Easter Blessings

“Isn’t media technology a blessing?”  I never imagined I would find myself saying that as often as I have in these past few weeks.  On the other hand, I never imagined that this year I’d be watching not just Sunday mass, but Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter services on television, along with so many priests, sisters and laity throughout the world. 

Worshiping virtually with other Dominican sisters

Everyone has had to cancel plans to travel and/or spend time with friends and relatives at Easter.  At the CDN we abandoned plans to celebrate the Triduum at the Mound with the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, and had to settle for a virtual Easter get-together with our SPOP sisters, Jessica and Janice, who continue to shelter in place with their sisters at the Providence Mother House in Terre Haute.  While we’re grateful for instructors and guest speakers who’ve enabled ICN meetings and classes at Aquinas to continue on Zoom, we all miss praying, learning and spending time with each other.  I know I am not the only one who has felt more deeply connected to the women and men who followed Jesus to Jerusalem and on Holy Saturday found themselves living with loss, fear and uncertainty.   

Holy Thursday – wheat, wine and the Word

Yet, with technology, the rhythms of the holy days continued, and at the CDN they offered some unexpected gifts.  With the time we saved by staying home we were able to join women in formation and discernment in a virtual Palm Sunday retreat led by the Dominican Sisters of Peace vocations team, and a virtual, preached Holy Week retreat hosted by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian Weber Retreat Center.     

Holy Thursday Dinner
I had more reason than ever to be deeply grateful for the blessing of extra time to devote to prayer and reflection during this canonical year.  I was able to devote several hours each day to the retreat conferences themselves and to the Gospel passion stories they featured.  An earlier lecture on Feminist Biblical Interpretation by Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, and Lorraine’s reflection day workshop on Mary Magdalene added so much depth to my reflections on and connection with the women who witnessed Jesus’s passion and proclaimed his resurrection.
Easter Sunday – light and life
Of course, we also had fun, and a lot of laughter when we realized that with masses, retreats, and an evening watching Godspell we had heard or read the Passion nine times that week!  We enjoyed hot cross buns on Good Friday, decorated eggs on Saturday, and judiciously pruned our flowering tree to bring the beauty of God’s creation into our home for Easter.  Choosing to stick with our effort to minimize grocery shopping as much as possible, we collaborated on creative menus, using what we already had for holiday meals that may have been more delicious because of that choice.  Not exactly washing each other’s feet, but these days perhaps an even more practical and meaningful way of serving each other and our neighbors.  

Decorating Easter eggs

All of us at the CDN wish you the blessings of peace, health and joy in the risen Lord during this Easter season.