After a very busy Lent and Triduum, the quiet days are now here. Lent was strange this year, and I am still thinking over what it contained, looking for the moments where grace was given and looking, too, to determine what I did – or did not – do with it. In my personal experience, it is in looking back that I am able to see with a little more clarity what I cannot always see clearly at the time.
Some Lent’s are more evidently grace-filled, but this was not my experience this particular year. Rather, I could see only too well the many moments where I was an obstacle to that grace or when I did not work with it as I should have done, with predictable results.
And so, by the time I reached the Triduum, I certainly saw the odd moment which sparkled with that radiating grace – but I was far more aware of the deep shadows in between those moments. Perhaps that very awareness is, in itself, a grace. I hope so.
The Triduum was exceptionally beautiful, of course. I am always very deeply moved by the services on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, those days of intensity and awe. And this year, especially so by the gathering of the parishioners for the communal celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, something I wish we had all year long. Holy Saturday began as a day of silence but this was replaced quickly by the preparations necessary before the Easter Vigil. But the preparations necessary for all these services were long and act as a magnet not only for time but also for attention, such that it is a little more difficult to simply be there and take part in all that is happening during them.
Now, something of that silence has returned and will – I hope – persist throughout the season of Eastertide.
I have the sense that I am in need of such a time of stillness, silence, peace. I need to withdraw a little and focus more – and better – on my spiritual life and especially upon prayer.
To this end, Scripture and the Rosary – the resounding echo of Scripture – will be my close companions and will see me through. I won’t do this alone, of course, or else I know I would get nowhere; rather, I will place myself, as ever, under the tutelage of the Mother of God.
She is always incredibly kind and generous and gracious, especially through the prayer of Her holy Rosary. Long experience has told me with certainty that it is by means of this particular prayer that She is most generous when it comes to obtaining grace and also obtaining for me some measure of understanding of the mysteries I try – all too poorly – to contemplate within.
And so now, into Her company I take my place once more with renewed vigour; and I ask Her to look on me with a measure of pity and motherly concern, and to be with me in the silence of these days.