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Downton Abbey, Lent and Happy Endings

[caption id="attachment_1424" align="alignright" width="200"]Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP[/caption] Our house community - like so many others - has been intrigued and entertained as we watched the Downton Abbey series on PBS until its finale last evening. After following each of the show's characters through their many struggles, problems and disasters, we all went away glad that both Mary and Edith were happily married off, Isobel and Dickie are going to marry, the Bates - cleared of all false accusations - now have a new son, and finally the Carsons, along with Mr. Barrow, Mr. Molesley, and even the Dowager Countess seem able to face a future with new possibilities and hope. There is nothing like a happy ending! And it seems that the more tragedies and trials precede it, the happier it is when all turns out well. As we continue into this fourth week of Lent, with pink marking Laetare Sunday, the drama and mysteries of Holy Week looms before us, just two weeks away. With Christ's glorious Palm Sunday entry into Jerusalem, followed by Judas' selling out on Wednesday, Jesus' meaningful and poignant Last Supper on Thursday, the betrayals, and the horror of Christ being handed over into the hands of men to be crucified, an excruciating and shameful death, and finally his burial in a borrowed tomb on Friday - the future couldn't have seemed more hopeless and bleak for those followed and loved Jesus! But the Good News of Christ is that THERE IS A HAPPY ENDING! Each year we Christians of every denomination following the Liturgical Calendar enter deeply into the realities of this most holy week, to allow the evil of sin to be unmasked, and the depths of Christ's love for us to be felt in the marrow of our bones, in the deepest recesses of our heart, and to prepare ourselves to enter more fully into the joy of the Resurrection of Jesus - Easter and the weeks that follow celebrating the happiest ending one could ever imagine! Julian of Norwich, in her Showings, wrote: "I often wondered why, by the great foreseeing wisdom of God, the onset of sin was not prevented: for then, I thought, all should have been well... But Jesus, in a vision answered with these words and said: 'It was necessary that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.' These words were said most tenderly, showing no manner of blame to me nor to any who shall be saved." As I studied and prayed with Julian's writings, I was inspired to put her words to music in a song:

All Will Be Well. 

All will be well, yes, all will be well. Take it now in faith and trust that all will be well. All is made well, so all will be well. Take it now in faith and trust that all will be well. And in the end you will see truly in all fullness and joy that all is made well. So, all will be well.

We can enter deeply into the Paschal Mystery, knowing and believing in the ultimate happy ending - or is it our happy beginning?

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