Friday, March 16, 2007

Stations of the Cross

It's a Catholic thing. My uncle is Catholic and I asked him if I could go with him tonight. It was awesome! Also called the Way of the Cross, it allows you time to stop and think about what Jesus experienced as he went through Jerusalem on his way to Calvary. It's a devotion! Catholics do it on Fridays during Lent.

Much of what the priest explained beforehand I couldn't understand due to his Spanish accent and me being a first timer, but what he did was this...

There were pictures on the wall, each one depicting a place, an incident that occurred during Jesus' walk through the city such as falling (three times he fell), seeing his mom, Simon being ordered to help carry the cross, being nailed to the cross, etc. As the priest (that's 'priest', not 'pastor') stood before each picture I could see him say a prayer to himself then he read aloud from the booklets we all had (you pick one up at the entrance and return it afterwards). After he read his part, we read our part. We being the congregation and we read it in unison. In between his reading and ours, we kneeled and said something (a couple sentences which I never did get). I liked it all very much. I didn't genuflect though and I wondered if I ought to, yet I don't know exactly what it means and I prefer to know all the details before doing something. I wouldn't want to insult a Catholic by genuflecting and not know why I'm doing it either, since I'm Protestant. I noticed everyone dabbed their fingers in some water (Holy Water I presume?) at the entrance then dabbed their forehead with their fingers. I didn't do that either. I'm less sure about what that's about than I am about genuflecting.

I wanted to light a candle in memory of my aunt but I didn't know where to do it. I found some lit candles and talked with a nice young woman who explained that the one she just lit was in front of a lady who helps to fix problems. She was the "unknotting" saint as in she unknots problems. It was a lovely painting of a lady with a long ribbon full of knots all of which she was in the process of unknotting. Good idear for a saint, I thought. (Whoops, I just found out it is Mary. Here's a page about the painting here.) I never did find out where I could light one for my aunt. I must go back before we leave town to do it for her. She was Catholic.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed it and would do it again. I cried like a baby on the way home. I will take my son with me after I study it a bit more myself and teach him about it. The sunset was spectacular and I couldn't get over how good it felt to see it and to be able to enjoy it. Got to the park gate and my card didn't work to open the gate. Radioed home and my nine year old came to save the day. I was holding the card backwards against the card reader so it couldn't read anything. I am such a ditz. I'm like having a senior moment and I'm only 47. Come to think of it, I've been having senior moments since I was about 30.

The tree is one of my favorite trees. It's by our old campsite in New Mexico. It didn't have buds yet when we left. Spring is the 21st! Saint Paddy's is tomorrow. I love St. Patrick's day dinner. Yum! This tree is very plain but as you can see it becomes a remarkable tree when you set it on its side. Such a simple thing. Maybe I will walk on one leg and tip over to the side and I will look prettier too.