Now Is The Time…Franciscan On-Line Lenten Retreat Continues

by Sister Julie Ann on March 1, 2010

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franciscan-sister-pam-points-to-time-for-retreat.jpgWelcome to Franciscanized World’s first Lenten On-Line Retreat. We, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, invite you not only to be inspired by the seasonal Sunday Scriptural readings, the sharings of Sister Anne Marie Lom, OSF and Father Paul Gallagher, OFM, but to be visually introduced to dedicated people of St. Raphael, Oshkosh, St. Mary, Omro and St. Mary, Winneconnie Catholic Communities of Faith.

Of course, ‘Now is the Time’ welcomes comments to ensure this retreat is relevant and lived.  

Please find the First Sunday of Lent ‘s Scripture reading, commentary, questions for reflection and comments at this link.

Now is the time…begin here.

70 thoughts on “Now Is The Time…Franciscan On-Line Lenten Retreat Continues”

  1. Gail says:

    Three times in my life I have been treated with great mercy like the woman caught in the act of adultery when I should have had the book thrown at me. The gift in it is that each time I became more merciful myself to others.

  2. Thank you, Gail and Lois, for your comments. I, too, have found that when I have been shown mercy, I am more merciful. The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes are surely given for our well-being. What amazes me about Jesus is that, even when I don’t obey the commandments or live the Beatitudes, I am totally and completely loved, forgiven and cherished. The mystery of God’s compassionate love shown us in Jesus is a gift I will always cherish.

    I’m reflecting on question #3 tonight. From the background given by Fr. Paul, the temple area was a gathering place to debate the law. I wonder if Jesus wanted to teach or debate the topic of compassion with regard to the law. He certainly didn’t “throw the law” at the woman caught in adultery. The law would have allowed that. So, I’m thinking that compassion, forgiveness, and understanding may have been the points Jesus went to “debate”. That, of course, is only conjecture, but it’s my thought.

    I wonder if he pondered deeply after the woman left him. I wonder if he asked himself, “Did I do the right thing?” I wonder if he was filled with doubt and debated with himself as to whether or not he was carrying out his Father’s message and attitude. I’m guessing he would have liked some reassurance at that point.

    What do you think?

  3. daughter says:

    I enjoyed your thinking, my friend, because that is exactly what many of us would do, but totally just for fun, here’s another view……

    What do I think? I think Jesus called their bluff and had no doubts about it.

    As we know, the scribes and Pharisees all pointed their fingers at the woman, but their eyes were clearly fixed on Jesus….pointing at the woman, but more than likely ready to drop her case completely to trample Christ in any way they could. Furthermore, they were on “their” turf and were pretty persistent in demanding an answer from Jesus. They thought their scenario was win- win and could probably smell victory.

    The fun hinge and key to this story that no one will ever know is what Jesus wrote that day that changed the course of events so quickly….

    Some say that Jesus wrote down the sins of the accusers, or perhaps even wrote the names of people “they” were unfaithful with, and so they left….I think he wrote, “Where’s Bob?” Adultery obviously takes two and under the law, both were to be stoned….What if “Bob” was one of their friends who helped to stage the whole deal?….Jesus, knowing his identity, and their scheme out of thin air would have scared the hell out of them and shut them up in a hurry. In two words, Jesus could have clearly called their game and made it clear that he was not playing it. So, the win-win scenario was quickly defunct.

    The scribes and Pharisees started to play a lot of games around this time in the life of Jesus…..I think Jesus could see them coming…I think he was prepared to out think and outsmart for a greater purpose….and that excites me!

    As for the woman….Under the Law of Moses, there had to be at least two witnesses…but “they” all left…there was no one to lawfully condemn her…so, really, no one could condemn her at the time, (especially if she was just part of a plot anyway…) Just the simple “Go and sin no more” was really the only response….however…it was THE response……and the perfect response because it has so many levels for us….yesterday, today and forever….go Jesus!

    Cool story….

  4. “Daughter”,
    Thanks for your “take” on the story. It, also, is interesting and captivating. The layers of meaning you put forth are what I love about scripture. There are inexhaustible layers!

    On another note, I found this quote by Joan Chittister, OSB, to be powerful for this week’s Gospel:
    “In the face of Jesus we see the compassionate face of God. It is that very compassion we ourselves are meant to show to others. Then, as Jesus is the face of God for us, we ourselves become the face of Jesus for others.”

  5. g says:

    Another of my favorites – along with the prodigal son story. The forgiveness and the opportunities to make amends and move ahead are so hopeful.

