Sunday, April 17, 2011

Holy Week

I don't usually like writing or talking about religious things but I was kind of moved and full of thoughts today so this post may be a little weird. I'll just start off by saying I've never been truly religious. I've attended the Catholic church my entire life, somewhat reluctantly. Somewhere inside of myself, I wanted to be the perfect Catholic and later the perfect Christian, and have tried for the majority of 22 years to "fake it till I make it." However, something is missing. Perhaps it's my unwillingness to surrender to the unknown. Or my disgust with hypocrites and the actions of so-called Christians, of which I am one. Don't get me wrong, I believe in a higher power, just not wholeheartedly at all times.I would say that I'm certainly more spiritual rather than religious. However, with my grandfather's passing in January I felt the need to find God and my faith. He was the most devout Catholic and set an example for his children and grandchildren. However, in the past 4 months I have only been to church a total of 5 times. Every time I went I would find myself sitting alone thinking of how much I missed my grandfather and how much I desired to have that relationship with God and be moved the way my grandfather was, and then I would cry. In church. Surrounded by strangers. Talk about embarassing.

Anyway...all this brings me to the point that today, Palm Sunday, is the beginning of Holy Week. As I sat in church today, memories of Lenten seasons and Holy Weeks past came to mind. I recalled the Wednesday night Stations of the Cross, repeating words that at the time were just words and now hold meaning beyond belief. I recalled discussing Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ with a woman who has since passed, who tried her hardest to bring my doubting heart to Jesus. I recalled the Easter Sunday services with unfiltered light shining as the back door of my little country church swung wide open, the light symbolic of new life. I recalled being surrounded by family and good food and enjoying Easter egg hunts in the backyard. My grandfather would fill eggs with quarters not candy, which is symbolic of struggles that are occurring now. I recalled the awkwardness of my youth on Good Friday as I was told to venerate the cross with a kiss, containing a splinter of the true cross found by St. Helen. Why would I want to kiss an inanimate object?  Through all these strange thoughts and memories somehow, for once, as I sat in church, I was moved. The unselfishness and love showed to all of us by Jesus, which is really brought to light during Holy Week, is something I want to show to others. His fear as he prayed in the garden at Gethesmene showed just how human and divine he was all in one. While I may not be the best Catholic or Christian, I always strive to love everyone as Jesus loved us. And I'm really looking forward to Holy Week because while the story is always the same, the memories and meaning change from year to year.

Words of Wisdom: "This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you." John 15:12

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