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Reflection on the Easter Vigil

Posted on April 16, 2022, by Eleanor Craig SL

Romans 6:3-11   Luke 24:1-12

Blind night surrounds us in our long vigil.  We gather in the dusk to recall both the darkness of the womb and the darkness of the tomb. This long night’s wait seems to be without sight and without light.  We pull the warmth of community close and tell the old stories while we wait in the dark.

 But the old stories do more than comfort us.  What we have just heard challenges us to see in the dark that tonight is not only about waiting but about choice.  We have choices to make tonight, before the dawn.

 We have a choice, between light and dark, between trust and fear, between life and death.

 Will we surrender to the weight of darkness that quite obviously surrounds our world, or will we trust that even now the Light that never sets reaches into every corner of the universe, shines in every creature, glows in ourselves?

 Will we let our hearts be overwhelmed by the gloom of war and suffering; by the dark evidence of treachery and lies; by the enormous reality of poverty and pain; by the weight of our own self-centered indifference?  Or will we courageously let our hearts burn with the Light that outshines darkness?

 We have choices to make tonight as we face the stone and the tomb ahead.  Will we choose a quiet end in the waning of Loretto’s light, seeking peace in the encroaching dusk?  Or will we add our light to the light of legacy and choose to share it with community extended?  Will we dedicate our energies, our gifts, our resources to light a new day in the spirit of Loretto?

 As earth groans under the weight of unsustainable burdens, we have a choice to make.  We can curse the darkness of human error and shortsighted selfishness; we can moan in pain for paradise wasted.  Or our vigil in the dark tonight can strengthen our trust in that Light which brought our earth into being and which always overcomes darkness. 

 Like the Christ, God’s eternal Light, we each were born into the Light, are bathed in Light and destined for glory in the Light. 

Oh God, send forth your light and your fidelity; lead us until all things are restored in the Light of Christ.  As we share communion this night, lighten our hearts and enliven our trust in the power of your right hand to raise all your creation to new life.

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Eleanor Craig SL

Eleanor has been a Sister of Loretto since 1963 and an educator since birth. She graduated from two of Loretto's best known St. Louis institutions, Nerinx Hall High School in 1960, and Webster University in 1967. She taught mathematics at Loretto in Kansas City, where her personal passion for adventure history inspired her to develop and lead treks along the historic Oregon Trail. From 1998 to 2010 she created an award-winning program of outdoor adventure along the Western trails for teens who are visually impaired. Eleanor claims to have conducted more wagon trains to the West than the Mountain Men! From 2012 to 2021, Eleanor led a talented staff of archivists and preservationists at the Loretto Heritage Center on the grounds of the Motherhouse. She recently retired, but still serves in the Heritage Center as Loretto Community Historian.