Lent

It was an honor and privilege to host Cleveland Performing Arts Ministries’ Tetélestai musical passion play over the weekend (February 17-19). Hundreds of people from the community and Jennings residents attended. Thank you to the talented actors, volunteers and bakers who made this a success at Jennings. The word Tetélestai means “It is finished,” the last words of Jesus as He died on the cross.  

The long-running musical passion play Tetélestai has become a cherished tradition for many churches and families as they prepare for the holy season of Easter.  Tetélestai’s dramatic stage production and timeless music bring the story of Jesus’ trial, execution and resurrection to life in a visual way that leaves a lasting impression. The cast & crew of this visually moving passion play share the Good News of Easter with a cast & crew of over 100, full theatrical staging, sound & lighting, costumes and live singing. 

Seeing the passion reenacted through Tetélestai is a powerful and moving way to prepare for the holy season of Easter.  For additional dates at other locations, visit www.livethepassion.org.

(Tetélestai is a registered service mark of Tetélestai, Inc.)

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“It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.” 1 Corinthians 15:44

From the beginning, we are created as both physical and spiritual beings. Genesis Chapter 2 verse 7 tells us, “The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.” We are dust and the breath of God. In the Resurrection of Christ, the ultimate unity of body and spirit are glorified and become our hope in the face of illness and death.

As the Church’s ministry of health care, we affirm that each person is an inseparable unity of body and spirit. To treat one effectively we must consider the other. As neuroscience uncovers the deep connections between the mind and the body, what we known to be true spiritually is affirmed scientifically. In her book, Molecules of Emotion, neuroscientist and pioneer mind-body researcher Candace Pert concludes, “I can no longer make a strong distinction between the brain and the body.”

Physician and Director of the George Washington University Institute for Spirituality and Health Christina M. Puchalski tells a story familiar to many of us. An 88-year patient lies in the intensive care unit. He is on a ventilator with end stage pancreatic cancer. His family wants to do everything they can while hoping for a miracle. It was only after the chaplain and ethics consults that they are able to reframe their thinking and come to believe that perhaps the miracle they were waiting for was a peaceful death and union with God. This kind of respect, understanding, counseling and relationship are emblematic of what it means to care for the whole person.

Attending to the whole person happens when a housekeeper feels empowered to pray with patients, or when a nurse asks about a family’s spiritual practice. It happens when colleagues can express their vocation and what gives meaning to their work.

In offering care, the Catholic health ministry has a deep responsibility to honor God’s plan for creation by tending to each person as a unity of mind, body and spirit with a lifetime of emotions and experiences that all play meaningful roles in the care that will return them to wholeness.

 

For Reflection

Thomas Merton said, “A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all. No man can serve two masters. Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire.”

  • Do I / we integrate spiritual care into the physical care process?
  • Do I / we take opportunities to provide compassionate presence and spiritual care to those we serve?
  • Do I / we honor the spirit and vocation of those with whom we serve and seek spiritual meaning in our days?
  • Do I / we attend to our personal and collective spirituality?

(c) Catholic Health Association USA. Lenten reflections are republished with permission.

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Ash Wednesday Reflection

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

“God created man in his image; in the divine image, he created them: male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
Today Christians across the world will line up to receive ashes on their forehead. As the sign of the cross is traced they will be called to, “turn away from sin and be faithful to [more…]

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Reflection for Palm Sunday

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair.
John 12:3
After Peg’s father died, she rummaged through parts of his house preparing it for sale. When Peg was a child, the bottom drawer of the china closet was always her [more…]

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Reflection for fifth week of Lent

Sunday, April 2, 2017

I will keep my covenant with you … to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
Genesis 17:7
The golden June morning had broken bright and warm through the hospital windows. With its breaking, the attending physician and chaplain had received a page. Dorothy had taken an unexpected turn. She was struggling both [more…]

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Reflection for fourth week of Lent

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Whoever hears my word, and believes in the One who sent me has passed from death to life.
John 5:24
“End stage melanoma,” the doctor pronounced, after Mary requested complete honesty. It seemed unfair to those who knew her: an ebony spot, unnoticed on her back, soon would bleed its ink across her death certificate. For Mary, [more…]

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Spirituality and You: Ash Wednesday, first day of Lent

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

“Return to me with your whole heart; … rend your hearts, not your garments.” – Joel 2: 12-13 
The words of the prophet Joel summarize the goal and the process of life—whole-hearted living that returns me to God. This encounter always invites me to deep change, to rend my heart not just my garments. It may be painful, [more…]

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Spirituality and You: Holy Week

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Holy Week is the week preceding Easter, and the final week of Lent. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday and ends with Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. Holy Week includes Holy Thursday and Good Friday, which together with Holy Saturday, are known as the Triduum. [more…]

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CHA Easter reflection: Truth

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Catholic Health Association’s Easter reflection: Bunkum or Truth.
Peter claims, in the Acts of the Apostles, that the servant Jesus has been glorified. Among other things, such a claim might be referring to the testimonies about the risen Lord that the third Gospel drew upon.
While the disciples who had returned from the road to Emmaus were [more…]

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CHA Palm Sunday reflection: A Collision of Themes

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Palm Sunday reflection from Catholic Health Association: A Collision of Themes. The great triumphant procession of palms as well as the betrayed allegiances of the human heart are both woven into the Passion and the death of Jesus.
The liturgy of Passion Sunday is a collision of themes: glorious hosannas and somber omens. Isaiah promised [more…]

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