Reflections on the Resurrection Prayer – Week 2
Many years ago the late +Fr. Bernie Hayes, CR wrote a booklet reflecting on the words of our Resurrection Prayer. During this Easter Season of the Lord’s Resurrection we wanted to share some excerpts from those reflections with you.
O Risen Lord,
the way, the truth and the life,
make us faithful followers
of the spirit of your Resurrection.
Grant that we may be inwardly renewed:
dying to ourselves
in order that you may live in us.
May our lives serve
as signs of the transforming power of your love.
Use us as your instruments
for the renewal of society,
bringing your life and love to all,
and leading them to your Church.
This we ask of you, Lord Jesus,
living and reigning with the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever.
"The Way, the Truth and the Life"
“The Way” – What “way”? What is the call here? How much must I give up my own way?
There is a call to obedience here – to an honest listening to and a willing response to the will of my Father. I say I have been doing that – but have I? Or have I through careful manipulation and well planned strategies managed to get my own way? I need to look carefully and honestly into my inmost self if I am to follow the Way who is Jesus.
There is a call for prayer in these words. Prayer which breaks open for me the Word who is Jesus and the word who is me and mingles them as water is mingled with wine in a union which enriches and transforms self. “Father, not my will but yours be done.” That is the prayer of Jesus. That is the way of Jesus. To what extent is it truly mine?
There is a call to love here. To love and to let myself be loved. The Way calls me to walk my journey confidently and serenely in the certain knowledge of the Father’s love for me in my totality. But all genuine love demands suffering, demands sacrifice. Sacrifice and suffering are the indispensable handmaids of true love. Without them love is merely romance. So why should I become discouraged and dispirited in the face of my suffering? Why shrink from the sacrifices asked of me? The Way asks for genuine loving.
But it is the call to let myself be loved that is perhaps the harder thing to do. It involves so much risk – not the least of which is the placing of myself, my very being, my destiny in the hands of the Other. It involves self-surrender in a frightening degree; a letting go that can be paralyzing. How desperate I am to “hang on”; to hang on to my present and my future, my secret sin, my security – in short, my “self”! Yet He who is “the Way” calls me to trust that in letting go of all I will find all. To trust that in “possessing nothing” I will possess everything. To trust enough to become “a fool for the sake of Christ”.
Finally, the Way calls me to be poor. The heart of poverty does not lie in what I have or do not have. Having and refusing to have are only the external signs of poverty’s heart. The heart of poverty is the stifling of possessiveness. He who himself is the Way owned nothing – not even His own life.
The more I freely follow the Way, the more it will lead me to Truth. And that Truth, who is Jesus, will open my eyes so that with an increasing clarity of vision I can see the truth of myself, my God, others. To the extent I follow the Way I will come to the Truth. And in that Truth – my truth – I will find life – my life. And in so doing I will more and more fully become what I name myself: Resurrectionist.