Last Easter, in April 2017, my wife and I spent the weekend with our youngest child in Boston, Mass., where she resided until last month.
That Sunday morning I woke up first and sat facing the front windows of our daughter’s studio apartment, reading Margaret Silf’s book “Inner Compass: An Invitation to Ignatian Spirituality.” (Actually, the term “reading” is imprecise; this book is meant to be studied, written in, and contemplated.)
While turned to the first chapter’s “Suggestions for Prayer and Reflection,” I noticed the sun casting a shadow near the center margin. It resembled to me a silhouette of a side view, looking up, of the crucified Jesus. I took my pen and drew along the edge of the shadow to try to capture the effect. It takes some imagination to see what I thought I saw, but a photo from the crucifixion scene in the 1959 movie “Ben-Hur” may provide a useful comparison. See below.
Maybe you see it, maybe you don’t. On the left is the outline I drew in a book, near the left margin among my other scribbles, of the shadow I perceived to be Jesus hanging on the cross. On the right is an image from the crucifixion scene in the 1959 movie “Ben-Hur.”
This Easter our same daughter has just arrived in South Africa for the beginning of a full year living, working, and traveling abroad. It was hard to say goodbye to her yesterday. I will miss her terribly and worry for her safety (as parents do), but I am glad she has this exciting opportunity. She has already sent back images of the people she will be with and where she will be living. It appears she is off to a good start, and I am grateful.
Emotional events like this draw me to my favorite place to observe Sunday Mass: the Lourdes Shrine in Litchfield, Conn., where Fr. Bill gave his usual thoughtful and humble homily.
Easter flowers adorn the simple altar and baptismal font in the Lourdes chapel.
Fun footnote: In the early morning of Easter Monday last year, sitting in that Boston apartment, I took a photo of the Prudential Center to the southeast, visible through the blinds. We saw runners of the Boston Marathon pass this window.