March 31, 2012 – A Different Feel to Holy Week

Well once again I’m late in getting this blog out.  You know during the winter when you get those little shriveled up lemons or limes from the store, and you squeeze and squeeze but still can only get a few drops of juice out of them?  That’s sort of how my brain is at this point – no matter how long I think the creative juices just won’t seem to flow.  So I’m just going to start typing and see where this goes.

Though it has been a very busy Lent, it is still hard to believe that we have already come to Holy Week.  A lot of the neat little articles and videos that I look at come from the organizations and people that I subscribe to on Facebook, and yesterday there was a ton of stuff that came in on my news feed.  I wanted to share just a couple of them with you.  First of all, I turn to Timothy Cardinal Dolan, whom as you know by now I have come to admire and listen to very much.  He gave some brief thoughts about what Holy Week is about.  The video is only about a minute and a half long, but it gives a pointed and powerful message.  Click the link below to view the video:

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Next, another source I have been following quite often is Busted Halo.  The material it releases is geared more towards young adults (which certainly is most welcome), but many times it is valuable for Catholics of all ages.  During different seasons of the church year they put out little 2 minute videos concerning what the meaning of the season is and some of the traditions associated with it.  They have done this again for Holy Week.  Here is that brief video:

Lastly, also from Busted halo, is a series of videos which is a “virtual” Stations of the Cross.  For each of the stations there is a video associated with it to watch.  It is a very nice reflection to do at home or even at the desk at work (not that I would ever think about doing such a thing … um, anyway).  Here is a link to this series of videos:

http://bustedhalo.com/video/virtual-stations-of-the-cross

Of course there are many other means of reflection we can do and should do.  But for geeks like me who are glued to their electronic devices, there is definitely material out there which makes for a nice change of pace.

As we approach Holy Week, this Lenten season will stand out for me as one in which it seems that there is kind of a turning of the tide with our Catholic Church.  I may be completely off-base, and I may be coming to this conclusion by observing only what is immediately around me, but I sense that our Catholic Church, after a long period of being beat down by the press because of the clergy abuse scandal, and after taking even more blows because our teachings do not jive with the “secular culture”, is starting to rise up once again.   It appears that we are not only standing up for our beliefs, but we are taking pride in what we believe in.  I have seen this in several instances.  I have certainly seen it with our Fanning the Flame program.  Consistently over these past 11 weeks 20-30 people have crowded into the Parish House to learn more about their faith and also share their faith experiences.  I saw it the other night at our Parish Council meeting, where there was very frank discussion about where the church will be 5-10 years down the road.  I have seen it with our dinner/auction.  So many people coming together and doing so much, and as a result it appears we should collect at least as much as last year’s record total.  I have seen it in our diocese with the generous response to the people in Harrisburg and Ridgway after the devastating tornado earlier in the month.  And I have certainly seen it on a national level, with the leadership of not only our church but that of faiths standing up and saying enough is enough, not just to the HHS mandate concerning birth control, but to the slow erosion of religious freedom that we have seen over the past many years.

As I spend quite a few hours in church this week, I will do it with an even better appreciation of what a good place it is to be.  I will do it knowing that the white noise of the everyday world will be filtered out.  I will do it knowing that our church is in the process of withstanding yet more challenges, and that once again the Holy Spirit will keep us in a good place.  I hope that this Holy Week is a fulfilling one for you as we re-trace the steps of Christ’s journey from triumph, to betrayal, to suffering, to death, and to ultimate triumph over death.

Well the fact that I am writing this should indicate to you that I have not been in Red Bud the past few days, and I did not have the winning Mega Millions ticket.  So much for my contribution to the steeple renovation fund (lol).  Congratulations to those who won and hopefully their lives will not get thrown too out of whack.

Finally, a big thanks to you for continuing to  use our website and for sending me things to put on it.  This month we have had over 1300 page views, and that does not count the blog or our Facebook page.  Fantastic!  We are also up to 58 members on our Facebook page.  Maybe we can get to 60 by Easter?  Kepp spreading the word.

Again, have a blessed Holy Week.  I’ll see you in church.  Peace.

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