Saturday, April 15, 2017

Happy Easter

The Galvin household always had this tradition of hiding the Easter baskets from the other family members the night before Easter. And, of course, we'd leave behind clues leading to different places around the house or yard. 

But, you see, my mother is a genius, and would tailor the clues to our age. When we were young, we'd get difficult clues, and as we got older, the clues got harder. Sounds normal, right? Wrong. Not only was this move a brilliant strategic masterpiece by getting the older siblings to help the younger ones, but also in getting the younger ones so hyped upon finding their baskets that they would insist upon "helping" the older ones to find their baskets. This move effectively got us all working together to find the darn things, sometimes for hours on end, but also masterfully kept us from pestering our parents to help us "look for" them. 


Of course, I wouldn't find that out until much later... but the facts remain. 

I think we get caught up in the easy stuff that we've all heard a million times that we forget a few things. 1.) We forget that we need to turn around and help others who haven't heard it a million times, and 2.) We forget that there is so much more to learn. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we have nothing more to learn. easy... and it's important to remind ourselves every once in a while that we don't know everything. And I don't mean just to say that we know we don't know everything. Because it's easy to say, but incredibly difficult to actually acknowledge. Because, you see, once we acknowledge it, we can start searching for more. We can start diving deeper. There's always more to learn. No really - there is. Really.

So, this Easter, don't get caught up in the cycle of thinking that we've already heard all this. Try to challenge yourself: is there anything about this that you haven't heard before? (Spoilers: there will be) What are the differences? Why is that one new thing standing out more than it normally does? What about me has changed that would inspire me to notice it? 

Find one thing - just one thing - that you think is from God this Easter. Something new. Something that will make you look harder for that clue. And hey, maybe you'll even get some younger or less experienced Catholics or Christians to "help" you look for it. It keeps them in the game longer, let me tell you.

"Rejoice and be glad, yours is the kingdom!
Shine for all to see!"
Blest Are They - Davis Haas

Much love! Happy Easter!
Ceci Galvin
CYM, St. John the Evangelist

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Holy Thursday Nostalgia

So here we are. The ceremonial washing of the feet. It's funny, when I was a kid, I saw my dad get his feet washed and thought that that made him one of the 12 Apostles, and kept wondering to myself (and by "to myself" I mean "aloud to my mom for several hours") which one he was. John? Peter? ...Some other one who must've been less important since I couldn't at the time remember all their names...?

One time we went to a ceremonial Seder Meal (which I always read as "satyr" the little goat men from Greek mythology), and I got to drink grape juice instead of wine like all the "big kids." But instead of drinking all my grape juice in one go every time they told us to drink it, I sipped. Which, of course, led to having a full cup of grape juice by the end of the meal, and to my subsequent chugging of said grape juice. Ordinarily, I doubt this would have been that big of a deal, except that I'm pretty sure there were a few parishioners that didn't realize it was grape juice I was chugging, and thought I had just nabbed my parents' wine and went to town.

I remember getting to see two of my friends go up and have their feet washed when I was a teenager, and being thoroughly intrigued at the prospect of having young men - high schoolers! - get their feet washed, instead of the dads I had always seen have it done in years passed. It dawned on me that there was a distinct possibility that we had the ability to be holy even at this young age. And I know this seems like a silly thought - of course we have that ability. We've been drilled since early CCD (back when it was even called "CCD") to understand that we have that ability. But there really is something about seeing your buddies up there, dressed to the nines in their spiffy suits, with their shoes off, wearing a reverent expression and allowing a priest to wash their feet. It does something to you. It makes you proud. It makes you want to emulate that. And really - isn't that how we all should view holiness?

Last Holy Thursday, I got to do a fun thing: I managed to go to every Triduum service. Holy Thursday Mass - Check. Good Friday Service - Check. Easter Vigil - Check. But I got to go all by myself.

I wasn't dragged by my family. I hadn't coordinated with them on what time to get there and where we were going to sit and when to leave, etc, etc. I just went.

And here's the fun part: I got to sit with a gaggle of my friends who were doing the same thing. Just us. And I'll tell you, it's a pretty weird sensation when you realize that you're still going to church when you don't have to. It's even weirder when you notice your friends are doing it too. And it's weirdest when you're looking forward to it because you realize that you're not going alone - that your friends are going to be there and that they're excited about it too.

Because everything in us is saying that we aren't supposed to be that way. And sometimes we're not. Sometimes it's boring and we feel like we have to do it because we owe it to someone: parents maybe. Or God, or your spazzy youth ministry leader...

But every once in a while you get a little glimpse of "hey, this is cool! Look who else is here!" And even if it's really faint and short-lived, recognize it for what it is. That's just The Big Man telling you that you're not alone. That it's ok to be excited. And it's ok to be excited even if it's just because there's someone here you can sit with. That's fine. In fact, that's good. Hold onto that.