Monday, March 23, 2009

Joyful and PINK

Yesterday was definitely a great day to break out in a great BIG smile, and in the process of me remaining "Joyful" - on purpose, the ripple effect became contagious for the rest of the family.

Laetare Sunday was upon us, the one day during Lent when the liturgical color changes from purple to pink and pretty flowers graced the interiors of the churches everywhere. The flowers are always a happy, yet subtle reminder spring has finally come, more importantly it was also a color used as a spiritual reminder;

"Joy is essentially a Christian characteristic, and in this liturgical season the Church does not fail to remind us that it should be present at every moment of our lives. There is a joy proper to the hope of Advent, then the joy of Christmas itself, so lively and warm. And as the year advances there is the joy of increasing closeness to the risen Christ. But today as we approach the end of Lent, we meditate on the joy of the cross. It is one and the same joy as that of being united to Christ; only in him can each of us say truthfully with St. Paul: He loved me and gave himself up for me (Gal 2:20)

This should be the source of our greatest happiness, as well as the source of our strength and support. Should we have the misfortune to encounter sorrow, undergo suffering, experience misunderstanding, or even to fall into sin, how quickly will our thoughts turn to the One who always loves us and who, with his infinite love as God, overcomes in every trial, fills our emptiness, forgives all our sins and eagerly impels us towards a new path that is safe and joyful.

~ In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez, Fourth Sunday in Lent reading titled; Joy in the Cross

All week long I caught myself pondering over the full meaning of this Sunday, and I purposefully began to make a conscience effort to remember the JOY awaiting us ahead. I needed JOY in my life, I did. And not that I didn't have any joy in my life, don't get me wrong here, but it was when the news had arrived I had never hoped to hear, that of my husband having to remain in hospital for yet another week - Week 7 to be exact as an in-patient for his respiratory rehabilitation program that seemed to take over my emotions.

I didn't feel joy any longer that is until shortly after the shock of it all began to wear off, and when the tears weren't stinging my eyes quite so much. A positive twist of thought then visited me and I began to reflect over how bittersweet it all seemed for us, just how exceptionally this news seemed to coincide with the Joy-filled Sunday ahead, the gateway at the helm for the entrance and springboard into week #7.

With happy spring colors, mainly PINK dancing in our heads, we not only decided to forego our usual and traditional "Pie Sunday" during Lent, we actually dared to substitute our evening dessert with something (ohh la la) special, and PINK of course had to be included.

Our family's standard is no desserts or sweets of any kind during Lent, thus our "Pie Sunday" had been born and not too sweet mind you, just satisfying enough to make each Sunday a celebratory time of success from our week long sacrifices. But, uh-huh, not this week, no pie for us!

Instead I opted to bring on the chocolate, the rich moist dark stuff (oh yum!), a superbly decadent and most yummy choice of them all. Pies are fruit and not chocolate. What can I say? Can you tell I gave up desserts with this statement yet? Can you just begin to feel how pleased everyone was and so immensely joyful too of course? Afterall we were having CHOCOLATE cake but not only that folks, this sweet and yummy dessert was decorated with PINK frosting and PINK spring looking flowers offering more JOY and PINK to our day.

We were all content to sit and savor our dessert selection of the day, and I had the added lovely of a fresh cup of coffee to go along with mine, indulging mightily in our evening dessert fare. (Mr. Constanta would be proud of me – cake and coffee are a must together...laugh - JMJ thanks again for sharing the YouTube video on your blog, LOL)


We welcomed the liturgical color change and revel in its revisit each year - only once during Lent (and once in Advent of course, aha – even more JOYFUL PINK *smile*)


Today, the memory lingers on, and a deep satisfaction remains from that scrumptious chocolate cake. Oh boy, it was so delicious! Now back to our regularly stationed "no dessert" sacrifices until Easter Sunday. Grin, grin, grin.... Aside from my funny about the cake of course, we must also keep in mind the light at the end of the Lenten tunnel, the joy of the Cross, and the resurrection of our Lord remains directly ahead and real joy will continue to sustain us throughout our days to come.

Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, Rejoice
(Phil 4:4)