During the month of April we pray in a special way for those who enter the faith at the commencement of the Easter season. Many Catholics regard welcoming new members into the Church as a high point in the liturgical year, especially given the recently reported on trends of religious disaffiliation. In today’s world of competing idols, young people in particular are losing sight of their vocational call and the ability to coherently discuss faith.
I started daily 16-hour fasts in July of 2019 after researching the benefits of intermittent fasting. When I was presented with a concrete plan for turning fasting into a more intentional spiritual practice, I discovered something much more rewarding than physical discipline.
When I heard last March that we would be teaching online for at least a few weeks, like many teachers, I worried about how I would translate in-person learning to online. I was relieved to remember my years facilitating online courses in the McGrath Institute for Church Life’s STEP program and everything I had learned from the program’s leaders and other facilitators about how to welcome students, communicate online, and see the meaning we find together even without in-person connection.
Every year, I find myself struggling to keep my Easter joy alive for the entire season. For some reason, it’s easier for me to sustain my Lenten observances for forty days than it is for me to celebrate Easter for fifty.
If this sounds familiar to you, first, know that you’re not alone in the struggle, and second, here’s something that might help us both: a Spotify playlist to help you enter into the joy of the season through music, which is a key component of both the Church’s liturgical life and of daily life (remembering of course that the liturgical life is meant to overflow into and transform daily life).
“‘O truly blessed Night,’ sings the Exultet of the Easter Vigil, ‘which alone deserved to know the time and the hour when Christ rose from the realm of the dead!’ But no one was an eyewitness to Christ’s Resurrection and no evangelist describes it. No one can say how it came about physically.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, §647)