The Easter season is often a funny one for the Church.
It should be eight weeks of continuous celebration and joy. After all, Christ is risen, and we, as a result, are saved! What the season all too often amounts to, though, is a day of Easter egg hunts and glazed ham, followed by a return to life as normal.
We wade through six penitential weeks of Lent, we celebrate and then we forget.
But maybe not this year?
That’s the basis of Michelle Martin’s story on the transition between liturgical seasons in this week’s issue. And it’s the basis of the challenge I am giving myself this Easter season. With that in mind, here’s my Easter Season Checklist™. Maybe you’ll feel like joining me.
Be joyful. Christ is risen! Approach all things during the coming weeks with a spirit of gratitude and joy.
Increase quality family time. Make extra time for that special someone. Go on a date and leave your electronic devices at home. Play with the kids outside. Pray together.
Pick up a spiritual book. Popular right now are “Forming Intentional Disciples,” (OSV, $15.95) by Sherry Weddell; “A Journey to the Heart of Jesus: Guideposts Along the Way” (OSV, $16.95) by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain; and “Jesus: A Pilgrimage” by Father James Martin, S.J. (HarperOne, $27.99).
Maintain spiritual devotions. Continue to build a relationship with God in prayer. Pray the Rosary at least twice a week. Integrate the Liturgy of the Hours into the daily routine. Go to daily Mass.
Follow the Faith. Add at least five new Catholic voices to Facebook and Twitter feeds to help keep the Faith front-and-center during routine checks.
Give. Make a donation to a favorite charity, remembering that while they often see increases in giving during Lent, their needs last well beyond that six-week season.
Celebrate. Decorate the house for Easter. Enjoy a special brunch each Sunday.
Turn to the Holy Spirit. In the nine days leading up to the feast of Pentecost, pray a novena to the Holy Spirit, asking for an increase in the seven gifts of the third person of the Trinity.
Befriend a saint. From St. Rita to St. Rose Venerini, plenty of holy men and women are honored by the Church in coming weeks. And, of course, it is very fitting to start with Pope Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II, whom the Church canonized on April 27, 2014. For a head start, flip to this week’s Canonizations section (Pages 9-24), and dive in. Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II, pray for us!
Wishing you a blessed and productive Easter season. Let me know how it goes: firstname.lastname@example.org.