Every morning when I meditate I start off with a little message to myself.
Open all the pores of your skin, I say, borrowing a line from a qigong DVD I bought years ago, and listen to God smile.
That last bit is my own creation—the DVD says “Listen to a sound from far away”—and while I’m not sure what it means, I do like the sound of it.
Meditation involves listening to silence so you can quiet your mind, step outside of your problems and worries, and, ideally, become a better person.
It’s Easter Sunday and I made sure to meditate on this most blessed morning.
This is a time of rebirth and renewal, where we look forward with hope and let go of the grief behind us. I know these are big words and I say them every year, but I’m just a sucker for a happy message.
I must confess that I didn’t make the most of Lent this year. I didn’t get my ashes on Ash Wednesday; I ate meat on nearly every Friday of the season, and let Palm Sunday blow by like it was somebody else’s religion.
I felt particularly disappointed last week when I saw an elderly woman walking slowly down Bay Ridge Avenue, a cane in one hand and a palm in the other. If she could make it to church why couldn't I?
I don’t feel guilty, as this is a most useless and destructive emotion. I just feel like I’ve missed out on something special.
I did avoid meat on Good Friday and after work I did some shopping, making sure to stop at the old Lincoln Savings Bank (now a Chase branch) to pause at the place where my mother’s desk once stood and wish her a Happy Easter.
The Resurrection, and The Life
Then it was on to Our Lady of Angels Church, where I sat in the pew for a while, reciting the Rosary and giving thanks for all the good things in my life.
I thought of my parents walking up the aisle of this church back in 1950 on the day they were married.
I recalled my Catholic education at the adjoining grammar school and felt the old anger and resentment stirring up before I politely asked them to depart.
A small group of people was gathering behind me and, checking the bulletin, I saw that it was almost time the Procesión del Via Crucis—the Stations of the Cross.
It’s hard to believe my church is now having Spanish language services.
We never thought that would’ve been possible back in the Sixties when I grew up, when Bay Ridge was almost completely Christian and caucasion.
Spanish mass? That’s for Our Lady of Perpetual Help down in Sunset Park. It's English only here.
I regret now that I left before the service started. I haven’t been to mass or confession for a few weeks (months?) and I haven’t sat in for the Stations of the Cross in years.
The language difference is immaterial and I think perhaps I would’ve gotten something out of the Spanish service.
Today I had dinner with my family, where there was much love and plenty of opportunities to hear God smile.