Tag Archives: cross

Good Friday…. Is the cross enough?

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Is the Cross enough? How do you feel about someone else paying the price for you?

How many times do we think about the Crucifixion?

How often do we look at the cross….really look?

For me, It’s a very hard thing to focus on. I try to avoid it as often as I can. I like to picture Jesus as the good looking “Surfer” Jesus…..or the Good Shepherd with the little lost sheep. However, focusing on only these aspects or depictions of Jesus is denying His true mission. He came to awaken the “dead”…..not just those who were physically dead but those who were also “dead” to the greatest commandment of Love. So many of the Pharisees were sticklers to the letter of the law, but not the spirit of the law.

With all the crime shows that I enjoy and can watch, I can not stomach many of the scenes of “The Passion of the Christ”.  My eyes are full of tears…. I feel sick to my stomach…and  I’m a blubbering mess. Why? Because I am brought to my knees. The cross is a reminder of a love that I can’t fathom. It’s a reminder to me of a love far greater than I can return. A real reminder of the brutality of sin and the actions of those who do nothing.

And on Good Friday, I must face that bloodied face…..I must watch My Lord take up His cross….my cross….knowing that my sins nailed him there.

Is the cross enough….to change my life?????

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This lent I have been taking part in an online Lenten reflection with Redeemed Online.  It was set up by one of my friends from Franciscan University as a means to draw us closer to Christ this Lent. It was a series of 2-3 minute daily videos from Catholic speakers around the world. It was just what this overwhelmed, tired momma needed. A video that came right to my email and could set up my day with Christ. The latest video was from a personal friend who runs the Dirty Vagabond Ministries. Please take a second to check out all the amazing work my friend, Bob is doing with his ministry after watching this video.

Ouch….that cuts deep. Bob is right. I’m one of those people in the crowd.

Too weak to live my life radically committed to Christ….

I wish I could be like St. John…..a pillar of strength for Our Lady. He never denied Christ. He was loving…he stood at the foot of the cross. He was not ashamed.

But scripture tells me that “God mercies are renewed every morning.” Today is a new day.

In fact, everyday is.

And I have time to recommit my life…and my heart.

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This picture captures the beauty of an hour of my morning.

A hot cup of vanilla tea…some beautiful Catholic music…..and some quiet time to focus on the cross.

It was the main meal for this hungry girl’s soul.

The children surprised us with “dessert”….. a beautiful rendition of the Stations of the Cross.

Jesus meets His Mother

Jesus meets His Mother

Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

Jesus meets the Women of Jerusalem.

Jesus meets the Women of Jerusalem.

Jesus is nailed to His cross.

Jesus is nailed to His cross.

He is alive!

He is alive!

Kids have such simple faith. They believe. They desire God. They trust that they are loved and desired by God. Watching their Stations play, helped remind me how simple Jesus’s message was: Love

Is the Cross enough?

Yes

…and it calls me to greatness.

It beckons my soul to seek to return such greatness…..

To love without hesitation or reservation.

What about you? Is it enough to change you?

God Bless,

Tammi

 

 

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Holy Week: Holy Monday through Good Friday

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Our whole gang

HOLY WEEK!!!!! MY favorite week of the year……….This was our little crew oneEaster Sunday. My children really enjoy celebrating holidays. It means new outfits, fun activities, and really “entering into” whatever season is upon us. We enjoy tranforming our home, and really trying to transform our family life. It’s integral in our family that our liturgical life really celebrates the “seasons” of our Catholic faith.

So the planner in me, is giving you a quick rundown on how our week looks and what we’ve done so far:

Holy Monday: (Planning Day)

  • double check all the kids’ outfits for Easter Sunday.
  • pick up hats, tights, shoes, etc.; make a list of what everyone needs
  • create a spreadsheet of what has to be done for the week each day.
  • make a list of what housework needs to be done to prepare the house for the Easter celebration

Holy Tuesday/Holy Wednesday (Cleaning days)

  • purging the house of all things to be donated
  • confession with the hubs and Sweet Pea: purging the soul
  • children are assessing their work on their 100 Acts of Kindness for the Easter season. They only have about 15 left to complete their goal before Saturday night. We started this in February…you can read about that here. 
  • Thorough cleaning of the kitchen, fridge, school room, and basement to prepare for the fun of Easter.
  • All laundry finished
  • grocery shopping finished for Easter
  • last minute hair cut for Dirty Dog D

Holy Thursdayhttps://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-WWQB1-im-n8/UIRkDpXpeiI/AAAAAAAAOKY/_SGJ8UxFB6U/s800/jesus-washes-his-disciples-feet.jpg

Holy Thursday will be our first year that we will do a washing of the feet with the children. (I am including the link to the above coloring page that my kids will watercolor after breakfast. Just click on the photo to take you to the website.) My husband will wash each child’s feet as we discuss what Jesus meant when we washed the disciples’ feet. This will be a great time to talk about doing things in service of others.

