Christ is Risen!
Truly He is Risen!
On this Easter Monday I am…
I am grateful for life in the Spirit, an ever renewing life that is constantly growing and changing. As long as I relax and say yes to God, His Spirit sinks deeper into my heart, soul, mind and spirit.
I am pondering the words of Pope Francis on Holy Saturday, when he proclaimed the truth that God calls us out of our comfort zone to grow and change.
Indeed, the Baptism that makes us children of God, and the Eucharist that unites us to Christ, must become life.
…if I allow myself to be reached by the grace of the risen Christ, if I let that grace change for the better whatever is not good in me, [to change whatever] might do harm to me and to others, then I allow the victory of Christ to affirm itself in my life, to broaden its beneficial action. This is the power of grace! Without grace we can do nothing – without grace we can do nothing!
The joy of being instruments of the grace of Christ, as branches of the vine which is Christ himself, inspired by the sustaining presence of His Spirit! We pray… that the Paschal mystery might work deeply in us and in our time, in order that hatred give way to love, lies to the truth, revenge to forgiveness, sadness to joy.
Initially, I resist change out of fear of the unknown but when I let go of anxiety, relax and surrender, I can feel the Flames of Love becoming stronger within me. I crave to join my voice with St. Paul’s and say, “No longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me!”
I pray for the grace to become the Presence of Christ on Earth. This concept is not a symbol. It is not just for biblical times or for a few select saints. This transformation is simply the normal Christian’s call, the normal Christian’s life. Watchman Nee, a Chinese missionary in China (1903-1972), wrote a book called The Normal Christian Life.
Though a new Christian may not yet fully experience the meaning of the death of the Lord Jesus, God nevertheless has made him alive together with Christ and he has obtained a new life in the resurrection power of the Lord Jesus. This is new birth.
Twenty-five years ago, at a Trappist Monastery near Montreal, my husband stumbled upon a book that changed our lives and filled us with hope and joy. Guidelines to Mystical Prayer by a British Carmelite nun, Ruth Burrows, relates the experiences of two nuns who live in her monastery. They know that their old nature has died with Christ; now Jesus lives within their hearts, minds,and souls. These two women are the polar opposite of each other. Ruth renames one nun Petra (earth) because she does not receive any mystical visions or feelings. She is an example of most Christians whose spirituality is called “light off”. Never the less, Petra knows that her old self has died. Claire (light) is really a “light on mystic” who experiences inner locution, visions and feels God’s presence. What a relief to discover a contemplative nun who is like my husband and I, who are very much “light on”. I can hardly express the exuberant joy we experienced as we connected and identified with Claire. We read and reread this book because God used it to explain our calling to us.
St. Paul’s words were true. It was possible to experience full transformation on earth!