For reasons obvious to us, the Easter Season is the celebration of the triumph of good over evil, life over death. Certainly, the liturgy leads us very thoroughly through the story of Jesus of Nazareth, and unfolds the Father's redemptive plan for the human race. The joy of the Resurrection Story and its implications for us should be clear.
Sometimes, however, we must wonder about the duration of its effectiveness. There seem to be so many victories for the forces of evil in our day. Part of the reason, at least for our wonderment, is that the good things are not reported with anything like the enthusiasm and energy given to the gathering and telling of bad news. Even among ourselves, we tend to talk too much about who is sick, who has left the brotherhood, who is failing to honour his commitment, etc. It seems somehow that we are staying with the evils of the cross and are in danger of not looking forward in hope to its power for ultimate victory through perseverance and faith. St Bonaventure, in his Major Life, says, when speaking of the early friars:
"Christ's cross was their book and they studied it night and day at the exhortation and after the example of their father who never stopped talking to them about the cross. When the friars asked him to teach them how to pray, he said; 'When you pray, say the Our Father, and, 'We adore you, O Christ, in all your churches in the whole world, and we thank you because by your holy cross you redeemed the world'" (Omnibus 655).
Some recent words that have come to me as Provincial give me hope. In advising local Ordinaries or consulting with Religious Congregations throughout the Province about our post-Chapter personnel changes of Guardians, Pastors, Chaplains, SFO Spiritual Assistants, etc., there were several encouraging comments.
The examples of "redemptive" work of the friars can, I am sure, be multiplied if more will tell the good news to the glory of God. May this be one of our Easter Blessings!