Lacrymosa dies illa,Today we share in the grief and sorrow of the mothers of the children whose lives were so senselessly ended two days ago. The nation is in mourning. We are shocked and numbed. As if reality had ceased and we were placed in some sort of limbo. Our appetite is gone, life tastes bland. and yet we eat.
qua resurget ex favilla,
judicandus homo reus.
Huic ergo parce, Deus.
That day is one of weeping,
on which shall rise from the ashes
the guilty man, to be judged.
Therefore, spare this one, O God.
Pie Jesu Domine:
dona eis requiem.
Merciful Lord Jesus:
grant them peace.
It is struggle to walk up the stairs. All our thoughts are turned to the children. We cry and the tears roll down our cheeks and fall... We stop crying, but it is as if the tears are still flowing from our eyes.
For a moment we forget our sadness and then we are called back to that reality. and we feel guilty that we have let one moment pass without mourning. We cannot cry enough tears to express our sadness. A child's laughter and lively step reminds us again of our loss.
It is a feeling of emptiness. As if all the air was sucked out of our lungs. And there is a sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach. As if the world had been turned upside down. A dizziness and nausea.
Instinctively, our thoughts turn to God. We cry out inside. A cry which is a prayer, a lament, like a sorrowful psalm.
Today the Church seemed more crowded than usual. I was in such a state of confusion that I arrived a half hour late and missed the scripture readings and the homily. The prayers of intercession were for the children and their families. Afterwards the eucharist seemed more solemn than usual.
Every prayer and every hymn took on a new meaning. After Mass I prayed a Rosary for the children and their families, repeating the words... "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.... at the hour of our death.... at the hour of our death...." "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven.... lead all souls to Heaven.... lead all souls to Heaven.... "
I drove home more slowly than usual, as if I were in a funeral procession I suppose.
I recalled this version of Dies Irae which I had recorded over a year ago, but never posted. It seemed too morbid perhaps. Or it spoke too clearly of the Judgement Day and this is something that we just don't speak about out of concern that others in society might think that we are losing touch with reality. Today death and final judgement are all too much a part of our reality.
Today even nature seems to be in mourning. The sky is grey. It is cold and damp and the seagulls hover above in the chilly air. Although it is day, it feels more like night.
It is the season of Advent. But it does not feel like the advent of the child Jesus, instead it is the advent of the Second Coming. We celebrate both in the Church but this year it is especially His triumphant return at the end of the ages when we will all be judged according to how we have lived our lives that the Holy Spirit seems to be directing our attention towards.