April 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is Risen!

The Paschal celebrations are always glorious and each year we experience something new. Perhaps new insights break through that bring us unexpected joys and challenges.

If you are an astute observer, you will notice that nothing remains the same. The world around us is always changing in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. We can see it now that Spring has come and flowers are blooming, trees are blossoming, but the flowers and buds are different this year. You may not see it, but they are. They always are. Maybe this year a little brighter and fuller. the forsythia is a little less thin and wispy than it was last year.

Maybe this year our eyes have opened a little more, our hearts have grown a little softer, our minds a little more clear and mindful, our hearts more compassionate. Maybe our capacity for joy has grown just a little.

Or maybe Pascha was a little less like we remembered it when we were kids, a little less magical, less joyful. Maybe we had to struggle to make ourselves go to services, or to fast, or to pray. Maybe the whole event seemed a little less significant this year. Maybe our faith has changed and deepened bringing unexpected results. Some new doubt. A new question.

Either way is a sign of growth. Change is not orily unavoidable, it is necessary and good. Faith that does not grow is dead. Doubt can just as easily spur us on as leave us hanging.

God knows what we need and grants it from the "outside" and from the "inside." The goal is a personal resurrection, a rebirth and renewal of the soul. An internal Pascha! Whatever is necessary will be done to remove the stone from the door of the tomb-not-made-by-hands which is at the very center ofus all- the heart. God will see to it. His image in us, the kingdom of heaven in us, will see to it. Never fear. Change is a sign of life.

Christ is Risen!

Fr. Antony