Holy Week reflections with Saint Mother Theodore
Palm Sunday, April 9
“The disciples went as Jesus had ordered them.” – Matthew 21:6
“Let us adore the designs of this good Master and be resigned to His Holy Will.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
Jesus seemed to be asking the disciples to do something absurd. They were to go take a donkey from a specified place, and, if someone confronted them, say simply that there was a need for it. Yet they did as instructed.
• How have I responded when God called me to do something that seemed to be absurd?
Monday, April 10
“I, your God, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.” – Isaiah 42:6-7
“We cannot do our work if we all stay in the nest.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• How does God call me to shine, to be a light to the world?
• What does this call ask of me?
Tuesday, April 11
“Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with my God, my recompense is with my God.” – Isaiah 49:4
“Let us hope that the few seeds sown may not remain unproductive of fruit.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• When has God led me to make a decision that doesn’t seem to have tangible results?
• How do I trust that God will make my efforts worthwhile, even when I cannot see the results?
Wednesday, April 12
“God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.” – Isaiah 50:4
“Please give me a little share in your prayers. After a life of such activity and dissipation, I need special grace in order to bring myself back to recollection of spirit and become a true Religious. Surely it is time.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• How have words of others provided encouragement when I needed it?
• How do I cultivate attitudes of hope, perseverance, and renewal in myself and spread them to others?
Holy Thursday, April 13
“What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” – John 13:7
“If ever this poor little Community becomes settled, it will be established on the cross; and that is what gives me confidence and makes me hope, sometimes even against hope.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• What is God asking me to trust right now?
Good Friday, April 14
“He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him. He was spurned and avoided by people, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, one of those from whom people hid their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem.” – Isaiah 53:2-3
“It is astonishing that this remote solitude has been chosen for a novitiate and especially for an academy. All appearances are against it.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• When has a superficial appearance or initial impression caused me to doubt?
• When have I been surprised when I moved beyond an initial impression and found something more worthwhile beneath the surface?
Set aside an hour to encounter someone you may have otherwise avoided. Go to a worship service in the tradition of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, or another religion you don’t know. Sit on the side of the road with someone who has a sign asking for money. Go to a soup kitchen and make it a priority to sit with someone, even sharing a meal with him or her. Start a relationship (by letter or in person) with someone in prison.
Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil, April 15
“God saw how good it was.” – Genesis 1:12
“Every evening at the same hour when the weather was calm, I used to go on deck and bless God for all the wonders of His creation. I loved to consider the care of God’s Providence which extends even to the little fishes.” – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin
• How often do I take time to appreciate the beauty around me and enjoy life?
• How can I cultivate habits of joy and appreciation?