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Friday, March 29, 2013

The Man Who Was Maundy Thursday

 Walking to the Sanctuary of Chimayo During The Easter Pilgrimage

Nuestra Senora de Chimayo ! Senora de la Cruz !
Maundy Thursday has come and gone. I got up in the middle of the night and did my Maundy Thursday prayers, thus proving once again that I, at least, could spend a few moments in the Garden of Olives. They were a few minutes, not great minutes, not shattering minutes, just some time.
Whenever I think I have really seen and talked to God, He never has had much to say.
I did not used to pray so much in the hours between Maundy Thursday and Good Friday; I used to totally ignore it, until one Maundy Thursday , after having passed out on the bed, I was rudely awakened about 3:00 AM by what seemed to be a shining within me, asking whether I could not spend at least one hour in the night watches with the uncanny source of the shining sound ....

Of course, I was a bit befuddled this morning as usual, and I did not know what prayers to say, so I started with a rousing "Our Father" and backed it up with an "Ave" or two.
I always expect something divinely profound, but I am not rudely shaken and "thrust down from my horse", like St. Paul was. 
I see happy people think that God is the happiness, or I see joyful people and they think God is the joy, or I hear people in love and they think God is the love.
He is, but He is also the long time between highs. God may give me the heights, but He also supports me in the valleys. We speak of God and joy in a very different sense than we speak of God and tedium, or -worse yet - suffering. There is God, there are the heights, there are the valleys, and I'm walking... yes, indeed.
God does not intend one more than the other; it is the path chosen.
In the one sense, we identify;  in the other sense, we set up a contradiction...
One is Attraction, the other is Flight. These categories have nothing to do with the Holy.

Last year I was under anesthesia for the first time in my life.
I woke up staring at the clouds, and I knew something was eternal; not eternal this or that, just eternal. Not the clouds, not the sky, not the air, not me... nothing necessarily, but all things necessarily
And I was very happy.
I saw that God is Silence but not Nothing.
God is the Fullness beyond speech, beyond imagery.
Once I try to say one word, the spell of infinity shatters: the clouds go back to the sky, the sun hides again behind the Michigan clouds, the quanta of the windows form up into rectangular arrays surrounding the outdoor sights..., I am myself, and all is well with the world, and we are back to the humdrum miracles of living our lives...

This morning I heard "O, Sacred Heart Surrounded" and it stuck in my head, and I have heard various renditions of it since then in the Carnegie Hall Cavern of my cranium, all of which tend to the distinctly irreverent, and I think that that's a fine how-do-you-do for Good Friday. All the Tre Ori in the world cannot save me, I fear.

Leona's Restaurant, Chimayo, NM

We are making plans to go to my Aunt's memorial next Saturday. It is in Holland, about 3 1/2 hours from here. She was in her 100th year, and passed away 3 days after my father's funeral. Since things happen in threes, my first cousin Bob suddenly passed on March 20.
All the bugs have been ironed out of the process by now, however, and we are moving about ship-shape and Bristol fashion. We have it down to a science... , a mortuary science...., as my cousin's wife's cousin - the mortician - calls it with a twinkle in his eye.

Our relatives on the East Coast have sent more condolences and are seriously wondering what the heck's going on in Michigan. I am sure they have made up their minds to steer clear of the place.

I'm doing OK.
A close friend's mother passed away in her 101st year. I was all over that.
Then his brother passed away last week; I was emailed and I promptly forgot the entire thing happened.

My Mind is Maundy.


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