connected. They hold enormous power for me.

3. How have you grown and experienced God's love during this past Lent?
The last several years have been spiritually void in many ways. I was content for that to be so for a while, but then resented the emptiness that was seeping into the rest of my life. I began to pray for restoration to a life of more complete faithfulness, and eventually I prayed for transformation. The icon-writing workshop in which I participated this Lent was the vehicle through which transformation began, and my soul continues to be blessed from what began then.

4. In whom do you see the face of the suffering Christ most clearly?
I see the suffering Christ in those who seek justice and advocate for the needs of others. Reading The Last Week brought home for me anew the essential component of justice in Jesus’ ministry.

5. Where do you find hope for resurrection?
I always find hope in creation. Nature’s instinct for renewal and rebirth is persistent and stubborn. It models for me grace and perseverance, and evidence of God’s hand in the smallest detail.

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,
"give me a light, that I may find my way in the darkness."
And he said,
"put your hand in the hand of God, for it is better than light,
and safer than a known way."
--Minnie Louise Haskins
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Jayne said...

We had a beautiful Maundy Thursday service last evening. We sang both Servant Song and Lenten Song as anthems. Love the photo of the hand in the cloud.

Processing Counselor said...

Thank you for the nice memories.

Sophia said...

This is so beautiful--especially the memory of Good Friday when you were a catechumen. I could feel the awe and glory as I read it.

Many, many blessings for Triduum.

Mary Beth said...

Just beautiful. Blessings to you.

Jane said...

Thanks for your honesty both in deep joy and in pain. Really uplifting and helpful to read

RevSis said...

Each time I visit your site, I encounter such beautiful insights and touching vulnerability...I am grateful to you for sharing your reflections.

Anonymous said...

Can you say Photo Shop?


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