Holy Week just wasn’t working for me this year. I was so excited for it. I wanted the four days of being home and just focusing on church services. But then a scheduling error made me miss Good Friday service (I made it to the Stations of the Cross in Spanish though, which was nice, even if really, really awkward). Maunday Thursday didn’t feel sad, somehow. And I found myself at the Easter Vigil just totally not into it. I tried to focus on the good—the day itself, the flowers, the readings. But every little detail was taking me out of the moment. The lack of incense, the bright lights instead of a dark church, the bad music, the long homily. I knew I was being petty, but I wanted to enjoy Mass; I wanted to feel something.
On the night I joined the Church, I was terrified I wouldn’t feel anything (or worse, I’d feel like it was all a mistake). I kept reminding myself that joining the Church wasn’t about emotions. This was a decision made out of a lot of thought and prayer and time. If I didn’t feel anything, that would be ok. I needed to be reminded of that this year. I’d had so many beautiful, emotional encounters, I got angry when they weren’t there. I wanted everything to be perfect and transcendent and mystic. Sometimes you just have to muddle through some less-than-perfect days. Sometimes you don’t feel anything. Sometimes you don’t grow.
We sang through the litany of the saints, and we got down to the patrons of the candidates. Francis de Sales. My ears perked up, and my focus returned. Someone else was joining the Church with the same confirmation saint I had chosen; I immediately knew a kindred spirit. And then I watched as a mother and her young son got baptized. And it’s just really hard to stay bitter while watching a baptism. Grace just gets everywhere. It was a flicker that reminded me that dark moments come but they don’t stay forever. I’ll get through a holey Holy Week.