    This reminds me of something my mom often said. “There’s so much bad in the best of us, and so much good in the worst of us, that it little behooves any of us, to talk about the rest of us.”

  6. g says:

    consider the very last statement about Joseph…

    THE MYSTERY OF THE CROSS (from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations)
    March 19
    Feast of St. Joseph, the father of Jesus

    Question of the Day:
    How is the cross like homeopathic medicine?

    The second image of the “Lifted-Up One” is the image from Moses and the bronze serpent in the desert that became the symbol for doctors and healers.

    In the book of Numbers, Yahweh tells Moses to raise up a serpent on a standard, and “anyone who has been bitten by a serpent and looks upon it will be healed” (21:8). The very thing that was killing them is the thing that will heal them!

    I would ask you to consider the crucifix as a homeopathic image, like those medicines that give you just enough of the disease so you can develop a resistance and be healed of the disease. The cross dramatically reveals the problem of ignorant killing, to inoculate us against doing the same thing. It is God’s vaccination plan!

    Note: Joseph, the father of Jesus, whose feast we celebrate today, must have gotten the vaccination early, because he had no need or desire to strike back at Mary, after he discovered her to be pregnant—without him!

    Adapted from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality

  7. “g” thank you for your insights. I like the passage from Numbers regarding the lifting up of the serpent image because Carroll Stuhmueller, C.P. in his scriptural reflections says that the Israelites were required to look at the bronze serpent and admit their sin. When they admitted the sin, they were cured. A good lesson for us with regard to admitting our own sins (and not pointing fingers at others as in the Gospel) and sound theology for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This is also an image of the crucified Jesus. I love the ritual we have of all coming to the cross on Good Friday and kissing it or bowing before it. It is another admission of our sinfulness.

    Anyone else out there willing to comment?

  8. g says:

    Ritual is what makes our religion so exciting for me. All of the actions we make in our prayer in the coming days, and this during Lent. Not only studying and praying, but doing.

  9. daughter says:

    Sorry, the whole sinfulness thing really doesn’t resonate with me at all…(even though it’s probably a really big point.)…oh well….I guess I’m just not there…and I’m okay with it…anyway…here’s a little take of my own.

    Eventually, King Hezekiah would end up smashing Moses’ bronze snake and removing it from the Temple. Even though God commanded its construction, Hezekiah destroyed the bronze serpent because the people were worshipping it. The object intended to heal the people and draw their attention back to the one true and living God had become an object of idolatry.

    I was sort of reflecting tonight on the connection between the bronze serpent and the cross. I wouldn’t exactly say that the cross for me is an object of idolatry…but it is actually something that I tend to get stuck on….I tend to get stuck in my Good Fridays and long Holy Saturdays….often forgetting that Easter is always in sight.

    By putting the bronze serpent on a pole, Moses drew his community’s attention upward to the heavens and to God, on whom they could rely. So, maybe Hezekiah’s actions were okay in the end….for it wasn’t in looking at the bronze serpent that really saved the snake-bitten Israelites; it was the “looking up” and remembering that the God who brought them out of Egypt was still with them. Still today, it is in looking with those same eyes of faith and belief that we too can remember that in our lives, there is a promised land, a resurrection, and an Easter always in sight…remembering the cross is one thing…getting stuck on it is another….

  10. I am thanking God for the variety of discussion on this blog and hoping it will continue as our Lenten journey progresses. Monday morning there will be the posting for Passion (Palm) Sunday.

  11. Sunday: March 28, 2010
    Palm Sunday – Passion of Our Lord
    Luke 22:14-23:56

    SUGGESTION, BEFORE YOU READ THE TEXT!
    This week the passion that will be read on Palm Sunday is (Luke 22:14-23:56) and Good Friday is (John 18:1-19:42). An insightful exercise would be to make a list of the events that took place from the Last Supper to the death of Jesus on the cross, as you remember them. Then, read the text here or that of John checking off those events on your list and noting those you did not list. At the end of the reading note which events ARE NOT recorded by Luke (or John), and which events are recorded that you did list. This type of exercise can provide some insights into what Luke considered important for his readers and which events are significant for you.

    – – – – – – – – – – – –
    14 When the hour came, he [Jesus] took his place at table with the apostles. 15. He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, 16 for, I tell you, I shall not eat it (again) until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” 17. Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I tell you (that) from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19. Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” 20. And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you. 21. “And yet behold, the hand of the one who is to betray me is with me on the table; 22 for the Son of Man indeed goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed.” 23. And they began to debate among themselves who among them would do such a deed.

