A few years back, Bill (my hubby) and I had the pleasure of visiting Israel and Jerusalem. For all my friends of faith, and even those who question, I invite you to go, someday. You will return home looking at the world with a different perspective..
Personally, the places we visited brought all the Bible verses I've read since childhood to life. They are no longer just words but words now flavored with the many languages on the street, the vibrant foods and spices sold in open air markets, the buildings, gardens, desert, and ambiance of two-thousand years of history. I could feel a holiness from that little spot in the world pulse within my soul. Since returning home, every time I attend church and the scriptures are read, I visualize exactly where the event occurred.
This is exactly what happened this morning. The reading took us to the Garden of Gethsemane. In my mind, I saw the worn steps we walked when we entered the garden. It was the same path Jesus and the disciples would have taken. I remembered the gnarled old tree in the middle of the garden that had been there when Judas betrayed Jesus. The wood on it looks old, and beyond its time but there, hidden in its branches was a perfectly formed olive.
I would have been happy with that visual but then our pastor threw another layer of color to this already rich tapestry of history and liturgy. He shared with us the fact that Christ and the apostles were known for singing as they walked from place to place. "Imagine this group of men," he said, "quietly repeating a Gregorian chant as they reverently entered the garden."
With the Corona Covid-19 Pandemic stifling our lives and creating a dual atmosphere of uncertainty and hope, we find ourselves surviving in uncharted times. It's up to us to find our center of strength and comfort. There was a popular poster in the 1960s called the Desiderata that started with this line: Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.
I think I will begin the Triduum tomorrow by quietly listening to Gregorian chants and reliving my walk through the Garden in Gethsemane. You're welcome to join me . . . virtually.
Jo Ann Glim is an award-winning author, forty-year freelance writer, and passionate photographer. She lives in Bradenton, Florida with her husband, Bill and rescued Scottish Terrier, Lucy. She's published two books, "Begotten With Love" a 2014 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award first-place winner for biography, and the newly published non-fiction life story "Trapped_Within." Both are available on Amazon.com.