I have been in the Fatherland going on a week now. I am here to visit and spend time with my mom who is in the hospital.
It is also now the Sacred Paschal Triduum. I have been able to slip out of the room to make my way to a piecemeal collection of beautiful Catholic churches in order to observe the liturgy of the Church during these holiest of days.
Yesterday – Holy Thursday – I started out the day looking for a place to confess my sins. I mean, I could confess them anywhere and to anyone but I kind of wanted to do it to an ordained priest. Something about actual absolution and all… Here’s the thing. I am in the habit of going roughly once a week. But as we enter into these three days, surprisingly, confessions are rather limited. I don’t know if it’s that the priests are all of a sudden really, really busy or what. But I was able to find a scheduled round of confessions at St. Michael’s, a church tucked away at the lower end of Broadway near Bloomfield Ave. in the North Ward. Those familiar with the area will know exactly what this looks like. I can’t adequately describe it. OK, I could adequately describe it and I will one day but it would take pages. For now, I would like the artwork of the church tell the story. You see, most churches in this part of the world look like this one. Old, traditional, built on the donations of the mostly poor immigrant Catholics who brought to these shores their Old World style and peculiarities.
The thing is that in the art I was reminded of the story. The story here is the love of a mother for her Son and the love of the Son for the whole human race including you and me. Let’s start…
Now let’s look at the Woman and her Son.
Not quite what you were expecting? I know, it’s Easter-time, not Christmas. But take a look at what was hanging on the wall just next to this particular window.
From His infancy to His death He was always close to His mother. It was in her arms that He rested in life and in death. Imagine her joy and her sorrow. I want that when my children read this in years to come they recognize something my parents taught me – that devotion to Our Lord comes through devotion to His mother. As He was pleased to rest in her arms we must turn to her in prayer and always be devoted to the Mother He gave us from the cross.
Here now, some other pieces on which to meditate…
Hope your Mom is all better soon. Wishing you and your family a Blessed Easter!