    24. Then an argument broke out among them about which of them should be regarded as the greatest. 25. He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as ‘Benefactors’; 26 but among you it shall not be so. Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. 27. For who is greater: the one seated at table or the one who serves? Is it not the one seated at table? I am among you as the one who serves. 28. It is you who have stood by me in my trials; 29 and I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father has conferred one on me, 30, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31. “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.” 33. He said to him, “Lord, I am prepared to go to prison and to die with you.” 34. But he replied, “I tell you, Peter, before the cock crows this day, you will deny three times that you know me.”

    35. He said to them, “When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals, were you in need of anything?” “No, nothing,” they replied. 36. He said to them, “But now one who has a money bag should take it, and likewise a sack, and one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, namely, ‘He was counted among the wicked’; and indeed what is written about me is coming to fulfillment.” 38. Then they said, “Lord, look, there are two swords here.” But he replied, “It is enough!”

    39. Then going out he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40. When he arrived at the place he said to them, “Pray that you may not undergo the test.” 41. After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.” 43. (And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him.
    44 He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.) 45. When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping from grief. 46. He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.”

    47. While he was still speaking, a crowd approached and in front was one of the Twelve, a man named Judas. He went up to Jesus to kiss him. 48. Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49. His disciples realized what was about to happen, and they asked, “Lord, shall we strike with a sword?” 50. And one of them struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said in reply, “Stop, no more of this!” Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed him. 52. And Jesus said to the chief priests and temple guards and elders who had come for him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53. Day after day I was with you in the temple area, and you did not seize me; but this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness.”

    54. After arresting him they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest; Peter was following at a distance. 55. They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter sat down with them.56. When a maid saw him seated in the light, she looked intently at him and said, “This man too was with him.” 57. But he denied it saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58. A short while later someone else saw him and said, “You too are one of them”; but Peter answered, “My friend, I am not.” 59. About an hour later, still another insisted, “Assuredly, this man too was with him, for he also is a Galilean.” 60. But Peter said, “My friend, I do not know what you are talking about.” Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed, 61 and the Lord turned and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62. He went out and began to weep bitterly.

    63. The men who held Jesus in custody were ridiculing and beating him. 64. They blindfolded him and questioned him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65. And they reviled him in saying many other things against him.

    66. When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. 67. They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us,” but he replied to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, 68 and if I question, you will not respond. 69. But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70. They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied to them, “You say that I am.” 71. Then they said, “What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth.” 1. Then the whole assembly of them arose and brought him before Pilate.

    2. They brought charges against him, saying, “We found this man misleading our people; he opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar and maintains that he is the Messiah, a king.” 3. Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He said to him in reply, “You say so.” 4. Pilate then addressed the chief priests and the crowds, “I find this man not guilty.” 5. But they were adamant and said; “He is inciting the people with his teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to here.” 6. On hearing this Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean; 7 and upon learning that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time.

    8. Herod was very glad to see Jesus; he had been wanting to see him for a long time, for he had heard about him and had been hoping to see him perform some sign. 9. He questioned him at length, but he gave him no answer. 10. The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile, stood by accusing him harshly. 11. (Even) Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him, and after clothing him in resplendent garb, he sent him back to Pilate. 12. Herod and Pilate became friends that very day, even though they had been enemies formerly. 13. Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people 14 and said to them, “You brought this man to me and accused him of inciting the people to revolt. I have conducted my investigation in your presence and have not found this man guilty of the charges you have brought against him, 15 nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us. So no capital crime has been committed by him. 16. Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.” 17. 18. But all together they shouted out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us.” 19 (Now Barabbas had been imprisoned for a rebellion that had taken place in the city and for murder.) 20. Again Pilate addressed them, still wishing to release Jesus, 21 but they continued their shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” 22. Pilate addressed them a third time, “What evil has this man done? I found him guilty of no capital crime. Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.” 23. With loud shouts, however, they persisted in calling for his crucifixion, and their voices prevailed. 24 The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted. 25. So he released the man who had been imprisoned for rebellion and murder, for whom they asked, and he handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they wished.

    26. As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus. 27. A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. 28 Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, 29 for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30. At that time people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ 31. for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?” 32. Now two others, both criminals, were led away with him to be executed. 33. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. 34. (Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”) They divided his garments by casting lots. 35. The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God.” 36. Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine 37 they called out, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.” 38. Above him there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews.”

    39. Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” 40. The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? 41. And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” 42. Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43. He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

    44. It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon 45 because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. 46. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last.

