The Resurrected Life

One of the many reflections that were being offered at the recent online Young Religious Retreat:

Zoom retreat-day four

Honestly, at one time I did not like eagles. I used to dislike them because they are so strong; they look more scary than cute. I like the gentle little birds that do not harm anyone. However, my opinion changed after I enjoyed a Bird Show in the Philippines. Strange! I noticed the Eagle… then, I started to learn about it.

Everyone probably knows how great the eagle is at leadership and parenting. However, I noted another aspect of its life that few people probably notice, “Resurrection”. An eagle can live up to 70 years if it goes through a painful experience. After it has lived for 30 to 40 years, an eagle must go through a painful time to be able to live for another 40 years; otherwise, it will lie there and wait to die. It depends on its choice. The brave eagle will pluck out its own feathers, smash its beak, and peel off its own claws so that all will grow again and it will continue to live. Many eagles cannot overcome the pain and simply lie there waiting to die. If it bravely suffers, after reviving it will become even stronger than before.

There was a time when I went through great pain; I felt uncertain about how to continue living. For a long time I searched for “life in the pain of death”. This time of darkness was so long, sometimes a month, sometimes a year, and sometimes the whole childhood. Had I just lain there waiting to revive, I would have died in that pain and been unable to escape. I had to pluck off the feathers of the hard shell that I thought was a safety coat. I had to smash the fearful inferiority that prevented me from stepping out of myself. I had to strip off the claws of the wall of defense I had built for myself.

“Resurrection” is an experience of pain and fear but also an experience of hope and future happiness.

“Resurrection” requires courage to smash the fears and so transform into a new life.

“Resurrection” requires time to accept the truth and to listen to the Lord speaking through the experiences of each day.

“Resurrection” requires a new spirit even in the face of returning to the original path “From Emmaus back to Jerusalem.”

Reflection and painting “Eagle” by Giang Pham RNDM

Our Lady of the Missions

 

The Body of Christ Online

The following was written following the celebration of the Eucharist as part of the 2020 Young Religious Retreat:

The body of Christ gathered at our screens looking on as the priest,

our brother took the host in his hands and holding it to the screen,

reminding us Christ, our brother is here: “this is my body broken for you”

In the same way with the chalice, the reflection of our faces from our screens

caught in the silver of the chalice the community gathered,

the priest, our brother holds the chalice out to us,

close again to the screen, reminding us of our mission:

“do this in remembrance of me.”

As amazing as technology is we could not fully partake in this Eucharistic Feast

yet we were together and united and awakened to our call,

a sign of the Eucharist indeed. Although we were not gathered around an altar

we were gathered at the altars of our lives during this time of pandemic,

while on retreat together being transformed as the Body of Christ.

July 2020

Written by: Br. Michael Perras, OFM