Everyday Spirituality

Posts tagged ‘Resurrection’

The Multi-Purpose Room

This Easter week the gospels about the Empty Tomb, the women gathering and weeping, and the angels keeping watch were so touching to me. I have heard and read these stories many times but they had more meaning this year.

It has only been seven months since her death. Or, has been seven months already?

I often vacillate between both attitudes. Life is so much about your perspective. You know the half full half empty glass concept. So this week I have been taken back to the scene of her death.

While it was not an empty tomb by any means; instead it was the middle bedroom slash computer slash sewing slash television room. I guess you could say the multi-purpose room.

As I have reflected this week on the gospel scene depicting the two angels sitting in the empty tomb I see us gathered around her. Some of us were at her feet…some of us were at her head…some were on the floor at her side. She was surrounded on all sides by loved ones.

As God gently drew her back to him we were there keeping watch… praying…  expressing our love for her. Thinking back it really was a beautiful peace-filled scene.

While technically none of us present were angels just the same we honored with much reverence her crossing from death into her new life. The angels keeping watch in the empty tomb of Jesus were also honoring his passage although very different.

Jesus died a violent cruel death. His loved ones were not allowed to touch him while he was hanging on the cross during his final hours of suffering. How heart breaking that must have been for Mary.

I feel that we were most blessed to have been present for her death. We touched her, caressed her, spoke words of love to her. I like to think our presence somehow made the transition more peaceful for her.

We gathered by her side for her, but we also gathered together for one another. We know that we will never forget this time we had together. Each time since then when I have had the occasion to hug one who was present that evening it is a special connected embrace. An embrace of compassionate knowing I guess you might say.

I think back to Mary and the apostles, how they must have felt a similar connection having shared in witnessing the crucifixion.

While I do not expect to experience any visual appearances from my friend; I have experienced the feeling of the spirit of her presence. I feel sometimes as if I am blind. When you are blind they say you sense things in a more intense manner. The mind and body compensate for what would normally be received through seeing.

Perhaps death is like a ‘blindness’ so the heart is compensated through other avenues. It is beautiful really to hold these things in my heart. It is also a blessing to share them with others.

I pray that whatever God puts on my heart to write here will give comfort to someone else; if not now sometime in the future. Perhaps years from now someone will stumble across this blog just when they need it most. So I pray for those people today…future readers who must also embark on this journey of grief.

There is no way to escape the grief…you may attempt to ignore it for awhile, but it hangs around. It is not packed neatly inside your heart; it is sometimes more like a natural disaster you must wait out.

The Multi-Purpose Room is our Sacred Room…her spirit will remain there for us to delight in remembrance. It is one place we can come to honor her as the angels sat in the empty tomb of Jesus with love.

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The Caterpillar Ultimately Flies Away

If we truly believe in the resurrection of Jesus then we must also believe that our loved ones and we too will be resurrected….some day. This Easter weekend, beginning with Holy Thursday, is everything we believe as Christians.

During these last few days we entered into what it means to be a living breathing human being joined with our one redeeming grace…Jesus. He alone enters and relinquishes all doubt.

He alone gives meaning to suffering and joy.

Sharing a meal with friends…being betrayed by loved ones…being loved by relatives…suffering without guilt…loneliness in a crowd…false accusations…humiliation…comfort from by standers…assistance from a stranger…forgiveness of offenders…absorbed in prayer…acting according to the will of the Father

If Easter stirs nothing else within our souls it should be that God the Father keeps his promises. Death is but a passage into something far greater and more beautiful than life itself.

Easter is about dying to those things in my life that are not important.

Easter is about realizing that all things pass on into something more; and sometimes we are blessed to catch a glimpse…the Resurrection.

Just when we foolishly or mistakenly think that the tomb is empty it is actually filled with the life of the spirit. Our human eyes have only limited vision. Even in the Gospels those who saw the resurrected Jesus often did not recognize him or mistook him for someone else. Perhaps seeing the resurrected Jesus was much like seeing in a dream…where things can be confusing.

Easter teaches us that when we surrender and let go God does carry us the rest of the way. Easter shows us that what we see with our eyes is not the complete picture.

