The Holiest of Weeks, Revisited

The significance of me coming back to church during the Lenten season is not lost on me (I hope); this is a time when Christians all over the world turn their focus inward, to examine the blockages in their hearts that prevent them from fully dedicating themselves to Christ. It’s been a very deep and purifying season for me, and I feel made anew in Jesus.

Lent is now officially over, and the Lord is risen (he is risen indeed, alleluia!), but I wanted to offer some reflections on praying and living through my first Holy Week in 10 years.

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Your Works are Wonderful

Note: I had the pleasure of being a speaker this past Thursday at the most recent installment of Queer Voice in the Worldwhich is a social justice-oriented, TED-talk style program highlighting LGBTQ perspectives, held at the William Way Community Center here in Philadelphia. The theme of this month’s event was “Body”, and so I gave talk on my recent spiritual journey and how it is so intricately and intimately tied to healing the divide between body and spirit in my life. The text of my talk follows. 

I was born and raised as a Roman Catholic, and I loved Jesus. Still do. I was really into church when I was younger. I memorized all the prayers during Mass and would recite them under my breath while the priest was saying them. I’m Puerto Rican, so you know I learned all of that in English and Spanish.

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Homecoming

Recently when I went for spiritual direction at the church I’ve been visiting on and off, the priest asked me midway during our conversation, “So how’s Jesus been for you during this time?” I had already anticipated her question and it had been one that I had contemplating quite a bit up until that point.

So I told her, “I think my problem was never really with Jesus, but the church.”

It occurred to me that when I first left the Church (and here I mean Christianity in general, not just the Roman Catholic Church specifically), I didn’t leave Jesus behind.

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Silence

I have a love-hate relationship with silence.

I enjoy the peace that comes with it, the stillness that settles into my bones when I sit quietly somewhere. I love the calm of early morning, broken momentarily by a passing car, but only for a moment. I am most productive when I go to the library on campus and sit in the “quiet zone”, which is peaceful until students conduct full-on conversations in whispers and I contemplate shushing them (further ruining the silence).

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Unraveled

It’s been difficult sitting down to write this post. Logistically, I haven’t had much time recently to write. More importantly, this is an area that is actively raw and sensitive, and so writing all of this down has been hard.

Let me give you some context for what’s about to follow:

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