Happy Easter, friends! I hope your Lenten season was fruitful and that your Easter season will be richly blessed. My own recovery continues and I’m feeling more and more like myself again. And happy to be back here and active on the site, too.
I’m logged in tonight, building the pages for the Rosary Project. So if you see anything going all wonky, it’s probably not you, it’s probably me, trying something out and discovering that it doesn’t work. ;) I’m going to build the pages, text first, then add the images. Still debating on whether to put several large images on one page or smaller ones linked to larger ones, or just use a gallery for them instead. I dunno. We’ll see what happens. Say a prayer for me that I don’t mess up the entire site somehow and have to start over. I think I’d close it down and go hide in a corner if that happened. Or not. Twitter has made me bolder and more thick-skinned. (That place can be brutal!)
Have a great Easter weekend, y’all. God bless you. May His peace be always with you.
*Translation: The Lord is risen indeed. Praise the Lord!
Divine Mercy Sunday is the octave of Easter. This year it will be on April 28. The novena began on Good Friday—but I didn’t. If you’re like me, continually running from one crisis to another, and you forgot to begin the novena when you were supposed to, be of good cheer! There’s hope! Dr. Robert Stackpole offers this suggestion to those of us who miss a day of this or any other novena.
“My advice to those who miss a day of a novena is simply to make a special act of adoration of the infinitely generous, merciful, and compassionate God before continuing with the next day of your Novena (for example, you can use the Prayer for Divine Mercy from St. Faustina’s Diary entry 1570; “O Greatly Merciful God, Infinite Goodness…” — a wonderful prayer of hope and trust). On the one hand, such a prayer, said with a sincere heart, more than makes up for any negligence involved – if any was involved at all — in the missed novena day. On the other hand, if the novena day was missed through human weakness (tiredness, forgetfulness) or extenuating circumstances, then this prayer extols the compassionate generosity of our Savior, who keeps His promises to us anyway!”
Twenty-three years ago I experienced my first Holy Thursday liturgy. I remember parts of it, other parts are beginning to fade. I decided to record what I still remember and post it here tonight on this Holy Thursday. Technically, it’s Good Friday now but only by five minutes.
After the Holy Thursday liturgy a few people stayed in the pews to watch with Him. Fr. — had stripped the altar, had set up the tabernacle, palm fronds around it in the dimly lit, darkened nave. Hushed voices became softer and softer until they fell silent as the last stragglers left, leaving just three of us there. In the tabernacle the Lord was preparing to face the ordeal of ordeals. In the pews were His three disciples, fighting to stay awake, nodding off, not understanding what was taking place then, having no idea what would be taking place in a matter of hours.
I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to take in everything, everything I saw or heard or felt. I wanted to hold onto it, to remember. I heard snores behind me. I grew more determined to stay awake and watch.
At nearly midnight, the priest entered the sanctuary with two altar servers, one on either side of him, holding long-handled candle lighters which, in the dimlit darkness, looked exactly like spears. They’ve come to arrest Him! I watched, unable to stop them. I looked around to see if anyone else saw what I did, but they were sound asleep. I was alone, beholding the unfolding scene.
The altar servers stood holding their spear-candlelighters while the priest stepped forward and bent down to open the tabernacle door and lifted the Lord from His place of repose. Then he walked slowly away, the two trailing behind with their spears. They left through the sacristy door. The tabernacle door was left open, exposing the emptiness within. All was silent—except for the snores behind me. I wanted to turn and shake them awake. They arrested Him! They took Him away! Did you not see? Why didn’t you help me? Why didn’t we stop them, why didn’t we help Him?
Ah, get behind me, Satan! “Christ was obedient unto death.” And so must we all be.
I’ve been Catholic now since April 1996 and all I can say is thanks be to God and praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ! Lord, have mercy on us. Make our hearts like unto Thine. Amen!
Image credits: The Agony in the Garden, Luca Giordano; The Taking of Christ, Caravaggio, c. 1602. Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
Part, the first: I haven’t decided on a format yet for the Rosary Project pages. I put a page together for the First Joyful Mystery using an image gallery, but I’m not convinced that that is the way to go. The gallery may make it easy to browse the images, but it makes them smaller than I would like. Larger images are not only more impressive, but they lend themselves more to meditation. Don’t you think?
I’ll put together a page that more closely resembles the way the threads appear on Twitter, with a whole set of Mysteries on one long page. And I’ll also put the Mysteries on separate short pages, too. I’ll do it a few different ways so that you, the reader, have options. And since I don’t have to deal with 280 character constraints here, I can also add information about the artwork, name of the artist, links, and other interesting stuff. Btw, the images are all in the public domain. I’ve scoured the web to find as many good ones as I can. And I still find new things every day. If this keeps up, pretty soon I’ll need more external drives. Another reason to put affliliate links on the blog.
I’d be interested to hear what you think. After all, I’m putting this together for you! :)
Part, the Second, a note about affiliate links: I’ve finally decided to put affiliate links on the site. I know, I know, I said I didn’t make a dime off of anything on my free WordPress blog and I didn’t. But I also didn’t like the ads that sometimes showed up on here, so I upgraded away from the free account. That meant adding another expense to my already overly stressed checkbook. (Every time I even look at it now I see it cringe, hoping I’ll change my mind and forget about it, which I do fairly often these days as my mind becomes more and more like Teflon™, nothing sticks to it.) So affiliate links will begin appearing here and, indeed, a few are present already. Behold! The sidebar doth contain them e’en now! :P
Thanks for reading. I hope to hear from you soon!
(Dang it, Grammarly, stop telling me that “e’en” isn’t appropriate in this post. It’s what I want to say and I’m gonna say it, so there! Hmph! Nobody likes a know-it-all, ya know, and besides, you’re making my laptop run hot, not to mention how you’re making my blood boil. Grrrr.)
Began a new page for the Rosary Project today. Was going to start uploading it, but changing the blog theme and layout meant re-doing more than I had planned, what with site navigation and all.* If you’re curious about what the Rosary threads are, here’s the one from last night (Tuesday, April 16).
The Rosary Project will have its own section here at Catholic Heart & Mind. I’m still pondering how to post it but the first part of it will be going up over the next few days. My pooor little blog won’t know what’s happened. I’ve ignored it for so long, I’m sure it thought I’d forgotten all about it. I’m slowly recovering from the heart attack and all of that and it’s good to be back in front of the keyboard to do something besides Tweet and scribble.**
*But that’s alright. I haven’t changed the blog look for years other than to add a new banner now and then. It was time for a new look and to clean out some under-used pages, or at least move them around.
**Scribbling is what I do when I want to work on a story but all I can do is scribble a few disjointed impressions of a scene here and there with no idea how it will fit into the larger picture of whatever story I’m working on. My goal is to eventually put a few of these stories up on the blog. And maybe one day even put them into an eBook.