The Brood: Easter, I See You

By Holly Mohr

“In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, for I live and you will live, alleluia.”

I lost my normal prayer book (on Easter, in my own house . . . Did it simply vanish into the cosmos without a trace? Yes. The answer is yes. Obviously).

So, in lieu of my daily Give Us This Day, I’m praying with the copy of the mini-breviary a friend gave me when we were going through a Liturgy of the Hours craze (stop laughing). Those lines up there are the antiphon for Morning Prayer today. Honestly, they stopped me in my tracks. (Do I see you, Lord)?

I had a really good Easter, and a beautiful Triduum leading up to Easter. There is so much to be grateful for, and I am.

I’m still feeling a little trepidation, though. I remember where I was last year at this time (thanks, Brood, for documenting my feeling-state all year long)! Last Easter, it felt to me as though Easter never really came, as though we were all trapped in a perpetual hell-Lent.

I don’t feel that way this year.

There has been a shift, a grace, a beauty, for sure. But this Easter I’m leaning on the insights I read about in Boethius in college, the ones I was too unproblematically happy at the time to understand.

In The Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius teaches us, by way of Lady Philosophy, that the way to happiness is the path of virtue, that happiness doesn’t have a whole lot to do with the fluctuations of emotion or circumstance. The situations around us don’t have to control our experience of joy, Boethius argues.

I say I didn’t understand it in college, but honestly, I knew enough to know the mad fluctuations of my own emotions (and those around me) were more than a little frightening to me. I knew Boethius was offering me something more stable and hopeful than anything I had seen before.

I keep waiting, though, right? I think so many of us keep waiting . . . to feel safe (in our schools, churches, workplaces, even minds). We keep waiting for worldwide nationalistic trends to pass, for world leaders to get on board with climate change mitigation. We keep waiting for our hearts and minds and psyches to heal from the still-unthinkable damage of recent years.

This Easter, though, I hear the invitation to accept Easter, even though (fill in the blank). I hear some sort of prompting to see Easter, even in the midst of all of those things.

Something tells me there is no time to waste. I don’t have to feel perfectly right, the world does not need to be perfectly right (or even a little bit functional, maybe) to accept the gift of Easter. We need the hope of Resurrection, the vision of good triumphing over evil, of love being stronger than hate, even now. Especially now.

I’m scared. My eyes are still heavy with the exhaustion I wrote about two weeks ago and Theresa wrote about last week. It isn’t over. More has transpired even between our two articles.

And yet. And yet, there is so much grace, and I’m choosing to have the courage to notice it.

Two out of three of my kids paid attention to the liturgies on both Holy Thursday and Easter Vigil (we’re talking a two and a half hour Mass, past bedtime, with four readings from the Hebrew Scriptures, responsorial psalms included on each one, plus an Epistle and a Gospel)! Yet they both turned to me after Mass with a straight face and said, “I loved that Mass! That was really beautiful!”

There was grace on Easter Sunday in the form of a full house of people I love. Dear friends who moved away came back to stay with us and celebrate, renewing a tradition of spending Easter together. The day was spent searching for Easter baskets, eating exquisite food, and sharing feminist renditions of Gospel passages. Later into the night, another joyful and dear friend appeared, bearing fudge and a pig that can fly (maybe . . . if we can get the wings to work)! We listened to jazz and laughed and watched our twelve-year-olds sit with their teacups in an elegantly languorous fashion, regaling us with a genuine wisdom belying their age.

Even now, I keep getting pinged on a group text of a bunch of other people I love. We’ve all been texting in the midst of our frenetic days to pray together and encourage the one who’s having a scary day. Pretty much every single person has checked in, and now they’re all rejoicing together over some good news that came in. That is where God lives. (Yes, Lord, I see you).

My heart and my eyes are still heavy, Lord. But I live and you live.

Yes, Lord, I see you. I see so much that is not you, so much that leaves my heart troubled. But I’m choosing to take courage. I know you are the Light that shines in the darkness, and no. You’re right. The darkness has still not overcome it.

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