Monday, March 24, 2008

Good Friday, Holy Saturday

Here is a quote from Richard Rohr's email message for Good Friday:
"Question of the day: How does one embrace the time of waiting before resurrection?

"To be a Christian means to be an optimist because we know what happened on the third day. We know that it worked, that Jesus' leap of faith was not in vain. His trust was not in vain, and the Father raised him up. He trusted enough to outstare the darkness, to outstare the void, to wait upon the resurrection of the third day, not to try to create his own but to wait upon the resurrection of God.


"Good Friday inevitably comes into every life. So does Holy Saturday. What is given to God is always returned transformed. That is the eternal third day that we forever await."
(from
The Great Themes of Scripture
Copyright © 2008 Center for Action and ContemplationPO Box 12464, Albuquerque, NM 87195-2464(505)242-9588)



Wow. As I wrote on Katie's caringbridge page (www.caringbridge.org/visit/katiegerstenberger), for me, Lent is now intertwined with Katie's journey through cancer treatment, surgery, recovery and the hope for remission and a new life...and the failure of that hope to come true for her in this life.

But I am transformed by it. Katie was also transformed; all four of us are, in various ways. As we said at her memorial service: we did not get what we asked for; we got what we needed. I do not have what I want; I want my daughter back, here, HEALTHY, in the flesh, so that we can continue to grow together and enjoy each other. I received what I needed, to help her walk through the steps of her journey through illness (and ultimately toward the end of her life on earth); I had medical care, spiritual care, and love and presence to offer her. I could not save her life; it was not given to me to be able to offer that to her. That, and her absence, will hurt me for the rest of my life.


So what is my hope going to be, now? Hope to try to do some good in this life, to improve things around me in some small ways; to love and be loved, to feel joy, to bring joy to those whom I love...to create, with God's help, some kind of beauty to leave as my legacy-- even the simple legacy of love in the hearts of those I care about, or comfort in the hearts of others. To help carry on Katie's legacy, to be sure that her light continues to be allowed to shine.

Attending the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday night was a beautiful experience. Our family attended in support of Andrea, who was confirmed in the Catholic Church that night. The music, the prayers, the readings all gave opportunities for contemplation. I felt a kind of beauty that I perceived as a gift, and it made me think of Katie, of course. I wonder if her passing had that kind of other-worldly music or vision for her, that would be able to draw her on to the next step in joy and wonder, instead of a sense of leaving or loss...we, on this side of life, felt loss and separation as she passed. What if she felt joy and wonder and adventure? I hope she felt freedom and peace and love; she looked peaceful and beautiful.

I hope that Andrea finds beauty, peace, joy and support as she unites with the Catholic faith. I am so thankful that we were invited to share in the experience, to hear "He is Risen!" late that night, and to go home and reflect upon all that was offered in the mass.

1 comment:

Karla W. said...

Easter is such a time of hope. There was a baptism in church on Easter. i had held back the tears until then, but couldn't hold them in any longer. We had gone to my parent's church, their pastor had a son die from cancer 4 years ago. It may sound wierd, but the message has added meanin when it is being delivered by someone who KNOWS what it means to have a child with cancer.