Jottings from Fr. J.J.

HOW TO MAKE HOLY WEEK, TRULY HOLY-

  • Shut down some sources of information/distraction.
    For much of our lives we are overwhelmed by messages and news. Screen some of them out for a week.  Turn off the T.V., face book, email, or your cell phone.  Give your mind chance to rest on things that last, things that really matter.
  • Listen in silence.
    True silence is very hard to come by, but listening more intently in silence will allow us to hear the voice of God more clearly.  Come visit the Divine Mercy Chapel.
  • Sit in darkness.
    Don’t try to understand it. Just try to look deeply into that which has no color, no meaning, no purpose, no life. Do not be afraid. Light will come. It will help you connect to Christ (the one true Light).
  • Soak up the story.
    Read the passion. Recite it, perform it or tell it.  Let the story do its good work.
  • Use your sense of smell to help your prayer.
    Scent is strongly connected to memory but also to our soul. What does Good Friday smell like? What is the aroma of Easter Day? In other words, utilizing your whole person will make the experience of Christ more real.
  • Slow yourself down.
    Holy Week happens in real time.  Synchronize your personal clock with God’s cosmic clock and slow to God’s more patient pace.
  • Behold the wood of the cross.
    This is a phrase from the ancient liturgy of Good Friday. Prepare for it by noticing wood wherever you find it. Touch trees. Feel polished wood. Take down the crucifix from the wall and simply hold onto it.  Get close to wood and let
    the wood connect you with the savior of the world.  May this holy week bring many blessings for a world in desperate need of reconciling love.
  • Hold your own personal retreat.
    It is the season for introspection! Take advantage of the atmosphere of spirituality and stillness to get in touch with your inner self through a do-it-yourself retreat. Start by setting a goal: it could be to gain more clarity in your life, to develop your spirituality, or just to recharge before going back to your daily routine. Then work on clearing your mind by practicing sitting meditation: this means literally sitting still and focusing on your attention on something calming and repetitive, such as a mantra or your breath. You can also try journaling: jot down the thoughts that surface when your mind is uncluttered, or answer more structured questions aligned with your goal.
  • Come to the Triduum liturgies.
    The Liturgies that we celebrate on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are only celebrated once a year and are chock full of meaning.  Your Easter will mean more when you enter into this week and you will experience the Resurrection in a whole new week.

God bless,
Fr. J.J.