An Easter Thought for those Who Struggle

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Today I am just wishing you a happy Easter, whatever that may mean to you. Now I know that many of my readers are not Christians, or struggle with faith and belief. I do too. I am all too much like the disciples of Jesus who could not believe the message of the resurrection on that first Easter morning. Even so this morning I will add my alleluia to the cry “He is risen!” 

Easter can be a difficult time for those that struggle with faith and for those that do so struggle, life can be more like Good Friday and the joy that many celebrate on Easter can be hard to find, W.H. Auden said it well:

“Christmas and Easter can be subjects for poetry, but Good Friday, like Auschwitz, cannot. The reality is so horrible it is not surprising that people should have found it a stumbling block to faith.” 

For all too many people, including me after Iraq faith is a struggle. I’m doing better right now, but I still struggle. I know the theology, I believe, yet I struggle. The actions of many who call themselves Christians, the hatred shown by many Christian leaders for others, and the way my Christian fore bearers throughout history have acted out of hate and the need to dominate others in the name of Jesus troubles me and gives me pause.  At times I wonder if anything that the Church proclaims can be true because its witness and its hostility to others is so contrary to that of Jesus. Mahatma Gandhi well summed up my feelings when he remarked: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” 

I think I understand what Easter means, according to my often painfully inadequate faith, it is the triumph of life over death that only comes only through the experience of Good Friday, the emptiness of what we now call Holy Saturday, and the shock of the resurrection.  One of my favorite theologians, Jurgen Moltmann, wrote:

“In the cross of Christ God is taking man dead-seriously so that he may open up for him the happy freedom of Easter. God takes upon himself the pain of negation and the God forsakenness of judgement to reconcile himself with his enemies and to give the godless fellowship with himself.”

God shares our pain. But for those that struggle and those walking through their own personal versions of Good Friday, Easter often seems like it will never come. I can understand that.

So for all my readers where ever you are and whatever you are going through, be it joy or sorrow, love or loss, even suffering or death; I wish you the best this Easter and I do pray that one day we will all understand what all this means. Until then, for me it will mean opening my life, my inadequate faith, my friendship, and my door to all who I encounter.  That will be my “Alleluia.”

Until tomorrow,

Peace

Padre Steve+

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2 Comments

Filed under christian life, faith

2 responses to “An Easter Thought for those Who Struggle

  1. Een Zalig Pasen for you!
    In the Netherlands Catholics say that to each other at Easter
    Translated in English it is Blessed Easter.
    For you, your loved ones.

    I want to thank you for emphatic writing in which I recognize a lot of past and present struggles you write about.

    We have a different background, your lives experiences are totally different.
    Still I recognize your struggles with faith, with those that proclaimed to know it all but have no compassion.

    Good Friday, the name tells it all.
    We all have our Gethsemane, our cross to bare.

    The words: My God, my God, why did you forsaken me.
    Those words were at one point in my live reality. I felt as if God had turned His Face from me.
    It is a lonelyness, a darkness, a despair, a hopelessness to great to bear.
    The Good is as I started to see a shimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. l lived through emotions, I could UNDERSTAND with my hart and head.
    Changes, as you know very well, don’t happen overnight at take a long time to get hold.

    As I did started to see the good in Good Friday and felt my own strength another Good Friday knocked at my door.
    Different but with the same battles, the moments of despair, the anger, the anxiety, the loneliness still I learn.
    I don’t know whenever the end of the tunnel is in sight, you never do in the tunnel, I can only hope and pray for some Light on my path.

    I’m not always emotionally able to comment on every post but they are read and thought about be sure of that!

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