We just finished Holy Week. If we were fortunate enough to be able to experience all the services we find that the experience can be rather intense.   I believe it is designed to be rather overwhelming. However, when we reach a state of overwhelm our nervous system will eventually shut down, or move into collapse. This is called hypo- arousal. This is a normal state-of-affairs and is built into our nervous system. Therefore, it is not uncommon to experience a little bit of a letdown as we move into Bright Week. Going through Holy Week is a process of transformation. It lies in the experience of this fullness of the services. It is not just about the words that are said but what we experience of the music, reading, standing for long hours, etc. that are part of the entire experience. Even the exhaustion! Normally, we have a wide range of emotions that go along with this experience, from euphoria to flatness. Both during Holy Week, and afterwards, we may experience a desire to want to avoid services or may seek excuses not to go to church. We may become irritable, emotional or even a bit sad and listless. All these are normal parts of an intense experience, and God is still present and working in us through them. We start Holy Week, we go through the process and somehow after Pascha we feel different. This is as it should be.So, it is good to ask ourselves what was going on with us before, during, and after Holy Week and Pascha. What did we learn about ourselves this Lent and Holy Week? What did we learn about ourselves on Pascha itself?If we find that our behaviors or experiences did not live up to what we were hoping, it is a good time to explore how we can do it differently next year. This is not about self-criticism but rather self-exploration. What did we do that we were proud of, in the positive sense of the word; that we would want to continue next year? Now we have the rest of the year to continue the spiritual task of taking what we learned and applying it. We may not always be able to articulate it in words. Hopefully however, we will find the meaning of this year’s experience as we live through the rest of the year.I wish everybody the joy of the feast and further growth in the spiritual life. Christ is risen! Truly HE is risen!

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