Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Good Friday Beauty at Mt. Angel

I love Earth Day. Over the past few years it has been a joy to teach my children about the keeping of our planet and see them showing concern for the preservation of its beauty. The annual day is usually filled with fun activities that get our hands in the dirt or plastic off the ground.

However, as this Earth day fell on our remembrance of the turning point of all of history, (namely the death and resurrection of Christ) it felt strange to participate in the celebrations. I do love the connection between spiritual and physical. As souls dwelling in physical bodies, we are caught in this dichotomy until the end of time and in many ways it is beautiful. we simply wanted to escape. Escape the debating surrounding the earth, escape the nasty looks at our large family's overpopulation of the planet, escape the physical celebration for another remembrance where spiritual and physical collided.

Today we wanted to remember the physical and spiritual sacrifice of the Giver.

A trip to the Mt. Angel Abby proved a worthy venue for somber reflection of the cross and peaceful enjoyment of His creation.

Birds sang among the quite wooded path as we followed the stations of the cross.

 The warm sun, green grass, blue sky and a hill to run down created the perfect setting for a picnic.

and beautiful buildings surrounded by an open courtyard made for a reverent stroll (or as reverent as one can get with four boys and a baby girl in tow)

Today, the discussion path led to more questions regarding God, space, time, and the spiritual/physical realm. My illustration was really quite simplistic: a circle representing creation (including time) and a marker shading the entire page to represent the spiritual realm...within and beyond the circle. 

"Time has an end," I explained, "and every person has or will continue into the spiritual realm." 

..."is it scary?" 

followed by a very real talk about death, life, and second birth. 

Look at these kids:

 The death of Christ is not easy to comprehend and, frankly, not too fun to celebrate. But...someday these little children will know the Sacrifice. Perhaps at this young age with their childlike faith they understand more than we know.

 No earthly pleasures, no kingdoms of this world can benefit me in any way. I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire  --St Ignatius of Antioch

Love God, serve God: everything is in that. -- St. Clare of Assisi


Mainely Me said...

Beautiful. In a lot of ways. Thank you for sharing your day .

The Singlers said...

Great pictures - your posts always make me miss hanging out.

Night Nurse said...

Great pictures, and great thoughts! How do you plan out trips and events like these with five kids??? I'm lucky if I can have one coherent and theological thought a day, accompanied with one load of laundry or a clean toilet here and there! :o)