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Kindness and Emptiness

Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash

There is always an element of relief in arriving at Holy Saturday, if only because we’ve moved through the high drama of Good Friday to a quieter, more reflective space. People often talk of Holy Saturday as a “tomb day”, a time to sit with the emptiness that follows death, to allow the events of Good Friday to sink in. I recognise the yearning for that and its wisdom yet, it’s not an experience I recognise from monastic life.

In practice for many of us Holy Saturday is very much a hybrid day, we are aware of its emptiness, the mourning and the uncertainty. We also have to acknowledge that the Easter vigil is fast approaching and that Easter liturgies and treats do not plan themselves. So it is also a day of preparation and anticipation that can be very busy.

As we move through this hybrid day I’m reflecting on these words from the lamentations of the prophet Jeremiah from this morning’s Office of Readings:

“The favours of the Lord are not all past, nor his kindnesses exhausted; every morning they are renewed: great is his faithfulness. My portion is with the Lord says my soul, and so I will hope in him.”

Even in the midst of his lamentation Jeremiah is able to acknowledge the kindness and faithfulness of God, and to put his hope in that. His words speak to me of the hybrid reality of the day. It seems to me that Holy Saturday calls us to imitate God’s kindness to others as we get on with the many preparations for Easter, and to ourselves as we seek small moments of quiet during the day.

As we celebrate Holy Saturday where are you aware of the Lord renewing your capacity for kindness?

Benedictine Spirituality Christ Cross Divine Office Gospel Holy Saturday Holy Week Lectio Divina Monastic Life Prayer Scripture Uncategorized

Grief and hope…

A Holy Saturday reel based on the Byzantine liturgy. I love that it’s full of hope and allows space for grieving…

Where do you need to find space for grieving and hoping this Holy Saturday?

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Waiting in hope

Photo by Andras Vas on Unsplash

All through the Triduum I’ve been struck by how relevant the ancient wisdom of our faith is to the times we are living in. Today was no exception to that and so I’m reflecting on some words that struck me from an ancient homily for Holy Saturday:

“Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoners Adam and Eve from their pain, he who is God, and Adam’s son.”

They describe the ancient tradition, the harrowing of Hell, when the newly risen Christ descend to hell to free those held by death, starting with the first humans Adam and Eve. Today the reading speaks to me of the darkness of our suffering world that seems overshadowed by death wherever we look. In those circumstances it can be very tempting to sink into an abyss of hopelessness and despair, but that’s not what the stillness and emptiness of Holy Saturday is about.

The sermon reminds me that Holy Saturday is a time of waiting in hope. The risen Christ, who sought out Adam and Eve to wake n them to new life and light will also seek us out. However dark our lives, the risen Christ will find us and awaken us with his offer of a new life and light.

As we wait through the emptiness of Holy Saturday in these challenging times where do you hear the voice of Christ calling you to awaken to new life?