For the second year in a row, we will have our Lenten Tea to celebrate Holy Thursday. It is such a beautiful combination of scripture passages and food complements to create a food journey through the events of Holy Thursday.  On her blog, Shower of Roses, Jessica details this journey.

Lenten food journey for Holy Thursday

I wanted to make our meal, a little more “friendly” for our family, so here is our menu below:

  1. Palm Branches: Baby Spinach: “And many spread their garments on the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields.” Mk. 11: 8
  2. 30 pieces of Silver: Circular cheese slices and crackers: “Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What will you give me if I deliver him to you?’ And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.” Mt. 25: 14-15
  3. Unleavened bread: Flatbread.”And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the passover lamb, his disciples said to Him, ‘Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the passover?'” Mk. 14: 12
  4. Mount of Olives: Olive Oil (for dipping):”And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Mk. 14: 26
  5. Cock crows twice: Chicken wings or Rotissere chicken. “And Jesus said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” Mk 14:30
  6. Gethsemane Figs (figs were found along the road to Gethsemane): Fig jam or Fig newtons.”And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here, while I pray.'” Mk. 14: 32
  7. Sleep: Sleepytime Vanilla tea. “Can you not stay awake?” “the hour is at hand when the son of man is to be handed over.” Matthew 26:45
  8. Judas’s kiss: Hershey’s Kisses. And when he came, he went up to him at once, and said, ‘Master!’ And he kissed him.” Mk. 14: 45
  9. Clouds of heaven. Cool Whip. “And Jesus said, ‘I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'” Mk. 14: 62
  10. Peter’s tears: Tic Tacs. “And immediately the cock crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.’ And he broke down and wept.” Mk. 14: 72

Our Lenten Tea was such a huge success last year!! The children made sure it was on our list of activities this year.

**If our toddler and 3 year old will work with us, our intention is to attend the evening service with the washing of the feet.****

Good Friday:

Our day begins with bagels for breakfast as we begin this day of fast and abstinence. We will only have one big meal today which will be at dinner.

I’m excited to introduce the children to this book:

It tells the tale of three trees who each had high expectations/goals for their lives. Each tree dreams of big things: holding the biggest treasure as a treasure chest; being a mighty sailing ship; and just “growing tall so I can point to God”. The book shows how, although they didn’t get what they wished for, God saw the desires of their hearts and used them to support the greatest king to walk the earth.  This book will be a great introduction into the crucifixion and our next project.

We will spend the morning working on our banner for the closing of our school room for Good Friday. This is our banner from last year. The children decorate the banner with scenes from the crucifixion and death of Christ. The banner is then hung across the school room, closing it off, similar to how the tomb was sealed for Holy Saturday until the rising of Christ on Easter.

Closing Banner

Closing Banner

Notice the "KOJ"...king of the jews...=)

Notice the “KOJ”…king of the jews…=)

The children then have a “running of the banner” on Easter Sunday, literally running through it to see their school room decorated gloriously for Easter and locate their Easter baskets. I will explain more about this in my Holy Saturday/Easter post.

What a tremendously visual reminder this has become in our home that we must “pause” in our day to acknowledge the beauty of Good Friday and the significance of that 3 o’clock hour. This has become a beloved tradition in our home.

The 3 o’clock veneration of the cross service is one my husband and I have always enjoyed. However, chasing a toddler in the back of church is no fun. So, last year we decided to separate during this time. My husband and my oldest daughter attended the service and I took the other children on a prayerful journey through our church’s outdoor stations of the cross. My son read each station for us, as the fashionista pushed the stroller to each station. It was perfect for what they needed. It was a beautiful day and the baby was fast asleep so I’m positive that they got more out of it than if they had attended the service.

When we return home from the veneration and outdoor stations, the children help me put up our banner in the school room and cover all the crosses in our house. It is a solemn time in our house. There is no video games, no computers, no radios, no favorite TV shows. The children typically want to sing songs or ask questions about the faith. It’s definitely a time to sit in the quiet and let God speak to us. We give the little children religious books to read quietly while mom makes dinner.

During this week, I also like to have a few Lenten/Easter books out for my kids to read on their own. It’s a great way for them to delve deeper into the season of Lent and to get their minds focused on the events that will be taking place.  You can also see my post here of books that I purchased this year.

How will you spend this Holy week? Join us tomorrow for my post on celebrating Holy Saturday and EASTER!!!!! Enjoy your week!!!!