By Sister Barbara Hudock, ASC

With Holy Week behind us, and in the first days of Spring, we now move into the celebration of the Easter season, the 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. We can separate these days into the various religious celebrations, or we can take time to reflect on this season as a whole.

Ronald Rolheiser’s book, “The Holy Longing,” reminds me that we can look at the Paschal Mystery as a cycle of rebirth.

He writes that the paschal cycle might be experienced as follows:

  • Good Friday, the loss of life, real death
  • Easter Sunday, receiving new life
  • The 40 days, a time for readjusting to the new and for grieving the old
  • Ascension, letting go of the old and letting it bless you, the refusal to cling
  • Pentecost, receiving new spirit for the new life that one is already living.

It strikes me that this is what religious life is today.

In the not-too-distant past, religious life was set by rules, ministries and activities that defined who we were. Today, we are constantly called in various ways to let go of the old, let it bless us and receive the new spirit that we are already living.

And yes, we are constantly called to bring this new spirit to those we interact with each day and with our world. May we receive in this Easter season the graces we need to walk in this Paschal Mystery.