Looking northeast along Avenue C across 13th Street at St Mary's Star of the Sea on a sunny Easter Sunday early afternoon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This, for most Christians, the most spiritual week of the calendar year, has me reflecting on God, Jesus, Easter, and my own beliefs.
Having been born and raised a Roman Catholic I know the traditional stories regarding The Last Supper, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. I learned the reason for, and the meaning of Palm Sunday, according to the teaching of the Catholic church. It’s a great story. All of this has to do with love as shown by Jesus for mankind.
Long ago I fell away from the rituals and traditions, like going to church on Sunday, novenas, reciting the rosary, etc. All the rules and regulations. I left these things behind for a variety of reasons, not the least being laziness, although there were and are many items in the doctrines that I just don’t agree with or believe.
I’ve always enjoyed keeping the religious holidays special. Cooking certain dishes and special foods, shopping and decorating. Setting aside those holidays and marking them with family and friends in some way, but it became more about the tree, gifts, the Easter bunny and the food.
Busy lives rarely allow us time to think about God or spirituality. But when you are blessed with a quiet moment in time, and or length of years He seems to slip back into our lives. In reflection, He was always there. Look up into a blue sky on a cloudless day, feel the cleansing of a pounding rain, or the reminder of His power in a clap of thunder and a bolt of lightning. How is it when odds were against it, that the babies were born with all their parts, alive and healthy? Are we just that lucky?
Which one of us doesn’t call on God when a love one is ill, or we are in pain? Don’t we often take those extra moments to gather and fold discarded items around the house, and still serviceable articles of clothing, to donate to those less fortunate? Why do we do that? Isn’t it so much easier to throw something in the trash as you come across it? Perhaps our hearts have been touched by the hand of God, call Him what you will. Over the years I have walked into a church or synagogue and felt the vibration of thousands of good people who had worshiped within the walls of those beautiful buildings.
Every day in so many ways, we do things that are good. Smile at a stranger, buy a $2.00 box of cookies for $4.00, from a child at the door, bent to pick up a dropped item for an elderly person, or a pregnant woman, hold a door, invite a lonely someone to dinner, or throw your change in that box by the cash register for a charity. He shows Himself in us in so many ways.
How about when you are feeling sad or are missing loved ones, that have long since passed on, isn’t it the belief that they are in the hands of a loving God that eases our hearts and gives us comfort that we will see them once again?
Having ruminated on all these things I still don’t know what my beliefs are except they cannot be defined by any one religion. Perhaps love and kindness sums it up. None of us can go wrong if we practice those basic tenets. Maybe throw in a healthy dose of gratitude for what we have in our lives. It couldn’t hurt. And no matter what you call Him/Her it’s wonderful to have that Supreme Being in our back pocket.
Happy Easter! Happy Passover! To you All