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Posted by on Apr 4, 2012

Celebrations and Heartbreaks – There’s Always a “Day After”

Celebrations and Heartbreaks – There’s Always a “Day After”

Sun Shining Through Clouds

As part of our family’s domestic church experience, we celebrate feasts of major saints and feast days such as the Annunciation or Holy Thursday by eating favorite foods and having special desserts. We also used nicer dishes than our everyday ones – though the “good china” is reserved for Easter and other major celebrations. This “pink plate” celebration tradition developed over a period of time, as our children were born over a fourteen year period. With the coming of our grandson into our household, we have continued to expand the number of feasts celebrated with the pink plates, as well as the types of foods.

Recently we celebrated the Annunciation – with waffles for dinner (a Swedish tradition) and angel food cake (for the coming of Gabriel) with blueberry topping (blue for Our Lady’s cloak). The next day, as I warmed left-over waffles for a little boy’s breakfast, I was struck by the reality that there’s always a “day after” a feast or other celebration.

A “day after” is often a lower energy day. Sometimes we find ourselves feeling tired or cranky, especially after a major celebration like Christmas with its late nights and early mornings. Sometimes, however, we are pleasantly relaxed and peaceful on the “day after.”

The spiritual life is reflected in these experiences. We have highs and lows — times when God seems very near and times (the harder ones) when God seems far away and totally uncaring. Wonderful celebrations such as Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, or a wedding, ripple through our lives — sometimes for a few days, weeks or months. Then the glow begins to fade and ordinary life concerns move again to the center of our attention. It’s a normal pattern and not unhealthy. The highs can’t be sustained — they take too much energy. More importantly, we meet God equally profoundly, if not more profoundly, in the rough times. Jesus, after all, went through His passion and death before He was raised up. In the hard times, we meet and experience the love of a God who has experienced rejection personally. God cries with us and kisses away our tears. Then in the “days after,” we know in the depths of our being that we are loved and all will be well. Maybe not what we expected it to be, but right and well. Not a bad result.

Image by Robert and Mihaela Vicol – Released to the Public Domain

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for this entry Kathy. It reminds me of my childhood and raising our kids. I think we can enjoy life and our faith more if we make the day special with all the symbolism and retelling the stories of holy-heroic people. And, it’s a blessing to extend the day too. Also, silence and absence seem like abandonment but they sure do teach us patience, how to wait and trust. My mom used to say that when we were little we dug up baby carrots to see what they were doing- Not good for the carrots!

  2. Hi and thanks for the open-ended welcome. I’m a UK based Local Preacher in Methodism and will be talking next week about Low Sunday which seems very like something you refer to in the blog. A Sunday after the major feast of Easter, a bit of a non-event in comparison, yet that is where most of us live most of the time. And isn’t that something to do with the Incarnation? The ordinary and everday becoming assumed into holiness and heaven? Though, I must confess, it’s often hard to feel it!

  3. Thanks, Simon. Welcome to our conversation.

    Today is Easter Monday and it is definitely a “day after” at our house, complete with skinned knees on a three year old and a ton of details of everyday life to face. Yet the great news remains, only gradually to be comprehended, He is risen! Like the disciples of long ago, we are puzzled, awed, delighted, and uncomprehending of the implications for ourselves and the world we know. He Is Risen! And nothing can ever be the same…

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