Monday, March 19, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt

I've always liked the coined phrase - "if you want to change your life, change your habits."  It's true isn't it?  The things we do day in and day out become the substance of who we are.  We wake up, we go about our routines, we use our own chosen language, we eat certain foods, we drive a certain way, we dress ourselves with the clothes we chose, we listen to our personal music choices, and watch our tv shows.  We choose how to react to opposition with either defensiveness or openness.  We choose a life of service to others or service to ourselves.  We decide a life of virtue or a life of vice.  These choices are made on a moment to moment basis, and we make those choices over and over and over until they become habits.  We are made up of the same traits done over and over and over.  We are made up of our habits that have been practiced time and time again.  You tell me you habits, and I'll know who you are.

How are your "church habits"?  I know a ton of Catholics that are getting excited about their faith.  Every day, they're looking for new ways to explore the Church teachings and are in discussion with others constantly challenging the theology in a search for the truth.  I recently got to visit with a past student of mine who has been searching for the right church for the past two years.  She has temporarily left Catholicism and despite the entertainment at the other churches, despite the fantastic programs,  despite the depth of bible studies and being "saved by faith alone" - there are still questions and no resolutions outside the Catholic Church.  She has such an incredible interest in Christ and wants to follow him so faithfully.  In her searching, she's finding.  Some would condemn for taking a "Catholic break" - but I applaud her.

As we approach Easter - I'd like to offer this piece of thought...  Think of our faith like a never ending Easter egg hunt.  When we're released out of the door to find those eggs (our baptism) we're so excited!  We stop and pick up our first candy/egg which is like "WOW!  AWESOME!"  (first communion) and that inspires us to keep looking!  As we continue our search - the longer we search, the more we find!  We finally find the motherload egg! (Confirmation).  Many get this egg, and look around and don't see anymore so their search ends.  They go inside, they consume their candy, and they carry with them the memories of those great Easter egg hunts of their childhood.  The hunt is over.

For many - this is the story of our faith.  We search, we find, we stop searching and continue with only the memories.  Eventually as an adult, its now our turn to put out the eggs, providing the memories (faith) to our own children.  We strategically place each egg.  We develop elaborate plans to help our kids really get into the search and we release them watching their excitement and joy as they find their eggs (Christ).

Where is the problem?  We are now evangelizing to our kids right?  We had the experience, then we pass it on... Isn't that supposed to be how it works?  What is missing?  What could we possibly be doing wrong?

My suggestion is this...  Join in the Easter Egg hunt yourself.  Too many of us sit back as if it's something for the kids to do.  Going to "youth group" is for the kids.  Going to "religious education" is for the kids.  I've done my part.  Some take their 12 years of Catholic education and use that as an excuse to stop their own search.  My suggestion is this - KEEP SEARCHING!  You're not going to keep finding if you stop searching.  You won't keep growing if you quit participating.  Just going to mass will not help you GROW.  It will sustain you, and it will nourish you - but that's the bear minimum requirement.  Find ways to pray as a family.  Find ways to take a course in theology.  Get involved in your churches.  Frequently engage in discussions with your pastor, your Catholic friends and others in lay ministry, go on a retreat, help lead a retreat, get involved in a ministry at your churches.  Oh you're busy?  Go ahead and name off all the things you're doing that keeps you busy. How many of those things revolve around prayer?  How many of those things revolve around Christ and his Church?  How many of those things are family activities where you can grow and have opportunities to build community in your homes with the ones you love?   If those things are centered around Christ and your family, then you're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing.  BRAVO!!!  If they're not, I'd like to propose you consider removing some of the obstacles to Christ, community and family.  Look at your family habits...  Make Christ a part of those habits.  Make prayer a habit.  Make searching for Christ a habit.  Make your families a family.  Eat together, play games together, and search for Christ together.  Let this lenten season a true quest for a renewal of faith.  Let this lent take not only the children, but the adults as well.

Remember - you are His hands and feet. 


  1. Hi Mark, I think the most valuable part of our spiritual life is being strong in our faith being bonded in that faith with the support of our families. This analogy is so good because it is a lifelong search to grow deeper daily in our relationships with Christ. It does not matter our age or our participation in the past - the matter is that you are seeking that calling to be closer to Christ and we are renewed daily in that walk with Him.