I began my day driving to Mt. Irenaeus. It was a beautiful day, blue and cloudless sky, which is quite unusual in western New York state, much of the time. When I got to the Franciscan Retreat Center I climbed the hill to the chapel. I noticed as I got closer that the assembled congregation was not in the chapel but on the perimeter of the labyrinth. There were nearly 60 people assembled this morning. Most of them were college students from St. Bonaventure University and State University at Geneseo. There was even a young lady from nearby Houghton College, a Wesleyan Christian liberal arts college. The “ad hoc” choir had us singing “Hosanna” as we processed from the labyrinth into the chapel.
Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week. Holy Week has been very special to me over the years. This is a special mystical time that is filled with imagery and connectedness to the passion, death and resurrection. Some of my favorite liturgies of the liturgical year occur during Holy Week. The Liturgy of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. I am moved just to think of it.
After brunch today I spent sometime with Fr. Lou discussing the direction of my life. There is something moving in my life. I can’t put my finger on it but Fr. Lou has agreed to sit with me once a month and be my spiritual director. I have no idea where I am going, but I do know that something is stirring and just the activity of that stirring is very beautiful. Today’s reading from Isaiah has meaning for me.
“The Lord GOD is my help,therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.”
After spending the morning at the Mountain for the Eucharist and brunch I returned home and helped our local parish priest set up a new fax machine and then drove another hour away to the Abbey of the Genesee arriving in time to spend some quiet moments in their chapel and join them for compline. Something keeps drawing me to all these places. It’s beautiful, but I really don’t know what it is. I am often reminded of Thomas Merton’s prayer, “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.” Peace.
franciscan, palm sunday, merton, holy week