I feel posting should be limited this week, in observance of Holy Week. So this may be it until next Sunday or Monday. I’ve struggled a lot in my mind over this past weekend if anything at all would be appropriate to write about, or if I should just be silent. Silence is many times better than anything actually said in words, either spoken or written; we could use more of it both in the Church and in the world. I guess part of my difficulty stems from being a convert to the Church; as a Presbyterian, I never had any real experience of Lent, or Easter, for that matter. After Christmas, there was a period of three or four months with nothing special, then it was Easter; one day, that was it. I can’t imagine that now, but am still acclimating myself to a proper observance of Lent after all these years.
The thought that keeps coming back to me is the monastic life and how Lent mirrors it, at least loosely. During the Lenten season, Catholics are urged to do more in the areas of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Engaging in these activities helps us, indeed makes it almost unavoidable for us, to be mindful of spending time in silence, in seeking conversion and that we are doing these things to follow ancient practices of the Church, given to us for our benefit; we grow in obedience to Tradition that helps form the treasury of the Church. These things reflect silence, conversatio (or reform of life) and obedience which are the vows of the Benedictine monk.
It also occurs to me that, just as the Camaldolese life, with its eremitic elements, imposes another dimension of prayer, silence and solitude onto the life of a Benedictine monk, so does Holy Week bring another dimension to our, by now, routine Lenten observance — It steps it up a notch with more time in prayer and solitude, greater abstinence and penance, and reminds us that we are doing these things as a final preparation for the joyous celebration of Easter that is now immanent.
I’d like this short post to serve as a quick reminder of the added dimension of devotion we’re invited to this week, and urge you to take some time to be mindful of the significance of the events we are invited to relive this Holy Week.
I wish you all a very Holy and Blessed Triduum.