    47. The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said, “This man was innocent beyond doubt.” 48. When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened, they returned home beating their breasts; 49 but all his acquaintances stood at a distance, including the women who had followed him from Galilee and saw these events.

    50. Now there was a virtuous and righteous man named Joseph who, though he was a member of the council, 51 had not consented to their plan of action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea and was awaiting the kingdom of God. 52. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53. After he had taken the body down, he wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb in which no one had yet been buried. 54. It was the day of preparation, and the sabbath was about to begin. 55. The women who had come from Galilee with him followed behind, and when they had seen the tomb and the way in which his body was laid in it, 56 they returned and prepared spices and perfumed oils. Then they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

    BACKGROUND:
    Luke presents a consistent image of Jesus. The qualities that Jesus has shown during his life are also the qualities that are present as Jesus moves toward his death. In the second verse of the text, Jesus tells those who have gathered for this last meal together that he eagerly desired to eat this meal with them. But this is no ideal image of the final banquet. In the course of the meal, before the betrayal of Judas will be foretold, those gathered argued about who is the greatest. Peter’s denial will be predicted. From the beginning, Luke portrays Jesus as one who accepts the human imperfections and weaknesses of even his closest followers. On the Mount of Olives, Luke portrays Jesus as one who briefly wrestles with what lies before him but quickly accepts the will of his Father. Again Jesus’ closest disciples are unable to endure in faith and they betray him. Their behavior indicates that they have not internalized his preaching and, as predicted, Peter denies his relationship with Jesus.

    The one who will judge heaven and earth is led before the high priest, the Sanhedrin, Pilate and Herod. Jesus does not challenge their authority. They bring charges against him that range from being a revolutionary, to forbidding the paying of taxes to Caesar, and claiming to be king as well as the Christ and the Son of God. In the process of being questioned about the charges, he is also ridiculed, mocked, beaten and flogged three different times. The crowds that greeted him and praised God as he entered Jerusalem now turn to anger and condemnation. Throughout, Jesus conducts himself with a sense of dignity and control. As he is being led to be crucifixion, Jesus ministers to women of Jerusalem and to one of the men being crucified with him.

    When Jesus finally hands over his spirit to his Father, the centurion who witnessed what has happened declares, “This man was innocent beyond a doubt.” (Luke 23:47) Throughout his narrative Luke reminds his audience of Jesus’ innocence. Three times Pilate states that he does not find Jesus guilty of the charges. “Pilate then addressed the chief priests and the crowds, ‘I find this man not guilty.’ … Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people and said to them, ‘you brought this man to me and accused him of inciting the people to revolt. I have conducted my investigation in your presence and have not found this man guilty of the charges you have brought against him, nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us. So no capital crime has been committed by him’. … Pilate addressed them a third time, ‘what evil has this man done? I found him guilty of no capital crime…’ (Luke 23:4, 13-15, 22) One of those crucified with Jesus says to his companion “… we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” (Luke 23:41) Jesus’ prayer to His Father, that those who are crucifying Him be forgiven, is also a testament of Jesus’ innocence. (Luke 23:34) These reminders throughout the passion lead the reader to feel the truth of the centurion’s statement as Jesus gives us his life and darkness comes over the land. “This man was innocent beyond doubt.” (Luke 23:47b)

    REFLECTION QUESTIONS
    1. What were some of the most difficult periods in your life?
    · How did this period affect other aspects of your life?
    · How did it affect your ability to respond to family, friends, and the needs of others?
    · How did it affect your relationship with God?
    2. Can you recall times when you were more angry than you needed to be, or even cruel, towards another?
    · What was going on within you at that time?
    · Were you aware that you were behaving poorly at the time or only in hindsight?
    · What did that experience teach you about yourself?
    3. Have you ever known, or even read about, people who stayed true to their course of action and beliefs even thought they were ridiculed and met much resistance?
    · Why did they not “adapt to the situation”?
    · What reaction did you have to them then? Now?
    4. Luke presents Jesus as an innocent victim. The disciples, religious and civil authority, and the crowd all stand by and watch the innocent Jesus suffer tragically and be put to death. What does Luke’s description of Jesus’ passion say to you? How would you like to respond?
    5. What happens within you when you hear Jesus say, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer”?
    6. What happens within you when you hear Peter say, “Woman, I do not know him?
    · My friend, I do not know what you are talking about”?
    7. What happens within you when you hear Pilate say: “So no capital crime has been committed by him…. I found him guilty of no capital crime”?
    · When you hear the thief crucified with him say, “this man had done nothing criminal”?
    · And finally when the centurion says, “This man was innocent beyond doubt”?
    8. Finally, what happens within you as you hear Jesus say, “Father into your hands I commend my spirit”?
    9. As you pray and reflect on this passion text, what stirs within you? What is your desire for yourself, for your neighbor, for the church?

