Holy Saturday was one of the dreadful sorts of days in the monastery. Everyone was trying to be solemn and meditate on Jesus’ suffering and death. Time was spent in chapel chanting lamentations. Behind the scenes, the kitchen was quietly busy as people prepared delicacies for the Easter feast. The monastics had their Easter Vigil at 4 in the morning on Sunday. In the secular church, the Easter Vigil is at 7 pm tonight. It won’t even be dark, but that won’t stop them from pretending it is dark and reverencing an Easter flame as special. Many people will be baptized.
It is weird to live with the idea that the Jesus story is not real and has no truth. I do have a relationship with Christ, just not one that goes along with what religion says.
My holy week has come. For me, it will go in the same way: no exterior holiness. No crosses got reverenced. No crucifixion stories got acted out. No holy water will be sprinkled on me. I ran for 3 ½ hours yesterday. I ran for 3 hours this morning. This evening, I will lift weights as I listen to one of the NCAA basketball games. Tomorrow, I run again, maybe more than 3 hours.
My holiness is in the idea of my existence. Nothing more or I have given it to my ego. Getting to a point where I am at peace without any religious status seems to be a process which I am not sure I am done with. Living as a solitary without any status in society, especially my lack of exterior holiness manifested as religion, is a nagging discomfort for me. My ego continually wants me to go play the game and get the holiness the others have as a result of their holy activities. Not-going-along seems to drive my ego crazy. Essentially, that is why I do it. I want to be free, the me that exists beyond the ego.
But the world is not real. To go-along is to turn away from the holiness within. Exterior holiness is an illusion. Interior holiness, as silent and benign as it is, is what is real.
I ran in a crowded park this morning. I nodded at the regulars I see every week. One lady said hi to me and I had forgotten her name; a symptom of not having been to the fellowship for awhile. The stairs got vacuumed. I had a green smoothie for lunch. I am now drinking green tea. This afternoon, I will visit Mr. Rushdie. This author writes wise nonsensical books. I’m sure I don’t understand them at all, but they do open my mind to other realities. And then my big moment, my return to being an athlete, I’ll lift weights and do core exercises.
Into thy hands I commend my spirit…