Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The Easter Letter...
The morning drive to Most Holy and Undivided is one of the more reflective parts of my day. I observe the shoals of vehicles pouring over the bridges and through the intersections…all those individual people in pursuit of dreams not yet dashed, in flight from despairs steadily closing the gap, or just on eco-threatening autopilot, one body to a vehicle. It always seems to me like an image of “life its ownself” (Dan Jenkins)…although T. S. Eliot, a hundred years ago, picturing the commuters (walking!) across London Bridge, saw something quite different: “I had not thought, “ he writes, “death had undone so many.”
All these people move together, yet alone, through a world that they see through very different frames of reference and of meaning: frames that include and shape as much of reality, as much awareness, as they think they can bear.
And what does it mean to proclaim into this world of intent, hurrying throngs, that Christ is Risen? Indeed, how would we, should we, can we even make that proclamation? Edgewise, perhaps, in the midst of life—or death? Because these are the words that, we try to think, are the frame through which we are to see our world, know all that we can, do all that we can. Christ is Risen…and Christ will come again. And in the meantime, what?
This year, I’m thinking that perhaps the strangeness, the absurdity, the dissonance of our proclamation of Resurrection with so much of what we see and do, hope for and fear day by day, may be the most hopeful starting place. Because we proclaim a mystery, a bottomless truth, an inexhaustible source of joy and hope. All mystery, Simone Weil said, hardens into belief; and that is tragic. Perhaps the sense of strangeness is simply the mystery of the Resurrection re-asserting its mysteriousness, and its entitlement to be our frame of meaning, ever expanding, never quite in focus, never fully explained.
So we’ll stand up in good heart, and sing again, “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today,” and get caught up again on all the “Hallelujahs” we missed during Lent, and try, again, to see all our doings, our goings-out and comings-in, through the frame of the Easter proclamation: “Christ is Risen!” “He is Risen, indeed!”
Easter joy to you and yours,
With much love