It’s been an emotional 24 hours. Yesterday, September 14, was the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. It always falls on that date, and since 9/11/01 I have paid very close attention to this feast day.
Our school had it’s annual Roo-Ha! day, a day where we celebrate community, spirit, and fall sports teams. The day began with Mass and a welcoming ceremony for our freshmen – the class of 2022!
Next, we separated by homeroom groupings and participated in 4 stations of very fun and spirited activities, from “Minute-to-Win-It” events, to “Finish the Lyrics” and a break for snacking on Mr. Softee and Kona Ice, and field relay races. The Cincinnati heat and humidity joined us – 90 degrees – so we were glad to be in air conditioning for most of the events!
We ended the day with a very spirited pep rally lead by our GAA leadership “princesses,” who were joined by the band and dance team. The talent and creativity of our student groups really shined through and got everyone out of their seats and cheering!
The girls were dismissed at noon so they could primp for the Fall Ball. I drove downtown to file my mom’s will and meet with a magistrate at probate court. W-O-W. It hit me. After 15 years, this is the final act of taking care of my parents. My mom really is gone. Dad’s death of 10 years ago felt fresh and raw.
I teared up and I was so embarrassed to be choking up while talking with the judge! Fortunately Judge Ken Cotes is an amazing human being who recently lost his father, and he was very kind and understanding. I held it together until I got in my car, when I blubbered my angst of tremendous loss to my husband over blue-tooth on the way home.
Fast forward to 7 PM. St. Anthony of Padua Maronite Catholic Church. Celebrating Divine Liturgy with faithful Catholics from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Iran, India, and the US.
I did not know that the September 14 feast day begins an entire SEASON of the celebration of the Holy Cross for many eastern Churches. This liturgy is so beautiful, and is celebrated every Sunday throughout this sacred season. This liturgy confirms: we honor, worship, and adore Almighty God. God loves us, and is so ready to forgive us; we simply place ourselves humbly before him and ask. We pray for Holy Mother Church, and for Her children. We are all wounded. We are all brothers and sisters, united in the body and blood of Jesus.
I want to obtain the words to this liturgy so that I can pray them again. They touched my heart so profoundly. God is good, and he has blessed me richly in spite of my shortcomings. Dear Lord, help me to avoid sin, to do your holy will, and to be an instrument of your peace and unity.
How did the day end? Generosity and nourishment. After the Divine Liturgy we processed to the church hall for fellowship and a lecture on the challenges of Middle Eastern Christians.
I served wine with 2 very special friends, soon-to-be-Dames of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, and we feasted on delicious Middle Eastern foods prepared lovingly by our hosts. As individuals and as community, we pick up our cross and continue to follow Him. And we are strengthened on the journey.