The Journey to Resurrection
(Lent, Holy Week and Easter in a Monastery) Easter Day “Christos Anesti”
“Beloved, the Paschal mystery is new and old, eternal and temporal, mortal and immortal.” Easter Homily Melito of Sardis
This is where my journey ends. Or perhaps better said, This is where my journey begins.
At the end of the Easter Vigil the Monks were wishing each other a Happy Easter. They deserved best wishes after an intense cycle of prayer all Holy Week.
Even I who consider myself a pretty tough challenge in the prayer corner felt beat by the great resilience of the brothers here.
There is always a sense of relief once Easter has been fully celebrated. We were all blessed with amazing weather. The entire creation came alive in just a weeks time. The crops already are sprouting from the ground. The trees are filled with buds and leaves. Even the evergreen trees have a new set of pine cones which are blood red before they turn the typical brown tone we all know so well. The ducks have new ducklings and even the chickens seem content as they roam free behind the Klosterladen (the Monastery grocer).
I am always grateful that Easter has 50 days as Lent has 40. The Mystery of the Resurrection is so profound that it takes time for the real Easter joy and contemplation to settle in.
I am not sure if I come away from this experience any different than when I arrived. It is sort of like buying a new pair of shoes. The old ones wear out and you need a new pair to continue your journey. The yearly celebration of Easter is the getting the new pair of shoes each year for the journey that awaits you. Shoes that will wear out again in a years time.
So now that I am retreaded spiritually for another year, it is time to think about my call to serve, my call to love, my call to be faithful to my commitments.
I always observe the older monks in the Monastery. They are always included in all of the activities no matter how frail or weak the may be or seem. Their place in the Monastery is never obsolete. I am always grateful for their many many years of faithfulness to their call. I can only hope that in the years to come I will be so courageous and valiant as these wise sages and holy men.
I want to thank those of you who went on this journey with me to Resurrection. For those of us who follow the Way of Christ, his way is always the Paschal Way, Cross and Resurrection.
When I was in the parish we used to celebrate in Easter the Stations of the Resurrection (in Contrast to the Stations of the Cross). Once we have arrived at the Empty tomb, we must walk with the Risen Savior to Emmaus. We must break bread. We must proclaim the Easter Message. We must offer the Easter Shalom of Peace and Reconciliation. We must wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
I am grateful also for the reading this week of Sr Benedicts Wards reflexions on Holy Week and Crossins deep study of the meaning of the Easter Anastasis.
As we part we continue walking the Stations of the Resurrection in the days, weeks, a life to come.
“This ultimate day affirms that death is no more, the last enemy is overcome, the gate of heaven is open. By simply experiencing the processions of death and life with others, we come to the last mystery–that the tomb is empty, that life rises from the tomb, that God in Christ has redeemed the world, the cross of shame is the cross of glory. Understanding it is the work of a lifetime, but because we have consented to be there, by that assent glory will permeate all we do hereafter.”
Beedicta Ward. SLG
Christ is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!
PD Three churches attacked in Sri Lanka Easter Day. Multiple dead and wounded.
The work of Easter is yet to be complete.