Monday, April 25, 2011

The graces of Triduum...

The graces of Triduum often surprise me. Ever-ancient, ever-new, this seamless liturgy takes three days to complete. Like the Christians of the fourth century, we remember and enact anew the mystery of our salvation. This means that something is accomplished in us as we do this important work of praise and thanksgiving. Somehow, this memorial increases the measure of God’s grace at work in us – draws us more deeply into the reality of the risen Christ among us. It’s very hard to put words around this truth. Because we are still bound to bodies, there is a veil that separates us from the fullness of God. Yet, through these powerful rites we encounter the living God in moments – flashes of insight.

This year, perhaps because of the events of last August, our community seemed very in touch with the mystery of Christ’s sacrifice and the grief of those who loved Him so. It was good to be silent, as the prophet says in the Lamentations. The silence we shared had character and depth. It wasn’t empty silence. It was like diving deep in the ocean – separated so that we could breath – but together. When the great silence ended Saturday evening, we were ready to speak again, but I had the longing – even yet – for what could be shared in the absence of words.

As we gathered at the New Fire, the gathering joy overflowed in song: “Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega; his are the seasons and the ages: to him glory and dominion through endless ages. Amen. By his wounds holy and glorious, may he guard and preserve us. Christ, the Lord, Amen!” Then, Sister Andrea sang the Exultet – the ancient hymn/story of the Easter mystery. “This is the night...” Sister is the only one among us who can do justice to the beauty of this chant. The glow of candlelight in the faces of women I love only added to the richness of the moment.

On Easter Sunday morning, we were sleepy from the late night Vigil, but energized by the astounding beauty of the Chapel in daylight. Sister Laurence, Sister Mary and several dear friends transformed the sanctuary into a flowering garden. We will immerse ourselves in this beauty for 50 days. It is our taste of paradise – the Eden reclaimed for us by Christ.

Easter Blessings and risen love to you all…
- Sister Vicki