Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!
(Easter Proclamation, Roman Rite)
There is a literary practice called the “pathetic fallacy,” which attributes human feelings to non-human creation. Often the pathetic fallacy is used to show the natural surroundings in harmony with what is going on inside someone — for example, when the scariest scene in the ghost story takes place at night during a thunder storm, or when a poem about grief employs the image of skies weeping with rain.It is called a fallacy because, obviously, nature is not human, and rocks, trees, planets, and animals do not have human emotions.
I like to think, though, that when Jesus was raised from the dead, there was some way in which the whole universe participated in the joy of heaven, even if no one was consciously aware of what was happening.
And I can’t help but believe that deep down each one of us, along with all of creation in some mystrious way, knows — really knows, even if we don’t know that we know —
-that life has conquered death;
-that God always comes back, even when we reject the Holy One and send him to death;
-that it is safe to commend ourselves into the hands of God, as Jesus did;
-that love is the truest and most powerful reality in the universe.
Only love is stronger than death. But human love by itself is not strong enough. Only God’s love is strong enough to conquer death and to ease the fear which threatens at times to overwhelm us. Only in this love — which is the deepest truth of our being — can we be at peace within ourselves and with the rest of creation. It is when humanity is not in touch with what we already know deep down, when we are not at one with this love, that the hungry are not fed, the naked are not clothed, wars and oppression abound, the earth is polluted, and global warming is left to proceed unchecked.
So I pray: God of love and life, may my heart rejoice with the joy of the Risen Christ. May my life be filled with the radiance of your love, so that from wherever I am, your blessing may spread out to others and to the whole of creation.