Into Your Hands

A magnificent Holy Saturday begins with a Cardinal singing on my dogwood tree, even though it is still bare and without any buds yet. Cardinals remind us of our lives' true purpose... Then, I meet the morning with a brace of rich images dancing within the kaleidoscope of my mind; they are simply beautiful memories from yesterday...

Where to begin? And where to end? Different scenes from the tableaux of my own spiritual journey, gently come into focus, and so, I share them in a stream of consciousness...

My spirit is touched profoundly in ways I can hardly describe...

I am blessed to spend the day in silence, and am called to prayer, meditation, and contemplation...

I reach out for my oldest rosary, blessed by Padre Pio, the Franciscan priest bearing the stigmata, who died in the late sixties and was sainted about a decade ago. I think of his faith, his simplicity, and how there was a time I prayed this rosary often, choosing to do so today, to commemorate the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday, and reciting it for peace in this world. I pause to reflect deeply on each one of the Sorrowful Mysteries, trying not to imagine as a mother, what it would be to lose my own son...

I reflect on the Seven Last Words of Jesus - his utterances from the cross, acknowledging that my favorite one has always been "Into your hands, I commend my spirit." In my youth I practiced saying and rehearsing this sentence over and over again, hoping that it would come automatically in the event of an untimely death...

I attend a Good Friday service of living stations of the cross, and am moved by the young men and women who so meaningfully engaged in this portrayal. For some reason, I choose to sit in the opposite side of the church, and a woman with impaired sight is soon seated by me. I am amazed that she follows the music by Braille, and carries a set of heavily bounded books to do this. I whisper to her the coming selections, and she deftly finds her place in each volume...

I soon realize, I am seated in an area among several people with disabilities. I have never been in a church where there seem to be so many who are disabled and embraced so seamlessly into the fabric of a community. I note, this is perhaps a gift for me, because I am not generally comfortable with disability...

And so it comes to me, that like this new Pope Francis is modeling, I must now work on embodying greater humility in my life...

For a year and a half I have focused on becoming more compassionate, and I still have far to go in embodying this virtue. Still, humility is showing up for me in more ways than one, and it is time to invite its gifts and lessons more deeply into my life...

I go for an afternoon walk in silence, reflecting on all my experiences this week, overwhelmed with emotions and feelings I do not fully understand...

I return for an evening Good Friday service, punctuated by the veneration of the cross, but what is perhaps most moving for me, is receiving communion from the very one who listened to me during the sacrament of reconciliation...

I also see the wonderful homilist from Thursday, and approach him to tell him that his homily touched me deeply and that it was beautiful...

I ride home in the dark and later evening, knowing that my heart and soul are full, and this journey is not over, releasing into the deepest sleep I've had in a while, thinking and repeating to myself, "Into your hands...."

Yes, into your hands, I place myself, and release all that I am and hope to become...

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