4/21/2014 (10 months ago)
Blessings In Brelinsky (brelinskyville.blogspot.com/)
Passing through the narthex doors, the balance on my kids' excitement meter tipped far right as they spied the ushers with those thin, white, paper-circle sheathed candles in hand. Of course, my meter headed in the opposite torches as I considered the possibilities ahead (think of two little balls of constant energy armed with flaming torches one inch away from flowing brunette locks and loose shirt tails). Ah, yes, a procession was in our immediate future on this Holy Thursday evening.
LOS ANGELES, CA - After ascending from the basement quiet room, with my smallest choir wannabe, on my way to receive the precious Body and Blood, I was pleasantly surprised (okay maybe just plain surprised) to find not a single candle was dangling limply from a crack down its center. Somehow in my absence Daddy had managed to keep the half a dozen sister-pokers safe or at least some inexplicable stroke of luck had been at play.
Once the last communicant returned to his seat, the altar boys began the domino of illumination. One by one, person to person, the Body of Christ passed the light from forward to back so that in moments the whole church interior was aglow in soft, flickering candlelight. And my proud offspring were smiling from ear to ear.
Light a virtual candle today
Seeing as the southern weather is bipolar this spring, we were woefully under-dressed for the outdoor procession. Daddy, therefore, volunteered to remain church-bound with the baby leaving me the honor of chaperoning the torch bearers single-handedly (one hand per flame wielding boy).
Cautiously we each made our way down the stone front steps as we followed the Blessed Sacrament. The initial downward movements left a few of us extinguished, so began the acts of charity as those still holding onto their warm glowing flames reached over to reignite our wicks. How beautiful it is when our normal pattern of pew-staking separateness is broken and we become the one that we are meant to be; sharing our space and our resources.
However, on this night the wind would seem the winner. By the time our feet made contact with the adjacent sidewalk, all but a handful of candles had succumbed leaving us all the more vulnerable in the cold night air. The kids, being "childlike" of course, continued their hopeful pursuit in search of re-ignition long after I'd resolved to walk in the chilly darkness.
Having wrapped my sweater around my five year old, my thin blouse was little consolation against the cold wind. Considering the open-toed sandals and skirted bare legs accompanying us in the procession, I imagine I wasn't alone in my misery.
A few of my children had scouted ahead in search of light, but my position toward the rear left me mostly unable to see the canopy that led us. However, upon reaching the final corner I caught sight of the King's memorial. The red altar servers' torches at the head of the line had also lost the battle. Their glass cup protectors had failed to stave off the blustery air.
But the four tall, corner candles encircling the ciborium which housed the precious Body and Blood maintained their constancy. While we followers stumbled along in darkness, Christ's Light remained leading the way. And isn't that a visual portrayal of the Truth?
Earlier in the day, I'd chanced an encounter with a near occasion of sin. That is, I'd boldly and pridefully typed my two cents worth in challenge to a friend's post on facebook (good thing confession is before Easter). The topic was local politics, specifically candidates running for office. As is the case with such discussions (okay, arguments) the lines were drawn and commentators claimed their sides.
I was heralding a long-shot runner, a devout Catholic who lives out his faith and sets his standards accordingly, but the opposition was quick to assess my choice as non-viable. Like stones in the hand of young David, they informed me there was no feasible way my contender could ever take down Goliath.
Yes, Noah's ark was the creation of a doomsayer and David's confidence was based on childish na´vete. Then there were those foolish disciples who believed some political agitator was the Son of God. Not to mention, all those stupid saints (like Francis) who traded riches for suffering.
How easily the winds of the world blow against our meager attempts to scatter Light. We're left fumbling through the blackness- fearful and confused. Peter did this once the accusers dragged Jesus toward Calvary. Just hours before he'd pledged his complete devotion and endurance, but then all too quickly he recanted once the Source of his courage was withdrawn.
Though I may have given up on relighting my candle, I continued to follow the procession knowing where it was leading. Such it is in life, just because our human endeavors to evangelize may appear lost or insignificant against the spotlight of sin, we can be assured the Source of all Light, of all Truth will never cease to burn. Like Noah's obedience, David's courage, the disciples' faith and the saints' abandonment, so long as our path is illuminated by Jesus Christ we cannot go wrong.
We need only follow close, even if required to do so blindly. Whether we have benefit of other members of the Body to encourage and protect us or if we must walk alone vulnerable to the buffeting forces of opposition, we will not be misled. Christ reigns today as He did 2000 years ago and His Light will continue to shine through all eternity leading all who follow Him home.
Tara K. E. Brelinsky is a home schooling mother of eight living children, with six more heavenly ones who intercede. Married to her childhood sweetheart, they make their home in North Carolina where they teach Natural Family Planning, grow a garden, raise two dogs, a cat, ducks, roosters and a flock of hens (in addition to all those wonderful kids). Tara studied journalism a lifetime ago in college, but now she writes simply for the the glory of God.
You can read more of her musings and inspirations on her blog "Blessings In Brelinskyville" (www.http://brelinskyville.blogspot.com/).
By Jackie Stammen
You can't be everything to everybody. In fact, you can't be everything to any one single person. It's just not going to happen... simply because you're only human. NASHVILLE, TN - Do you ever feel like you're in the middle of a figurative human tug-of-war where you're ... continue reading
By Jackie Stammen
A friend and I were having dinner and talking about life, our past, and our future. NASHVILLE, TN - There was a pause and then he said something to the effect of, 'I'm not sure anyone will want my aftermath.'I could relate all too well, and that's why my response ... continue reading
By Tara K. E. Brelinsky
Fingering the rosary, I thought about how it would forever be tethered in my memory to Adam's funeral and to that thoughtful stranger who entered my life for only a few minutes. I reflected on how a connection, even though brief, leaves behind an imprint capable ... continue reading
By James Littleton
Mothers are by far the most beautiful creatures in the world. There is nothing more beautiful than a mother. There has never been a beauty pageant winner more beautiful than a pregnant woman. A pregnant woman glows with the grace of God. She is one with God. Her love ... continue reading
By Jackie Stammen
Encourage others to become who they were created to become, not who YOU want them to become. NASHVILLE, TN - About a half a year ago I wrote this thought down on a piece of paper with the intention for it to be a blog post...eventually. In light of my last two posts, ... continue reading
By by Justin Soutar
Thirteen years ago, America suffered a coordinated and devastating terrorist assault by wicked agents of a Middle Eastern foreign power. Today America is again under attack-not just by violent religious fanatics from without, but by the forces of immorality and radical ... continue reading
By Mary Botha
There is a feeling that every parent, at one point or another has nightmares about. That cold, lost helpless feeling...almost like drowning, but then they get to wake up. I clearly remember the day my husband and I felt that feeling. Only our nightmare, we did not get ... continue reading
By Wendy RN., BA, MBA
Every year I pull out my favorite fish recipes that I save for Lenten Friday meals. Here are my top 5 that I love. I know that your families will love them too! LOS ANGELES, CA - Here are my top 5 favorite fish recipes that can be prepared in 30 min. or less.Feel free ... continue reading
By Jackie Stammen
Two days ago I wrote a post called, 'Shine, Child, Shine!' about being fully you, just as you were created to be and how important it is for each one of us to live authentically as ourselves. NASHVILLE, TN - I also acknowledged a tendency to allow fear to slip in and ... continue reading
By Chaplain Adele M. Gill
As today is Ash Wednesday, it seems only fitting to remember the man who asked Jesus, 'What good thing must I do to gain Eternal Life?' Like the man who asked the question, isn't it easy for us to think thatthe way to Jesus and Eternal Life is through good works?But ... continue reading