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The Resurrected Christ
The Resurrected Christ

Watchful for Resurrections

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Author Judy Cannato (1949–2011) believed we experience Christ’s resurrection through ongoing growth and transformation:  

[Jesus] engaged death with every bit of consciousness and freedom that were his, and what we all discovered as a result is that death—while inevitable, while altering our dreams and causing us to let go of everything—does not have the final word. There is always—always—resurrection. And what is resurrection for us, in the context of the new universe story? It is a transformation in consciousness, an experience of transcendence in which we live out of the connectedness that is our truth. As we continue to evolve in consciousness, continue to emerge as more and more capable lovers, we share in the resurrection of Christ. We not only walk in the Light, we become light for others. Even little resurrections that come after choosing to die to fear and egocentricity release the Spirit. When we engage in a lifetime of death and resurrections as Jesus did, we become ever more empowered to do the work God asks us to do.  

Life and death are a single mystery. That is what the Paschal Mystery teaches us. Death is inevitable—but so is resurrection. We can be sure that dyings will intrude upon our lives, and we may have some choice about how we can respond to their coming. We can be awake and watchful for the resurrections as well, for the creative ways that new life streams into our lives even in the midst of death. Like supernova explosions that shatter every recognizable fragment of life [and scatter elements for new stars], we are capable of transcendence, capable of never allowing death to have the final say. [1] 

Theologian and mystic Howard Thurman (1899–1981) poetically described the surprise of resurrection and renewal:  

It is ever a new thing, a glad surprise, the stirring of life at the end of winter. One day there seems to be no sign of life and then almost overnight, swelling buds, delicate blooms, blades of grass, bugs, insects—an entire world of newness everywhere. It is the glad surprise at the end of winter. Often the same experience comes at the end of a long tunnel of tragedy and tribulation. It is as if a person stumbling in the darkness, having lost their way, finds that the spot at which they fall is the foot of a stairway that leads from darkness into light. Such is the glad surprise. This is what Easter means in the experience of the [human] race. This is the resurrection! It is the announcement that life cannot ultimately be conquered by death, … that there is strength added when the labors increase, that multiplied peace matches multiplied trials, that life is bottomed by the glad surprise. Take courage, therefore: 

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,  
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,  
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,  
Our Father’s full giving is only begun. [2] 


[1] Judy Cannato, Radical Amazement: Contemplative Lessons from Black Holes, Supernovas, and Other Wonders of the Universe (Notre Dame, IN: Sorin Books, 2006), 122.  

[2] Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2022), 77–78. Note: minor edits made for inclusive language. 

Image credit: A path from one week to the next—Jenna Keiper, Photo of a beloved artpiece belonging to Richard Rohr (Artist Unknown.) McEl Chevrier, Untitled. CAC Staff, Untitled. Used with permission. Click here to enlarge image

On retreat, the CAC staff used watercolors to connect to our collective grief. This is one of the watercolor paintings that came from that exercise. 

Story from Our Community:

I’ve been an artist and art teacher for over 30 years. A few years ago I was commissioned to paint the words from Wendell Berry’s [poem] “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” on a tall circular column in a downtown restaurant.… I had never read the manifesto before this project, so each day, as I painted the words in a slow rhythm to create each calligraphic letter, I was slowly caught up in his message. On Easter morning, I was finally finishing the manifesto, laying on the floor, looking up at my work, when these two words brought me to the end: PRACTICE RESURRECTION. Easter—resurrection—my painting lesson. —Mary M.

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