Springtime in the Heart

Easter, an old-English word, derives from estre, which was the name of the pagan springtime God.  In German, ‘Easter’ comes from ‘east’—the point being to emphasize hope, as the sun rises in the east at dawn.  Hopefully we can make an opportunity in this ebullient season to experience a “springtime” in our faith.  If we desire it, God will grant it.  “It is always springtime in the heart that loves God,” said Saint John Vianney, the curé of Ars.

We can use art to help give an Easter lightness to our being; to put our souls into this spirit of springtime.  These tools might seem "pagan," but as we see from the etymology of our most holy season, the Church "baptizes" what is secular for our benefit.

In the audio realm, there is George Frederick Handel's Water Music.  This was a series of concerts he wrote for the King of England, King George I, in July 1717, to make his sails along the Thames River more pleasant.  As one calmly listens to the brass and wind instruments interspersed throughout the music, there is a sense of triumph and gracefulness.  Christ has destroyed death and given meaning to our life.  One could also listen to Spring of Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" for a similar feel.

In the visual realm, we could try prayerfully gazing upon the landscape and waterscape artwork of impressionist painter Claude Monet.  Arguably his most famous painting, Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies (Metropolitan Museum of Art: New York City, 1899) is ideal for the Resurrection.  The vertical format allows us to focus on the water lilies while drawing us upward to the bridge and beyond.  With Easter, our beautiful souls are able to traverse the bridge to Heaven.

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