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Contemplating the Gift of Easter: Weekly Message for 04-13-2021
Dear Fellow Digital Pilgrim, pax Christi:
Maybe the average Christian doesn’t think enough about Easter. Now while we are still basking in the bright light of Easter Sunday, it’s fresh on our minds. But in the heat of summer, the chill of autumn, or the cold of winter, honestly, how often do you think about – really think about – the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
For us Catholics, Easter should always be on our minds. Every Mass re-presents the entire Paschal Mystery, and the Eucharist prayer mentions explicitly our Lord’s Glorious Resurrection. And for those of us who pray the Rosary, twice a week we contemplate the first Glorious mystery, which is, precisely, the Resurrection. And yet, in practice how effective are these ecclesial efforts to keep the Risen Lord in and on our minds? When the daily grind gets us down, when family troubles wring our hearts, or when the evils of this fallen world weigh on our souls, how often does the thought of the Resurrection pop into our heads and boost our spirits? My gut feeling is: not often enough.
Personally, I think this is probably due to the spiritual battle that constantly swirls around us. Our ancient enemies, the devil, and his minions, often try to dampen God’s grace by turning our minds away from the deeper truths. They know, maybe better than we ourselves do, the power of Christ’s Resurrection, and the profound impact it would have on our interior lives if we invoked that power more intentionally and more frequently. What a difference it would make in our attitude, our heart, and our actions if we truly lived more and more in, through, and from the light of the Resurrection! As St. Paul put it:
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
In my own journey of faith, what has helped me increase the frequency of my thoughts about the Resurrection is the lives of the saints. Because they have already finished their journey, contemplating them helps keep the bigger picture in mind. And their paths of growth in Christ illustrate concretely – not just theoretically – the fruitfulness and the power of God’s grace. The more I have learned about them, the more comfort and hope I have found even in my struggles and challenges.
It was from those many encounters with the saints, in prayer and study, that I eventually began writing Emails from Uncle Eddy. If you haven’t yet signed up to receive those daily spiritual vitamins that make the lives of the saints relevant for your own spiritual journey, I want to encourage you to do so. It won’t take you more than two minutes to read the entertaining and informative daily email, but judging from the feedback of our readers who have signed up for this service, those little two minutes will make a disproportionately big difference in your relationship with God. Maybe reading Uncle Eddy could be your “Easter Resolution” – kind of like a Lenten Resolution, but for Easter. If you do, you may find yourself making some new, Easter Friends.
In the meantime, count on our prayers here at RCSpirituality for you and all of our digital pilgrims and digital missionaries. God bless you!
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Fr John Bartunek, LC
(note: This message first appeared on April 10, 2018)