Recently I co-facilitated with Sister Pauline Micke a Lenten retreat on St. Paul’s spirituality and how a life of conversion leads to the cross. One of the things I brought up during my portion of the retreat is that, for St. Paul, the “story of the cross” had three components: Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection. All three are important to understand the story of the cross, its power and meaning.Often when faced with a cross, we become emotionally and physically overwhelmed by the Passion and Death aspects. We forget that a resurrection is hidden mysteriously within every cross of our human lives. It is a resurrection waiting to burst forth and transform the landscape of our lives like new spring flowers.At the end of giving the retreat I was told to take home with me the flowers that graced the refreshments table. The scene at my window is striking: the Jesus of the Garden of Gethsemane praying in the foreground; melting snow and brown dead grass beneath; and in the middle of it all, flowers. Resurrection is where all creation is headed.We are a Resurrection people, filled with hope in God’s promises and in the love of Christ. Perhaps our challenge is to remember that, and to look for signs of transformation and resurrection bursting forth from the struggles and disappointments and losses of our lives.
“Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured into our heartsthrough the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
Sister Ann Marie Wainright
Sister Ann Marie Wainright is a Benedictine Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she worked as a CPA for many years before earning dual masters degrees in counseling and pastoral studies. Sister Ann Marie is interested how people encounter God in their daily lives and how they use their faith and spirituality in meeting difficult challenges.