This Changes Everything - Easter Sunday 2017

Posted by Philip Shano, SJ in Our Seasons

SourceL pinterest.com

"This changes everything." I've wanted to use the phrase in my own writing for a while. It's from the title of a noted work by Naomi Klein, the Canadian author, filmmaker and social activist. Klein is referring to climate change and related issues, global issues that have a broad social impact. It's a great concept.

What changes everything? A spiritual and theological view would see the "things" that change everything as moments such as the Incarnation and the Resurrection. Today is a celebration of the Resurrection, Easter. Easter changes everything and makes anything possible. 

Christ is risen! Indeed he is! An encounter with the Resurrected Lord transforms us. It may not be instantaneous and its effects may not be what we desire. This is why we must bring discerning eyes and ears to our reflection on the Easter experience.Source: thischangeseverything.org

My experience of directing women and men on retreats is that some of the greatest expectations involve the Resurrection. People can be disappointed because their prayer on the Resurrected Lord doesn't match what they want. But my experience with people is that their experience of Resurrection usually has a connection to their life.

My favourite Easter experience is in the account of the road to Emmaus and the disciples shift from being dejected to experiencing their hearts burning within. 

It is almost sacrilegious on such a sacred day to try to relate things to my personal experience. However, for most of us, that's our entry point for moments such as the Resurrection. What in my life is in need of the experience of Easter? Where in my life do I need to shift from death to life?

I personally began Lent trying to comprehend what was happening to my body, particularly around balance. Why am I falling and why do I seem to be gravitating to the left? Is this something in my mind, a product of an active mind and too much free time. I finally had a CT Scan and I've been waiting on results.

Emmaus. Source: pinterest.comI saw the results on the Tuesday of Holy Week and I will meet with the neurologist on Holy Thursday. An important point: I am basing this post on the raw data from my Scan and a conversation with a physician. I won't know more until I meet with the neurologist in a few days. Key phrases from the report: "soft tissue density, larger than previous." This "causes significant mass effect on the underlying cerebellum and displaces the mainstem slightly to the left." Summary: "There has been significant recent size of the mass." 

I'm not a neurologist, but I have intimate knowledge of my body. Those medical descriptions make sense to me and explain what I have seen happening in my body. And I don't need any neurologist to make the connection between this new situation and my health history. (I had surgery for a brain tumour in 2003 and for a cochlear implant several years after that. In other words, this new "mass" is in an already-compromised part of my body.)Source: clipart-library.com

It is interesting that my new health status is being clarified just as we enter the Triduum. I'm being invited to name the Easter grace I desire. If you can abide with me, these Sunday posts will probably deal with my appropriation of my emerging health situation. Meanwhile, the Editor and writers of igNation wish our readers the joy and peace of the Risen Lord. 

About The Author

Philip Shano, SJ has many years of rich and varied experience working with Ignatian spirituality: teaching, writing and using it in his ministry. He resides in the Jesuit community in Pickering, Ontario.

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John Montague on April 16, 2017 - 10:41 AM

Thankyou Philip for being open about your health situation. Peace my friend.

Peter Bisson on April 17, 2017 - 6:23 PM

Oh Philip, thank you for reading your experience in the light of Lent and Easter, and for sharing it. This is true witness! Thank you again.

Laura Salamy on April 17, 2017 - 6:28 PM

I appreciate your candor and writing on grace, particularly given your current health situation. My thoughts and prayers to you.

Barbara lewis on April 19, 2017 - 11:13 AM

It is hard to see you write about the bad news you are getting.
Your body is where you are....
Showing your your faith in action...you are sharing beauty with your readers.
Thank you.