As we enter into this beautiful, bright, and joyful season of the Resurrection I think it is appropriate for us to stop and truly reflect on the reality of the Resurrection. It is tempting and easy to go back to 'normal' life after Holy Week and Pascha or to possibly have the 'Pascha blues' since we miss the intense spiritual struggle of Great Lent, Holy Week, and Pascha.
The reality of the Resurrection however doesn't mean that we 'backslide' in our spiritual life but that the Resurrection, and it's potency, becomes the new reality in which we live. We take courage in the Eternal Conqueror who has marked permanent victory over all evil, sin, death, and the devil, as well as whatever challenges are before us. We continue to press on in our faith knowing that the worst tragedies that we struggle with have ultimately been swallowed up by the Resurrection. This of course doesn't mean that we do not experience the sufferings and sorrows of life but that their reach is temporary. That despite the darkness and pain we experience here and now will end when we meet our Resurrected Lord.
To finish my reflection upon the reality of the Resurrection, I would like to share a beautiful except from one of my favorite little books which can be an ever present remembrance for us whenever we look at the icon of our parish, the icon of the Holy Resurrection:
"The icon which depicts the Descent into Hades shows Christ already in glory as he voluntarily descends into the place of greatest darkness, into the place of the greatest separation. It is not called "the descent into hades", but "The Resurrection".
But what does all this mean today when the descent into Hades is an ever-present reality? It means, I believe, that God is now absent nowhere, in no situation. Even when men wish to exclude Him, God is still present. He is present crucified in all the evil of the world. This is the only answer to the mystery of evil.
What is God doing? He is crucified in all the horror of the world and yet, at the same time, he Resurrects us, offering us the power of the Resurrection, that powerful hand held out lays hold of us, not by the hand, because one can give or not give one's hand, but by the wrist. Christ's hand seizes Adam by the wrist, seizes Eve by the wrist in that extraordinary meeting of the two Adams, the first and the last.
That hand is always there, in the darkest of shadows. We must understand that the Christian God, the God to whom I wish to bear witness, is not some sort of celestial potentate who crushes us. As St. Paul says in the epistle to the Philippians, God has 'emptied Himself'. He has destroyed Himself out of love for us. He has emptied Himself, has poured Himself out unto death, even the death of the cross. That God should open Himself in order to make us enter into Him, that is the mystery of the Descent into Hades.
…He descends into the lowest place imaginable, into the deepest darkness in existence in order to destroy the power of darkness and the abode of demonic forces."
From the book 'No Matter How Deep the Darkness, He Descends Deeper Still' by Fr. Anthony Coniaris