Pardon my absence on here, if anyone is still out there, that is. I suppose you can say that the Lord has been keeping me so closely to His heart during what was (and sometimes still is, but things are on the mend) easily one of the most difficult time periods of my life. What a fruitful Lent, though! The Lord has been stretching and twisting me in ways I had never anticipated, and while there were many moments of fear, anxiety, or heartache, the act of uniting it all with Christ’s sufferings is what made it all bearable.
However, I’m here to greet you all with Easter joy! While the Easter Octave has concluded (which was surely a happy time), this long and beautiful Easter season continues to provide me with much joy and peace after all the rain this season has brought. Christ’s promised hope found in His Resurrection to new life is the perfect gift I can ever receive each morning. A new morning, new grace, new life. ‘Tis a new springtime, indeed.
Lent was challenging, as it always is, but fruitful nonetheless. I really pushed to empty myself of the extra baggage I was carrying, and to live more simply: in dress, food portions, less expenses for myself and tithing more. Every so often I was able to meditate on two words: “felix culpa”, latin for “happy fault.” While there are times of great suffering on this earth due to the Original Sin of our first parents, that sin brought our Savior. And it is in this Savior, Jesus Christ, where relief, aid, and happiness is found. In the pain and loss of direction I experienced for weeks, He spoke so personally to me and responded so audibly in the recesses of my heart of His unfading love and the Father’s plan. He held me in His arms even while I didn’t think so. The relationship I experienced throughout Lent with the Crucified Christ was more personal for me than ever. Though the road is heavy with suffering, it is with certainty that God will bring glory. ‘Tis a new springtime, indeed.
Upon the completion of my Total Consecration renewal (Solemnity of the Annunciation), I began reading Caryll Houselander’s Reed of God. The first chapter, interestingly enough, was on emptiness. Most people see emptiness on being or feeling empty in a negative outlook. The author gave me much to reflect on in sharing about emptiness not as a void, meaningless, and unhappy condition, but the purposeful emptiness of the virginal thought and mind. This kind of emptiness has as shape, a form given to it by the purpose for which it is intended. This simple, yet profound realization reminded me that my emptying wasn’t in vain, and that its emptied form is and will be continually filled in due time. Such a hope! Such a peace! ‘Tis a new springtime, indeed.
My Triduum was nothing like I’ve ever experienced before. Prior to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday (literally five-minutes before), I discovered good news, news that brought about streams of tears down my cheeks all throughout Mass. I sang and cried a very joyful “Gloria” and felt ever closer to Christ during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In the homily, what resounded in my heart were the words: “God is active, He is healing now…” and the priest had no idea about the news I received and how pertinent it was with those words. I called to mind the Lord’s faithfulness and the fruit of His perfect timing in all things. The stretches and twists were all necessary because in the end they allowed me to grow in an abundance of gratitude and peace…gratitude and peace because of the complete abandonment to God! Sigh, ’tis a new springtime, indeed.
This past weekend capped off the Easter Octave for me. It was very eventful and I lost a significant amount of sleep, but it was all worth it. My very dear friend married the perfect man for her at St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill and it was a blessing to be a part of her special day and to stand as a witness to such a sacrament. Following the reception, which was right next door to the Franciscan Monastery, Jonathan and I headed over to the St. John Paul II Shrine to meet up with my brother for the Divine Mercy Sunday Vigil all night and live simulcast of the Canonization Mass of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square. I even had the beautiful opportunity to venerate the two relics of John Paul. Sigh. Lots of love, lots of tears, lots of love… lots of mercy. ‘Tis a new springtime, indeed. Thanks be to God, Alleluia.
I apologize if this post is not in the least bit cohesive, but I just wanted to share how good God is. He is so good, friends.
April is really bringing in the showers with its remaining days, which is fine by me. The beauty of the flowers in bloom come May will all be worth it. I’m hopeful.
With joy and hope in the Risen Christ, I look forward to all that the Lord has planned with my life, and with the lives of those dear to me. While I still am uncertain of the outcome of a few things, I am certain that God will provide for me, for us, in due time. The rain will fall, but the flowers will bloom thereafter.
‘Tis a new springtime, indeed.
I leave you with this…