As Christians we especially rejoice on Easter Sunday that Jesus has risen and saved us, through our weaknesses and wounds.
But that is the ‘Good News’ many of us, including me, find very hard to accept. Easter Sunday is a good time to reflect on why we all stubbornly resist God’s deep love for each of us.
I know only too well how I can find it difficult to really stop, be still and enter into this inner journey.
Strangely, something in me persists in the continual search for a ‘perfect’ friend, partner, church, priest, parish or family or whatever. It is so very hard to accept God’s love deep down. For the disease of ’perfectionism’ eats away at us all in a society that celebrates ‘success’ as the ultimate goal of life. We all want to get it ‘right’, look ‘good’ and please!
Christian Discipleship instead demands ‘Falling in love with God’. It is a paradoxical call, at once very simple, yet very demanding. Its territory is tolerating messiness and imperfection. For it involves having learnt the ‘hard’ truth of what Richard Rohr OFM often points out about the spiritual journey: “You can’t come to God by doing it right – you come to God by doing it wrong, otherwise, you don’t fall in love with God, you fall in love with yourself.”
Rohr reminds me of Tony de Mello SJ’s paradoxical saying, “Be grateful for your sins. They are carriers of grace.”
Sooner or later – we must all come to the realization that only God can save us from our fears and our addictions.
Many of us need to ‘hit a wall’ in order to have a chance of waking up to the reality that we are living insane lives as long as we believe that we can ‘control’ things on our own.
When ‘we wake up’ to the real world, we find God patiently waiting for us, ready to help, ready to save us and make us whole. That is the resurrection in our lives –often ‘frozen’ or ‘dead’ to self-hatred and sin.
May this Easter 2014 challenge me and all us to ‘fall in love’ with our God who loves us just as we are. Jesus is risen! Alleluia!
Br Mark O’Connor FMS, is the Director of the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation, in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. A seasoned spiritual writer and traveller, Mark is a passionate advocate for Catholic thought and life. He has been involved in National Marist Youth Festivals for over 25 years and has helped to stimulate national reflection of global issues of faith and justice through bringing International ecclesial guest speakers to Australia.