Our lives do not always align with the liturgical seasons. Easter season is upon us, but life might have us in Lent. Perhaps we are living a Good Friday moment or we are still in the tomb, waiting in hope for our Easter moment to arrive. What can we do when our lives are not congruent with the Easter season we are celebrating?
Having lived “off-season” many times before, here are four things I find helpful.
1. Store up what the Easter season offers.
This is a season of new life, and we hear many Gospel stories of hope of what comes after Lent, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Let the words we hear fill us and strengthen us in our waiting.
2. Name what helps us wait in hope.
Ignatian spirituality’s defining characteristic is finding God in all things. With that in mind, look for God’s presence and ask yourself: What relationships in your life help you wait in hope for your Easter moment to arrive? What prayer tools support you in holding onto your relationship with God? What activities in your life increase your faith, hope, and love as you wait for a personal resurrection?
3. Remember the accompanying presence of God.
The Easter season reminds us that we are not alone. Jesus’ Resurrection assured for us the gift of companionship in our lives. No matter what we are living in our lives, we do not face it alone. God is with us, and we will never be abandoned. Pope Francis reminds us of this in Lumen Fidei:
Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey. To those who suffer, God does not provide arguments which explain everything; rather, his response is that of an accompanying presence, a history of goodness which touches every story of suffering and opens up a ray of light.
4. Trust that Easter will come.
God’s gift of mercy assures us that new life will come. At some point our personal Lent will end, our Good Friday moments will pass, our waiting at the tomb will conclude, and we will experience the new life God births in our lives.
Our lived season of Easter may come while our churches are celebrating Pentecost or Ordinary Time, and that’s OK. For now, though, if our lives do not align with this current season, we store up and collect the wisdom that is offered to us now as we wait for our Easter season to arrive.