Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Resurrection Power

by Ann Cavera


We don't understand many of the machines we have in our house. We have all kinds of power at our fingertips and we haven't a clue about how most of it works. Our microwave oven has settings for casseroles and pastry on high, medium and low, but we seldom use most of those fancy settings.

In fact, the new thermostat we had installed last fall seems to have a mind of its own, often surprising us with automatic temperatures we weren't expecting. We do know how to slide a DVD in, watch it and then return it to the library or the only remaining video rental store in town. No Netflix for us. With a little practice, perhaps we could learn how to download music and movies or upload photos and send them on Facebook to thousands of strangers around the world.

No matter where we turn, we are surrounded by a multitude of possibilities offered by inventions no one could have imagined 50 years ago. Why don't we make use of them? As the kids say, "We won't even go there." We are comfortable sitting in the middle of our modern wizardry and, since we do own all this stuff, we tell ourselves we are as up-to-date as the next person.

After all, if we really needed to use something, we'd either figure out how to make it work or put in a frantic call to one of the grandkids. Never mind technology. In the dead of winter, we had too many good books to read and, now that spring is here, we will be hanging out at garden centers. Meanwhile, we are content living in a house full of idle possibilities.

As we enter the Easter season, we realize we sometimes treat our faith like a modern device, acknowledging its power, but letting it sit unused. When we read through the Acts of the Apostles, it is evident that early Christians tapped into an awesome, sometimes even dangerous, force that changed lives and could make room for the seemingly impossible to happen.

Easter challenges us in ways not so different from the early Christians. In spite of modern changes in our physical circumstances, the human spirit remains the same. Humanity continues to struggle with dishonesty, anger, greed, doubt and fear. Anything that polluted human hearts in Christ's time still thrives today. The need for a different kind of power is greater than ever.

The Resurrection opened the door for us to the same life-transforming power God gave to those early Christians. The Holy Spirit waits to be invited into our lives, offering us an opportunity to be transformed into the kind of love that will bring a new dawn on earth. As Easter people, the question is: will we use our gifts, or let them gather dust while we surround ourselves instead with idle symbols of our modern lifestyle?

Easter offers us an invitation to lean into the power we have been given. To unleash the power of Love in our world, perhaps all Christians really need to do is approach faith with the same fervor we see in the younger generation's devotion to modern technology. 

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Echoes from the Bell Tower is a blog devoted to observations on Christian faith, spirituality and everyday events, by authors with a connection to the Benedictine values found at Saint Meinrad Archabbey and its Seminary and School of Theology. Contributors include students, permanent deacons, Benedictine oblates and Saint Meinrad monks. Their stories, thoughts and ideas highlight the mission and vision that ring out from the bell towers on this Hill in southern Indiana.