good friday and easter reflection

As we journey through the Triduum, we are immersed in the two most basic of human experiences; intense suffering, and great joy. This is from my recent column in the Prairie Messenger, reflecting on Good Friday and Easter,

Embracing the fullness of the Paschal Mystery is one of the greatest challenges of our Christian faith. It demands that we plant one foot firmly at the foot of the cross in the darkness of agony and death, and the other in the glorious presence of the risen Lord. We are called into that unfathomable paradox of dying and rising, trusting that seeds buried and grapes crushed will become bread and wine of new life. read more

Thank you to all the kind souls who visit this blog; with a special shout out to those who have enriched the dialogue with comments and responses. A Happy and Blessed Easter to all!

Affectionately,

Isabella

easter and the boldness of joy

It`s naïve to think that the struggles of Lent will magically disappear on Easter morning. Yet we sit in the Church surrounded by an explosion of flowers and resounding choruses of Alleluias. Our faith tells us to be happy on this most joyous of days in the liturgical year. Yet joy can be an unbearable burden to those in the midst of suffering. This Easter my mind was filled with the present suffering of good people I know. How can you celebrate Easter joy with the unexpected death of a 24 year old son and brother, the pain of broken relationships or news of a father`s terminal cancer?

Sigrund came regularly to our office. If we saw her name on the patient list, we knew that our day would be brighter. Hers was not an easy life, but she was always cheerful and optimistic. And it wasn’t a shallow, Pollyanna-ish type of cheerfulness. She truly radiated a deep joy that was the source of her life’s energy. Joy was reflected in her eyes, her smile, and the kind, gentle tone of her voice. She is gone now, and we miss her. She is now hanging with all the saints in glory, rejoicing for all eternity.

Sometimes – often most-times – joy is an intentional emotion. We all have inner radar that measures and interprets our daily experiences, rating each on the half-full or half-empty scale. Like Sigrund, we can calibrate that radar and focus on the small blessings given to us each day. They will not take away the deep aches and suffering of our human reality. But many small blessings, when recognized and added up, can help to balance the pain.

It takes a bold faith to believe in the resurrection and promise of new life. And it takes a bold spirit to not lose hope, for hope holds the seeds of joys to come.