Saturday, March 30, 2013

Resurrexit Sicut Dixit: Risen as He Said

"How is it that I have never realized how swiftly the 40 days of Lent can pass so swiftly?"  This is how I feel this year as Lent closes and Resurrection time begins.  Did you have the same experience?  If you felt that way, have you asked yourself "What was it about this year's Lent that made it seem like six or seven days?"  Surely the happenings in our Church with a resignation of the Roman Pontiff and the election of a new Bishop of Rome became interspersed and distracting although very interesting and informative."

While I list several reason for this year's speed, I do think there is one possible reason, at  least for me.  This year Lent was not focused on me and my problems, my sins.  Rather, during these days even on Good Friday, my attention was directed to one reality: the son of Mary, the Son of God is friend.  Not friend in a general sense but Jesus is my friend, your friend.  And, as the weeks passed, I tried my best to "feel" my prayer as a time when I was sitting with Jesus.  We were talking.  Probably more my voice than his but there was a renew effort to say very little on my part.  It was a time of intense listening.  So during these 40 days of prayer, reading and reflection, my goal was to seek time with my friend.  It was not time spent focused on Jesus as God, somewhere out there in his great universe.  It was time with my divine friend.

Friends have always been an abundance of graces in my life.  How marvelous have the times with these friends been and, hopefully, will be for some additional years.  But it is the kind of friendship with these friends that should be a model for my prayer with Jesus.  Telephone calls to friends and sharing thoughts as well as joys and sorrows should be no different than conversation with Jesus.  Once prayer becomes like this, it is not easy and time passes so swiftly.  Most of us quickly withdraw from conversations with others who are negative, super critical and drained of all hope and excitement -- sure reasons for dragging life.  But how often do we try to be in the presence of or speak with a friend who is uplifting, who listens and who is not afraid to tell it like it is!  This makes the time pass too quickly.

Hopefully you have come to be closer to Jesus as your friend during the days of Lent this year with the help of the thoughts in this blogger's postings.  Don't let go of your efforts to keep Jesus particularly close.  Continue to sit and talk with him.  Continue to strengthen your ability to listen to the movements of the Holy Spirit in your heart as you reflect on Jesus and the stories of the early Church that we will be reading in the Acts of the Apostles during the days of the Easter season as well as the Evangelists' accounts of Jesus and his friends from his days of ministry as a preacher.  Look at him carefully in those stories.  Continue to imagine him sitting next to you and telling you what he thinks about those "life or death" circumstances that make up your life at this time.  Allow him to come to you as he came to the disciples walking in their "life or death" fears on the way to Emmaus. Let he surprise you as he surprised Mary Magdalene.  How much happier we can be if we but listen for voice after we have talked to him hopefully in short and few sentences!!!

Yes, your friend, my friend has risen as he said he would.  Can there be any greater joy for us and our salvation?  Listen, listen.  He is, I pray, speaking to you through one or two of the thoughts in this posting.  

God be with you in this Easter Season.