Image: “The Washing of the Feet” by Ghislaine Howard (2004)
Service and love – two key themes for reflection on the feast of the Lord’s Supper, that we celebrate today, this Holy Thursday.
To love without service is not really love, because love calls us out of ourselves and into the other. To serve without love might work for a little while, but it inevitably brings difficulties, because the mere doing of tasks that do not come from a place of love eventually bears nothing.
It is my personal prayer for each one of you, and in holding the memory of Marie Madeleine whose feast was 5th April, that love and service be part of your daily activity. My own heart is filled with love and gratitude at being able to serve in my own way, through these blog posts. With blessings for you, this Triduum, and toward Easter.
Some unwelcome anxiety visited me recently. I grew restless, bothered and even fearful. But then I recalled a song and let it play, and soon this prayer became my prayer and the anxiety fleeted.
What I learnt here is that one way of praying is by being open and availing in oneself, space for the Spirit to work. Furthermore, this doesn’t always require words or gestures, merely presence and sincere desire.
God will take care of the rest.
This is my desire:
To honour you.
In my waking at first light.
Through each task before me,
Whether a challenge or easy.
In every word and thought
Every blessing and every greeting
In every grit and every grace
No matter the score
In victories or loss
In worry or doubt
In confidence or contentment
My daughter came home from school exclaiming, “Mum, we can’t have the Halloween party because we’re a Catholic school and Halloween is the devil’s birthday!”
She and her brother had been invited to a Halloween party on Sunday, where they would dress up in costume and I presume, run around talking like wart-covered witches or ghosts. Dressing up in costume is as Halloweeny as we get. Many of us Aussies haven’t quite got into the rustic, earthen, orange feel that characterises the holiday. This might be because we’re too busy preparing (I mean, bracing ourselves!) for the topsy-turvy Christmas at the end of the year, complete with bells jingling, and sleighs swishing. And do not forget, that after we’ve filled ourselves with hot roasts and brandy-drenched puddings, we sweat it through a summer that stretches right into the next year.
Halloween in Australia? Not as huge a festival as north of the equator, but admittedly growing commercially as plastic pumpkins sprout in supermarket aisles.
“Halloween is not the devil’s birthday,” I stated. “It’s actually the eve – the evening – the …e’en of All Saints’ Day.”
“Oh,” said my daughter. And off she went, relieved that we could still go to the party guilt-free.
To cut a long story short, here’s a picture I came across on Twitter.