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Posts tagged ‘Easter’

In Search of the 15th Station of the Cross

Most booklets on the Stations of the Cross stop at the Fourteenth Station.

That is fine for Lent.

But then we move on to Easter. We set our eyes on Pentecost. We forget about the number 15.

Like the two from Emmaus, we may be weighed down by recent events. Our lives aren’t going quite as planned. Perhaps we aren’t looking down at all. Maybe our eyes aren’t on the ground because we are busy looking at the future, and it doesn’t look all that hopeful either.

The Cross is evergreen. It just doesn’t go away.

The Liturgy would have us praising God, but our lives have us stuck at the 14th Station.

If I could transport you to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and take you into the 14th Station of the Cross, I would.

We would duck our heads to enter, passing the candles flickering to our right and to our left, into the room where the angels stood guard, and then into the room where the Lord of Life was placed. It was supposed to be over then. Everyone went home. The stone was rolled over the entrance and sealed. End of story.

Perhaps that’s how it feels to you. You can’t seem to pop out of Lent.

Your feet will be thinking about all the Stations we just visited. You will have genuflected 14 times.

But I have news for you.

This 14th Station is also the 15th Station.

Jesus rises from the dead.

This cross that you are carrying today, the one that seems to stay and stay, like an evergreen tree that never changes seasons …

It will not last. It cannot last.

There is no cross that He has not overcome, broken, and fashioned into a new story.

Your cross will not have the last word. Jesus has already spoken the final word. Behold my hands and side. Wounds remain. But victory is sure.

I am in the final weeks of counseling for post traumatic stress due to an old memory. I was raped many years ago, and I thought it was done. It all came back around like a snake with a really venomous bite.

I have cried out to my Mother to crush the head of this thing. And it is dying, slowly. I have felt Our Mother’s Mantle and heard her calling.

It is Easter, Denise. Get out of that Tomb.

Wounds will stay. That’s okay.

But the proclamation of the Lord’s work is still needed. So many wait to hear it. Why are you hanging around the Tomb? Why are you stuck at the Fourteenth Station? The Fifteenth Station is now. And the Lord of the final station has told you to go to Galilee.

He will send you out to heal the nations, those who have been wounded like you.

Get going. He is waiting to heal and to send.

Top Three Easter Resolutions

Lent was not easy. Perhaps you can relate.

I began with a simple plan: Trust Jesus more.

On Ash Wednesday, I spent my last full day in Jerusalem, and I promised to trust Jesus.

Easy enough. Wrong. Then it all came to a head. The trauma of rape – though it all happened 30 years ago. The hurts I had sustained from others. Some I loved. Some I had trusted. Some new wounds. Some old.

Some minor. Some life-changing, personality-altering.

Jesus, I trust in You.

A person who prays as much as I do… shouldn’t feel like life is coming apart at loose ends.

A person who goes to weekly Mass, sometimes daily Mass, always remembers to take her hour of Adoration at midnight on Thursdays…shouldn’t feel like she doesn’t know who she is anymore.

She should have her act together.

She should be able to stand up straight.

No self-doubt.

Only self-doubt was all around me and in me and above me and beneath me… the opposite of St. Patrick’s Prayer.

Jesus, I trust in You.

And the words and letters seem to slip around on the page and fall off the page or slid down the page or disappear altogether.

J s  , I   st  n  .

e  s    tr   i  Y

u       u    ou

Nonsense. It doesn’t make any sense anymore.

What is trust? How do I do it?

And you find that you need your husband more, and your priest-who-is-also-your-spiritual-director, and a counselor, and a friend.

You cling to them, and begin to realize… It’s Jesus in disguise. Yes, Jesus, I do trust in You.

And when Easter comes, you find that you can stand on your wobbly legs though they feel like you just climbed Mt. Arbel all over again.

I can do this.

You are resolved:

  1. I will not be silent. I will speak out. I will keep speaking out. I will not be embarrassed by what happened to me. Jesus, I trust in You to help me be vocal about it.
  2. I will affirm life, even the life of the unborn conceived in rape. I will speak out. I will keep speaking out. I will not be embarrassed by what happened to me. Jesus, I trust in You to help me be vocal about it.
  3. I will continue to heal. I will not be weak. I will not quit. I will do the things that are hard for me. I will not hide. I will not cling to what is easy or familiar. I will not sit more than a few seconds in a place of old memories. I will not let unwanted dreams linger when I wake from them. I will reach for everything that heals. Jesus, I trust in You to finish the healing You have begun.

I will not be silent. I will affirm life. I will continue to heal.

So be it.

Amen.

I Hate Snakes

I hate snakes.

I cannot walk through a field of high grass without being en guarde.

We are building a chicken coop along one side of our house. I have seen two itty, bitty snakes there in the last few years. Snakes like eggs. I’m envisioning the snake-swarm. One snake telling another, “Hey, there’s food over there. Let’s go.”

My husband says we will move if he ever sees a cockroach in the house. I tell him we will move if there is ever a snake in the house.

I hate snakes.

The people of God were about to bypass Edom. About to make their way to Mount Nebo. I’ve been there.

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I can imagine the snakes.

I can imagine the panic when one of them bites.

I can imagine the despair.

Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and whoever looks at it after being bitten will live.

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Mount Nebo

We pray it every time we pray the Stations of the Cross. For by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

We face the serpent daily. We know his bite. We battle the fear of what will happen to us now. But in that moment, we are to genuflect. We raise our eyes to the Cross.

And we are healed.

We rejoice, because Easter is so close. Our redemption awaits. He has overcome death and sin and the grave.

Snakes be damned.

And we rise with Him to enter a Promised Land.