Today our community and all of the you have entered into the most sacred days of the Church Year. We have many beautiful monastic customs during the sacred Triduum. One of these is a communal gathering of our intentions for our spiritual children. Earlier today our Superior shared with us the following words of encouragement…
After making the Lenten journey with the whole Church—and ours was certainly a strenuous journey!!— we have come now to the blessed days of the Paschal Triduum.
We, the “daughters of the Passion and brides of Christ Crucified”, feel ourselves prompted from deep within to spend these days of the Sacred Triduum as Our Lord’s close companions and helpmates. We can also be a great help to one another by trying to maintain silence and recollection as much as possible, and helping out where others need our help–either in the care of the sick, or food preparation, sacristy work and so forth. As for the correspondence work, we can let that go until next week. These days are too precious to spend them on anything that is not really necessary.
We know from our community sharings on Bl. John Paul’s encyclical on the Eucharist, that the Pascal Triduum is, as it were, concentrated in the Holy Eucharist.
So the Last Supper, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday are all “concentrated” in the Holy Eucharist. We are mysteriously and really made present to them at every Mass. And we know and believe–also from Pope John Paul’s encyclical, that there is a mysterious “oneness in time” between that first Triduum 2000 years ago and today. We could meditate on these truths til our dying day and never exhaust their magnificent riches.
In these sacred rites, there will be a oneness in time between the Last Supper, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. We will truly be there! And we know from Church teaching that we are not play acting, we are not spectators. We are participators, we are really and truly taking part in and reliving these events with the Church, as the liturgy makes them present in a unique way.
Jesus wants to celebrate His Passover here with us in our monastery, with us, His brides, closest companions and helpmates in the work of redemption. We want our hearts to be like His. His great Heart has the whole world gathered into it and embraced in saving love. Before He offered His sacrifice on the cross, He made His intentions, and we read them in chapter 17 of John’s Gospel.
We too, before entering the Triduum, make our intentions– we gather into the embrace of our prayer, our new Holy Father, and also Benedict XVI, our bishops, priests, religious, laity, our families and their crying needs, all our Oblates and Associates and friends, all Passionists, our benefactors, all who need and ask our prayers, all who attend our services, etc. – we gather them all up and carry them in our hearts into the liturgy, into our prayers and sacrifices of these precious days, pleading the Passion of Jesus, His wounds, His Precious Blood, His own bitter sufferings for them. Let us not forget the wonderful doctors and nursing personnel who generously care for us, our employees, etc. Our hearts are to be as wide as the Heart of Jesus!
Just as Jesus is never possessive or stingy–keeping anything only for Himself–so we literally give our lives and prayers away for souls, for the intentions of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Spending time with Him, gazing at Him, at His suffering Face, His Sacred Heart, His strong virtues, and uniting ourselves with Him in His humility and obedience, His love for souls—all of this not only sanctifies us, but is a saving work for the Church and the world.
So let’s be generous during these days, trying our best also to give of ourselves fully in the liturgy.