Full of cleaning and prepping. So good to simply take a week to get ready for the biggest feast of the year.
Holy Thursday Mass together. Lovely. Long, Holy Week Masses are so much easier than they used to be. When I became a Catholic mom, I wanted to focus only on the beauty, holiness and sacredness of the Mass, but the reality always came down to this: who would need me, and in what way, during Mass? You know the feeling ... you don't want to dread the ninety minutes, or the incense, the intensity of the quiet ... but sometimes you do. Because you've got a two-year-old. Because 7:30 at night is a terrible time to try to combine a toddler with a respectful attitude. Because your husband is working late. Whatever it is.
But it gets easier. I'm in a different stage of life. Most of the time, Ramona is a dream at Mass. Last week, she was voluntarily praying decades of the Rosary before Mass began. Holy Week used to be hard in all the ways mentioned above. But it's not anymore.
A service that always, of course, moves me to tears. This year, as I watched the priest carry the cross forward, I thought, "This is what never changes. Jesus. What He did for us. For me. He is the Person my faith is in, the Person my faith is all about. No matter how awful people can be to one another -- within the Church and without it -- no matter how much sin will always be rampant in the world, the constant is Jesus. He never allows the core, the essence, the actual teaching of His Church to veer from Truth, no matter how hard we humans try to mess things up. It's that Truth to which I cling. Jesus. His Truth. His Church. His Sacrifice. His Love.
It was beautiful, as always. The Exultet was exquisitely sung by one of our priests. But other than that, I was strangely unmoved. Sometimes that happens. One year, I had been feeling strangely unmoved all through Lent but then at the Vigil, the floodgates opened and I couldn't contain my emotion, couldn't stopper the tears. This year, I felt powerfully moved during Lent -- strongly supported by the Lord and strengthened by Him in surprising ways (and I don't mean just going without coffee....) And yet, the Vigil did not result in tears. Happiness, yes. Calm happiness.
And that, too, reminded me of the constant of Jesus. He is always there, no matter how I feel. It simply isn't about my feelings, even when they're soaring out of control. What a comfort that knowledge is.
An Easter egg hunt in the morning. Happy children. Dinner with friends -- delicious food, good beer and wine. Laughter. Love. Sweet sleep. Our Risen Lord. Glimpses of Heaven.
A relatively normal week, as homeschool weeks go. The fun of the Octave of Easter, knowing every day is a huge feast. Thinking, "Where are the tea bags?" and then remembering I can have coffee instead. Listening to Atticus read Steinbeck to Anne and discuss it with her. Ramona lost a tooth. Betsy's been rehearsing lines for the play she's in.
Normal, everyday life within these great fifty days.
Normal, everyday faith.
Normal, everyday dismay at God's goodness.