As the end of the Easter season nears, I feel like the pathetic child in “Oliver,” holding out his porridge bowl and pleading, “more please?” In this case, more Easter.
If resurrection means beginning again and again anew, then our best experiences of love or beauty should show us who we most deeply are. We seek these out instinctively, suspecting we’re made for the garden, not the tomb. God’s life penetrates ours, boring through every dark corner.
We Catholics can be a somewhat narrow lot, most of us having had little exposure to the other great traditions. To be fair, fully appreciating Teresa of Avila or Julian of Norwich could be a full-time occupation. But that gap in knowledge explains why I was so delighted to discover an essay titled “Christ Rising,” by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, a German Lutheran pastor who lived from 1842-1919.
He points out that because of Christ’s rising we are “of an entirely different order.” Worries and anxieties should mean no more to us than a face cloth or shroud cast aside. Blumhardt says not to focus on the evil, imperfection, or unresolved question. “All that has nothing to do with us.” Instead we simply “ask Jesus to give us more and more of his resurrection, until it runs over, until the extraordinary powers from on high that are within our reach can get down to work on all that we do.”
In an analogy I often use, why hang out in the basement when we could have the ballroom?