Special Note: Scroll Down for Easter 2009 Slide Show
The photo above, a precious image of new life emerging from last fall's dead leaves; this shock of audacious color and strength reaching toward the sun, speaks so much of the Easter message. It bespeaks resilience, courage, commitment, beauty, renewal and the bounty of nature - all gifts of God. And how we need to be reminded of them, in each of our days and the midst of these times. It says,"The Lord is truly Risen."
Through an accidental meeting on Facebook with my first cousin once removed, the much accomplished Anne L. Galante, I discovered her stunning photography and received permission to use her images here. This was one of the great gifts of this Easter season. Anne has a history that makes me breathless - nurse, doctor, wife, mother of two, practicing gynecologist and, now, photographer of note. Anne also volunteers her medical skills each year for a period of time in service to native Americans on a government reservation in the west. Thank you Anne, for all that you do and share.
Below this post appears a slide show of Easter celebration in our contemplative monastery assisted by the presence of Redemptorist priest and students, and many friends and guests. For us, the liturgies were glorious and tremendous blessing. Some first time visitors spoke of the intimacy and drama of the Paschal story especially in the dramatic moments and readings of the Easter Vigil. The Exultet was sung by a Redemptorist brother, his baritone melody molded by deep faith and the musical tradition of his African heritage, touched us all. The readings moved us thorough the Passover story in all of its mystery and awe.
Now we proceed through the Easter Octave, eight days of the Easter Sunday Office for Morning and Evening Prayer. All to remind, to underscore the message, to communicate, like the crocuses pushing a fist of color up through dead leaves, that we have been given life anew in Christ Jesus risen from the dead because "God so loved the world..."