Monday, April 21, 2014

Alleluia! Highlights from the Triduum

Alleluia!!! Christ is risen!!

The Triduum was really, really epic and blessed. It's always a really nostalgic time of the year for me, because--besides the obvious extreme importance with our Faith--ever since I came to college, celebrating the Triduum has been different each year. Freshman year, Jacob and I were "just friends," and had a really spiritually intense and awesome Triduum. And on Easter Monday, we officially began dating. Last year, Jacob and I spent Holy Thursday and Good Friday in Paris, so we got to venerate the Crown of Thorns on Good Friday. EPIC!!! And this year continued to be different, but wonderful...

Holy Thursday was incredibly blessed; we attended St. Peter's for Mass, which was absolutely glorious! Fr. Huffman celebrated Mass ad orientem, and everyone received the Eucharist at the Communion Rail...Fr. Huffman and Fr. Shell are so cool!!! After Mass, I got to see my in-laws and catch up, which was also a lot of fun!

Good Friday was also amazing. I spent the morning at the J.C., setting up for the Resurrection Party. My household sisters and I were assigned to work on drawing and painting silhouettes....yeah, most of us weren't really artistic, so God definitely worked some miracles with those silhouettes for the windows! Immediately after setting up, Jacob and I went to the Way of the Cross, and afternoon of praying and walking sponsored by Communion and Liberation. It's really cool, because you are hungry from fasting, thirsty, walking around campus while meditating on Christ's walk to Calvary and Passion! Super beautiful. Also, lots of families were there, which was cool, because little kids are just plain adorable! After the Way of the Cross, we headed down to St. Pete's for a while, which was also wonderful. So much fruitful time of prayer and meditation! After the Good Friday service that evening, Jacob and I joined with about 12 other students in traveling to Pittsburgh for an 11 p.m.-1 a.m. shift. Each year, on Good Friday evening, the Students for Life host an all-night prayer vigil at Planned Parenthood in Pittsburgh.

The Planned Parenthood was downtown, in between two gay bars. So, we saw lots of interesting people in those couple hours. Us students are all pretty immersed in meditating on the Passion on Good Friday, so it's crazy to see how many people go on with their lives. The day where we recount Christ's death, there were lots of people going in and out of the bars, getting completely wasted. But, beautifully, Christ died for all of these people! And I'm sure that when Jesus died on Calvary, life for many people in Jerusalem, Rome, or other areas just continued in. People continued their lavish lifestyles, sinful practices, etc. Yet God is so merciful that He sacrifices Himself for each one of these people! Friday night/Saturday morning, I really saw how much God loves each person. Also, it was so amazing to be a witness of His love, especially to people who probably don't see His presence very often. At one point, there was a drunk man crossing the street who yelled out, "I'm gonna pray with the children!" and he walked over and joined our circle. One person was reading a scriptural meditation to us, but this man started going off, saying "Amen...amen...Lord Jesus, I pray for..." It was great : )

On Holy Saturday, Jacob and I spent some time with the Millers at brunch and went to a park. Since I'm not athletic, and was in the reading mood, I was sitting on a bench by the playground. But soon, this absolutely adorable young black girl walked up, and began pointing to me feet. I guess my toes must have fascinated her or something : )  She wanted to climb on different things, so for the rest of the afternoon, I became a "nanny" of sorts for three two-year-olds: this girl and her two cousins. And they were all absolutely adorable!

Easter Breakfast of Champions:
"Mensa Waffles" and Guava Mango Juice! 
That evening, we went to the Vigil Mass at St. Pete's, which was so glorious! An entire family-parents and three children-were baptized, which was incredible, and almost made me cry! It is so wonderful to see people entering into God's family and receive the sacraments for the first time! Also, after a penitential Lent, Easter is always so joyfully glorious! I absolutely love singing the Gloria, and hearing the bells being rung while the lights are turned on and candles are lit. He is risen! The Resurrection Party after the Vigil is always pretty fun, too. FUS hosts it, and there is candy everywhere, and people all over the place!

Easter Sunday, Jacob and I hosted dinner for his family, which was a blast! It was lots of fun to be hostess and celebrate the joy of the Resurrection with them! I got to talk with my family on the phone for a while, which was a huge joy and blessing as well! Also, for our breakfast that morning, I made Jacob "mensa waffles." In Austra, the mensa (where we all ate) gave us amazing waffles with nutella each Sunday. I hunted all over the internet to find "the" recipe, and I found something extremely similar! Our waffles weren't authentic, but they tasted pretty fabulous : )

Remember: every day is a solemnity this week, so party it up Catholic style! 

May the Joy of the Resurrected Christ fill your hearts! 
Look what $3 bought me at the
Mission thrift store today?
I'm so blessed, it's ridiculous!!!