In this week's Holy Week days and traditions held within them, we are reminded of Christ's journey to the cross, and His ultimate Ascension.
What are the crosses that you bear?
Are you willing to let them go?
Can we find solace in the journey that he took, as an example of what is available for us as well?
Read more below.
Holy Thursday and Good Friday
Cathedral of Our Lady, in Strasbourg, France
By the time you're reading this, I hope to be back in meditation and prayer. I love this day, and this time, and planned for it to be off. Fortunately and culturally, I am allowed to take it off, without question.
I remember as a child that, on Good Friday we would go to mass and then come home to remain in silence from 12 noon to 3 pm. This was a really big deal for a household with eight children, and for my father to be home from work. This wasn't normally a quiet household. It was always loud and busy.
But I discovered how much I really liked this silent reverence for the day, for the story that lay behind it, and that we were honoring this occurrence with our own quiet respect. Our own decision to take this time and get closer to God by thinking about Christ's journey.
So now, when I decide I want to do this again - to take up this practice of being silent and in meditation from 12 - 3 - it can be really hard. Not because I don't enjoy it when I get there, but because there always seems to be so many things tugging at us, and telling us what we need to be doing instead.
And yet, when and if we can and do carve out this time for silence and connection with Source, a whole world opens up inside, one that seems to have always been there, ready, willing, and able to give us so much if we could just quiet ourselves long enough to listen and receive.
My meditations this morning were literally mind-shattering, and I know this decision I made for today was exactly the right one. And I look forward to getting back to it by sunset as well.
Holy Thursday tells us the story of The Last Supper when Christ gathered up the disciples for one last meal together, and for him to speak some very important words to them with instruction before what he knew would be His final days on Earth. They didn't know that, but he did.
The breaking of bread is a very ancient Jewish tradition and Passover was the meal that Christ was sharing with the Disciples that night. When you break bread with another in this tradition, you have welcomed them into your home and you have declared friendship and a bond.
But as a child, when I sat and listened to the stories of the miracles He performed in the reading of the gospel, I always felt so intrigued, so moved. The blind man could see; the crippled boy could walk, and Lazarus was raised from the dead.
I knew that there was more to his performing these miracles than for us to adore him for doing so. That was not the intention, I felt, it was to show us an example of what was possible.
During each mass, there is the recounting of the words Christ gave to the Disciples on that Holy Thursday Last Supper. "Do this in memory of Me" was an injunction to break bread with each other, welcome each other into our homes, and create bonds of friendship.
But what continued to intrigue me and bother me most were the words He spoke when speaking of the miracles he performed. He told the Disciples and thus to us through the repeating of these words during each weekly mass, "All these things you shall do and more."
Those words are so key.
Those words stuck with me.
So much so, that I would ask my mother where were all those miracle workers Christ was speaking about if we are to be doing "All these things and more"? I was frustrated, as a very young child, that I wasn't meeting those people, and learning how to do miracles from them so that I could do some myself.
I wanted to more than anything else in the world. I found myself turning inward, and asking the above for guidance and answers to that question. Always. For years and years in fact. It became a quiet mission, with no clue on how to fulfill it.
The chapel within the Cathedral of Our Lady, in Strasbourg, France
Fast forward 35 years later and a woman I was staying with in Norther California hands me a book, and says, "You need to read this."
It had a dark blue hardcover, plain in its design, and the gold lettering wrote: A Course in Miracles.
Something zinged within me. I felt the weight of it. The pages were of very fine, thin paper. I got right to it.
There were a lot of words in there. It was organized. It was intelligent. It was direct in its teaching. There were chapters, lessons, and a manual for teachers. Here at last, was my answer.
The Source of the material told me to go out there and perform a miracle NOW. That they were normal and natural, and that if they weren't happening, something had gone wrong. And so I did.
There had been a huge problem brewing in the household where I was staying at that time, and it was elevating to a crisis level with no solution in sight. So quietly and within myself, I followed the instructions in the Course. I went out on a walk not far from the house, and I willed a miracle to come to the household and for the problem to be solved, for the good of all.
By the time I got back from that walk, the solution had arrived! The miracle had come.
I have rarely been without the Course, studying it, practicing it or teaching it. It feels like it was always meant to be, that I would find these teachings, and use them for myself and others.
It brings me tears to think of the trajectory of the All That Is, and how so much we assume is accidental in our pasts was exactly designed to be the way that it was supposed to be. This leads us to where we end up now: One with God, with Spirit, with the Universe, with the All.
On Holy Thursday, after this Passover meal, Christ and the Disciples go to the Garden of Gethsemane. He wants to pray as he knows what's coming, and needs to connect and prepare Himself.
He asks the Disciples to join Him, and although some of them do for a little while, eventually they all fall asleep and don't keep up with Him. He is left alone to grapple with what is coming and ask for strength to get through it.
Ultimately he is interrupted by the Roman soldiers who have come to arrest him, led by Judas.
The betrayal, with a kiss.
It is said, in the Course, that Judas was Christ's closest friend and most fervent Disciple. He followed and learned the best. There was a strong bond between them. And Christ knew this betrayal had to be this way.
On the following day, he is tried, found guilty (not for any crime, but for political reasons), and sentenced to death. All of his Disciples deny they know him, and abandon him completely.
We know His final words on the cross, "My God my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Have you not ever felt this way?
Have you ever been abandoned or betrayed?
Many of you already know this story, but I am recounting it so that we can see this in light of our own lives.
It is ultimately the story of ascension.
But before your ascension, you will experience every kind of horrific treatment and every unimaginable betrayal. What seems to be unsurvivable hurt and pain.
And do you get yourself to the place of forgiveness?
Do you get yourself to the place of, "Forgive them Father for they know not what they do"?
Christ's journey was a journey for us. To remind us, to show us, the body is not real. This world is an illusion with very convincing elements. Ultimately you are Spirit, and your real Home is with the All That Is, Love. And in order to get there, we must forgive it all. All. Of. IT.
There is no need to wait until you die in order to be Home once again:
"Heaven is here, there is no other place. Heaven is now, there is no other time."
- A Course in Miracles,
The Astrological Clock counting the cycles of time here on Earth, in Strasbourg, France
Every year we get to go through this journey. A little bit of death, a great deal of forgiveness to let the past go, and to start over again in rebirth and renewal with the coming spring, and Easter.
I'm going to leave you now, as the sun is setting, and I want to close my eyes in meditation and receive the gifts that are being given on this day, and every day.
There is a great deal of help out there for you if you can't seem to forgive that very last thing that plagues you and becomes the perpetual cross you bear. This is the time to put it down and let go.
I am wishing you a positively extraordinary Holy Week, Passover, Ramadan or Indian New Year, whichever cultural tradition you come from. This year, miraculously, they are all coinciding in the same week, together with a Full Moon in Libra, bringing us all together in Love.
So if you can get your eyes closed and pray/meditate/receive today, you will find the same Light, guidance, and miracles available for you as well. Much Love and Many Blessings,