Be No April’s Fool
April Fools’ Day on the first of the month has been celebrated throughout European cultures as a popular day for playing hoaxes since the Middle Ages. However, April is also the month of Easter, an important Christian holiday, that includes Easter Bunnies and colored eggs. Over time, Christianity has intermingled with Pagan traditions, and the fertility symbol in the form of eggs has donned the meaning of Jesus’ tomb stone that apparently empty bore life in the form of Christ’s resurrection. Similarly, traditions and beliefs will continue to amalgamate and produce clearer meanings out of age-old customs. For instance, Easter, or Pascha, does not only refer to the Jewish commemoration of the Exodus, but has become closely intertwined with the worldly death and other-worldly resurrection of Jesus, whose life work was to open the hearts of humankind and teach unconditional love.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
It is in April that people celebrate this holiday, and both Latin and Greek etymology point towards Spring, or buds’ “opening” during this season. Poignantly, Easter really is a ritual that invokes an opening of the hearts. Whether the name for Easter is derived from the Old English name for the Anglo-Saxon goddess of dawn, Ēostre, or is of Indo-European, Latin, and High German etymology, they both have the hopeful idea of the dawning sun in the East in common. Regardless of one’s denominational background, the message of Jesus’ often gruesomely retold story is to remember the immortality of us, the spiritual beings currently incarnated in this world, and the hopeful tidings it brings.
Following the Example
In preparation for Easter, Christians often observe Lent, a period of physical and spiritual purging that is supposed to help open one’s heart, renew faith in our divine nature, and resurrect ourselves from this world of limitations. Despite Lent’s rather negative connotations, it is really a manual of faith – faith in the Divine that is also You:
- Prayer and penance really go hand in hand; during prayer, we may ask for help and support while we contemplate our dark side, purge those bottled up emotions, and thus do penance for our feelings that are only human and natural, asking forgiveness and forgiving.
- Atonement occurs once we realize that the feelings of our dark side are only results of prior woundings, and we begin the healing process by clearing those old energy patterns. “Sins” just mean a separation from the Divine, but atonement means repairing that connection.
- Every time we make the effort to heal ourselves, we practice alms-giving. Feeding ourselves the means to heal also produces a positive effect on other people, for we are all one.
This April, be no fool – Jesus has managed to overcome these worldly limitations and so can you – metaphorically speaking! The point is to overcome human challenges with Christ-like faith, faith in the Divine that you and I, and we all, are.
Bio: Ronja Vieth, Ph.D. is a published scholar, poet, and author from Germany, who teaches and works as an Intuitive Life Coach. She is co-host of Divine Connection Radio on FB & YouTube. Find more information on www.englobe.me.