We wait in joyful anticipation…

Holy Saturday, Waiting on a Promise, Walking Through Holy Week, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

When I was a child, one of the best parts of Christmas was going to sleep on Christmas Eve. The anticipation of Santa’s arrival was almost more than I could bear. I just knew that in the morning, there would be cookie crumbs on the plate, a half-drunk glass of milk, and presents spilling out from under the tree for my three siblings and me. The waiting was hard, but it was worth it. I would struggle through the excitement to go to sleep because if I didn’t sleep, Santa couldn’t come.

As an adult, Holy Saturday holds a similar appeal for me. As we begin in darkness and sorrow, I know that a glorious moment is coming soon. When I have been able to place myself fully in the celebrations of the previous week, the anticipation of the return of the light is almost more than I can take. I am ready for this heaviness to be lifted. I am ready for this weight to be given purpose and meaning. I hope you are, too.

(Excerpted from Walking Through Holy Week)

Get your copy on Amazon and discover the treasures just waiting to be found as we start our journey to Easter.  

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Good Friday – who’s running this show?

[As we read the story of Good Friday in John 18:1-19-42], let me remind you that everything today seems to be backwards. Look for these moments and more as you read:

  1. Four hundred soldiers come to arrest one person, Jesus. Jesus is innocent of anything, by the way.
  2. As they ask for Jesus, he answers, “I AM,” and they fall down in fear rather than Jesus being afraid of them.
  3. The high priests bring Jesus to Pontius Pilate and say that He needs to be crucified because He is a criminal even though the charges they bring are false. Who are the ones doing the wrong thing here?
  4. Pilate tells the crowd that Jesus is innocent, and they react by demanding His crucifixion.
  5. Pilate tells Jesus that he is in control and that he can release Jesus if he wants. When Pilate tries to release Him, what happens? Is Pilate really in control?
  6. A judge delivers a verdict to the accused from the judge’s bench, dictating who is innocent and may go free, and who is guilty and must be punished. Pilate sits Jesus in the judge’s bench and declares Jesus king of the Jews, but the punishment is death. Who is the true judge? If Jesus is the judge, who is guilty? Who is the punishment for?

The truth of who Jesus is and what He is doing is so intermingled with the truth of our sin and our separation from God, that it was lost at the time. It’s not so different now, even when we know the story. We can get turned around and lost in our sin and see the good being offered as something bad to be avoided. May this Gospel help to open our eyes to the truth. 

(Excerpted from Walking Through Holy Week)

Get your copy on Amazon and discover the treasures just waiting to be found as we start our journey to Easter. 

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Come to the garden with me

Holy Thursday, Come to the Garden, Walking Through Holy Week, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

Every year [on Holy Thursday], my family and I enter [adoration] and pray for a while after the main service has ended. Sitting with Jesus in His agony is a powerful and emotional moment for all of us. However, this year for the first time, I came back at the end to spend time with Jesus before He left the garden. It is a very different moment from the beginning.

At the beginning, Jesus is begging God to take this cup of suffering away. There is fear, sadness, and loss filling the moment. He asks three times, “Please take this cup away from me.” Three times, the answer is “No.”

In the end, Jesus answers, “Thy will be done.” He knows that God’s will is for this sacrifice to be seen through to the very end. It is at this moment that Jesus stands up and leaves the garden in complete control and peace. He could run. He could hide. Instead, Jesus walks to the garden where his arrest is imminent. On the way, he approaches Peter, James, and John, who are sleeping under the tree, and says, “Get up, let us go. Look, my betrayer is at hand.”

Being present at the end of this time of adoration, I could see the strength of Jesus as He leaves the garden. From here on out, He is in complete control. This cup will not pass. He will make sure of it. I fell to my knees in awe.

(Excerpted from Walking Through Holy Week)

Get your copy on Amazon and discover the treasures just waiting to be found as we start our journey to Easter.  

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Is Lent over? Can I drink my coffee again?

The end of Lent, Karen May, Amayzing Graces, Walking Through Holy Week

Holy Thursday has long been a day of debate in our family. Officially, Lent is over, and we move into what is called the Triduum. At issue is whether chocolate, coffee, Netflix, or whatever else has been given up for the last forty days is available for guilt-free consumption. Some say that Lent is over, so there is no more need to wait. Others in the family say that Lent may be over, but Easter hasn’t arrived, so the waiting should and must continue. Even the priests we ask to help us solve our dilemma step clear of the quagmire and tell us to follow our consciences. I’m sure there will be another round of accusatory glances this year as some in the family trot out their treats before the Easter bunny has had a chance to deliver them.

(Excerpted from Walking Through Holy Week)

I love to hear from you. When do you indulge in the things you’ve done without for Lent?

Get your copy of Walking Through Holy Week on Amazon and discover the treasures just waiting to be found as we start our journey to Easter.

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Get your copy now!

Stations of the Cross Download, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

Holy Week has begun, and if you haven’t gotten it yet, download your copy of my Stations of the Cross reflections here. This is an eventful and emotional week as we journey with Jesus to the Cross and beyond. Easter is coming soon!

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Holy Week begins on Sunday. Are you ready?

