Going through the Holy Week i was treated to the poignant reality that there are many who take Lent and the Easter Triduum more seriously that i thought. Im beginning to see why.
The way politics has hightened differences and economic competition impelled focus on material things, you’d think everyone forgot the realms beyond these two.
Many friends took time off, not only from city life and hit the beach or the mountains, but a break from material life as a whole, even going on a social media fast.
Perhaps at a certain level, this is what it ought to be- a “break away” from the humdrum and the ho hum that tends to stress the mind and body, forcing it to conform to the demands of material existence.
A case in point is when our parish recollection filled the Church to capacity, and the way of the cross was filled with worshipers in prayer as they seek a different take on life, seen in the paschal sacrifice that bred a counterculture 2,000 years ago we now call Christianity.
This challenges two facets of life in the 21st century: the crass emotionalism that seems to infill the weak character of those who push a truly unsubstantiated relativism, and the materialism that forces us to fit into the often narrow corridors of the need for fame, power and money.
It is small minded and shallow hearted to simply allow a flimflam of other people’s ideas and the need for money to define the way you look at the world and what lies beyond it.
Thus, they took time off to cultivate their faith, that window into universal truth that transcends mere plurality of opinions.
Faith shows us what lies beyond, under and after the material life. We become more grounded, more attuned and more stable.
This faith compels withi us a deep and abiding sense of a universal set of principles that should guide the conscience, forming the mind and heart.
When cultivated as a community, faith is thence a spirit the ties together and integrates mind, heart and soul- the self, and our relationship with others.
The ultimate sacrifice on the cross gives meaning and depth to this communal impulse, allowing it to help others transcend the tendency to focus on the material and the self.
The “me” becomes a better “we” through faith. Personal challenges are better surmounted and a sense of inner peace creates a joy that makes one resilient to face them.
This is what holy week means to many who cultivated their faith.