Ever since I returned to the church in my twenties, I have been inspired by the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Our daughter lost her first tooth a few weeks ago. As I stared into that gaping hole in her mouth, I did the thing where you internally tear up and think, ‘where did my little baby go?’ in that wistful, nostalgic way. ‘It was only yesterday that I was holding her in my arms!’
I’ve spent time in the church my whole life, first as a clergy kid and now as a clergy spouse. Where I grew up, in a very Anglo-Catholic diocese of the Episcopal Church, matters of doctrine took second chair to matters of Which Brasso Product To Use To Polish Fancy Things.
It’s been less than a year since our family’s returned to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, so there are still surprises in the liturgical calendar. “Please wear red on Pentecost,” invited Father Randall. I owned nothing red except for a waffle-knit funnel-neck shirt that obviously screamed fall even though the weather was basically expected to be just that.
My daughter has a book about unusual animal friendships. It hits every mark for cuteness: miniature animals, golden retrievers, implausible successe. Rather than being sticky sweet, though, the book offers a generosity of spirit
There were exactly two snowballs in my south Louisiana childhood, and they didn’t fall from the sky in Baton Rouge. They rode down from Ohio on the side of our neighbor’s station wagon, and took their shape when she scooped them and gave them to wide-eyed children who had never seen snow.
In the retelling of this story in Acts chapter one, after Jesus ascends, the disciples are staring up towards the heavens and two men in white robes appear. They ask the disciples:“Why do you stand looking up towards heaven?”
Welp, I turned into a priest-mom-Easter-morning-psycho.I mean, Christ is Risen, right? Might as well go crazy on your family.
On Palm Sunday, during the reading of the passion gospel, my three and a half year old learned that Jesus died. On the one hand, I was swelling with parental pride for his calm attentiveness and understanding of the story. But on the other hand, I was worried about how this new information would begin processing in his young mind.
Getting ready for Holy Week, I’m struck, as always, by how jarring the Palm Sunday liturgy is. One minute we’re all shouting “hosanna, hosanna!” (Greek for “save us”) and then the next thing we know, we’re shouting “Crucify him.” It’s emotionally wrenching; hope and expectation give way to fury and fear. No settling in, no probing depths. Our liturgy moves us from place to place, scarcely able to take a breath.