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Christ is Risen! He is Truly Risen! Printer friendly format
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By Paul J. Ashton, Psy.D., D.Min.
Consultant to the VIRTUS® Programs

Flowered cross

Lord, the resurrection of Your Son has given us new life and renewed hope. Help us to live as new people in pursuit of the Christian ideal. Grant us wisdom to know what we must do, the will to want to do it, the courage to undertake it, the perseverance to continue to do it, and the strength to complete it.  

New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book
 
Alleluia! All of us on the VIRTUS® team wish you, your families, and loved ones a joyous and blessed Easter. It is a blessed time for each of us to draw from God’s grace to face the difficulties in our world without fear. The resurrection gives us this renewed hope to follow the message of Jesus’ life, suffering, and death. All of us know that doing so is oftentimes challenging, and that living in today’s world, “as a people in pursuit of the Christian ideal,” is no easy task.
 
The model that Jesus lived to show us the way is one of vulnerability. He was strong enough to humble Himself and lead the path by being vulnerable and opening Himself to the deep hurts of humankind. He did this for absolute love of each of us leading not so much with power and might from the top, but from in our midst among us showing us the way and leading us through His actions.
 
This paradox of vulnerability is the way in which Christians live and find meaning. Vulnerability is most often associated with being helpless and weak, but we see through Jesus’ example that it is a powerful way to assist others and ourselves in coming closer to knowing who we are, what we stand for, and what values are important to us. In other words, placing ourselves in the vulnerable position of needing others on our Christian journey allows us to help others. It is the key to opening doors and breaking down barriers to those we serve. Being vulnerable affords us the opportunity to accept the kindness of others in ways that we never expected, all the while empowering others on their own journey.
 
“Being vulnerable isn’t about being weak; it’s about harnessing the necessary strength to be open and authentic.”[1] This is the key to the entire process—being true to our call as Christians by seeking God’s power and grace working through us to give voice to every vulnerable person we encounter. To further the paradox, we must find the various ways we can become vulnerable ourselves so that we are open to healing and binding the wounds of others. Embracing the opportunities we see before us by taking on the posture of Jesus’ great mandatum is as unique as each of us has been specially created. There is no prescription, no formula, or specific way to accomplish this. By paying close attention to our own interior life we are propelled by these graces to move forward in reaching out to give voice and to extend a hand to others who are vulnerable. Focusing on being better at what we individually do best will create communities of care and concern for all—where each voice, most especially the unheard voices of vulnerable persons—will be listened to and heard clearly.
 
During these 50 days of the Easter Season why not recommit yourself to pursuing the Christian ideal by living the paradox of vulnerability in a mindful way. Here is a list of ways in which you can begin the process. It is not exhaustive, but contains a starting place for all us to remind ourselves of the important message of the resurrection.
 
  • Live as a person who is free, redeemed, and loved tremendously by God.
  • Be the face of Christ in all situations.
  • Treat others with compassion and love.
  • Share your faith by being a living example of the Beatitudes [Matthew 5] and Commandments [Exodus 20]
  • Try to live humbly; approach vulnerability as a strength, not a weakness
  • Relearn to live within your means and strive to take only what you need
  • Talk about your values with those you love
  • Be better at the things you do best
  • Find beauty and appreciate it daily
  • Love others with who you are and not what you can buy them
  • Simplify
  • Attach to others; detach from the complexity of things
  • Attend to your health of body, mind, and soul
  • Find a way to pray for five minutes each day
  • Don’t be stingy with your prayers and good works for others
  • Find other ways to deal with your stress and coping mechanisms and work on avoiding temptations
  • Witness to others about your faith journey; don’t be shy to speak of the power of God in your life
  • Make a conscious daily effort to believe in the mighty power of God
  • Work on forgiving yourself
  • Work on forgiving others
  • Try being patient with yourself and others instead of angry
  • Volunteer, minister to others, help someone
  • Be nice in every and all circumstances
  • Fall in Love with God
  • Go gently
  • Don’t be among the gripers; “Serve the Lord with Gladness” [Psalm 100:2]

[1]On Being Naked: The Great Paradox of Vulnerability: Katie, November 4, 2010. Health for the Whole Self, A Journey for Balance for Body, Mind Spirit. Retrieved 9/26/11. 

 

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