For Holy Week, the writer was asked to meditate on the theme of suffering.
COLLECT OF THE DAY
Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. - Book of Common Prayer, p. 221
One of our common shared sufferings is the loss of someone beloved by us. Our parents, grandparents, good friends, husbands or wives, even our children might be lost to us. Long debilitating cancers, sudden strokes or accidents can and will take them away.
Our grief can pull us into a dark, painful place from which we can see no hope or reason to go on. Our hearts break again and again as the finality, the reality, the fact, that we will never, never be with them again in this life, reaches us.
But I know from my own experience that God grants blessed times of rest even in these dark moments. We sleep, we forget for a moment or an hour; we dress, we show up, we eat. Then the wave of grief comes and we are thrown back into sadness. Over time, with God’s grace we see the beauty of life again: a bluebird’s wing, the sweet silliness of a two year old, a wedding, a graduation. We are pulled along with the flow of life around us; our friends and family listen and keep us close.
God leads us through grief so we are not devoured. He allows us to feel our pain in steps and stages so we can survive. He has plans for us yet on this earth - and we submit and trust. We open up to the world again. After a time we find real peace, knowing our loved ones are with God and await us there.
Grant peace and hope to those of us who have lost someone we love. Let us feel your loving will in the death of that person and in our own lives. Let our loss guide us to a greater appreciation of our earthly life and the time that we shared with them. Thank you for the gifts of your body and blood which sustain us on our journey toward our eternal life with you.
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Thank you to the following for writing the 2015 Lenten Meditations: