Entering Deeply into Sacred Mysteries

The Triduum - the Christian "High Holy Days" - has been ushered in with Thursday night's celebration of the Lord's Supper...

I attend a service that is exquisite in every way - a blend of the old and new - replete with familiar aspects - the procession of the Holy Oils, the washing of feet, the singing of ancient chants and hymns in Latin - the Pange Lingua and Tantum Ergo, which take me back decades in my life, to a time more than a half century ago. Am I really that old? Who would have thought life could go by so quickly?

I have always loved all things ancient - history and artifacts, books and places - always drawn to visit places of antiquity, impregnated with the energy of the legions who lived and died there before me...

And while I feel called to enter deeply into the Sacred Mysteries of my own tradition, I am no less drawn to the ancient traditions of others, having yearned for participation in a true Passover  and Seder this week. Yes, I would have loved to have attended somewhere - pulling out all the stops, but most of my Jewish friends are not observant.

I arise on this Good Friday and meditate, then go to the river for Lovingkindness practices. I feel there are still some things in my heart that remain unforgiven...

How is it possible to pray to have a "clean heart created within" and still find layers of things yet remaining unresolved? But of course I know, it is not about the destination, but always the journey...

Signs of spring are everywhere at the river. Leaves are beginning to unfurl, like a banner, processing diligently, and announcing the coming of Easter...

Spring is always eternal. Despite a brutal winter, nothing can halt its march...

I do Lovingkindness for a litany of broken saints - all those on my prayer list - and for those relationships still in need of healing. I do my practice and let go - not really knowing if resolution will ever be attained...

Yes, I am reminded to let go, especially when a dear friend posted a portion of one of my favorite prayers today, by St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits:

"Take Lord, receive...
You have given all to me,
Now, I return it..."

I have prayed this prayer every day for years, and it has stripped me of the things I have most loved, but most often the gift has been returned later, when I could appreciate it so much the better...

The thing about spiritual practices - despite whatever tradition one belongs to - is that they elicit deeper mysteries inviting us to enter into them, taste them, and embody their fruits. We are reminded that life is a journey that we all take - and for me - my practices simply help me navigate the rough waters of life more easily. They do not make me better or worse than anyone else - but I will die trying to become the best that I can be, and someday arise as a wiser, and more loving and compassionate person, worthy of God's Presence.

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