Part 2: We Fall Down, We Get Up

bleeding heart and autumn leaf

There’s lots of talk about resurrection this time of year, from the good news of the Easter story to what we witness outdoors in every new flower. But what does it really mean to us, in a practical way? The Catholic Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery collaborated on this 10-part answer to the question of How to Practice Resurrection Every Day. We will publish it in installments over the next couple of weeks!

Still, like dust, I’ll rise. – Maya Angelou

New life takes place every moment of our lives, literally.

With each breath we ingest new atoms that are incorporated into our very cells. Researchers estimate that we replace 98 percent of the atoms in our body ever year.

We are – by design and automatically – always being physically renewed.

Spiritual renewal is just as important, but neither automatic nor easy. It requires work. And it requires our assent.

“Resurrection is not just a question of one day, after death, rising from the dead, but it is also about daily rising from the many mini-graves within which we so often find ourselves,” Rev. Ron Rolheiser writes.

In other words, as the Ancient Desert Monks are reputed to have said, We fall down, we get up.

Our fallen places, or mini-graves, can be shallow or deep, life-changing or trivial.

Regardless, they affect us profoundly. Who hasn’t had a sleepless night worrying about a conversation that took a wrong turn? Or feeling misunderstood by someone? Or grieving a major loss?

“We die a hundred ways,” Sister Mary Jane Wallace, OSB says. “We feel like we didn’t hit the target. We weren’t able to do what we wanted to do. It can leave us with a spiritless, deadening feeling.

“But every morning the sun comes up. That’s God saying, Try again. The light is always there, but we must rise to see it.”

Part 3: Accept Your Cross

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