Monday, March 25, 2013

Holy, Holy, Holy

Holy, Holy, Holy. Those are better words to say than the others I want to say.

Holy Week has a way of coming to life for me. It never fails. We are not even in Holy Week, but the dynamic is the same. I felt something the other day that I did not immediately acknowledge, but as I look back, it was the prompting of the Holy Spirit to prepare me for the upheavals and misunderstanding that happens during this sacred time. I brushed the prompting aside because our Holy Week is not for another five weeks, but it is real, it is happening, it is now.

Arguments and fights erupted between parishioners this week. The various communities are feeling the effects of their fracture. Misunderstandings abound as emotions fly high. Parishioners have emotionally appealed to me to fix their problems, and yet deep inside many of the situations, amazing good is standing out in isolated ways.

Many parishioners and visitors are very confused about why we are not in Holy Week. Though I have been explaining it since January, it is now immediately present to them because their communication networks are talking about how they will spend Holy Week. Some are in parades and other para-liturgical events, and there exists a feeling of loneliness now that we are fasting alone and cannot participate in the larger event.

Feelings are intense and I'm catching the brunt of their confusion. It is where the evil spirit is ripe. The spirits take advantage of the poor. They take advantage of lack of understanding because of low education and poor language skills. In some ways, I feel assaulted by the demands of people this week. They are struggling and are hurting. I have to acknowledge what they face, but to understand that the spirits are at work. I have to be gentle with them and patient with myself. Once I recognize the dynamic, I can detach from the immediacy of their suffering and be present to them in helpful ways. I'll need extra time this week for patience.

I wish there was a way for me to help people understanding what they are going through. I wish there was a way in which people understood why we do not have Holy Week this week. I think they have to live it to make sense of it. Many times, parishioners think I am the cause for the delay of Easter, that it is a decision I have made on my own. Funny. I have to take the brunt of it like buffets and spitting and just deal with it.

I was grateful to realize the dynamic yesterday because now I can minister to people through this difficult process. We'll get there. Easter always follows Lent and the Passion. All too sadly, Lent and the Passion are the people's lives here. One day, they'll be able to sing, "A........."

6 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh... I have thought about the timing of all of this since you first wrote about it. I know that I have not always been able to fully appreciate the "stress" of the "fracture," but your experiences speak volumes. It sounds awful and I am so sorry.

    And then I think of Bartholomew I at the installation mass and I realize the possibilities. Although that is not of much help to you and yours right now.

    My prayers for all, that we might be one.

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    1. Thanks, Fran. I have to merely acknowledge the reality of what is happening and then I can step back and deal with it. It takes the surprise out of it when I can simply realize it will happen and it will pass.

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  2. I also didn't understand that this would cause your people such stress. It is difficult for you because you care about your people.
    Prayers for peace and comfort for you and your people.

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    1. They will settle into it later this week, but they first needed something to get their attention. Thanks for your good words.

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  3. I'm way behind on your posts but I hope and pray that things are settling. I'm interested in what you say you felt but did not immediately acknowledge and later recognised as a prompting of the Holy Spirit.That's awesome. Blessings

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    1. Everything has settled nicely. Once people realized they will receive Palm Sunday and Easter next month, they were fine.

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