Personal Reflections: April 2006 Archives

Siena Memories


On our Italian Tour in 1998 we arrived in Siena on her feast.

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There is a brief moment in the scriptures in the Passion of the Christ that does not make it into the movie. It is just a brief reference in the scriptures, but the movie skips over it entirely. It is non-existent, unimportant, easily forgotten or dismissed.

This is the moment between the death of Jesus and the first appearance in the experience of the disciples. It is the moment hidden behind the locked doors of fear and flight.

These men had given up everything to join Jesus, to follow him and to become part of his company. They had given up family, job and future. Everything took second place to him. The women, too, had found in him the fullness of hope and salvation. Everything else had become as dust and ashes. Time with him had already transfigured their lives.

Now it had all turned to heartbreak and humiliation: there was no darkness as deep as this. The loss, the hurt, the chaos, the doubt, the guilt, every last bit of life had now been squeezed and crushed from their broken hearts. The very foundation of their life and energy had been cruelly torn out from underneath them. Only despair was humanly appropriate. There was no future, just emptiness and void. It was the deepest experience of shame.

His promise of life had become darker than the shadows in the home for the dead, and the hope he gave them for his victory had turned into a cruel joke. It was unrelenting hopelessness and the only options were to hide or to flee.

Sitting in total darkness, no light was permitted to penetrate the locked doors. Inert bodies may have littered the floor, but there was no one home. Maybe an occasional whimper or the anguish of tears had punctuated the silence, but the terror that they were next kept them in an unforgiving darkness and silence.

The Saturday morning must have been surreal. It had to have been a nightmare. The state of shock numbed them to the truth, but occasional brutal honesty filtered through the ringing in their ears to obliterate any vestige of hope that might linger in the corners of their injured hearts.

Approaching darkness may have filled them with anxiousness and dread, but a full day passing without food or happiness and the reality that there had been no further arrest or invasion may have given room for hatred, anger, resentment and rage to find some space. If sleep were possible, more than likely it was fitful and restless.

The third day dawns with the same barrenness. The earth was without form, empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit hovered over the waters. (Gen. 1:2) The invasion was abrupt and incomprehensible. He stood before them and in an echo of ancient birth he breathed over them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

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Blessings to all during the Sacred Triduum.

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Gerald has a great post over at his blog. It is a wonderful set of pictures with which to remember this great man.
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  one of Fr. Keyes' photos

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Personal Reflections category from April 2006.

Personal Reflections: March 2006 is the previous archive.

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