Friday, April 03, 2009

friday five: time out edition

Sally at Revgals writes: Jesus was great at teaching us to take time out, even in that last week, right up to Maunday Thursday he withdrew, John's gospel tells us he hid! He hid not because he was afraid, but because he knew that he needed physical, mental and spiritual strength to get through...So faced with a busy week:

1. What restores you physically?
Oddly enough, cleaning the house. Not so much the vacuuming/dusting/kitchen-sink-scrubbing kind of cleaning (though that has its bonuses), but the tidying, putting away kind of cleaning. It’s productive physical activity, which is a win-win!

2. What strengthens you emotionally/ mentally?
Hmm… This may sound strange, but thinking back to other Holy Week experiences has a way of calming me and bringing me peace. I don’t remember the “crunch” times, but the soul-satisfying liturgical experiences. Like my first Easter Vigil in my home parish. I can still picture the candlelight filling the darkened nave as the light of the paschal candle spread through the congregation. Wow and Awe. I also recall the time I sang the exultet at the Vigil when I was a seminarian. That was humbling, and leveled the ground of my heart to receive the gift of Easter in a profound way.

3. What encourages you spiritually?
Mary. Gazing upon the icon I wrote a mere month ago grounds me. Whatever divinity she possesses, it is the human mother that comforts and encourages me. She's been through it all. Whether I'm struggling to accept someone else's choices, deal with loss or heartache, or discern a decision, she has been there. I find in her a profound depth and stability that helps me wrestle with my concerns without judgment, and she absorbs my tears endlessly.

I also find a strange peace in that she appears to offer the same to Jesus. Both his hands grasp her thumb as he looks toward the angels that represent his death. I can picture her putting him down and releasing his hand as he leaves her company. I do my best at that time to stand at the foot of her cross.

4. Share a favorite poem or piece of music from the coming week.
I first heard Herzliebster Jesu, Ah, Holy Jesus, sung by a mother and daughter with the most incredible voices that it rocketed to number one status in my list of holy hits. It still ranks up there at the top. Its fullest beauty is realized when the vocal parts can be heard. It was hard to find a piece like that to include here, but I finally did. My other favorite Holy Week hymn is much better known. From St. Matthew’s Passion, O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded. I could listen to these pieces over and over again.
5.There may be many services for you to attend/ lead over the next week, which one are you most looking forward to and why? If there aren't do you have a favorite day in Holy week—if so, which one is it?
My favorite service is a version of tenebrae that, unfortunately, we won’t be doing this year (maybe next year). I love the music of Holy Week, and we cram as much of it as possible into this service. The power of the readings, the music, and the darkening of the church as Jesus is abandoned by one and all cuts to the bone. It rocks my spiritual world.


Sally said...

I love this, the way that you describe the liturgy, meditating upon the Icon you wrote, there is so much depth and life there!

Sophia said...

I have yet to sing the Exultet publicly, which is a small grief to me each Vigil. Your description of the experience is lovely.

Mary Beth said...

this is gorgeous. all of it. thanks!

MaineCelt said...

Beautiful icon. I have loved icons ever since a Russian Orthodox priest described the icons around his church as "Sort of a holy family album." Just last week, a young woman from my hometown e-mailed me to ask for guidance: she wants to learn to write icons herself. (I pointed her to a website with the work of Robert Lenz, and to the Orthodox monks who live down the road.)
I'd love to know how you learned to write them. How many others have you done?

Barbara B. said...

I love your music link!

Purple said...

How I wish #1 worked for me **smile smile**

Gannet Girl said...

You wrote that icon? How cool is that?! It's gorgeous.


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