Easter brings out the Spirit of life

By 
  • April 8, 2012

The hard part of being a Christian isn’t staying on the right side of canon law or the 10 commandments or the catechism. It’s living a resurrected life — obeying the law of life.

It’s easy to forget what St. Paul tells us about living in Christ. Easy to forget because it can seem impossible to figure out what he means. He tells us, “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Romans 8:2).

What is “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus?” In what sense is it a law? We all die and we all sin, so how have we been set free from either one?

It’s probably easier to imagine a law of sin and death than a law of the Spirit of life. Like laws of gravity, sin and death loom as inevitable realities. Life on the other hand — to say nothing of the Spirit of life — is contingent. It all depends. There’s nothing inevitable about you, me or Aunty Sue being or remaining alive.

“You are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you,” says a confident St. Paul (Romans 8:9). It can seem like fanciful nonsense. It’s easier to believe in sombre facts. Life is nasty, brutish and short. Get real, the world tells us. If you live by this stoic, realist code people will think you’re wise. But you won’t pass for Christian.On Good Friday Christ takes on every nasty, brutish and short reality that touches any human being. He dies. It’s no splendid drama of grand ideals. Every utterance Jesus makes through His trial is ignored. Every friend abandons Him. Everything He stood for is derided. Each of our Good Fridays relives a bleak winter in the soul of the world.

But winter makes spring what it is — another reality that will never line up with our so-called realism. Spring shouts down our cruel and foolish assumptions. When tulips grow, birds sing and sun lights up your heart you know it is not life but death that is contingent. Death depends on everything that’s alive, and the more alive things are the less real death becomes.

Every Easter should open our eyes, make us realists of hope, relocate our lives out of the flesh and into the Spirit of life that’s right there, all around us. The wonderful thing about a camera is that it can help us to know that the Spirit of life is the most real, concrete, visible truth there is. Here are a few images of the Spirit of life I offer this Easter.

 

liturgical dancers were there for the opening of St. Padre Pio parish in Kleinburg, Ont

~  Liturgical dancers were there for the opening of St. Padre Pio parish in Kleinburg, Ont  ~

 

Matthew Okada-Bueno and Gabriella Swan found ice cream was one of the best things at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.

~  Matthew Okada-Bueno and Gabriella Swan found ice cream was one of the best things at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.  ~

 

Linda Martin was happy to be at work in The Woodery at L’Arche Daybreak in Richmond Hill.

~  Linda Martin was happy to be at work in The Woodery at L’Arche Daybreak in Richmond Hill.  ~

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