Death and resurrection

/ 6 April 2012

Deep in the midst of the Triduum I find myself thinking about death and resurrection. Inevitable, right? What is not inevitable is that I should find so much of the media that I am brushing across these days connected to discussions of well-being — a deep, honest well-being that requires us to recognize how much we are part of each other, how much our deaths are connected, and so, too, must be our joys.

Driving up to retrieve Alex from CSB/SJU for the holiday weekend, I found myself listening to Deepak Chopra at the National Press Club. I will admit that he is generally not my first choice “go to” speaker on spirituality, but I was driving, and that’s what MPR was streaming. Chopra was describing what he terms “spiritual solutions,” and arguing that all of the world’s problems (challenges, obstacles, pick your word) come from a contracted awareness. I was startled to realize, as I listened, that everything he was saying could be said from a Christian perspective, too. Jesus tried to teach us to expand our awareness, to be in relationship with all those around us — friends, neighbors, enemies. He showed us a power that is well beyond and deeper and bigger than power over — a kind of power that God poured out into the world without care for the cost.

Then a friend sent me this article, about attempts to develop a new global paradigm for assessing the progress of a country that goes far beyond the notion of GDP. The entire article is worth reading, but for those of you who are captivated by market mechanisms, consider this excerpt:

The truth is that poor countries have much to gain from shifting the unblinking global focus on money by replacing GDP as the dominant national measure—and that rich countries may benefit even more. The challenge is to convince them of this: that there’s more to life than the market, that it’s possible to broaden our gaze without falling behind economically, and that our obsessive attention to material wealth not only does little to remedy the fat, alienated, time-starved malaise that plagues so many Westerners; it at least partly causes it.

How might we expand our awareness to move beyond the contractures that strain our relationality, and stretch into the gift that Jesus’ resurrection brings us? The Triduum invites us to ponder exactly this question. My prayer for myself these three days is that I will allow my heart to be broken open. May yours be, too.