I hope this note finds you enjoying Holy Week and the most sacred and special time of prayerful reflection it provides.
Easter is in most of our minds synonymous with the arrival of spring and the rebirth that defines the season. After a very long winter we welcome with open, happy hearts the life and Joy of Easter. This winter, in particular, gave all indications that it would never end but now we see hope in longer days, slightly rising temperatures and the signs of spring.
I’m reminded of the children’s novel The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. In the classic tale of good triumphing over evil, renowned Christian Theologian, C.S. Lewis weaves an allegory of Easter salvation that can be appreciated by all ages and yields new wisdom at each reading. In the story the land of Narnia is imprisoned in an eternal winter by the White Witch, broken by the arrival of the Lion, Aslan, symbolically representing Christ. Aslan sacrifices himself so that all may be saved and redeemed. Parallels with the Passion can be drawn throughout the story and in its many characters.
By crafting this tale Lewis invites us all to enter into deeper reflection and see how we all live the story of Salvation every day. By presenting the story this way we can all see Christ’s Passion is very real and present for all of us. For me reading The Chronicles of Narnia was a watershed moment in a love of reading. It wasn’t until I read the stories again in college and taught the books to my high school students that I explored the deeper meaning and studied the theological teachings of Lewis. We intentionally place The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in our sixth grade curriculum to explore the themes of the Passion in multiple disciplines. It makes an excellent partner to their preparation and presentation of the Mime Stations of the Cross. Through this interdisciplinary unit of study, students delve deeply into literary and theological content. Our school Mime Stations presented each year the Friday before Holy Week and directed by Mrs. Rooney is a poignant and beautifully simple depiction of Christ’s death and Resurrection, and a true gift to our school and parish.
Our journey through Holy Week and final preparations for Easter continues with the start of the Triduum on Holy Thursday. I hope if your schedule allows that you will join us for Morning Prayer on Thursday in St. Paul Church. May the Joy of Easter be manifest in your heart’s and homes this Sunday and all times.