When springtime arrives here in New England, driver complaints about all the potholes in the paved roads are rampant. The bouts of freezing and thawing of the asphalt over the winter cause cracks and crumbles that often lead to some very large car-threatening holes. If the potholes don’t slow us down, the prospect of wending around the road-repair crew trucks will certainly challenge us.
Have we ever thought about the potholes in our spiritual lives? Sometimes we fluctuate in the warmth of our prayer life and religious fervor. Sometimes we yield to temptations for immediate, selfish gratification. The season of Lent has been a good time to evaluate and atone for those ruts and bumps in our road to holiness; and now that Easter has come, we can rejoice in the perfect Savior solution to our challenges.
Jesus has risen! His tomb is empty, and we are full of joy and hope! We can rise, too—above all the sickness, anxiety, and world-threatening problems that menace us with doubt and despair. Jesus’ terrible suffering and death give us powerful examples of how to follow God’s will. God the Father raised his Son to new life and showed us that, thanks to Jesus, our road to new life in heaven is open. It may not always be a smooth road, but we know how much God loves us and offers us help to avoid the ruts.
We might be conditioned to resent someone who says, “I told you so;” but in the case of Easter, Jesus’ prediction of his suffering, death, and resurrection is truth in which we can find so much eternal encouragement!
The Easter season might be a good time to add some scripture study to our prayer time. Remember that the disciples who encountered the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus were amazed at his teaching about the Scriptures as he walked with them.
These weeks in which we celebrate Jesus’ rising might lend themselves to gathering with friends in faith as the apostles gathered in the upper room. Faith-sharing is a wonderful way to reinforce our spiritual understanding and insights. We can learn and rejoice together. There are valuable resources available for small-group faith-sharing from RENEW International.
We can start new little practices or say some different prayers during this time of joy. I particularly like sharing Easter joy with Mary using the prayer “Regina Coeli.” We might say at mid-day,
Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
For he whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O virgin Mary, alleluia.
For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray. O God who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, his mother, we may obtain the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Photo by Matt Hoffman on Upsplash
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.