Help for Your Spiritual Journey

Literature for SELF-Discovery


Easter Lily with CrossAn Easter Essay by Paul Hourihan, edited by Anna Hourihan

Truly I say to you, If a seed of grain does not go into the earth and come to an end, it is still a seed and no more; but through its death it gives much fruit.
Holy Bible, John 12:24

In the West, with our strong emphasis on body consciousness, we have needed someone to personify dramatically the grand theme of spiritual life and sacrifice. Jesus Christ does this with his teachings, passion, and his supreme sacrifice, which have become stamped psychically, indelibly, upon the inner consciousness of Christendom for ages. He is the Way Shower for others to follow.

As we study the greatest souls, what becomes the paramount theme is the Oneness of life. Life is One and sacrifice on our part is the way the oneness is reached. But this is a theme foreign to our natural tendencies so that we need an exemplar to dramatize this vital law of life. There are other laws too, but this is the law. Buddha placed his whole philosophy on it. Christ, too—as we get a feeling for his life, the major thing that comes through is his love and sacrifice for others.

Christ’s self-surrender on Good Friday is the key to Resurrection and Easter. The Lord of the Universe, in one of his most graphic incarnations, offers his own life as an atonement for men and women for their ignorance, showing forth the way we should go to attain our own resurrection from our self-absorption and self-centered state. The only way is through sacrifice. With the ascension of consciousness that comes from sacrifice, what we call the “Resurrection” is inevitable. Without Good Friday, there is no Easter, no illumination.

Christ’s contribution is so incredible—he has made it clear for all time, not only what he did, but what we must do. This is how we must live—not that we should get crucified. We are not asked to do that, but to do something in our modest way, in our modest arenas that is the equivalent of that. To the degree that we can sacrifice or to the degree that we are asked to do it, comes illumination.

This law means the breaking down of barriers that exist between individuals and the willingness to do anything to help others to become free of those barriers too. Along the way, we get practice in our own Calvary and little by little move towards the day when we will know what it all means. That will be a blessed day for all of us.

The image of the cross represents the crucifixion, but also Joy, Love, Giving … embracing the whole world. As Christ did on a major scale, we on a minor scale can do the same thing. Belief is only the beginning—but sacrifice—that is the way.

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