Were you there?
We continue to prepare to celebrate the great Paschal Triduum! Thankfully, this year, we are at a much smaller parish so I think that it will be more manageable for Sister Stinky. (We also have a pastor who absolutely adores her and whom she is in love with.) He's one of those rare and beautiful blends of pastoral and traditional (think Fr. O'Malley in the Bells of St. Mary's only so much better!). Our family has been blessed with wonderful priests at both the parishes we've belonged to in the last three years.
When I was growing up (and was as love with the Triduum as I was now!) I used to dread Monday-Wednesday of Holy Week. They just seemed to me to be filler days, between Palm Sunday and the good stuff. In the last diocese we lived in, the Chrism Mass was on Monday of Holy Week, and our college had a huge campus-wide Stations of the Cross on Tuesday, so that helped Holy Week to go by faster.
But now we are back to the anticipation found in the quiet of these three days leading up to the Triduum.
To help fill in these days for Sister Stinky, I introduced a new Catechesis of the Good Shepherd work for her - a topographical map of the Holy Land.
Obviously, this is a work she will grow in to more as the years go by, but for right now it is serving it's intended purpose. It opened up the opportunity to talk about the names of the places where Jesus lived and provided a visual, tactile work she could interact with.
Complete with special markers for Bethlehem (the star), Nazareth (the dove, representing the Holy Spirit coming to Mary at the Annunciation), and Jerusalem (the cross).
In time, she will be able to memorize the names and locations of these places and understand more about their significance. Right now, that's not our focus. Our focus is on exposing her to images and experiences that help her to begin to live out her faith...such as an interactive image of the Holy Land! In time, she will understand these images and experiences but for right now we just hope to make them a part of her awareness. It is for this same reason that we take her to Mass and adoration, pray with her, and fill our home with crucifixes and religious icons - so that her existence may be surrounded by things that point her to the God who loves her so much!