The sound of rushing water at 5:00 a.m. coming from a darkened bathroom, sounding very much as though someone was in the shower.

Alas, it was a broken pipe, insufficiently tightened after the installation of a new faucet, and a minimum of four hours of spraying, soaking, drenching water, spilling into the cabinets, spraying into the drawers and ruining nearly everything it touched.

On Easter morning, no less. Yet, it was only water and a few towels and some elbow grease later, the mess was dried up and those things destroyed will be replaced or…not. I really didn’t need three hair straighteners.

So, up and at ’em, early yesterday and out the door in plenty of time for the boys to serve the Mass. But not for one moment did I think we’d arrive early enough for confession.

You see…prior to the 9:00 a.m. Mass, Father offers Confession, and the lines are always a mile long by 8:30 a.m. I walked into the sanctuary and noticed that the confessional light was on, but the line was empty! And I needed grace, after a grumpy weekend of too many chores and not enough family time…too much shopping for a couple home improvement projects and very little prayer; a poor way to finish up the Lenten season. And, of course, the usual weight of sin…petty and not so petty. I waited for the current penitent to exit the box, joined by four of my six children, who were only too happy to wait their turn for the sacrament, behind mom.

When a heart is emptied of all those petty things, those little unkindnesses and reproaches, there’s all this room for grace. God knows it…knows that we must be regularly emptied that He might fills us with the good things that come to a heart unburdened. Father, full of wisdom and good council, advocates for joy…and suggests that I become “bright,” much as ancient Catholics observed the renewal and “brightness” that comes from the living of the Resurrection of Christ. The Eastern Church calls the week following Easter, Bright Week.  My heart thrilled…actually leapt at the thought of intentional, conscious joy…every decision infused with the gladness of Easter, every moment as bright as I can make it by choosing the better part, one little step at a time.

I felt brighter. Lighter.


And just in time, for darkness hit quickly, with two troubling phone calls, one last night and one today; two crises of enormity impacting the lives of two women I greatly love.  Brightness?  It seems more than necessary right now, lest darkness obscure my ability to see at all.  God always seems to know when we need light the most…sometimes, we must work to generate the very light we need, yet He is the provider of the grace that provides true illumination.

I love Easter…love this feast of hope and renewal…praising God that I may share this joy with the ones I love best:

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I’m so glad it’s Easter…and that Easter is a season. I shall be bright…I shall share joy.  I shall endeavour to trust God in these things that seem so dark, looking to the Light that will make it all clear…in time.