Easter is like the hidden egg in the yard; in plain sight except to the hunter. In spite of the contrast (in color) the egg is often still missed; missed because we become frantic in our search and intent with filling our basket. We rush around ‘helter skelter’ overlooking so much.

Jesus did live his life doing amazing things. But he also lived his life doing ordinary things just as we and our loved ones have done. It is through living our ordinary life that we are given the promise of an extraordinary eternity.

Easter gives me hope that someday when we are reunited with our loved ones. We will see with new eyes and the brilliance will be more than we could have imagined.

You cannot experience great joy without first experiencing great suffering.

 

Death must always come before the glory of the Resurrection!

The Caterpillar Ultimately Flies Away!

 

 

Light of Christ:50 Days after Easter

Have you ever noticed how often Jesus interacts with people while they are going about their normal daily routine? The Emmaus story is just such a story. These two friends were walking along back to their home, a bit sad. Their hopes and dreams for the Messiah had not come to fruition. He did not appear to secure their freedom from Israel.

We spent forty days preparing for Easter. Fasting, sacrificing, and spending more time in prayer, becoming more penitent for our short comings and our sinfulness. So now what? Now is the time to rejoice and celebrate the love and light of the world. Alleluia! Alleluia!

My favorite part of the Easter Vigil liturgy is the ritual lighting of the new paschal candle from the newly created and blessed fire. This fire burning brightly in our church is a reminder of what should be burning brightly in our hearts. Just as the two companions experienced their hearts burning as Jesus spoke to them. Can we not expect to experience the same burning each time we pray with scripture? This burning is not from a consuming fire, but rather a stirring of excitement within…a realization of what has been done for us.

During the time after Jesus’ resurrection he appeared to those who loved him calming their fears, erasing their doubts, and even nourishing their bodies. With each encounter, he met them where they were, from the upper room to the seashore.

The Risen Christ wants us to believe that he is with us and will be with us until the end of time.  

These 50 days after Easter are building towards the magnificent feast of Pentecost. It is the perfect time to let your eyes sparkle with the light of Christ. It is the perfect time to speak words of encouragement lighting the way for those around you. It is the perfect time for a gentle touch to warm the heart of someone lost and alone.

Let your Baptismal light shine through in all that you do. Christ is the Light of the World and we have been brought into that light to shine with his love.

 Let your light shine! (Matt. 5:16)

Lord, lead me through your holy Light. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet! May your words light the path of my journey through life.

Christ be our Light! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

 

New Life:Post Hip Replacement

“…do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

(John 20: 27b)

After years of pain, some months ago through prayerful discernment I decided to go forward with total hip replacement. At first I was hoping that if I just strengthened the muscles in my leg I would be able compensate for the chronic hip pain. It became apparent months later that physical therapy would not be enough.

“O Lord, I will trust in you! (Ps. 55:24c)

I initially struggled with the decision to replace a part of my body that God had given to me, but I eventually found peace with the decision. I prayed in thanksgiving that God had given the knowledge and understanding to my doctor to perform this surgery. I thought about those soldiers severely wounded in combat in need of new limbs and I gave thanks for them. I thought about those injured in accidents that needed a new hip and I gave thanks.

“Splendor and majesty go before him;

praise and joy are in his holy place.” (1 Chr.16:27)

I have simply been blessed by those who came before me in need of this prosthesis surgery. I have also been blessed because I had information about an awesome surgeon who saw the value in keeping up with the latest surgical procedures. I give thanks for his talent and dedication.

The timing of my surgery, right after Easter Sunday, is highlighting the Resurrection for me. Jesus came that we might have life everlasting, that we might live to the fullest our call. For me the success of this surgery has been a tiny splinter of the resurrection. I have been healed and given a new life without hip pain and hindered mobility.

I rejoice in the Lord!

In times like this you have the opportunity to be touched by prayers and nourished by those who prepare food for you. I would also like to express how wonderful and attentive my husband has been to me during this time of recovery.

I invite you to look for the little resurrections in your own life and give thanks for them.

He is Risen!

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

Let us give Glory and Praise to the Lord

for he has

done great things for us.

Let us shout for Joy!

As we share in his death; we also share in his Resurrection!

We are called to live in him, through him, and with him.

We are called to live a life that is worthy.

We are called to live in Holiness.
 
 
 

Dear Jesus,

may I spread your fragrance everywhere I go.