Updated Sunday 10 April 2022
We live in a wonderful but deeply wounded world that is at times uncaring, unforgiving, cruel, and devoid of second chances. Easter and Spring offer the assurance that the many difficulties and challenges that threaten to overwhelm us will be overcome. We should allow ourselves to share in the sense of hope which is one of the most important messages this wonderful season has to offer– the others being peace, forgiveness, atonement, renewal, love, and healing.
Now is the time to embrace Easter's message. After all, it is the ultimate time of hope and renewal, especially when you pair it with the beauty and the magic of springtime.
As many observers have wisely reminded us, life is essentially about relationships, this Easter — given the state of things — prompts us to reconsider not only our personal relationships, but our relationship with the natural world.
All in all, Easter is, by all accounts, perhaps, the most ancient and widespread of our annual festivals. The common themes of resurrection and hope, darkness and light, hatred and love, the universal symbols of renewal and abundance, remind us every spring of the shared values of the human species.
Easter is – as “a moveable feast” — a rite inherently linked to nature, set by the Council of Nicaea in the year 325 A.D. as the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox.
The Council of Nicaea—the first worldwide religious council, held in A.D. 325.-Photo:SGWMSCOG
As an Editorial in Toronto Star has candidly noted, ‘the COVID-19 crisis reminds us that humanity is another kind of animal, inextricably connected with other species.
Holy Week, which leads up to Easter, is full of hard lessons about injustice, cowardice, betrayal. And Easter itself is about more than painted eggs, fancy bonnets, chocolate bunnies and lilies.
Christian faith is said by the gospels to stand or fall on belief in the resurrection, on the liberation from old failings and the new spiritual life Christ’s sacrifice offers.
Easter is not about going back to the old normal, but going forward to be better, live better, love better.
It heralds new opportunities, a chance to dispense with old grudges, prejudices, ill will and unworthy acts.
The author Mary Gordon has written that, to her, the importance of the Resurrection is not whether it literally happened, but that “it insists on the primacy of life over death. “For me, the meaning of the Resurrection is the possibility of possibility.”
This Easter, in a world needful of hope and inspiration, that’s a prayer as good as any.’
Coronavirus and Easter: Message Remains the Same
This Easter Sunday, let's think about the kind of world we’d like to create
Music for Hope on Easter Sunday from Milan Cathedral
My poem of the Month: Springing back in April with a Renewed Sense of Hope and Optimism
“Let me seek, then, the gift of silence, and poverty, and solitude, where everything I touch is turned into prayer: where the sky is my prayer, the birds are my prayer, the wind in the trees is my prayer, for God is all in all.”-Thomas Merton
"I walk with beauty before me;
I walk with beauty behind me;
I walk with beauty above me;
I walk with beauty below me;
I walk with beauty all around me;
Your world is so beautiful, O God."-Navajo prayer
"Heaven is my father and earth is my mother,
and I, a small child, find myself placed intimately between them.
What fills the universe I regard as my body;
what directs the universe I regard as my nature.
All people are my brothers and sisters; all things are my companions."- Zhang Zai (1020–1077)
'Be like the sun for grace and mercy.
Be like the night to cover others’ faults.
Be like running water for generosity.
Be like death for rage and anger.
Be like the Earth for modesty.
Appear as you are.
Be as you appear.'- Rumi
Dear Friends of the GCGI,
As the season of Easter begins across many countries around the world, we at the GCGI, extend season's greetings and our best wishes of love, peace, renewal and hope to you all.
At this beautiful time of the year, flowers and blossoms are blooming, birds are singing, butterflies are dancing, and the days are getting brighter and longer. What better way to sing the praises of Spring’s arrival than to read beautiful poetry. Here are two poems we would like to share with you: One from Hopkins and the other from Wordsworth: Celebrating the joyous Spring with Hopkins and Wordsworth
One hundred years ago, on the official first day of spring, the Anglo-Welsh war poet and naturalist Edward Thomas set off from Clapham Common in London to cycle and walk to the Quantock Hills in Somerset. The record of his journey, called In Pursuit of Spring, became a nature-writing classic, telling of exuberant chiffchaffs and house martins, daffodils and cowslips in full flower and "honeysuckle in such profusion as I had never before seen"... ‘In Pursuit of Spring’
And now for those who are interested to read a bit more about Easter from a Christian perspective, we recommend the following links The Promise of Resurrection and Discovering the Presence of God in Nature
“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” –Martin Luther
Wishing you all a very happy and healthy Easter,
Enjoy the beautiful and inspiring nature and springtime,
Kamran and Annie