Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Holy Week-a Time for Family

Published March 30, 2005

This time of the year is truly joyful and penitential in our family. We’ve been immersed in the season of Lent for the last 33 days commencing on Ash Wednesday which will culminate with the Easter Sunday Mass this week. J.D., the kids and I have tried to make good on our Lenten resolutions. We do this in our Catholic tradition because it disposes us more fully to the joys of Easter Sunday. It also is a great time to clean the house. Holy week is filled with chores, lists of things to do and times to be in church. It is a time to also reflect and look into our interior lives.
The girls and I have been enjoying our choir rehearsals, and saying our extra prayers. Some of our Lenten resolutions were fulfilled to give up one thing or another, but more importantly it was a time to give back. We had the honor of taking into our home a friend, who was temporarily homeless while in a job transition. He stayed with us for about three weeks and in that time we were able to foster a deeper friendship in sharing our home and meals with him. Two people came home from the hospital, one recovering from a horrible auto accident 10 months ago and another with a new baby. Delivering meals and gifts was a tremendous joy. Through this time, the children learn about works of mercy both corporal and spiritual, in both the doing and in the praying for others.
As we ready ourselves for our Easter celebration, we enter into the passion and death of Christ through fasting and praying. We observe holy hours and a time of mourning. Each year’s participation in these traditions strengthens our faith. Sunday is reserved for a fabulous Easter Morning Solemn High Mass, an Easter egg hunt and travel to my sister’s house for a fabulous Easter feast.
Whether it’s coloring eggs, buying new Easter clothes or visiting the sick, one has a sense of hope this time of year. The trees deadened and dried by the winter chill are now blooming again. The weather is warmer and the mud swallows return again for the annual assaults on my front porch and driveway. My kids are gearing up for Spring fever. I know summer is not too far around the bend. Even though Easter came early this year, the time spent so soon after Christmas preparing for it was a good time for our family to pause and prepare.
My kids are growing up fast and I wish time would just slow down a bit because for some strange reason the days go by slow, but the years seem to fly fast. Birdy was pulling out pictures the other day of when she and her brother and sisters were small in their brand new Easter outfits. I’ve never seen joy more expressed than in the faces of the little ones all dressed up for Easter.

Tammy Maher is a resident of El Dorado Hills and bi-weekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her at

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