Monday, April 21, 2014

Life and Grace

May this day bring you a taste of grace---grace without which everything in life begins to dull or maybe even become overwhelming.  Life and grace is what the whole Easter season has been about.  I emphasize life and grace.

If we look at the calendar, we know that Easter is over.  Spiritually the challenge now is not to get over Easter!  In saying this, I have in mind more than just the Christians in our world.  I want to include all humans.  Chronologically, Easter is history, but this should not mean we lose its mystery.  Not to lose its mystery is to continue asking God to touch those parts of our lives, which have become deadened.  It means realizing some days we feel like we have been deposited in the tomb.  We may feel deadened.  We require that angelic visit to proclaim life again.

We need to keep our eyes open to the awe, wonder and meaning daily around us.  We can put our hands to the task of creating meaning to these lives of ours.  We bend forward with ears to hear the quiet voice---the divine inner voice---which is always threatening to be drowned out by the noise and confusion of our society.

I am reminded of the long-ago words of Dag Hammarskjold, the former Secretary-General of the U.N.  Hammarskjold said, “God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.”

In another place Hammarskjold says, “What gives life its value you can find – and lose.  But never posses.  This holds good above all for ‘the Truth about Life.’”   This is the sad possibility of Easter---we can say it is over.  But this is true of any special, meaningful event.  It is true of birthdays.  We can’t “possess” them any more than we can stop the calendar.

Wanting to possess a meaningful experience basically is a desire to stop time.  But we know this is not possible.  What we can do is remember.  Memory is a wonderful human capacity to savor again something which once happened.  Of course, it is not the same.  So memory is not possession, but it is the chance to “have” something again…and again, if we want.

Obviously, memory deals with the past.  In that sense it is re-creative.  It re-creates what once was or what once happened.  We can also be creative.  That is the way we can choose to deal with the future which is still coming at us.  That is the way to avoid becoming deadened in our daily lives.

The spiritual trick is to find Easter---life and grace---again and again, to find it daily.  We can find it in the wonder of your life.  We can create instead of complain.  We can generate instead of gripe.  I think this is the truth about life.

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