Monasteries of the Heart

Monks in Our Midst: Joan Chittister on the ongoing Resurrection

For Easter Sunday, read Sister Joan's reflection on "living Your Resurrection over and over again."

To say ‘I believe in Jesus Christ . . . who rose from the dead,’ is to say I believe that the Resurrection goes on and on and on forever. Every time Jesus rises in our own hearts in new ways, the Resurrection happens again. Every time we see Jesus where we did not recognize him before — in the faces of the poor, in the love of the unloved, in the revelatory moments of life, Jesus rises anew. The real proof of the Resurrection lies not in the transformation of Jesus alone but in the transformation awaiting us who accept it.

To say, ‘I believe in Jesus Christ . . . who rose from the dead,’ is to say something about myself at the same time. It says that I myself am ready to be transformed. Once the Christ-life rises in me, I rise to new life as well. ‘Christ is risen, we are risen,’ we sing at Easter. But it has a great deal more to do with life than with death. If I know that Jesus has been transformed, then I am transformed myself, and as a result, everything around me.

Until we find ourselves with new hearts, more penetrating insights, fewer compulsions, less need for the transient, greater awareness of the spiritual pulse of life, resurrection has not really happened for us. Jesus has risen but we have not. Resurrection is change at the root of the soul. It marks a whole new way of being in life.

Jesus, help me to understand that in every life, something good fails, something great ends, something righteous is taken unjustly away, something looms like an abandonment by God. Give me the wisdom to know that You rose from the dead as a sign to us that every one of these ‘little deaths’ is life become new all over again. Be with me in living Your Resurrection over and over again.

Gateway to Resurrection: Way of the Cross by Joan Chittister, OSB (available for purchase as a Kindle eBook)

 

Reflection Questions:

  • In the midst of Jesus's Resurrection, how are you also embracing transformation?
  • What practices help you accept loss and welcome new life? 

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