I have risen, and I am with you still, alleluia. You have laid your hand upon me, alleluia.
Too wonderful for me, this knowledge, alleluia, alleluia.
In reading a spiritual book written by two writers I enjoy, I came across their struggle to write a book together, but didn’t know what would be their theme? Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, told Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, that he kept coming back again and again to the meaning of ‘alleluia’. And then, they were off writing their book, Uncommon Gratitude: Alleluia for All That IS. “One of the oldest anthems of the church, ‘ alleluia’ means simply ‘All hail to the One who is’. It is the arch hymn of praise, the ultimate expression of thanksgiving, the pinnacle of triumph, the height of human joy. It says that God is Good-and we know it”.
They go on to say that life itself is an exercise in learning to sing ‘alleluia’, here on this earth, in order to recognize the face of God hidden in the recesses of time. (Chittister & Williams, 2010, p. ix.) What struck me, in the chapters that followed, was their emphasis on saying ‘alleluia’ in times of trouble, in times when there is little control in our lives, in times of poverty, but it is not easy. However, as the authors so beautifully point out with our faith, “with the awareness of another whole kind of reality, beyond the immediate”, it is possible (p.ix).
The resurrection of Jesus brings us to this awareness of our faith reality and that in this light, we, too, can resonate in this Easter season with ‘alleluia’! We can ‘give thanks’ for the life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus for us!
As Ladies of Charity, the first call of St. Vincent DePaul was made to you! This was brought home to me by a student at DePaul University last week as she read about you and your works for the community of the poor. Her reflection was ‘Imagine Sister, St. Vincent DePaul made his first call in the Vincentian Family to the laity, in calling the Ladies of Charity.
Sister Frances Ryan, DC
LCUSA National DC Spiritual Moderator