By Brian Dugan
I awoke to my wife’s gentle stirring at 5:15 on Easter Sunday morning. Actually, I had been somewhat awake at about 5 a.m. just per my norm but was hoping for the reprieve of falling back to sleep.
Karen suggested that our little dog Gracie probably needed her part of the morning ritual, so I threw on a pair of sweats and a sweatshirt and took little Gracie outside. It was outside that I “really awoke”!
From our perch overlooking downtown Le Claire and looking out over the majesty of the Mississippi River flowing by, I was struck by the silence. No trains, no trucks, no high-pitched whirring of the gentle-pushing diesels of a Marquette Company towboat. Just silence in the presence of the beauty.
God is truly great to provide me, at this moment, the opportunity to view his creation without the distractions of the everyday world. And, in particular, on the morning of our celebration of the rising of his son, our Lord Jesus Christ, from the tomb, where he was laid after his crucifixion on Good Friday.
My mind, as I scanned this beautiful scene, had me remembering the past three days, beginning on Thursday evening with services for the Last Supper with the betrayal and arrest of our Lord.
Then into Friday where we observed the cruel death of our Lord on the cross. And then Holy Saturday as we awaited the glorious rising of our Lord with the Easter Vigil that we attended at Our Lady of the River Catholic Church in Le Claire. The choir was glorious with their voices, the readings were inspirational, Father Joe Wolf enlightened us with his homily and I observed many of my fellow parishioners. I saw Barb Arland-Fye’s family of Steve and their boys Colin and Patrick, the family members of the choir in different parts of the church, and many of our long-time parishioners as well as the Carmelite sisters from the Kahl Home, my new employer. It was a great attendance for the glorious occasion.
All of this, coupled with the silence and beauty of Easter morning, would not allow me to fall back asleep with Karen and Gracie so I proceeded to the computer to jot down this scene fresh in my mind.
I believe that it was God’s way of showing me the wonders of his world in spite of the craziness of the world. After the Easter Vigil on Saturday night we had proceeded home and turned on the news.
We felt the pain of the Des Moines police department on the loss of two officers in a horrific traffic accident which also claimed two other lives. We viewed the primary results in three western states and heard the political rhetoric of how the politicians were going to make it better for us.
We looked with disbelief at how a person could strap on explosives and detonate the bomb in a crowded airport and subway in Belgium and a soccer field in Iraq killing many of God’s people.
On the other hand, as I was catching up on the Quad-City Times, I was amazed that the Letters to the Editor column was blessed to have two letters from readers continuing the call to find God in our everyday lives and the world will surely change as a result. That was the best bit of news that I had found from the media in many days.
As we celebrated Easter Sunday, I prayed that there is more emphasis on the Resurrection than chocolate bunnies, Easter eggs and marshmallow Peeps. It is the Resurrection that changes and saves the world, not the Easter bunny!
(Brian Dugan is a member of Our Lady of the River Parish in LeClaire.)