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One Thing Holy Week Reminds Us

April 15, AD 2014 10 Comments

April 2013 003

Before I had faith and accepted grace into my soul, my world view was me-centered. I was constantly anxious about what other people thought of me, and I judged my relationships based on that. Does this person like me? Do I like him? What will he do for me? What can I do to make sure he likes me? It was the same with my children. Am I making her happy? Is she making me happy? What if she doesn’t like me? Such a view creates an impossible standard. No one can make you perpetually happy. Sometimes the best people cause you pain.

Going to the Catholic Mass changed my perspective, especially the Holy Week services. The masses during this week are long and intense, and require reverence. They are nothing like the carefree Easter celebrations of secular society. While much of America focuses on the Easter Bunny and Spring Break, Catholics focus on Palm Sunday, the Institution of the Eucharist, and the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. For secular society, it’s a gleeful holiday. For Catholics, it’s a Holy Week, a time to plunge ourselves into the most painful depths of humanity so that we might discover the most glorious heights of salvation. The celebrations draw us into a deeper communion with God to grow in knowledge and understanding of the holy mysteries, and thus, to grow in the greatest mystery of love.

Holy Week services radically affected my personal relationships. Instead of the bunny-ish show-me-the-fun attitude, I learned to observe, with some detachment, the people in my life so that I could know them as they are. I started to think in terms of communion, not entertainment. I began to understand that relationships are an entrance into the mystery of the other person, and as such, a foundation for growing in love and for knowing myself better.

Instead of worrying what choices my children will make, this perspective has helped me to study what choices they do make so I can offer them what they need when they are ready to accept it. It has allowed me to know I’m a good mother because of what I do, not because of what my children do. This perspective has allowed me to love my husband for who he is, and to reveal to him the ugliest aspects of who I am because I believe in him to love me. Go back to that me-centered, anxious-ridden, empty existence? Never. Give me reality.

That’s one thing Holy Week reminds us. We are not chasing a fictional happiness. We are striving for real holiness.

Hello, and thank you for reading. I am a wife, mother of seven, and joyful convert to Catholicism. I write from my office in a 100-year-old restored Adirondack mountain lodge. Read more about me here, with pictures. Find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. "Like" my Facebook page Science Was Born of Christianity to follow updates about my book. God bless you!

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  • Karen Denne

    Palm Sunday, we focus on the death of Christ. Easter Sunday, we celebrate our risen Lord. Praise Jesus, He died for my sins on Calvary. My Jesus, I love Thee, I know thou art mine. For thee all my follies of sin I resign. My precious Redeemer, my Savior and Friend. If ever I love thee, my Jesus is mine. He is risen indeed.

    • Stacy Trasancos

      I remember that song! Thank you.

  • john654

    Hi Stacy, You wrote, “Am I making her happy? Is she making me happy? What if she doesn’t like me? Such a view creates an IMPOSSIBLE STANDARD. No one can make you perpetually happy”. It wasn’t until I put my arms around my wife, Liz, and told her she was number two in my life that I found Joy. Your article is right on. It’s not about me, It’s not about you! Have a wonderful Easter and thank you so much for your incite. Also, Thank you and your family for taking the time to work so hard on sharing truth with us on this web site. Keep your eyes on the Eucharist! Jesus IS God, John

    • Stacy Trasancos

      Thank YOU John. Have a wonderful Easter.

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  • David Peters

    Awesome article Stacy. You are so right about the Catholic Church. I recently experienced my first Palm Sunday at a Catholic Church, and it was one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had at a church. There was a sense of reverence and sadness over the death of our Savior. The last song was so moving I was in tears. God bless you and your family.

    • Stacy Trasancos

      How wonderful, David. God bless you abundantly.

  • bill bannon

    Those pictured daffodils are getting a frost beating today in my yard and yours…as are evening primrose but forsythia has no drooping. Yes I have a yellow yard this month.

    • Stacy Trasancos

      Yes, in APRIL?! A yellow yard? Forsythia is beautiful!

  • Jeff_McLeod

    I love this. Observing the people in your life as persons, as individual souls, a mystery to be understood.
    I might have told you about parents with an autistic child I heard about. One year it dawned on them, this child is tortured birthday cakes, clowns, noise, crowds. This child would love nothing more than to spend his birthday at the city’s water treatment plant with McDonald’s hamburgers. And so it came to be.
    The most vulnerable souls, our disabled children, the misfits, the outcasts — and not just these! — crave to be wanted and understood.
    We get outside our own orbit and enter a foreign terrain. What a risk. These are really important ideas you put out there, and so apropos during Holy Week, our time of reflection.