If, when the Church is keeping her great liturgical feasts, you should be drawn to the prayer of simplicity, let it not disquiet you that your mind is not occupied with the mystery of the day, for you must always follow where you are being drawn by God. However, outside the time of prayer we may read or think about the feast being celebrated… But, for prayer itself, the secret is always to follow the attraction given to us. Oh, my God, how many souls are oftentimes troubled about their prayer, doubting if they pray correctly, and yet to pray as he draws them is all God asks.
Saint Jane Frances de Chantal
… I perhaps sound like a broken record. Every Lent, Holy Week, and Paschal Triduum, I sound the same: “one danger of Holy Week is to be too busy,” “another danger of Holy Week is to be too sad,” felix culpa! felix culpa! I play scandalously discordant notes, someone may think. In other words, I only sound like a broken record on the supposition that the background noise is a different tune.
But, well, it is not only me repeating over and over again the joyful side of Holy Week in its entirety. As Saint Francis de Sales wrote to a correspondent, we don’t want “exaggerated or mournful piety, the fruit of your own ideas,” when anything else is available and on offer. There is no sense is settling for less. “Mournful piety” which is the fruit of our own racking of the brain is only better than no piety. Joyful piety, finding the joy in even the sadnesses of Holy Week; placing ourselves intimately close to Jesus and his blood, rather than distancing ourselves by concentrating on our sins: all of this is, on the contrary, far more dispositive to contemplation and to virtue, for it is less of our own doing.
Scripture takes away none of the things given by God for our use, but it restrains immoderation and corrects unreasonableness.
Saint Maximus the Confessor
Believe me, Martha and Mary must work together when they offer the Lord lodging, and they must have Him ever with them, and they must not entertain Him badly and give Him nothing to eat… His food consists in our bringing Him souls, in every way possible [Martha’s ways and Mary’s ways], so that they may be saved and may praise Him forever.
Saint Teresa of Jesus