Friday, September 25, 2009
Days of Awe
So the days in between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur are called the Days of Awe and are normally a time of serious introspection. The first few days I was really thinking back on my year, my sins, and what I wanted to change, but mid-week came along and it all came crashing down. I had a lot of schoolwork. I did pray and everything, but I lost the time to make teshuva.
Tonight I came home for a family party and somehow the topic of swine flu came up. This winter is going to be a trying time, as the virus becomes strongest. A few kids at my school caught it and there are countless others on college campuses contracting swine flu as well. One kid at Cornell died. I have never been a hypochondriac or anything, and the swine flu craze hasn't scared me; however, tonight I realized how easily this life can be taken away from us. We are such fragile creatures. That is what scares me...realizing my own mortality. And as Christians (especially Catholics) this is something we remember everyday and we should be aware of, but I always want to push it back and away from my thoughts.
When I was little, my grandmother and mother would take my brother and I to mass every Sunday at a very old church nearby. The church had a huge sculpture (a little bigger than the size of actual people) of Mary holding Jesus in agony. The body had been painted to show the blood and tears...it was a truly gruesome scene to show in a house of prayer, but it was the TRUTH. Jesus didn't magically die on the cross, he suffered horribly and his mother had to watch. So many of my messianic friends say "don't think about that, think about what it accomplished!" or "I hate cross jewelry and crucifixes because it only reminds me of the suffering and not the salvation." Um what?! Crazy, I know, but anyways...As a child, this statue FASCINATED me, it was like I was looking at a real dead body. I remember always asking to go look at it, and my mom would never wait long enough for me to really absorb it the way I wanted. I really appreciate this about the Catholic faith since death is an everyday occurrence. They don't hide it and sugar coat pain, suffering, and our eventual demise. From an early age I was exposed to death, not just in the art at Church, but in my own family. When that time came, I wasn't afraid like most of my friends were when their grandparents or pets died. I was upset of course, and I cried when one of my grandmothers died, but I remember being envious. I know weird. But I knew my grandma practiced her faith and was with God. She was in His presence and I had to stay here and cope with the pain around me. Death didn't scare me then like it does now.
I love the scriptures about having faith like a child.
(Such as Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.")
As a child my goal was Yeshua and being true to Him so I could be with Him in heaven. I would always wear a dress to church too, something my friends told me recently. They said I was very pious even back then. I feel like in a sense I have lost that yearning and "no-fear" attitude I had as a child. Dawn's post, Life Between the Dash, really helped me realize I need to revert back to that love and passion I had as a child. I need to spend my moments wisely, bear with those who anger me, forgive those who hurt me, and love everyone, friends and enemies alike. Her post drew me back into a repentant mind frame, just in time to usher in Yom Kippur. I know Yom Kippur is not truly a day to atone my sins, as that can be done any day of the year by the victory and grace of Yeshua, but it did foreshadow the cross. I don't need kapparot or the blood of animals as I have the greatest blood of all covering my sins. I just truly believe these holy days help us Christians REMEMBER what it is we are here to do. Don't lose sight of what our goal is, and don't fear the bad things ahead. I may be the only one here who gets side tracked since I am a very busy college student and I try to keep my faith to myself while at school (though many of my friends rely on me to take them to church...all different denominations, oy!...and they ask me for advice, so I am not completely shutting off) I just pray that I keep recieiving guidence so that I may fully serve YHVH, the Most High.
and hopefully I can ward off swine flu until the shot comes out!
I had a scare earlier, but it was just a cold :( haha
Shalom & Ahavah/Peace & love on this great Shabbat!