Even in our solitude we can contemplate the Mystery and proclaim "Alleluia"
by Sister Elise Cholewinski
Throughout his life St. Francis of Assisi dealt with the tension between the call to proclaim the Gospel and the desire to be alone with God in prayer. Often after preaching to the people in the streets or in the churches he would retreat to his hermitage outside of town to spend time in solitude.
We approach the Night Watch of the Resurrection in solitude this year. Where will be the place we designate as our hermitage? Alone and silent in our private space, we can light a special candle and contemplate some of the beautiful words from the Easter Proclamation (Exultet), the Church’s Easter song of joy:
- “This is the night when you once led our forebears, Israel’s children, from slavery in Egypt, and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.”
- “This is the night that with a pillar of fire banished the darkness of sin.”
- “This is the night when Christ broke the prison bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld.”
- “O truly blessed night, when things of heaven are wed to those of earth, and the divine to the human.”
Pondering these words from the Exultet, we can consider the questions:
- How have we been led from slavery to freedom?
- From what prisons has the Risen Lord freed us?
- How have we been experiencing the divine Presence in the midst of our humanity?
- How is Jesus living and rising in us?
And focusing on that special candle, we can recite or sing a joyful, “Alleluia!”