Thursday, May 09, 2013

To ascend or not?

As I scrolled through my Facebook feed earlier this evening, I came across this icon posted by a friend — without seeing the punchline at the bottom.  I laughed out loud.

It made me think of last year, where I missed the celebration of the Ascension entirely.  On Ascension Thursday, I was on retreat at a monastery in a diocese where the Solemnity is transferred to Sunday, replacing the Seventh Sunday of Easter.  (Something that took me longer than it should have to work out at a 5:15 am celebration of the Office of Readings.)  On Sunday, I was in a diocese that celebrated Ascension Thursday on Ascension Thursday.  Jesus was staying for the summer it seemed?

It was awkward, it left me feeling off kilter all the way to Pentecost.  Praying the Liturgy of the Hours keeps me tuned in to the ebb and flow of the liturgical year on a more than daily basis, and when the external liturgical cues skip a beat, I notice.

The last time I missed Mass for Ascension, I was confined at home recovering from the birth of Crash.  I was hungry for the Eucharistic liturgy, as other than one outing for the funeral of my spiritual director, who had died suddenly, I had not been to Mass for two months, confined to bed with a complicated pregnancy.  That whole experience was rather like breathing through a reed underwater, the Hours dance round the Eucharist, but they do not replace it.  Today's first psalm at Lauds reminded me of that experience:  My body pines for you, like a dry, weary land without water.  Maybe that was a time when I wanted God like air.


  1. This post is beautiful... oh, the imagery is so powerful.

    I do love that graphic!

  2. The graphic is fantastic. I don't know what I would do if I had to miss mass for two months, it would feel like exile. But such a lovely post, what a statement, "Maybe that was a time when I wanted God like air". May it always be so.

  3. Lovely post, yes, but I too laughed out loud at that graphic!