Issue 266 - Spring Renewal
April 2022
Spring time is a season of newness. We reflect on trees, flowers, and other symbols of renewal.
In addition, we offer a poem and video meditation on Transformation.
Newness and Transformation
The mesquite tree is native to South Texas and bears the surety of Spring right around the corner. According to local tales, its feathery bright lime green leaves signal the end of wintery freezes. Many years the temperature never falls below freezing, but when it does, we replant tender tropicals and succulents. Every year my mother planted new Sweet Peas and Snapdragons to bloom at Eastertime.

Some people renew their gardens every year. Perhaps some Christians also look at Eastertime as a time of restoration and renewal. As Benedictines say, “Always we begin again.” The moderator of our Archdiocese Catholic Lay Preaching Guild, Fr. John G. Leies, SM, used to remind us that we always have to re-evangelize our younger generation.

Yes, a time of restoration, renewal and resurrection. Many of the Scripture readings during Lent speak to healing and new life: detach from the old and take on the new. Jesus’s raising of Lazarus shows us how to be free from the old bindings. Friend and Poet Angela Alaimo O’Donnell,* whimsically tells us how Lazarus “raised himself from the dirt and stood upright,” then:
The chorus of voices sings him awake.
Once a body’s broken, it can’t break.
He licks his lips and wags his muscled tongue.
Flexes each foot till the warm blood comes,
Turns from the darkness and moves toward the sun.
A step. A shamble. A dead-out run.

Yes, a time of renewal and resurrection. May you receive the glorious graces of new life and restored energy during this season of renewal.
--by Jan

*Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, “St Lazarus” in Saint Sinatra and Other Poems. Cincinnati: Word, 2011. P 35
Budding Hope
Out the window, peeking up through the snow, bright daffodils were blooming.

I spent seven years in Maine, so I know a thing or two about winter. I saw snow pile, higher and higher, month after month, in my front yard. One year it got to be four feet deep. Two to three feet deep was common. At first, it was a bitter surprise to me when snow still covered the ground at Easter. After a few years in Maine, however, I came to expect that.

The parsonage where I lived was across the driveway from the church. Out the kitchen windows, I could see the entrance doors to the fellowship hall on a south-facing wall. And it was there, beside that door, in beds where sunlight reflected off the white wall, that the first daffodils emerged, every spring, often just in time for Easter.

Sometimes the snow was melted a foot or so away from that reflecting wall, opening the bed where the daffodils bloomed. Other years, a late snowfall covered the beds all the way to the wall. But still, the daffodils stood tall, bright yellow joy above the frozen white.

In this grim season, while warfare, suffering and horrible destruction fill our TV screens and news feeds, those daffodils shine in my memory, offering hope. Hope that bitter sorrow will someday end, and joy will blossom. A reminder that God our creator can bring forth beauty, and new life, from the most unlikely places. A sign that not even death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Even in Maine, spring eventually comes. Even in the depths of despair, on the cross or in the tomb, the God of life and love is still present.

In memory, I see the signs of hope. Out the window, peeking up through the snow, bright daffodils were blooming.

On Sale for Easter!
In spoken word and music, follow Mary Magdalene to the empty tomb on Easter morning.

40-minute Audio CD
on sale here

"The Dawning" CD Cover
"The Cross Transforms Everything"
A beautiful meditation with a panorama of the village of Taize, France
Angela Alaimo O'Donnell and The Still Pilgrim
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Copyright (c) 2022 Soul Windows Ministries
Bill Howden and Jan Davis
Soul Windows Ministries