Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
-Collect for Monday in Holy Week, BCP pg. 220
Holy Week’s journey continues this Monday, and in the day’s collect, we are reminded that, as Christians, we are “walking in the way of the cross.” We’ve been “Praying and Walking the Light” as Daughters, so the collect automatically connected with this practice in my mind. However, as a part of my own Lenten practices these past months, I’ve consciously been making a greater effort to be a peacemaker in my daily life. Where I could give argument without positive results (in other words, rushing in with tongue blazing, or with the barbed point of quick wit), I have tried to untangle myself from a rush to indignation and, most importantly, from blurted-out, hasty words. In several cases this Lent, it has meant either stilling my tongue or refusing to move my fingers across the keyboard. Spending time in reflection about those moments has helped. I still wrestle with my feelings about these moments, but slowly, surely, I’ve seen the anger and anxiety that I have felt after moments of strong disagreement slipping away. In some cases, these moments of reflection and yes, prayer, have provided me not only with the words that I needed to stand firm, but the words I needed to build constructive conversations. I’m still working on my ability to build bridges (despite being born into a family of carpenters and brick masons, my construction skills in both the physical and mental landscapes need some extra help!), but for now, I’m learning how to better live in peace with my brothers and sisters. Hopefully, in this practice, I will be better prepared to share the way of life with others. It’s a Lenten journey that won’t end this Sunday, but isn’t that the point of our Lenten practices?