I noticed that my two middle school aged sons had transformed the palm leaves handed to them when entering Mass into “Palm Crosses.” I asked why they always make crosses out of the palms on Palm Sunday? The reply was one that got me thinking about Holy Week. They looked at me and said, “Dad, we take the crosses home and put them up on our bedroom wall so we can remember Jesus every day.” Ah, the simplicity of the answer reminded me of what Holy Week is supposed to be about–contemplating Jesus and His Passion!
I recently told a priest that this had been an amazing Lent with much growth for me and I was ready for it to be over. He looked at me and said, “don’t fast forward through this last week and especially Good Friday, we all need to remember the sacrifice.” He is right. So I am ready for God to rock this last week of Lent. Here are 4 things you can do this week to make sure that you “Crush It” all Holy Week long!
1.) Keep it Real…Very Real!
The best way to keep it real is to do an examination of conscience. If you have unconfessed sin, make sure you head to confession this week.
“Go to your confessor; open your heart to him; display to him all the recesses of your soul; take the advice that he will give you with the utmost humility and simplicity. For God, Who has an infinite love for obedience, frequently renders profitable the counsels we take from others, but especially from those who are the guides of our souls.” – St. Francis de Sales
2.) Embrace Detachment!
We are supposed to be in the world, but we are not of this world. Make sure to focus on Christ this week. Shut off the TV, Computer, cell phone, shopping spree or whatever is keeping you more attached to this world than to Heaven. Especially on Good Friday, try to make it a day detached from even your school or work by taking time off and entering into Good Friday fully at least for a part of the day!
“Give me ten truly detached men. and I will convert the world with them.” – St. Philip Neri
3.) Show Up for Life!
My wife’s cousin once told her that he shows up for life. He attends weddings, funerals, baptisms, birthday parties of close friends and business associates. Those are the things he says mean the most to people and have the biggest impact. To show up for life the last week of lent and for it to have an impact on you – head to daily Mass early in the week! Later in the week attend the events of the Easter Triduum. It consists of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. This includes the Great Easter Vigil, the high point of the Triduum. The word Triduum comes from the Latin word meaning “three days.” It begins the evening of Maundy Thursday and ends at Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday. Thus the Triduum consists of three full days which begin and end in the evening. The Triduum celebrates the heart of our faith, salvation, and redemption: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“If it is “daily bread,” why do you take it once a year? . . . Take daily what is to profit you daily. Live in such a way that you may deserve to receive it daily. He who does not deserve to receive it daily, does not deserve to receive it once a year.”
- St. Ambrose of Milan
4.) Dive Deep Into the Paschal Mystery!
Pray, fast and contemplate what it is that Christ is asking you to die to in order to rise with Him. Is it a hurt you have carried for years, a failed relationship or some area where you are continually prideful? Whatever it is lay it at the foot of the Cross this week. Let go of what you need to let go of and dive deep into the mystery of dying to self and rising with Christ! Focus on the amazing Cross! Read the account in Holy Scripture of the Passion of Christ! Breathe it in and reflect on it until it becomes new again in your heart.
“The passion of Jesus is a sea of sorrows, but it is also an ocean of love. Ask the Lord to teach you to fish in this ocean. Dive into its depths. No matter how deep you go, you will never reach the bottom.” – St. Paul of the Cross
It is my prayer that you have an amazing Holy week, one free of fast forwarding or falling into the trap of believing that God has already done all He wants to do with you this Lent. May we all go “Crush It” this week!