  12. I’d like to get the conversation started by responding to #1:What were some of the most difficult periods in your life? Some most difficult periods were when I began teaching and felt I couldn’t “get my head above water”, when my sister, my parents and some good friends died, and when I felt unsure that God was with me.

    · How did this period affect other aspects of your life? These periods made me tenser, less sure of myself, more suspicious of others and made my thought processes murky and unfocused.

    · How did it affect your ability to respond to family, friends, and the needs of others? I was more self-focused and less able to even see the needs of others. My needs, as well as the needs of others, became almost invisible.

    · How did it affect your relationship with God? This is where a community of faith is so important. There were times when those praying around me (at Mass or Liturgy of Hours) carried my prayer. I felt distant or disconnected from God and others kept me connected by their love, their concern and their prayer. I also am a firm believer in Paul’s advice, “when I cannot pray, the Spirit of God prays in me.”

    Eventually my relationship with myself, others and God came back into balance and focus. I became more empathetic with others who struggled. I grew through the difficulty. Hindsight tells me these things. While in the middle of difficulty, I can only trust.

    Any comments from you?

  13. Lois A. Rizzo says:

    I have had repeated trials of difficult times in my life and I have learned to cope by following the example set by our Lord Jesus Christ. During troubled times, I so often reach for my Rosary and recite the Sorrowful Mysteries. So much can be learned by reflecting on being sorrow for our sins in the Agony of the Garden,
    becoming purified with the Scourging at the pillar, learning courage to face these hard times with the Crowning of the Thornes of Jesus,Meditating on the Carrying of the Cross and the great deal of patience Christ exibited, and finally the Crucifixion, where Jesus persevered until the very end. We, too, must learn all of these valuable virtues so that we may model after Jesus in times of trouble in our lives.

  14. g says:

    8. …what happens within you as you hear Jesus say, “Father into your hands I commend my spirit”?

    This stirs my wonder about what it will be like to die from this human form. I like the thought of my spirit delivered into the comfort of God’s hands.

    One of my dear aunts is experiencing her last moments on earth tonight – and I’m envisioning her transition from here – to there. Hoping my mom and her other sister and brother are there in whatever form, to welcome her.

    It’s an interesting place to be. On your deathbed. Or the cross.

  15. Thank you, Lois and “g” for your comments. Both of you touched on those last moments of Jesus’ life. What is it like to “pass over”?

    “g”, I will be keeping a “heart vigil” as your aunt passes from this world to the next. I often think of how Jesus’ mother, Mary, kept vigil at the foot of the cross. I hear in my heart the old familiar, “At the cross her station keeping, stood the mournful mother weeping, close to Jesus to the end.”

    I have “kept vigil” with family members and friends as they passed away and that song brings me strength… and a solidarity with Mary.

    Anyone else have experiences of “keeping vigil” with a loved one?

  16. Sister Sue Ann Hall says:

    I have been blest to have kept vigil with my father, mother and brother. All three were different. There was no struggle for my father and brother, they both passed quietly with family around them. My mother had serve pain all day the day she passed. She coded and nurses and doctors came from every where. My prayer: “Lord please take her home with you.” I didn’t ever think I would say that but I saw her pain! It doesn’t take much for me to cry when I see and hear of anothers pain and sorrow. These deaths have been hard and a “normal” course of life. Jesus’ death was His GIFT to us to make us children of His Father again. How great must be our sin to have made Him suffer so much for us!

  17. Thank you, Sister Sue Ann, for sharing your experiences of “keeping vigil” with family members. I can’t help but wonder what great things God has in store for us when we follow Jesus into the next life!

  18. I confess I have been a silent reader of this on-line retreat this Lent. Thanks to Sister Anne Marie for her vigilant spirit in answering the spoken comments and directing all of us to Holy Week. Father Paul’s generosity in also sharing his faith was a double blessing. Peace and all good.

  19. g says:

    amen, Sister!

  20. It is the evening of Palm Sunday and this concludes our on-line Lenten retreat. On Thursday we begin the Triduum and I encourage you to attend as many services you can as we mark the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus. Thank you to our viewers, our friends who blogged and to all who prayed with the Sunday Gospels of Lent. I hope you will return often to our Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity website to read, ponder and comment. May the Lord give you peace!

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