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.
"May our lives serve as signs of the transforming power of your love."
I stand before these words as I would stand before an awe-inspiring sunset, drawn into them by their magnificence, their force, the complete transcendence of the challenge and beauty of their thought. They are words to be savored; prayed over. In them is the heart of our mission, our charism – all we are as Resurrectionists. Perhaps I cherish them so much because they speak to me so eloquently of my own journey; of the constant surety I had that God was with me in those dying experiences of pain and darkness and “lostness”; that in them I found purpose and value in my suffering; that in that brokenness Love found me and led me to happiness and gratitude.
And so having been gifted, I in turn am called to be “sign”; to point the way; to say with conviction to others by my very “being”: “do not be afraid of the darkness or your journey and the pain of your following, for it is Love that calls you there; Love that sustains you; Love that will be your Light.
Is there a greater gift than that to give my world? If I can give nothing more, will my “sign” not be in itself a great gift? Is not my “being” in itself the work of him who loves me; who has done great things also in me?
And yet I will be called also to “do”. Like all love, this transforming love of my Father will compel me to reach out to others: the marginalized; the hopeless – any who need my love; to embrace them and say to them: “Take courage; have hope because I can now love you not solely with my human love but with that love transformed by the love of the One who loves us both.” Can there be a greater calling than that? Is not being that sign the greatest gift I can give and allowing God to transform me the greatest work I can do?
In this transformed love there will be new strength, new power. As my love becomes more and more transformed it will become increasingly more like the love of the Divine Lover: purer in its intent; more forgiving; more unconditional; more accepting; more enduring. Isn’t that what my vowed love calls me to: a love so transformed by Love that it seeks not to possess but to share; to hold but not to clutch; to care but never to demand a response?
We Resurrectionists were born of a transformed love. To willingly enter into that transforming process is the greatest expression of our lives. It is the incarnation of our spirit; our greatest mission and our most fruitful gift to the apostolate.
It is not easy to enter into that process. We must relinquish control. This, too, we will only be able to do with the help of God. But, if we are willing, God will break through the crust we tend to build around ourselves. God will break it up and crush it. And then, as we sit weeping amid the rubble of our shattered dreams and desires, God will come to us and say: “Get up; take my hand and walk with me.” In our passive activity night will become day: Calvary will become Easter; Love will be transformed; and darkness flooded with Light.