Easter is the Celebration of Light and Mercy
By: Tim Liston
What a month of March! It’s hard to believe that St. Patrick’s Day was only two weeks ago – it seems like its been months. As many of you participated with us throughout this Holy Week, you saw the beautiful expressions of this Gospel lived out within our community. What I find particularly moving is all the uses of fire and water in our Catholic tradition. Fire often represents light and hope, but it also represents the burning away (like those of our palms to ashes) the dead to begin anew. Much like a farmer does a prescribed burn of his field to create the opportunity for new growth, so too do we need to clear out some of our “personal brush”. Water (like that which was used to baptize our new Catholics on Holy Saturday and to wash our feet on Holy Thursday) represents life and rebirth. There’s a reason that we need to recall our own baptism so often because that is the reminder of our own rebirth of faith. I find that in this Easter season and the beginning of our natural turn to Spring, we are invited to clear the old deadwood, splash some proverbial water onto our hearts and make room to start again. Personally, I plan to burn away some of my couch time to make more room for walking and exercising. I also need to give a rinse to clear away my impatience, and I need to allow for more understanding and restraint to grow. I need to quite literally make room for an addition to our family, but more importantly I hope that this new life will help to soften some of my edges and wash me with new love and hope in my life. Maybe its because these articles are referred to as Awakenings and its spring, but for whatever reason, the notion of Spring Awakening kept coming to mind (side note: this is NOT in relation to the terrible EDM music festival held every year in Chicago). Perhaps we all need a “spring awakening” during this Easter season. This year, we have plenty of opportunities to hopefully do just that. If you’re looking for a personal challenge of body, mind and soul, and you’re looking to meet new people working for the same goal. And if you want to succeed in this goal all while helping to support some of the wonderful partner organizations of Old St. Pat’s, maybe joining Crossroads Runners is your Spring Awakening. If you’re looking to hit the pause button on your often hectic life, and you want to share an experience of personal reflection and growth with others. And if you want to refine and “re-find” yourself all within the beautiful greenery of St. Mary of the Lake, then maybe participating in the upcoming Beloved retreat is your Spring Awakening. If you’re a young adult looking to be surrounded by the energy and joy of teens looking to give back to the world around them, and you think you could use a refresh with your own inner youth. And if you have time to devote to the spiritual development of yourself and others, maybe becoming a Foundations leader is your Spring Awakening. However you find the Spirit calling you, and in whatever way you feel that you can benefit from a rebirth, we encourage you to pursue that call. We know that sometimes it can seem intimidating to jump right in, but we have a friendly staff hoping that you will connect with us to get more involved. Please flip to the back pages of our staff directory to find the right contact. In other Old St. Pat’s news, we are doing a bit of spring awakening ourselves in a couple of ways: As you may know, we’re in the midst of creating a strategic plan for our mission to continue to make this experience of church the best we can. We want to boldly dream of how we can renew, and how we can act on these plans. You will be hearing from Fr. Hurley, our staff and the board of advisors on how you can get more involved. We have also been doing some serious spring cleaning of our rectory to begin the construction work for our new community center. We will begin work the week of April 18, so please pardon our dust while we are in this exciting time of rebuilding. Lastly, (as a selfish plug) we will be announcing the headliners of our World’s Largest Block Party next week, but until then please mark your calendar for Saturday, June 25. It’s going to be another great year with summer fun and great music!
Tim Liston is the Business Manager at Old St. Patrick’s Church.