Summitting Mt. Everest during the Easter Season

Filmmaker Elia Saikaly has shot a number of projects chronicling his experiences on Everest. His latest, Everest: The Summit Climb, was filmed during a 2013 summit bid. Click the arrow to watch him summiting Mt. Everest.

I am amazed at the photographers and filmmakers at the top of the mountain and pretty much throughout the whole trek. The filmmaker listed above has magnificent work. Check out the video of him summiting. Another thing that caught my attention was his film work of the meteora monasteries of which I had the privilege of visiting and touring in 2017.

My husband and I received our second dose of our Covid vaccine recently. Our former primary care physician who recently retired was volunteering there at the clinic. I mentioned to him that I had a fantasy of climbing Mt. Everest. He didn’t condone it because of the danger involved. “Wouldn’t climbing a mountain around here be sufficient?” he asked. I said, “You are probably right.” A person can dream though, right?

If I am going to do it, the window is growing smaller, day by day. I suppose time will pass and then the decision will be made for me.

Journey to the Summit of My Faith

This Lent was a journey to the summit of my faith. It turned out to be less prayerful in the traditional sense but I really did a good job foregoing the things that I gave up. So much so that I am continuing with giving them up or at least limiting them. We’ll see how it goes. We are already into the third week of Easter so far. Easter happens to last 50 days all the way up until Pentecost.

I wept as I heard the hymns of my youth sung in church during Easter Mass. Seeing familiar faces going up toward Communion also made me cry. I looked forward to renewing Baptismal promises and getting blessed with the the holy water sprinkling rite. I took my glasses off anticipating water drops falling on them. I didn’t feel a drop as the deacon came by waving his dripping green fronds in the air. It also happened another year where I didn’t get sprinkled and I couldn’t believe how short-changed I felt. I just have to remember it is not about me.

Holy water font lies in wait.

I suppose the Easter tears streaming down my face were the only sprinkling I was going to get this year. Since we don’t currently have holy water in the church it just felt like more of a deprivation to not receive the Easter sprinkling. I am a creature that likes certain things a certain way. It is a matter of control sometimes working toward my benefit and sometimes not.

Summiting Covid-19 Virus

Life brings challenges and presently the challenge that will have to be summited is the Covid-19 virus. It seems to be changing the way we are living–at least in certain parts of the country. Some states are more open than others with, it seems, no more detriment.

I am still watching episodes of climbers summitting Mt. Everest and K2 which is the second highest mountain (28,251 feet) in the Himalya’s Karakorum mountain range and is nicknamed Savage Mountain. Even though it is a shorter climb than Mt. Everest, it is more technical. From 1902 to June of 2019 less than 400 people have ever reached the summit and lived to talk about it. One person dies for every four that reach the summit. K2 also has a death zone that is insufficient to sustain human life.

An Eddie Bauer video suggests that Mountain climbing is a calling for some and a religion for others. It is a chance to truly test ones own limits to do what so few have done before. One of the greatest lessons a climber can learn is how to listen to the mountain. It doesn’t have a voice but it does speak.

Lent is over now and we have fulfilled out Easter duty of attending part or all of the Triduum with the culmination of Easter Mass. But Easter goes on another 50 days until Pentecost. Perhaps we can look at summitting Mt. Everest as Easter and making it back down as Pentecost.

Eucharist as Source and Summit

After summiting, the most important part of the journey is climbing back down. I have been noticing in the videos that one is not able to climb without ropes guiding and assisting with the climb. During Lent, we hung on to Jesus offering our sufferings. Now we have celebrated His resurrection. What do we place our focus on now? For Catholics, the answer is easy. We look to the Eucharist. Reception of the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. When we break bread together it teaches us who we are in Christ. Not being allowed to celebrate the Mass this past year has also taught us a lot about who we are.

On the mountain there are many people that you encounter, from all walks of life. The church is also like that. The Catholic church is universal, located in many countries around the world with a diverse cross section of humanity. We share the same prayers. The prayers of the Mass. I like that. It has been said that Jesus is offered up in the Mass every hour of every day all around the world. I like that, too.

Summiting the Mountain of Divine Mercy

Here is a mountain of a prayer called a litany. After each line, the response is Jesus, I trust in you. It is a litany prayer that is prayed on Divine Mercy Sunday or at any time really. It is often prayed after the Divine Mercy Chaplet which is prayed at 3 pm, at the hour of Christ’s death. I would say the world needs a whole lot of mercy right now.

Divine Mercy Painting

Divine Mercy Litany Prayer

Divine Mercy, gushing forth from the bosom of the Father
Divine Mercy, greatest attribute of God
Divine Mercy, incomprehensible mystery
Divine Mercy, fountain gushing forth from the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity
Divine Mercy, unfathomed by any intellect, human or angelic
Divine Mercy, from which wells forth all life and happiness
Divine Mercy, better than the heavens
Divine Mercy, source of miracles and wonders
Divine Mercy, encompassing the whole universe
Divine Mercy, descending to earth in the Person of the Incarnate Word
Divine Mercy, which flowed out from the open wound of the Heart of Jesus
Divine Mercy, enclosed in the Heart of Jesus for us, and especially for sinners
Divine Mercy, unfathomed in the institution of the Sacred Host
Divine Mercy, in the founding of the Holy Church
Divine Mercy, in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism
Divine Mercy, in our justification through Jesus Christ
Divine Mercy, accompanying us through our whole life
Divine Mercy, embracing us especially at the hour of death
Divine Mercy, endowing us with immortal life
Divine Mercy, accompanying us every moment of our life
Divine Mercy, shielding us from the fire of hell
Divine Mercy, in the conversion of hardened sinners
Divine Mercy, astonishment for Angels, incomprehensible to Saints
Divine Mercy, unfathomed in all the mysteries of God
Divine Mercy, lifting us out of every misery
Divine Mercy, source of our happiness and joy
Divine Mercy, in calling us forth from nothingness to existence
Divine Mercy, embracing all the works of His hands
Divine Mercy, crown of all God’s handiwork
Divine Mercy, in which we are all immersed
Divine Mercy, sweet relief for anguished hearts
Divine Mercy, only hope of despairing souls
Divine Mercy, repose of hearts, peace amidst fear
Divine Mercy, delight and ecstasy of holy souls
Divine Mercy, inspiring hope against all hope

Concluding Prayer: Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

[From the Diary of Sister Maria Faustina]

… Jesus, I Trust In You …

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