So, why is a cloistered, penitential nun thinking about cake on the Fifth Sunday of Lent? Well, Easter is only two weeks away…And, following the venerable Franciscan tradition of taking a positive, sacramental view of creation, we do eat cake on Easter! A liturgical feastday is also just that at the Poor Clare monastic table: a feast! Our cake on Easter Day is shaped in the form of a lamb in order to remind us that the Paschal Lamb, sacrificed for us is sweet. Forming this special cake is the challenge and the joy of the baker during Holy Week, and we always pray fervently for her intentions!
But our thoughts turn now to Jesus, the true Lamb of God, whose bloody sacrifice on Calvary we shall soon be commemorating during the holiest week of the year. Why did He do it? To overcome sin which separates us from Him and to lead us to eternal happiness with Him in heaven. Scripture pictures heaven as a banquet where all enjoy each other and the main course is God Himself. All desires for love, friendship and joy will be satisfied forever and ever. But won’t it get boring? After all, it is our constant experience that whenever we get what we want to full satiety, we quickly lose interest. In fact, sometimes the excitement of anticipation is actually more pleasurable than the enjoyment of the good thing itself! So it must be in this life, but not in the next.
The incredible truth is that we poor, finite human beings have an infinite capacity that can only be filled with the immeasurable goodness of God. Yet at the same time we remain finite and limited in our ability to know and experience the fullness that is divinity. Will we then remain eternally frustrated at the heavenly banquet? No! At that wondrous feast, we will have at the same moment, the joy of complete fulfillment and the pleasure of anticipating the next revelation, the new touch, the deepening of relationship. On this side of eternity, anticipation and fulfillment succeed one another, but in the kingdom of God, we shall have our cake and eat it too. Isaiah tells us, "Come without paying and without cost". All are invited! See you there!
Coming back down to earth, we would like to share with you that we now anticipate the happiness of our Postulant Kathryn who will be receiving the Holy Habit of our Mother St. Clare on June 15th. Pray for her as she prepares her soul and we prepare her habits! Before that blessed event we will celebrate the Paschal Mysteries and will also be remembering you in our prayers. May our Crucified and Risen Lord bless you with the gift of His Easter peace!