On Giants' Shoulders

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Holy Week

So it's Holy Week again. I'm past the "I hate Lent" phase that I was in briefly a couple of weeks ago (what I really hate is planning Lenten meals because there are so few meatless things that everyone likes). I'm finding some really valuable stuff in St. Francis De Sales Lenten sermons, and Father Lavalley's sermons and am reading The Hidden Face (a book about St. Therese of Liseux). At some point I want to take John Henry Newman's book of poems and sermons and do the stations of the cross using his meditations. Holy Week is making its way into my heart.

What I'm not doing (ok, so I'm really procrastinating here...) is planning Easter dinner, and Easter baskets, etc. One of the difficulties for wives and mothers is that in the midst of a somber week we have to begin preparing for the joys of Easter. Instead of Holy Saturday being a day of reflection, it ends up being a day of shopping. Of course I perhaps could transfer most of the shopping to Wednesday (all except the things that need to be very fresh), but I still will almost certainly end up baking some sort of bread and doing some sort of shopping on Saturday . For the bread I'm thinking about making the recipe that was in Canticle this past month. I've never tried baking eggs in the shell, but the recipe looks like it would be a good one to serve on Easter morning. Of course there are still cross buns to be made for Good Friday as well.

I think part of my frustration is not so much the preparation but the sense that, once again, the world is rushing the season. I drove past a sign last Friday that advertised an Easter Egg hunt last Saturday. It simply feels like everyone is rushing to get past Holy Week and jump into Easter. I'm sure I've felt that way in the past myself. However, I'm beginning to realize the gift that Lent is to us, the gift that Holy Week is to us, if we allow it to be. So while I know that I can't put off planning a menu (which has to have something other than or in addition to a leg of lamb) and I know that part of my vocation does entail planning for the feasting, I still intend to spend as much time as I can this week appreciating Lent. After all there are 50 days of Easter coming. It seems like we could spend just one more week in preparation not just preparation of our houses, or preparation of the meal, but preparation of our hearts. After all isn't that what the spring cleaning and the feast preparation is supposed to symbolize anyway? Lets be careful that in the midst of the outward preparations we don't forget the "best part?"


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