Birds chirp. The distant shouts and laughter of children playing in the mild sunshine (four of them my own) come floating gently through the screen as if carried on threads of silk.
My Bug blows quiet raspberries on her milkies...
Spring has come, at last, and I am thankful.
Easter was wonderful, but Holy Week was profoundly meaningful for me this year. I must say, we are deeply blessed--and we know it--to be members of a parish in which liturgy is superbly done. The Mass is reverent every week, the faithful come in droves to hear the Truth, and the desire to grow in holiness dwells within the hearts of young and old alike.
Beginning with Palm Sunday, we were either at church for Mass or for services every day save Monday last week--and when Monday rolled around this week, it was odd to just kick around home and not head into town. This whole week feels a bit bereft of all things liturgical...though we have extended our evening prayer time to nearly an hour, with the addition of the Divine Mercy Novena.
My medication is doing wonders. Perhaps I should revise that to say that God is using it to work something in me that I have needed for a long time. I have always had the gift of strong emotions (and I use the word "gift" here deliberately...). With that, though, has also come a frequent feeling of being overwhelmed by them. I've not ever really understood how this could be a gift until very recently. The thing is, along with my own emotions, I feel very strongly for others--sort of a hyper-empathy or something.
Our Lord has lately shown me how powerful this can be when paired with intercessory prayer. With the medication to help things balance out, and this amazing understanding of how to truly offer my suffering for others, a peace such as I have never known has flooded my soul like balm. There is a balm in Gilead!
It is often said that we do not grow on the mountain tops; rather our strengthening comes in the valley and on the climb back up the slopes. This, too, God has shown me in very meaningful ways. This desert, this parched, arid time which He has allowed me has in turn drenched my heart and soul in His Grace. Amazing Grace! But do we rush to the empty tomb too quickly? The book I am currently reading, Death on a Friday Afternoon by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, admonishes the hasty Christian: stay at the foot of the Cross for a while. Remain with Him here and contemplate His suffering. Do not rush to Easter. Come to better understand His suffering so that you may better understand your own, and thereby share in His. So I am learning what it is to suffer well, as Fr. E. has encouraged me to do.
I know that there is still a long way to go. There is much work to be done. I know that He has more in store for me, the likes of which I can't even begin to imagine. But I am so thankful for this time of growth and renewal for His purposes, for His glory, and for His kingdom.
Please keep in prayer all who suffer from depression, especially those who lack the courage to seek help or ask for prayer. There are many. Our dear Monsignor's Good Friday homily spoke eloquently of the unseen bleeding hearts among us--those who suffer greatly, yet quietly, whose sufferings we may never know. Pray for them.