The spring after we moved into our current house, I began the ritual of going out to greet the sun every day. I have never been a part of a Catholic community that has a sunrise service on Easter morning which seemed to me to be a loss. Were Catholics too lazy to get up so early? We used to have midnight mass around Christmas…they were fine with staying up late, it seems.
I was also conscious of the fact that Catholics have six weeks of sacrifice and soul-searching of Lent but there are seven weeks of “Easter season” culminating with the feast of Pentecost. But I couldn’t remember the Church ever making a big deal out of the Easter season. At least, it never gave us stuff to do like it did for Lent. I guess being repentant was superior to being Joyful. Catholic, indeed.
So, one Easter morning fourteen years ago, I set my alarm, got myself out of bed, dressed and stepped out the door to watch the sunrise. On my property, I have to walk a bit to get out of the trees where I can see the horizon in the distance. It turned out to be a glorious thing to do. I decided to continue the practice throughout the seven weeks of Easter. I became addicted to the practice and it became an integral part of my spirituality. There have been years when I have gone out no matter how deep the temperatures drop in Minnesota winters. The last couple of years, I have been less eager to go out in the winter. Laziness, maybe, or I just need more time for my joints to loosen up.
If I were at my son’s house in Colorado or my daughter’s in Arizona, I would be able to watch the sunrise through their living room windows. I have decided that if we ever move, this will be a requisite of another house…an east facing window where I can sit and watch the rising sun.
What do I do as I watch? Well, I thank God I am here on this earth one more day. I reflect on the days that have gone by trusting God to make good of all things and pray that each experience I have makes me a better person than I was before. I think about people in my life and take the time to pray for those who I think may need prayer today. I pray for the world…there is always something going on to pray about. I look upward and pray that the thoughts I entertain today will be God’s thoughts. And I consider the idea that God is as much inside of me as in the universe out there.
Finally, I think about my day ahead. I ask God to help me to be loving with each encounter and to help me accept the unexpected and to be fully present to whatever happens. Then I turn round and walk back to the house…and go on with my day.
3 thoughts on “Easter Sunrise”
Because of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, death is not an end. Life has new meaning and so each new day has new excitement and joy.
I think that your example of how to start each new day is brilliant!
Christ is Risen, Hallelujah! Happy Easter to you and your family.
Sounds like a lovely and meaningful way to begin each day!
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