This past Tuesday, we were extremely blessed by some new friends at our hotel-church here, a very sweet Mexican couple, to be invited to a Mass in the Holy Sepulchre. That is, INSIDE the Holy Sepulchre. Inside the empty tomb from which our crucified Lord was risen, possibly the holiest place on Earth. Only nine of us were there, crammed in that tiny space: Rodolfo and me, the couple, four consecrated laywomen from our church, and the priest. In fact, the space is so small that two of the consagradas spent the Mass huddled in the Sepulchre’s low doorway, just within earshot. It was an amazing experience and one we will never forget. I kept thinking, this is where it happened. This is where Christ defeated death. And here we are, celebrating His death and His resurrection. Praise be to God.
And, as evidence of the immediate special graces we received from this experience, here is a photo I took right after the Mass of the entrance to the empty tomb, the entirety of which sits inside a much larger church that is extremely dark, even by day, and very difficult to photograph. I took this photo without a flash and without a tripod, and it turned out remarkably well.
Since our apartment is furnished, we don’t have much flexibility with the decor. Luckily, the decor, while unusual, appeals to a certain creative and multicultural aesthetic that we enjoy. Our landlord is a tour guide in India part of the year, and the whole place has a distinctively South Asian feel to it; lots of interesting textiles and photographs from his travels, in addition to some rather bold and cheeky (or perhaps just bizarre; I haven’t decided yet) paint colors on the walls.
But there are a number of bare nails in the walls, that must have held something in the past. Unfortunately, the walls are plaster, which means that removing the nails would result in unsightly pockmarks in the bold/cheeky/bizarre colored walls. So, the next best thing? Make stuff to hang on the nails. Not bare anymore!
There’s the hamsa garland I cut from paper and hung over our front door…
And remember the paper stars from our Christmas tree? When we took the tree’s decorations down on Epiphany, I decided to reuse the stars to make another garland to make use of four more of the bare nails on another wall.
Notice the bold and cheeky (and perhaps bizarre) goldenrod wall. I think the yellow stars complement it nicely, don’t you?
The paper star idea above came from a blog I like called Annekata. Speaking of Annekata, this week she posted a crochet project I tried and had lots of fun! It’s a convertible cowl (neck warmer) with a drawstring to become a hat! View the tutorial here.
Also this week, we tried another new recipe, this time without a blackout to complicate matters. It’s a recipe called Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken. Delicious! And very easy!
Cayenne pepper is actually kind of hard to come by in Jerusalem, but I didn’t know that when I set out to buy “hot red pepper” as called for in the recipe for what turned out to be Blackout Chicken. I asked for it by name, because it’s synonymous with “hot red pepper” in the U.S., and I knew I was in trouble when the spice merchant pulled a small bag out from a special drawer behind the cash register and very carefully meted it out for me, all the while talking about how he brought it special from the U.S., how you can’t get it anywhere else here and how, by weight, it’s the most expensive spice in his shop. Luckily I didn’t need much of it, and I still had leftovers after blackout chicken, so we made this. It tasted just like Mexican food from home. Yum! Find the recipe over at Martha Stewart.
We also got a pomegranate to eat this week. They are very common and popular here. My sister and I used to eat them a lot when we were kids, but apparently they’re not so common in Ecuador, because Rodolfo was completely amazed by it. The more I think about it, I realize it’s actually kind of a miracle of design. It seems God was having a lot of fun the day He thought up the first pomegranate.
We live on a busy street in Jerusalem, right along the new light rail route. As part of the city-wide adjustments in response to the light rail, they just changed our street to a one-way street. It kind of makes me glad that we don’t drive here.
And to end on a light note, I give you controversial comedian Tim Minchin’s recipe for peace in the Holy Land in his “Peace Anthem for Palestine.” Take it, and everything else he says, with a grain of salt, because he is, on the whole, quite irreverent, but in this piece, he kind of has a point…
Have a wonderful week!