Easter Mass is a timeless tradition that dates back almost to the death of Christ. It celebrates the resurrection and offers hope and glory for millions and millions of Catholics throughout the world. As universal and respected as Easter Mass is considered, it is also a very personal journey for every individual, and a journey that only an individual can take alone while not being alone.
Easter Mass can just as easily represent the symbolic traditions that people have come to accept as fact as it can be an emotional and spiritual awakening. However, it is impossible to have an awakening without at least a question. How can one awake if they were never “asleep,” so to speak, or off center about their spiritual beliefs.
When experiencing Easter or Easter Mass in the face of tragedy or in the wake of a loved one’s death, it can also be a stirring time when the soul asks questions about their relevance to the process and the Spirit’s true indignation toward them. Few people like to readily admit when they are experiencing a time of spiritual crisis or a place of religious questioning. That’s a shame, since almost all of us go through it regardless of our denomination or lack thereof.
A spiritual crisis can lead a person back to Easter Mass or lead them away. What is important is that the spiritual journey not ever concludes. Just like with every other aspect of our lives, the instant we stop learning and growing is the instant we stop truly experiencing life.
As children we are taught many version of a basic truth. Good things do happen to bad people and bad things do happen to good people. It just is, and we are not truly in control of such things, which is why we have faith in a higher power. Our faith can be so strong and yet it can seem so fragile. Yet even as adults, when our crisis of spirit and our crisis of life seems so incredibly overpowering and wrong, can Easter Mass really bring us to spiritual enlightenment?
Well, yes it can and no, it can’t. Spiritual enlightenment is not one single mind blowing flash of light that changes our perceptions forever and then we can close the book because we now know everything there is to know. Spiritual enlightenment is a perpetual journey that guides us both closer and farther from God. In much the same way we segregated ourselves from our parents I our delightful adolescence in order to form our own identity, so too must we struggle with our beliefs in order to call them our own. In most cases, we are handed our beliefs by our parents, and it is often much later in life that we truly question the basis of those beliefs. What does this have to do with Easter Mass? Everything.
Easter Mass always has been and always will be considered one of the most spiritual events known to man. Even non-Catholics get a sense of energy from Easter Mass, an energy that can only be described as spiritual in nature. It is always a little more likely to have moments of spiritual growth during the most intense spiritual traditions, although they can happen while taking a shower or brushing your teeth, the stage is set more or less for awakenings of spiritual proportions on Easter Sunday.
The choir is just a little more in tune, the lighting of the candles takes just a moments longer with just a little more thought, people who have been showing up in jeans dress in their actual Sunday best, and of course, the sermon is ignited with papal flair. Whether wandering back from a spiritual journey that sparked a thirst for greater knowledge or conflicted with questions that reflect the very essence of whom and what we are, spiritual knowledge can be gained by simply opening yourself up to the possibilities that are present right in front of you. Be kind to yourself, recognize your spirit’s desire, and allow it to be guided, and perhaps this upcoming Easter Mass will provide you with the right motivation to hear the answers you seek.