Inner spring

by on 週三, 23 二月 2011 評論

As is the case for Chinese New Year, the day of Easter varies from year to year, being based on a solar-lunar calendar. In 2011, it will fall on April 24 – very late in the year. Still, as spring arises, I am already reminded of what Easter means to me.

The awakening of spring in Nature revives in me the joy and desire of an “inner spring” - of a renewal of my thought, actions and living energies.

For sure, the feast of Easter is not a kind of “Rite of Spring.” It is not about an eternal return of things and seasons, a cyclical flourishing of life followed by maturation and decay… It is more about an “eternal spring”: Christians believe that the new life that is given to them is a “radical novelty“, a novelty that can be felt as such every morning. The quintessential novelty of life can be already experienced in this world and will break throughout the darkness of death, so that the grace of spring may become everlasting.

Each season has its spiritual meaning. Summer is about the maturation of our experiences and the joy to know that we are well and solidly engaged into what we are called to do. Fall is the season for bearing fruits, giving everything we have received without keeping anything away. Winter is about forbearance, letting the grain die into the soil and toiling patiently within the desolate immensities of this world. Still, Spring might be the “spiritual season” by excellence: God is the God of beginnings, so Spring is His special season, the season of Genesis and of the garden of Eden. And the God who creates the world in its spring is the same one who renews it through resurrection. He is also the one who renews and recreates me each time I open myself to the energies of spring at work in my body and my soul. In spring, the spirit of God reveals Himself as the gentle breeze whose strength finally overcomes the violence of the fire and the earthquake.

Recovering from an illness or a surgery, repairing a relationship that has been broken, deciding on a new professional or personal direction…  all these are experiences of spring that help me to open up to a Gift of which all these experiences are signs and testimonies. So, may the breeze of spring renew and dilate our life every morning!

Photo: C.P.

Benoit Vermander (魏明德)

Benoit Vermander lives in Shanghai. He teaches philosophy and religious anthropology at the University of Fudan.





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