Palm Sunday, Triumph to Tragedy, Holy Week, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

On a normal Sunday, my family and I arrive a few minutes (or sometimes a few seconds) early for Mass. As we sit in our seats, each one of us has our own way to prepare for Mass. Whether with a prayer, saying hello to friends around us, looking over the readings for the day, or looking at the song sheet to see if we recognize or like the music, we all get settled in so we can be present for the next hour or so. The music signals the beginning of the Mass, and we stand.

As we arrive on Palm Sunday, however, it is clear that this Mass is different. Visually, the somber purple of Lent has been replaced with red. Red on the vestments of the priest, red in the flowers, and maybe even red draped on the crucifix. When the Church wears red, it symbolizes the blood of sacrifice, whether it is the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, or the sacrifice of martyrs who have given their lives for their faith. We are about to start joyfully, but we have an immediate reminder that this celebration is going to be short-lived. The clouds of sacrifice shadow the entry and we begin.

(Excerpted from Walking Through Holy Week)

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Tune in today!

Don’t forget to tune in to the Jennifer Fulwiler Show at 2PM Central Time on SiriusXM Channel 129. I’ll be talking about my book, “Walking Through Holy Week,” all things Lent, and just about anything else. You never know with Jen Fulwiler​!

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Is God present in our darkest times?

Stations of the Cross, Fourteenth Station, John 19:39-42, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

In these two weeks, I will be highlighting some of my favorite reflections from the Stations of the Cross. Click here to receive the full download of my Stations of the Cross reflections as found in my book Walking Through Holy Week.

John 19:39-42

Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.

In the beginning, there was a Garden. In the beginning, there was a tree. In the beginning, there was a fall from grace that started everything here in motion. In the end, as Jesus is laid to rest, there is another garden, there is another tree, and the fall is reversed. The cost of sin that began with disobedience is redeemed through an act filled with obedience.

As Jesus is laid in the tomb, all may seem to be lost. This is not a comfortable place for us. It is hard to sit in times of darkness and fear, but we know that God can accomplish His greatest work in the darkest of times. Today, as Joseph, Nicodemus, and the others return to their homes, we leave here as well. Jesus is hidden from our view, and we will wait.

Have you had a time when felt Jesus was missing in your life, only too discover that much work was being done when you looked back? What happened? 


Want more? Order Walking Through Holy Week to get the whole story.

 Whether you are a cradle Catholic seeking to deepen your faith, or a new convert wanting to grow in your understanding of Jesus, Walking Through Holy Week will help you uncover the treasures hidden in the days of Holy Week. This six-lesson book can be used for individual reflection or for group study. Order your copy now on Amazon or Zieglers, or pick up a copy at BookPeople in Austin.

Enliven Your Faith, Walking Through Holy Week, Lenten study
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I’m on the air!

I am excited to share a few interviews with you this week.

I’m featured on Dr. Paul’s Family Talk on Impact Radio today through Friday (see below for schedule) and will be on the Jennifer Fulwiler show this Thursday at 2:00pm Central Time on Sirius XM, Channel 129.

Listen in as I talk about Holy Week, faith, family, and ways the story of Jesus can change our lives.

Dr. Paul’s Family Talk: (click here to listen)

Part 1: Monday – 10am, 4pm, 7pm, 10pm, Tuesday – 1am, 4am, 10am, 4pm, 7pm, 10pm, Wednesday – 1am, 4am, 12pm (Central Time)

Part 2: Wednesday – 10am (live), 4pm, 7pm, 10pm, Thursday – 1am, 4am, 10am, 4pm, 7pm, 10pm Friday – 1am, 4am, 12pm

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How do we go on?

In these two weeks, I will be highlighting some of my favorite reflections from the Stations of the Cross. Click here to receive the full download of my Stations of the Cross reflections as found in my book Walking Through Holy Week.

The Ninth Station of the Cross

Psalm 37:23-24

The valiant one whose steps are guided by the LORD,who will delight in his way,

May stumble, but he will never fall,  for the LORD holds his hand.

When Jesus falls this third time, He is probably within sight of the hill where He is to die. As Jesus continues to stumble with His cross, He knows what He has to do, and He is willing to do it, but He is weak and just can’t go one more step. Then He looks up at the people He loves, looks at the reason He is on this path, and stands up again. It’s unfathomable. He is given enough strength to finish the journey and lay down His life for us.

If Jesus can struggle with His cross, it is okay that we do, too. We stop, we are in pain, and we want to quit. Then we are given strength we didn’t know we had, and we continue on. We will fall, and sometimes we will feel that it is all we do as we fall a second, third, and even fourth time. It is okay. Jesus is right there with us, giving us the strength to get back up and continue on.

What helps you find strength as you carry a cross of your own? How do you find Jesus in those times?


Want more? Order Walking Through Holy Week to get the whole story.

 Whether you are a cradle Catholic seeking to deepen your faith, or a new convert wanting to grow in your understanding of Jesus, Walking Through Holy Week will help you uncover the treasures hidden in the days of Holy Week. This six-lesson book can be used for individual reflection or for group study. Order your copy now on Amazon or Zieglers, or pick up a copy at BookPeople in Austin.

Enliven Your Faith, Walking Through Holy Week, Lenten study
Posted in Holy Week, Lent, Stations of the Cross, Walking Through Holy Week | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment