Sunday, April 12, 2009
Happy Easter, Buona Pasqua, Felices Pascuas, Joyeuses Pâques
When I agreed to join the adult Acolytes at St. Michael's Church, (after a hiatus of about 34 years) I'm quite sure I had forgotten how many hours of standing, kneeling and praying I would be in for between the start of Lent and Easter Sunday. Mind you, the last time I served on the altar, I was a little more flexible, and my joints were a little more limber. None-the-less, I have no regrets. Being an active participant in my church during Lent and Holy Week has really helped to stregthen and renew my faith. Now I'm not, and I don't expect I ever will be what you would call a bible thumper. And despite all my years of being a Catholic, I still have my doubts about religion and about the faith that we ascribe to. But if I'm honest with myself, I also have doubts about many other things. Despite the "science" that proves so many things, I have very limited experience when it comes to experiencing these "proven truths" for myself. For example, we believe that the earth is round, but I don't know this from my own experience. I have taken the word of a handful of astronauts who have been to outer space. I have trusted the mathematicians who have "proven" this. But I have no personal experience to confirm this belief. I suppose I would have to fly a plane around the world to recant my doubt on this topic. So did a man named Jesus really come into this world through a virgin birth, perform miracles, die for our sins and rise from the dead? I believe he did, but I have no proof, only the written words of his followers. However, regardless of what I believe, the fact is that the lessons that were attributed to this man are as relevant today as they were the day he spoke them, for example "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another". Of all of the liturgies that I attended, the most moving was on Holy Thursday when the priest gets down on his knees and re-enacts the washing of His disciples feet. As I stood behind each of the men having their feet washed, I was overcome with the humility of this act. At one point I had to fight back tears. This ritual of the washing of the feet is a part of many of the treatments that are performed at Ste. Anne's. We incorporated this into our treatments after experiencing this many years ago in Thailand, a country that exudes humility, except it would appear, when it comes to it's method of changing governments. May the mystery of life and the wonder of creation inspire you and your family over this holiday weekend - Happy Easter.