Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Into Your Hands I Commend My Spirit"

"Into your hands I commend my spirit." These very familiar words, spoken by Jesus as he took his final breaths on the cross, spoke very deeply to me throughout this Sacred Triduum. As I approached the front of the church to venerate the cross on Good Friday I found myself silently chanting these same words.

. . .

For the past few years I have spent the Holy Triduum at Daylesford Abbey, but this year was different. Two years ago I began working with a young woman at Neumann University in the R.C.I.A. program. When she began the program she did so with the sole commitment to learn more about the Catholic faith. She is a woman of serious faith who knew she could only say yes to a faith she deeply believed to be true. Because of her dedication to this she spent two years learning and growing and where appropriate participating in the Catholic Tradition.

Shortly after the winter break she came to my office all smiles to share that she finally decided that she would like to enter fully into the Catholic Church. This brought much joy to my heart, she is an amazing young woman who has so many gifts to share with our world! And so I knew in that moment the only place I could spend my Tridduum would be with her, welcoming her into the faith I too so dearly love.

Being that I am (as a close friend calls it) a "Litur-Geek," I feel compelled to attend the same church for all three days of the Triduum. Holy Thursday to Holy Saturday is one continuous liturgy, to church hop during this time would be like going to one church for the Liturgy of the Word and another for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. And so I chose to attend St. Francis De Sales in Lenni for all three.

I not only shared my experience with the young woman who was baptized but with another phenomenal young woman who had never before experienced the Triduum. It was the most profound feeling to experience this age old tradition through the eyes of someone experiencing it for the first time! While, liturgically speaking, Daylesford is hard to top, I must share that this year's liturgical celebration of the paschal mystery was one that has impacted me much deeper than I anticipated.

. . .

"Into your hands I commend my spirit." I continued to hold and proclaim these words in my heart and vocally as we sang these ancient words in the dark of Holy Saturday night. I desire deeply to give my life to Christ, what exactly that looks like on the outside I'm not completely sure of, but as I silently chanted these words of Christ I found myself united in both the suffering and victory of Christ.

There are little words to describe my love of God; simple, true, and passionate. There is nothing I would not do if asked by God, but the disconnect always happens in the translation . . . sometimes I just don't understand what is being asked of me. In the words of Christ this Holy Easter I continue to sing, "into your hands I commend my spirit," and for now, as I celebrate these fifty days of unbounded joy (and the anticipation of the nearing transitions in my life), I believe the desire alone is enough to please God.

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