He's Risen: Reflections on the Risen Christ and the Coming of the Holy Spirit, by Phelim McGowan SJ (Dublin, Columba Press, 2001, 128pp, RRP $20.00. Available from AD Books (03) 9326 5757)
Silence is a part of our humanity we take for granted. In a world surrounded by much activity, it can be difficult to allow the presence of God to come into our being. In the stillness and the quiet, we might hope the words of the Lord would be absorbed into our being so that we hear them clearly. In Scripture, we see how Jesus often retreated to a quiet place.
He's Risen invites us to come and reflect on the life of Jesus along the many journeys he travelled, to spend time reflecting on the mysteries which challenge our faith and to share in the intense moments of his followers at Easter time. He's Risen draws the reader into a journey, where one can be part of the Easter experiences.
Imagine being at the Last Supper, being a part of the solemnities on Good Friday. Where would we be: close behind Jesus, or standing afar? Eastertide can be a time of spiritual or emotional exhaustion, but as we share in the Easter ceremonies, we can feel a mix of emotions, the sadness of what is to happen, the anticipation of what is to come, the delight in the rising of Jesus.
We can share some moments with Jesus' mother, and sense how she must have felt. In a quiet place within our hearts, we might allow these meditations to take us on a journey, as we recall the key details of our faith.
He's Risen also helps us to share in the Easter silence, the watching, the waiting, the appearance of Jesus, the coming of the Holy Spirit - and be touched by the Easter joy, the presence of Jesus as he appears to his followers on the road and by his words as he speaks directly to our hearts.
During our lives, we experience many "little deaths", as we encounter losses such as tragedies and disappointments - all negative. On the other hand, we also experience "little resurrections", such as celebrations, births, marriage - all positive.
He's Risen consists of a short collection of works designed to encourage us to spend part of our busy days reflecting on parts of the mystery of Jesus' life up to the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Mary-Jane Donnellan is a Melbourne Catholic writer