Holy Week

[this is a section out of the journal that I have to write for my cpe supervisor each week]

This week I started wondering how I am going to get through Holy Week – emotionally, I mean. I struggled to get through leading Stations of the Cross this past week – and it’s not the first time that has happened. I found myself making mistakes reading collects, drifting off in the middle of readings, and getting choked up as we progressed through the service. I am finding it all so much more real this year. This time I know, really know, something of the gory details of the Holy Week story. I know what a violent death might be like, what a mother’s grief looks like, what the inexplicable death of a person in their prime looks like. I’ve seen so many dead and dying patients, so many shattered lives, so much grief and loss, so much human frailty and so much unfair, unredemptive, wasteful suffering.
Under the circumstances, Holy Week could be a gift. In an ideal world, I could allow myself to feel it, to be overwhelmed by the emotions of it, to weep for Jesus (and for my patients, and, really, for myself.) But I can’t do that. The public ministry that is such gift most of the time is a burden this week, a heavy cross that I’m not sure I want to carry. I resent it even as I look forward to it. And I wonder, as I have at other times during this year of CPE, at what cost does ministry come? How many times does one compartmentalize their way through Holy Week before it becomes such a habit that we feel nothing anymore?
I know that I am going to have to fight my way through the week, fight to keep my calm, to keep my composure, heck, just to be where I need to be when I need to be there. And maybe I’m making a lot out of nothing here, maybe it will be okay. As I type this on the night of Palm Sunday, the first fire of the Easter Vigil feels really far away. I know there will be a moment, most likely while I’m singing the Exsultet and I feel like the Holy Spirit is crackling through me like electricity (singing is at the core of my spirituality) when I will know it’s all okay. But right now, I’m not so sure.

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~ by Sophia on March 29, 2010.

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