By Mary Ellen DeSantis
Holy Saturday sits nestled between the starkness and tears of Good Friday and the lilies and alleluias of Easter. To focus on the gift of prayer on Holy Saturday in this Lenten Journey feels right because as I reflect on my prayer life, much of it is like that first Holy Saturday.
While I make a conscious effort to pray prayers of thanksgiving, often my prayers are initiated by a need: someone is sick, there’s a financial issue, a strained relationship. Sometimes these situations are grave, and they feel very much like Good Friday stark and hopeless. I bring my petitions, openly and honestly, to God. I am real with God, and these petitions may include anger, fear, frustration, anxiety, hurt and tears. Sometimes all of the above.
That first Holy Saturday, the disciples had witnessed the horrors of the passion and crucifixion but now had no idea what the plan was. There were fear and uncertainty but nothing to do but wait to see what would happen next. The same thing happens with my prayer. Once my venting is done, the fear subsides, then quiet ensues, followed by a reminder that God is good and faithful. He has a perfect plan and perfect timing and has always taken care of me. I try very hard to rest in the knowledge that My God will handle it in the best way for me. So just like the first disciples, I wait and ponder with no idea what the plan is.
But Easter always arrives with the joy of the resurrection and victory over death. Some prayers are answered like Easter, very clearly with pure joy. Whether my Easter prayer answers are truly miraculous or everyday needs met, I treasure those answers. It is these answers that give me the confidence to continue praying the prayers that can keep me in my Holy Saturday of waiting and hoping and trusting for years.
Mary Ellen DeSantis is continually discerning how God wants to use her in this new phase of life. Professionally, her focus has been educating underserved populations. Reading recipes, writing, crocheting, bible studies, and hanging out with friends are her favorite hobbies. She and her husband, Mike, live in Mentor, Ohio and are blessed to have 3 twenty-something children.