Tag Archives: Easter

Easter is perfect holiday to note rebirth of cathedral

There’s symmetry to be found in the tragedy that struck the Cathedral of Notre Dame in the middle of Paris, France.

Think of it. The fire broke out during Holy Week, which Christians celebrate Easter, the most joyous holiday on their calendar. Easter symbolizes the emergence from darkness, brought on by the death of Jesus Christ.

The holiday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. Christians sing joyful hymns in church and welcome the rebirth brought on by the spring season.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame was damaged heavily by fire. French government officials vow to rebuild the iconic structure.

What many of us find fascinating is the survival of the crucifix in the cathedral’s sanctuary. Pictures of it seem to glow amid the rubble left by the blaze.

So the rebuilding will commence . . . eventually. French fire investigators need to determine the cause of the fire. What is left of the structure needs to be assessed and it needs to be determined how much of it can be saved. Initial reports indicate the structure is sound enough to withstand reconstruction.

How much better can it get than that, albeit given the tragic fire that has scarred this iconic holy building?

The world will await the resurrection of the heavily damaged Cathedral of Notre Dame. The more I think about it, the symbolism of the church’s pending rebirth juxtaposed with the timing of the event that brought so much misery could hardly be more perfect.

Thinking positively on Easter

I’ve made a command decision with regard to this blog.

I am choosing on this joyous day — Easter — to post exclusively positive thoughts. I mean, this is Christendom’s holiest day. It gives us hope and it deepens our faith in salvation, which is the very basis for Christians’ faith.

I am not entirely certain how many posts will go out on this day. I just wanted to declare that I won’t publish a negative word all day.

After all, the sun rose this morning. It’s a beautiful start to the day on the Texas High Plains.

The normal cycle of rants and complaints — along with, perhaps, a positive thought or two — will resume on High Plains Blogger when the sun rises Monday morning.

Happy Easter.

Secular can mix with the holy

bible-Sunlight

I had an interesting conversation this morning with a young friend, who told me about someone with whom she is close who doesn’t allow her children to celebrate Christmas in a secular fashion.

Why? Well, my friend said, this other person and her husband are devout Christians and want to respect the holy nature of the holiday, which is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. She said they believe allowing the children to climb onto Santa’s lap at the mall and ask him for Christmas gifts takes away from the holiday’s spiritual meaning.

Fine, I said. “But I don’t believe there’s any exclusivity involved here,” I added. My friend agreed.

“You can celebrate both,” I said. Again, she agreed.

I’ll add here that I also believe in both the biblical version of the world’s creation and in evolution. Moreover, the Bible tells us that God created humankind through Adam and Eve, who then produced two sons. As far as I can tell, the Old Testament doesn’t specify that he created only Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel — and left it at that.

My friend did add, though, a rather ironic twist to the tale, which is that the family she mentioned celebrates Halloween, allowing the kids to dress up in costume and go scarf up all the candy they can carry.

I’ll add this thought.

The Jesus I’ve read about in the Bible cherished children and wanted nothing but happiness for them. My sense is that he would approve of a Santa Claus-based celebration — as long as Mom and Dad made sure they understood as well the real intent of the holiday. He might even approve of Halloween and, oh yes, the Easter Bunny.

I am now open to any comments you might have on this subject.

Feel free to weigh in.

 

Remembering good old Christmas days

This feeling of reflection is hard to shake this time of year.

Allow me another remembrance I hope resonates with others who come from big, boisterous families.

Christmas often — not every year, mind you — brought the Kanelis side of my family together for Christmas dinner and revelry at my grandparents’ house at 703 N.E. Beech Street in Portland, Ore. It was a wondrous time, made possible by a very matriarchal grandmother who was the glue that held our family together.

She and my grandfather produced seven children. My father was the oldest of their brood. Of those seven kids, five of them produced children of their own. They totaled 12 first cousins. One of my aunts married a man with three children, so we acquired three more cousins via marriage, making 15 all together.

One of my uncles was away most of our time growing up, serving in the Army, where he retired eventually in 1970 as a full-bird colonel. Every so often, he and my aunt would make an appearance at one of these family gatherings.

And on rare occasions, my maternal grandmother — my mother’s mother, my “Yiayia,” about whom I’ve written on this blog — would attend one of these events. Now that was a treat, as she would regale my paternal grandfather with off-color stories and have him and our aunts and uncles in stitches.

My Grandma Kanelis — Katina was her name — was an old-country cook of the first order. She was a Greek immigrant who cooked everything from scratch. Easter dinners always included a lamb, as in the entire animal, butchered and hanging from tenterhooks in the basement. Turkey was the main course at Christmas.

We’d laugh until we hurt. The cousins would run through the house, and around the yard (weather permitting, of course) and we would gather around a very large table in the dining room to enjoy the meal my grandmother had prepared.

My aunts would sing Christmas carols — loudly and mostly pretty well.

We’d all tell other that we needed to do a better job of staying in touch. But as with most large families, sometimes you did and sometimes, well, things got in the way and you wouldn’t see each other until Grandma invited us all over for the next big family gathering.

We didn’t do this every Christmas, but often enough to leave a lasting impression at least on me — and I’ll presume on other members of my family. I know my sisters remember those times.

That all came to an end in September 1968. Grandma suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized. She was set to come home after being treated — and then her heart quit. She was just 72 years of age when she died and as I tell folks today, 72 is “sounding younger all the time.”

The glue had been peeled away.

Ours was like many families that featured strong women. Indeed, my maternal grandmother — who I’ve mentioned already here — also filled that role. She would live another 10 years after Grandma Kanelis died.

Christmas has this way of bringing back memories such as these. I will cherish them forever.

My advice for others who have similar memories is to do the same. Believe me, they’ll make you smile.